Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

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Veritas Aequitas
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Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Arguably the most prominent defender of moral sense theory in the history of philosophy is David Hume (1711–1776).
While he discusses morality in Book 3 [Part 1 Section 1&2*] of his Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40),
Hume's most mature, positive account of the moral sense is found in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_sen ... ry#History
*Section II is titled as:
Moral Distinctions Deriv’d From a Moral Sense.
Moral sense theory (also known as moral sentimentalism) is a theory in moral epistemology and meta-ethics concerning the discovery of moral truths.
Moral sense theory typically holds that distinctions between morality and immorality are discovered by emotional responses to experience.

Some take it to be primarily a view about the nature of moral facts or moral beliefs (a primarily metaphysical view)—this form of the view more often goes by the name "sentimentalism".

Others take the view to be primarily about the nature of justifying moral beliefs (a primarily epistemological view)—this form of the view more often goes by the name "moral sense theory".

However, some theorists take the view to be one which claims that both moral facts and how one comes to be justified in believing them are necessarily bound up with human emotions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_sense_theory
The Principles of Moral Sense Theory:
The moral sense is often described as providing information in a way analogous to other sensory modalities, such as sight in the perception of colors. It is contrasted with the way in which one acquires a priori, non-empirical knowledge, such as mathematical knowledge for example.

One way to understand the moral sense is to draw an analogy between it and other kinds of senses.
Beauty is something we see in some faces, artworks and landscapes. We can also hear it in some pieces of music. We clearly do not need an independent aesthetic sense faculty to perceive beauty in the world. Our ordinary five senses are quite enough to observe it, though merely observing something beautiful is not by itself enough to appreciate its beauty. Suppose we give a name to this ability to appreciate the beauty in things we see: let's call it the aesthetic sense.

This aesthetic sense does not come automatically to all people with perfect vision and hearing, so it is fair to describe it as something extra, something not wholly reducible to vision and hearing.
As the aesthetic sense informs us about what is beautiful, we can analogically understand the moral sense as informing us of what is good.
People with a functioning moral sense get a clear impression of wrongness when they see (or perhaps even imagine) someone being mugged, for example.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_sen ... y#Overview
My point:
While the Moral Sense Theorists e.g. Hume reject any 'ought' from 'is',
they nevertheless recognize justified moral facts do exist, as such the related morality is objective.
Thus the answer and counter to:

PH: What could make morality objective?
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Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Here is a Thesis in Support of the Moral Sense Theory:
A SENSIBLE ETHICS: THE ANALOGY BETWEEN COLOR AND VALUE
Rodney W. Cupp, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, 2004
Adviser: Joseph R. Mendola

Abstract:
This dissertation explores an analogy between moral properties and color.

Some philosophers [e.g. Hume, et. al - see OP] claim that moral properties and secondary qualities are similar: both kinds of property are essentially tied to human sensibility, and we seem confronted in our experiences of both kinds of property with something the existence of which is independent of those experiences.

Such similarities suggest that the correct analysis of color concepts is a proper model for the correct analysis of moral properties.
A particular understanding of this analogy supports moral realism.

First, we are justified in accepting Qualified Dispositionalism, or (QD).
According to (QD), ascription of a color to an object is true in virtue of a disposition of that object to appear in an area of the visual field having a certain property.
(QD) is a better match with the folk theory of color than is any other prominent philosophical theory of color.
(QD) also accounts for certain scientific facts about color.
Therefore, (QD) is true.

Second, an analogous conception of moral properties is correct.
According to the Dispositional Theory of Value or (DTV), an object possesses a certain moral property just in case it merits a certain motivational response in appropriately receptive beings.
(DTV) accounts for three essential features of ethical discourse and practice: values provide reasons for action, reasons for action motivate, and values motivate; the moral cannot be reduced to the non-moral; moral judgments have truth values.
No other prominent metaethical theory accounts for all three features.
Therefore, (DTV) is true.

Colors conceived as dispositions are objective since an object’s possession of such a property is independent both of the existence of beings like us and of our knowledge of such properties.
Realism regarding color is therefore correct.
Because moral properties are also dispositional properties, moral properties are also objective.
An object’s possession of a moral property is independent both of our existence of beings like us and of our knowledge of such properties.

Hence, realism regarding moral properties is also correct.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:58 am Here is a Thesis in Support of the Moral Sense Theory:
A SENSIBLE ETHICS: THE ANALOGY BETWEEN COLOR AND VALUE
Rodney W. Cupp, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, 2004
Adviser: Joseph R. Mendola

Abstract:
This dissertation explores an analogy between moral properties and color.

Some philosophers [e.g. Hume, et. al - see OP] claim that moral properties and secondary qualities are similar: both kinds of property are essentially tied to human sensibility, and we seem confronted in our experiences of both kinds of property with something the existence of which is independent of those experiences.

Such similarities suggest that the correct analysis of color concepts is a proper model for the correct analysis of moral properties.
A particular understanding of this analogy supports moral realism.

First, we are justified in accepting Qualified Dispositionalism, or (QD).
According to (QD), ascription of a color to an object is true in virtue of a disposition of that object to appear in an area of the visual field having a certain property.
(QD) is a better match with the folk theory of color than is any other prominent philosophical theory of color.
(QD) also accounts for certain scientific facts about color.
Therefore, (QD) is true.

Second, an analogous conception of moral properties is correct.
According to the Dispositional Theory of Value or (DTV), an object possesses a certain moral property just in case it merits a certain motivational response in appropriately receptive beings.
(DTV) accounts for three essential features of ethical discourse and practice: values provide reasons for action, reasons for action motivate, and values motivate; the moral cannot be reduced to the non-moral; moral judgments have truth values.
No other prominent metaethical theory accounts for all three features.
Therefore, (DTV) is true.

Colors conceived as dispositions are objective since an object’s possession of such a property is independent both of the existence of beings like us and of our knowledge of such properties.
Realism regarding color is therefore correct.
Because moral properties are also dispositional properties, moral properties are also objective.
An object’s possession of a moral property is independent both of our existence of beings like us and of our knowledge of such properties.

Hence, realism regarding moral properties is also correct.
So, here's the argument.

P1: The way we perceive/sense moral rightness and wrongness is analogous to the way we perceive/sense colour.
P2: Colour is real.
C: Therefore moral rightness and wrong are real.

Instead of dumping yet another obviously unsound argument for moral realism and objectivism, try applying your own critical thinking to see if it has any flaws. This one is a pile of crap.

And here's another suggestion. Look up arguments against moral realism and objectivism, to see if and why they're flawed.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:30 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:58 am Here is a Thesis in Support of the Moral Sense Theory:
A SENSIBLE ETHICS: THE ANALOGY BETWEEN COLOR AND VALUE
Rodney W. Cupp, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, 2004
Adviser: Joseph R. Mendola

....
So, here's the argument.

P1: The way we perceive/sense moral rightness and wrongness is analogous to the way we perceive/sense colour.
P2: Colour is real.
C: Therefore moral rightness and wrong are real.

Instead of dumping yet another obviously unsound argument for moral realism and objectivism, try applying your own critical thinking to see if it has any flaws. This one is a pile of crap.

And here's another suggestion. Look up arguments against moral realism and objectivism, to see if and why they're flawed.
Your construction of his intended argument above is too superficial.
As usual constructing your own strawman for your own personal destruction and self-satisficing.

The typical definition of Moral Realism is this;
Moral realism (also ethical realism or moral Platonism)[1] is the position that ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately.
-wiki
In my case, I don't agree with moral platonism but mine as I had stated, is Empirical Moral Realism.
Thus in this case, moral realism express moral statements that refer to the objective features of the world.

By they way, I do not agree totally with Hume's Moral Sense Theory which I believe is incomplete and and express Morality partially only.

The typical 6 senses faculty is an objective features of the world - biologically and mentally, i.e. within the human person.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense
The 6 typical senses eyes, ears, skin, inner ear, nose, and mouth are the Human External Sensation organs with its related systems.
In addition, there the Human Internal Sensation system.

In the case of Moral Sense Theory, the analogy is comparing these sense faculties and their qualities to some similar moral sense faculty in the brain/mind.

In the above thesis, he adopted Hume's Principles [see below] but instead of all the senses, he had used the sense of sight and color and analogy for the moral sense and moral qualities.

Hume also made the same analogy with the sense faculty and the moral sense faculty.

In Book III-Part I-Section 1 of his A Treatise of Human Nature;
in [= mine]

Hume stated;
Vice and virtue [morality], therefore, may be compar’d to sounds, colours, heat and cold, which, according to modern philosophy, are not qualities in objects, but perceptions in the mind:

And this discovery in morals, like that other in physics, is to be regarded as a considerable advancement of the speculative sciences; tho’, like that too, it has little or no influence on practice.

Thus Hume argument;
  • P1 Vice and Virtue [morality & moral qualities] are analogous to the sense faculty of sounds, colours, heat and cold, qualities.
    P2 The sense faculty sounds, colours, heat and cold, qualities are objective
    C1 Therefore vice and virtue [morality & moral qualities] are objective.
Are you implying Hume was an idiot?

Obviously Hume is not that stupid [if you think he is] but Hume has provided detailed explanation and arguments to support his moral sense theory.
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:30 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:58 am Here is a Thesis in Support of the Moral Sense Theory:
A SENSIBLE ETHICS: THE ANALOGY BETWEEN COLOR AND VALUE
Rodney W. Cupp, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, 2004
Adviser: Joseph R. Mendola
So, here's the argument.

P1: The way we perceive/sense moral rightness and wrongness is analogous to the way we perceive/sense colour.
P2: Colour is real.
C: Therefore moral rightness and wrong are real.

Instead of dumping yet another obviously unsound argument for moral realism and objectivism, try applying your own critical thinking to see if it has any flaws. This one is a pile of crap.

And here's another suggestion. Look up arguments against moral realism and objectivism, to see if and why they're flawed.
You seem to be trying to imply Hume was an idiot.
Don't forget your argument against Moral Objective is based fundamentally on Hume's Guillotine, i.e. "No Ought from Is".

For your information:

The above thesis is referenced to Hume Moral Sense Theory, where Hume's approach to morality is very scientific, thus as objective as Scientific facts are;

Here is Hume's scientific approach to Morality:
in "[ ]" = mine.
We must therefore glean up our experiments in this science [moral philosophy] from a cautious observation of human life, and take them as they appear in the common course of the world, by men’s behaviour in company, in affairs, and in their pleasures.

Where experiments of this kind [of moral philosophy] are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science, which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension.

Xxiii - Treatise BookI Introduction
Peter Holmes
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:37 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:30 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:58 am Here is a Thesis in Support of the Moral Sense Theory:
So, here's the argument.

P1: The way we perceive/sense moral rightness and wrongness is analogous to the way we perceive/sense colour.
P2: Colour is real.
C: Therefore moral rightness and wrong are real.

Instead of dumping yet another obviously unsound argument for moral realism and objectivism, try applying your own critical thinking to see if it has any flaws. This one is a pile of crap.

And here's another suggestion. Look up arguments against moral realism and objectivism, to see if and why they're flawed.
You seem to be trying to imply Hume was an idiot.
Don't forget your argument against Moral Objective is based fundamentally on Hume's Guillotine, i.e. "No Ought from Is".

For your information:

The above thesis is referenced to Hume Moral Sense Theory, where Hume's approach to morality is very scientific, thus as objective as Scientific facts are;

Here is Hume's scientific approach to Morality:
in "[ ]" = mine.
We must therefore glean up our experiments in this science [moral philosophy] from a cautious observation of human life, and take them as they appear in the common course of the world, by men’s behaviour in company, in affairs, and in their pleasures.

Where experiments of this kind [of moral philosophy] are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science, which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension.

Xxiii - Treatise BookI Introduction
All of the writers you cite, including Hume, try to explain why we have moral beliefs, such as that slavery is morally wrong. But no such explanation can prove that the claim 'slavery is morally wrong' is a fact - a true factual assertion, because it isn't a factuall assertion at all. Here's the generalised argument:

We believe X is morally wrong, for the following reasons; therefore "X is morally wrong" is a fact - or, simply, 'therefore, X is morally wrong'.

Neither conclusion follows or and can follow from the premise. Or try this even more stripped-down version:

We believe X is morally wrong; therefore X is morally wrong.

Do you think this conclusion follows from this premise? If you can see why it doesn't, perhaps you can see why no moral assertion can follow from a factual premise or premises.
Skepdick
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Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:55 pm All of the writers you cite, including Hume, try to explain why we have moral beliefs, such as that slavery is morally wrong. But no such explanation can prove that the claim 'slavery is morally wrong' is a fact - a true factual assertion, because it isn't a factuall assertion at all. Here's the generalised argument:

We believe X is morally wrong, for the following reasons; therefore "X is morally wrong" is a fact - or, simply, 'therefore, X is morally wrong'.

Neither conclusion follows or and can follow from the premise. Or try this even more stripped-down version:

We believe X is morally wrong; therefore X is morally wrong.

Do you think this conclusion follows from this premise? If you can see why it doesn't, perhaps you can see why no moral assertion can follow from a factual premise or premises.
Why do you insist that conclusions OUGHT to follow premises?

That sure sounds like a normative belief you are holding. It'd be a shame if you couldn't prove it.
Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Hume: Morality = Moral Sense = Objective

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:55 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:37 am You seem to be trying to imply Hume was an idiot.
Don't forget your argument against Moral Objective is based fundamentally on Hume's Guillotine, i.e. "No Ought from Is".

For your information:

The above thesis is referenced to Hume Moral Sense Theory, where Hume's approach to morality is very scientific, thus as objective as Scientific facts are;

Here is Hume's scientific approach to Morality:
in "[ ]" = mine.
We must therefore glean up our experiments in this science [moral philosophy] from a cautious observation of human life, and take them as they appear in the common course of the world, by men’s behaviour in company, in affairs, and in their pleasures.

Where experiments of this kind [of moral philosophy] are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science, which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension.

Xxiii - Treatise BookI Introduction
All of the writers you cite, including Hume, try to explain why we have moral beliefs, such as that slavery is morally wrong. But no such explanation can prove that the claim 'slavery is morally wrong' is a fact - a true factual assertion, because it isn't a factuall assertion at all.
First of, your foundation to your above claims is full of holes.
You have not defined what you mean by 'morality' precisely.
You have the wrong idea of 'what is objectivity'.
Your definition of fact is not the generally accepted meaning but rather your 'what is fact' is traceable to the bastardized philosophy of the logical positivists.

You just don't have grounds to support your own views and less to critique my view re 'Morality is Objective' on the basis of 'Empirical Moral Realism'.

Don't expect your arguments to be fruitful when your pail of premises are full of holes.
Here's the generalised argument:

We believe X is morally wrong, for the following reasons; therefore "X is morally wrong" is a fact - or, simply, 'therefore, X is morally wrong'.

Neither conclusion follows or and can follow from the premise. Or try this even more stripped-down version:

We believe X is morally wrong; therefore X is morally wrong.

Do you think this conclusion follows from this premise? If you can see why it doesn't, perhaps you can see why no moral assertion can follow from a factual premise or premises.
Let's stick to the OP i.e. Hume on this point.

Each of Hume's 3 books in the Treatise they have the following subtitle;
  • A TREATISE OF Human nature:
    BEING An Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into MORAL SUBJECTS.
Generally to Hume, Morality entails Virtue [right] and Vice [wrong].
What is Virtue and Vice is distinguish by the Moral Sense.
What is Moral Sense is represented by activities within the brain.

Moral Sense is analogous to the normal senses and their system.
There are facts of the normal senses, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell.
Analogously there are facts of the moral sense, i.e. moral facts.

Slavery is justified fact by the Moral Sense as a Vice, therefore morally wrong.

Hume based his approach on the experimental method equivalent to Science, he had justified on that basis, why the fact, vices [slavery in this case] is morally wrong.
  • Hume: Where experiments of this kind [of moral philosophy] are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science, which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension.
Since Hume was aligning his approach to morality as in Science, whatever moral qualities [moral facts] should be in the same genre of objectivity as in Science.
You deny scientific knowledge are not factual and objective?

You will have to read Hume's Treatise and Enquiry to understand how he justified his arguments why vices [slavery in this case] are morally wrong and virtues are morally right, based on passion [verifiable scientifically] and not on reason-alone.

I do not agree with Hume totally but he was getting into the right direction which need to be creamed off with Kantian morality and other philosophical reasoning.
When one read Hume and Kant, one will note how they struggled with the limited knowledge of human nature during their time, i.e. on evolution, evolutionary psychology, neurosciences and other advance knowledge we have today and potentially in the future.
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