Title

An interpretation of the moral philosophy of David Hume: How to derive 'ought' from 'is'

Date of Award

1973

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor(s)

Stewart Thau

Keywords

Philosophy, Ethics, emotion and morality, virtue and vice

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy

Comments

Recent discussions in ethnics have centered around the "is-ought" passage that is found in the writings of David Hume. Essentially the problem is this, is it possible to derive and ought-statement from one or more is-statements? This particular passage from the writings of Hume has been given an interpretation which not only renders Hume's ethical writings as inconsistent, but which has also created what has been taken to be an unabridgeable gab between what is the case (i.e. actuality) and what ought to be the case (i.e. possibility). The purpose of writing this paper has been to show that ought-statements do depend upon is-statements and futhermore that dependence is such that one can arrive at what he ought to do by a consideration of certain matters of fact.

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