Hume on Suicide Final Exam Notes
1. Who was David Hume?
a. 18 Century Scottish philosopher
b. Leading Empiricist
i. All of our fundamental concepts ultimately depend on experience
i. Must account for our mental capacities using scientific method.
i. Philopshy cannot support our tendencies to believe, including those used in
i. Downplayed in he suicide essay
f. Sentimanetalist in ethics
i. Value depends on our feelings the semtiments of approval and siapproal
1. Morality as gilded and stained on the natural world
g. Major works
i. • A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40)
ii. • Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748)
iii. • Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751)
h. Dismantles Aquinas three arguments
i. Everything naturally loves itself, the result being that everything naturally keeps
itself in being, and resists corruption so far as it can. Wherefore, suicide is
contrary to the inclination of nature, and to charity whereby every man should
love himself. Hence suicide is always a mortal sin, as being contrary to the
natural law and to charity.