The Questions in a Theory of Moral SentimentsApril 30, 2022
1 Almost all of the remarkable theories on the nature of our moral feelings are partly correct and partly wrong due to their imperfect view of nature.
2 There are two questions regarding moral principles:
- What is their definition of virtue?
- What is the conduct that makes up the praise-worthy character?
- This character is the natural object of esteem, honour, and approbation.
- By what faculty in the mind recommends this character to us?
- How does the mind=
- prefer one conduct to another?
- denominates the one right and the other wrong?
3 The first question leads to virtue-based moral systems.
- Dr. Hutcheson’s system is based on benevolence
- Dr. Clarke’s system is based on acting suitably to our situation
- The system of others is based on the wise and prudent pursuit of our own real happiness
4 The second question leads to moral systems that derive virtue from=
- This leads to moral systems based on private interest.
- This compares characters, similar to the comparison between truth and falsehood.
- a moral sense, which is pleased by this virtuous character and displeased by the contrary one
- some other principle in human nature, such as a modification of sympathy, or the like.