Hobbes vs Hume Essay examples

988 Words Apr 26th, 2011 4 Pages
Prathyusha Guduru

In the history of philosophy, two of the most prominent philosophers were Hobbes and Hume. Both made important contributions to the world of ethics. One of the main important things they differed on is reason. Hobbs felt that reason is way to seek peace but Hume felt the reason is only a slave to passions. In the following paragraphs, you will see how Hobbes and Hume explain their different views on reason the theories of the two philosophers are analyzed in depth, so that we can have a comprehensive understanding.

Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher published his masterwork, the Leviathan, in 1651. This book influenced western philosophy with its view on the Social Contract theory. A social contract
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Hobbes believes that by being rational beings, and reasoning out things, we can all live a little more peacefully. David Hume was a Scottish philosopher known for being an empiricist and for being skeptical of religion. Like Hobbes, he was also a big influence on western philosophy. Among his many works, his major writing include, treatise of human nature and enquiry concerning the principles of morals. In an enquiry concerning the principles of morals, Hume introduces his fovarism towards the role of sentiment. He argued reason solely cannot be a motive of any action and that reason can never resist the motive of passion "reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions,"(pg 415). He explains that Moral distinctions are developed from the moral sentiments such as feelings of approval and disapproval felt by an action. Hume believes that pleasure and pain are the causes of the passions that drive our actions. According to Hume, it is the pleasure and pain that are the causes of the passions which drives our actions. He claims that it is the actual experience of the pain or pleasure, not the reason we adduce to their causes that drives us to act.” Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not
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