Is and Ought in Hume's Philosophy

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
Is and Ought in Hume's Philosophy

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Hume is more consistent than Kant on the question of the relation between Is and Ought. For Hume there is no such thing as practical reason. He says: ‘Since morals … have an influence on the actions and affections, it follows, that they cannot be deriv'd from reason … Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason’. ‘Reason 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 fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason.’

Keywords: Is; Ought; rule of morality; ideas; real relations; real existence; practical reason

Chapter.  597 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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