Of Chastity and Modesty

Jonathan Harrison

in Hume's Theory of Justice

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246190
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680946 | DOI:
Of Chastity and Modesty

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This chapter discusses the following: (1) The duties of men compared with those of nations. (2) Apparent inconsistency in Hume's views resolved. (3) Hume's a priori philosopher a device to emphasize the ingenuity of nature, but his explanation of how it comes about that we disapprove of immodesty and infidelity in women is lame. (4) The penalties of having a bad reputation. (5) What does Hume mean by attaching shame to infidelity ‘above what arises merely from its injustice’? (6) Meaning of ‘the punishment of bad fame or reputation’. (7) The seriousness of marital infidelity. (8) The immorality of immodesty and infidelity in women incapable of having children. (9) Whether Hume is right in thinking that it is a ‘natural instinct’ to care for one's children. Why do men object to bringing up other men's children? (10) Why the woman's act and the man's act do not have to be equally serious and why the woman's act may be more serious than the man's. (11) Is Hume right in thinking that the reason for condemning immodesty and infidelity springs from the necessity of bringing up children? They could be rules for allocation of scarce resources, if the scarcity is not itself a product of the rules. (12) Rules about immodesty and infidelity as applied to bachelors and spinsters. (13) The effects of a marriage ceremony on the morality of sexual intercourse. (14) The effect of contraception upon duties of modesty and fidelity. (15) Unlimited benevolence as a reason for not having rules concerning modesty and infidelity.

Keywords: immodesty; infidelity; shame; bad reputation; children; marriage; morality; sexual intercourse; contraception; unlimited benevolence

Chapter.  10341 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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