Plato vs Hume Essay

2243 WordsMay 8, 20129 Pages
Compare Plato’s and Hume’s views of reason, focusing on their arguments for the specific features they imagine reason to have. Whose view do you find more compelling, and on what grounds? A long-standing issue in subject of moral philosophy has been the issue of how and why we, as humans, go about our decision-making process during moral dilemmas. Is the basis of determining our moral distinctions to be found in our reasoning and logic or is it found in our passions and emotions and experiences? This question has been debated over since the beginnings of philosophical thought and continues to persist to this day. Many philosophers have contemplated this question and come to varying conclusions, spanning range from moral reasoning being purely a matter of feelings and passions to that it purely a matter of the intellect. The crux of the question, apathetic to whatever your personal beliefs may be, lies with the implications of the answer. The practical consequences that are derived from the distinction between these two opposing viewpoints are of paramount importance for assessing the values of human life. If moral judgments are solely based upon pure reason then they must necessarily be either right or wrong, true or false. This would imply that principles of moral judgments are equivalent to a mathematical formula in which our answers are eternal and cannot be subject to change. If they are based in our passions alone, then they cannot be said to ever have a constant outcome. There can be no disputing our moral judgments because our preferences cannot be disputed; they simply are what they are. Moral judgments will vary as much as one individual varies from another individual. As seems obvious to me, due to the fact that moral judgments cannot be purely derived from reason or passion alone, is the notion that both are necessary for the

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