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Morals, Motivation and Convention (review)

Morals, Motivation and Convention (review) Francis Snare. Morals, Motivation and Convention. Cambridge: University Press, 1991. Let me begin by saying what this book is not. It is not, nor does it claim to be, a neat exegesis ofwhat Hume has to say about moral obligation, justice, and convention in book 3 of the Treatise. Its focus is, rather, on the use and claims of contemporary Humeans (such as Davidson, Williams [p. 2], Hart, Rawls, and Mackie [p. 4]) in what Snare calls their (and his) "smug" acceptance of the doctrines central to book 3: "These [doctrines] provide the loci classici of a number of apparently interrelated theses and arguments in moral philosophy, philosophical psychology, social and political philosophy which have become a part of the intellectual baggage of no small number of contemporary philosophers. With only a bit of exaggeration I will call such philosophers and such doctrines Humean' " (p. 1). The doctrine which is central here, to Hume and to Snare, is non-cognitivism and thus sentimentalism. This is not an easy book to read. It is a complex weaving ofintricate patterns ofpropositions, revisions ofpropositions, and conclusions from revised propositions into a fabric of theory and application, a weaving that demands careful http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hume Studies Hume Society

Morals, Motivation and Convention (review)

Hume Studies , Volume 18 (1) – Jan 26, 1992

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Publisher
Hume Society
Copyright
Copyright © Hume Society
ISSN
1947-9921
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Abstract

Francis Snare. Morals, Motivation and Convention. Cambridge: University Press, 1991. Let me begin by saying what this book is not. It is not, nor does it claim to be, a neat exegesis ofwhat Hume has to say about moral obligation, justice, and convention in book 3 of the Treatise. Its focus is, rather, on the use and claims of contemporary Humeans (such as Davidson, Williams [p. 2], Hart, Rawls, and Mackie [p. 4]) in what Snare calls their (and his) "smug" acceptance of the doctrines central to book 3: "These [doctrines] provide the loci classici of a number of apparently interrelated theses and arguments in moral philosophy, philosophical psychology, social and political philosophy which have become a part of the intellectual baggage of no small number of contemporary philosophers. With only a bit of exaggeration I will call such philosophers and such doctrines Humean' " (p. 1). The doctrine which is central here, to Hume and to Snare, is non-cognitivism and thus sentimentalism. This is not an easy book to read. It is a complex weaving ofintricate patterns ofpropositions, revisions ofpropositions, and conclusions from revised propositions into a fabric of theory and application, a weaving that demands careful

Journal

Hume StudiesHume Society

Published: Jan 26, 1992

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