David Hume's Argument On Reason

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Hume begins his argument by explaining what reason is. He demonstrates that reason is susceptible of agreement and disagreement, therefore it is a matter of fact to say that reason can be true or false. Passion on the other hand cannot be harmed by agreement or disagreement and that makes it not false or true. This argument implies that reason alone cannot drive actions, and then be morally justified. The argument also implies that moral facts are driven by our passion. What drives us to do good does not lie beneath a reason or reasonable motor, it is just our instincts that are demanding us to do such things. For example, a good man have a good reason to go defend his country overseas, but that reason alone is not enough to make him do so, he has to be emotionally invested in such a subject to act on its behalf, he has to want to go and in some cases even have a pleasure in doing so.…show more content…
He claims to prove that “reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the will,” and that reason alone “can never oppose passion in the direction of the will” (P. 10-11). His point of view is not only that reason plays no role whatsoever in the generation of action; but it grants and provides us with information, in particular about means to ourselves, which makes a difference to the direction of our intentions. His thesis is that reason alone can’t move us to action; the impulse we have to act itself must come from passion. The doctrine that reason alone is merely the slave of the passions, that reason pursues knowledge of abstract and causal relations merely in order to achieve passions' goals and gives no impulse of its
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