A humean approach to the boundaries of morality

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Hume maintains that the boundaries of morality are widely drawn in everyday life. We routinely blame characters for traits that we find disgusting, on this account, as well as those which we perceive as being harmful. Contemporary moral psychology provides further evidence that human beings have a natural tendency to moralize traits that produce feelings of repugnance. But recent work also demonstrates a significant amount of individual variation in our sensitivities to disgust. We have sufficient reason to bracket this emotion, therefore, when adopting the general point of view: if we allow idiosyncratic affective responses to shape our fully considered moral judgments, we could no longer reasonably expect spectators with different sensitivities to agree with us.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Scottish Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Edinburgh University Press.


  • Disgust
  • Hume
  • Moral disagreement
  • Moral domain
  • Sentimentalism


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