Chapter

Sociability

Paul Sagar

in The Opinion of Mankind

Published by Princeton University Press

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9780691178882
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781400889808
Sociability

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This chapter examines David Hume's science of man as yielding a science of human sociability, placing his writings in opposition to Thomas Hobbes's theory of human nature and his supervening science of politics. It first considers Hobbes's theory of human nature, which he articulates in his 1642 De Cive, and his arguments about pride, as well as his depiction of humans' natural unsociability in Leviathan. It then discusses the views of Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury, who rejected Hobbes's vision of human sociability, and Bernard Mandeville's claim that human beings were primarily driven by pride. It also analyzes Hume's theory of sociability, showing that it is tripartite in nature: sympathy and imagination must undergird and then supplement utility, even if utility remains the central factor. Finally, it looks at Hume's views on justice and government.

Keywords: sociability; David Hume; Thomas Hobbes; human nature; pride; Anthony Ashley Cooper; Bernard Mandeville; sympathy; justice; government

Chapter.  18856 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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