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In his Treatise of Human Nature David Hume outlines his theory of human morality Humes argument is the notion that human morality is not based on rational thought and reason but rather is a consequence of our passions Because passions themselves can never present themselves as the product of any sort of reasoning it would be illogical to ever judge a moral action as rational or irrational This therefore raises the question what is the role of reason in moral thinking This paper will outline Humes arguments on morality and attempt to discern the role of reason in morality Additionally it will explore the ultimate motivating factors of passionate thinking in an attempt to discern what sort of philosopher Hume really isThe basic premise of Humes arguments on morality is simply that our actions are not governed by reason but rather by passion or as Hume states that reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the will and secondly that it can never oppose passion in the direction of the will413 Reason to Hume is the discovery of truth or falshood Truth or falshood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas or to real existence and matter of fact458 It is Humes understanding that rational thinking can only apply in ascertaining relationship between objects in the real world as in an example of a scientist who uses reason to conclude that apples fall from trees because of a force called gravity However because reason does not apply to ideas and thoughts of the mind itself it followed from this assertion that reason cannot move anyone to action As Hume states Abstract or demonstrative reasoning therefore never influences any of our actions but only as it directs our judgment concerning causes and effects which leads us to the second operation of the understanding414 Passions on the other hand are not subject to an understanding of truth
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