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Reason and sympathy in Hume’s Treatise Dixon, John Edward 1974

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6 I REASON AND SYMPATHY IN HUME'S TREATISE by JOHN EDWARD DIXON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1965 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of Philosophy We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the requ i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March, 1974 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i cat ion of this thesis for f inanc ia l gain shal l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Al f i i ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION In his Treatise of Human Nature, published i n 1739, David Hume set out to s c i e n t i f i c a l l y comprehend human understanding, action, and personality in terms of the "experimental method of reasoning." He pre-sented a naturalistic portrait of man which represented him as funda-mentally determined to avoid pain and embrace pleasure. In this portrait a substantial place is provided for reason, but only as the "servant" of the passions. Only the passions were considered by Hume to be practical; they alone are the effective source of every impulse to act. Reason i s merely theoretical; i t i s solely concerned with the provision of informa-tion for the passions. Hume recognized that his account of human nature must face two related problems. F i r s t , there i s the matter of the common belief that reasoning i s a practical activity; a belief not in keeping with Hume's conception of reason as merely theoretical. Second, the fact that persons' actions are influenced by moral ponsiderations implies that they often act i n ways not designed to gratify their personal passions. Thus, moral phenomena seem to pose a threat to the hedonistic basis of Hume's theory of human nature. These two problems are related insofar as i t is precisely in the case of moral actions that the common notion of practical reason traditionally operates. i i i Hume sought to preserve the essential impracticality of reason in morals with the provision of a complex notion of "sympathy." l£ is the central purpose of this thesis to show that Hume's concept of "sympathy" f a i l s to resolve the problems that i t is addressed to. SECTION I: HUME'S THEORY OF ACTION IN THE TREATISE This section provides a sympathetic reading of Hume's account of the role of the passions and reason i n the determination of human action. Two d i f f i c u l t i e s in this account—the concept of a "promptive" function of reason, and the notion of a "calm passion"—are c r i t i c a l l y considered and found to cohere with the general theory of the faculties in the Treatise. SECTION II: NATURALISM, DETERMINISM, AND VOLITION The naturalism of Hume's account of action has direct reference to the philosophical problems which cluster around the question of the freedom of the w i l l . This section considers the implications of Hume's psychological determinism with a view to understanding more perfectly the detail of his theory of the faculties and action. Close attention is paid here to Hume's view that actions are " a r t i f i c i a l , " and i t i s concluded that he allowed a large and influential role for reason with-out directly threatening the purely theoretical function of the under-standing. i v SECTION III: NATURALISM AND MORALS Hume regarded his theory of morals in the third book of the Treatise as a test and confirmation of his theory of action developed in the f i r s t two books. This section explicates Hume's view that moral judgments are affective perceptions rather than conclusions of reason. It is shown that the principle of "sympathy" operates at the center of the process of moral judgment. SECTION IV: SYMPATHY Hume designed the principle of sympathy to explain, in a manner consistent with his general theory of action, how persons can be naturally concerned for the interests of others with whom they have no prior affective connection. The central claim made is that persons are attuned to one another in such a way that there is an easy communication of passion between them. Thus, what is commonly interpreted as a moral "judgment" is really a peculiar feeling precipitated by a sympathy with the passions of others. It is this special feeling which issues from a process of sympathy which Hume identified as moral praise or blame. This f i n a l section of the thesis provides an extensive analysis of Hume's concept of "sympathy," and presents an argument aimed at demonstrating the failure of the concept to f u l f i l l i t s intended role. It i s suggested, in conclusion, that Hume f a i l s to show that moral judg-ments and actions could be possible without the practical involvement of reason. V TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 1 SECTION I HUME'S THEORY OF ACTION IN THE TREATISE 19 I I NATURALISM, DETERMINISM, AND VOLITION . . 63 I I I NATURALISM AND MORALS 106 IV SYMPATHY 146 WORKS CITED ' 217 INTRODUCTION David Hume s u b - t i t l e d h i s T r e a t i s e of Human Nature as "Being an attempt to introduce the experimental method of reasoning into moral subjects." In his introduction to the T r e a t i s e , he explains h i s ambitions f o r t h i s attempt: *Tis evident, that a l l the sciences have a r e l a t i o n , greater or l e s s , to human nature; and that however wide any of them may seem to run from i t , they s t i l l return back by one passage or another . . . Here then i s the only expedient, from which we can hope f o r success i n our p h i l o s o p h i c a l researches, to leave the tedious l i n g e r i n g method, which we have h i t h e r t o followed, and instead of taking now and then a ca s t l e or v i l l a g e on the f r o n t i e r , to march up d i r e c t l y to the c a p i t a l or center of these sciences, to human nature i t s e l f ; which being once masters of, we may every where else hope f or an easy v i c t o r y . . . . In pretending therefore to explain the p r i n c i p l e s of human nature, we i n e f f e c t propose a compleat system of the sciences, b u i l t on a founda-t i o n almost e n t i r e l y new, and the only one upon which they can stand with s e c u r i t y . (pg. xix-xx Introduction)! Hume proposes to advance a s c i e n t i f i c account of human nature, and hi s conception of the "experimental method of reasoning" i s grounded i n the view that s c i e n t i f i c explanation can never "go beyond experience, or estab-l i s h any p r i n c i p l e s which are not founded on that authority." (pg. x x i i ) Hume does not e x p l i c i t l y d e l i m i t what he takes "experience" to consist i n , but i t i s evident that he connects i t with the appearance and observation of phenomena. Speaking of the d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent i n the design of experiments f o r the systematic study of human nature, he says: David Hume, A Tr e a t i s e of Human Nature, edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888), and every reference i n t h i s thesis unless otherwise noted. 1 2 We must therefore glean up our experiments in this science from a cautious observation of human l i f e , and take them as they appear in the common course of the world, by men's behaviour in*, company, in affairs, and in their pleasures. Where experiments of this kind,are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science, which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension. (pg. xxiii) The "authority of experience" will be consulted in "a cautious observa-tion of human l i f e , " and the implication here is that an "experiment" consists, for Hume, in an instance of some facet of human l i f e being observed.. We must not be misled by this observational model of exper-ience to consider that Hume has limited his experiments to what has come to be called "observables"; for he is perfectly at home with phenomenological observations, and readily introduces them as bits of experience to be taken into consideration in the development of theory. Thus, in the second sentence of the Treatise, we read concerning the difference between impressions and ideas: The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought and consciousness. (pg. 1) This critical distinction does not draw upon "public" criteria, but rather upon a nuance of sensation which is "private." The empirical credentials of Hume's science are grounded in a notion of "observation" which is far wider than the modern one. Hume's conception of "experience" cuts, across the distinction between public and private observations, yet i t does remain faithful to the modern experimental paradigm in a very important particular: i t is 3 l i m i t e d , even i n the case of pr i v a t e experiences, to a correspondence with the notion of "observation." That i s , the experiences which i n -form the t h e o r e t i c a l work of the Tr e a t i s e may have t h e i r source i n e i t h e r the "external world" or the " i n t e r n a l world" ( i f I may employ a d i s t i n c t i o n which Hume took exception t o ) , but they are a l l observations or "perceptions." The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s l i m i t a t i o n l i e s i n the f a c t that i t i s sometimes claimed that there are some human experiences which are not perceptual or observational i n form; f o r instance, the personal experience of acting or choosing. One thinks, i n t h i s context, of the work of the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophers i n the area of phenomenology. They contend that we not only apprehend ourselves i n the world as "perceiving," but also as "being" and "doing." To be sure, we can perceive ourselves being and doing, but the experience of perceiving does not, i n such cases, exhaust or comprehend the experience of e x i s t -ing or agency which i s i t s object. Sartre, i n h i s Being and Nothingness, c a r r i e s t h i s view so f a r that he represents the experience of f r e e l y choosing as d e f i n i t i v e of the human condition. Human r e a l i t y i s f r e e because i t i s not enough. I t i s free because i t i s perpetually wrenched away from i t s e l f and because i t has been separated by a nothingness from what i t i s and what i t w i l l be. I t i s fr e e , f i n a l l y , because i t s present being i s i t s e l f a nothingness i n the form of the " r e f l e c t i o n - r e f l e c t i n g . " Man i s free because he i s not himself but presence to himself. The being which i s what i t i s can not be fr e e . Freedom i s pre-c i s e l y the nothingness which i s made-to-be at the heart of man and which forces human-reality to make i t s e l f instead of to be. As we have seen, f o r human r e a l i t y , to be i s to choose oneself; nothing comes to i t e i t h e r from the outside or from within which i t can receive or accept. Without any help whatsoever, i t i s e n t i r e l y abandoned to the i n t o l e r a b l e necessity of making i t s e l f 4 be—down to the slightest detail. Thus freedom is not a being; i t i s the being of man—i.e. his nothingness of being. (Being and Nothingness Sartre Methuen, 1957 pg. 440 - l K Sartre softened this view i n his later work, but he maintains that feature of i t which interests us here: some human experiences (such as the experience of "choosing oneself") are not perceptual in form, and cannot be perceived without the constitution of a "new" experience— namely a perceptual one—essentially different from that consciousness which i t seeks to apprehend. Hume might have allowed the possibility of non-perceptual ex-periences, and s t i l l have limited his study of human nature to the data provided by his observations. In this case, he could have proceeded something l i k e a methodological behaviorist, only with a far richer sense of what could count as behavior, since he would have available to him the entire range of perceptual experiences as observations. However, instead of doing this, he took the more radical step of simply denying the existence of any experiences other than perceptual ones. This move i s made early in the f i r s t book of the Treatise, where he says: .'• . . nothing is ever present to the mind but perceptions, and since a l l ideas are deriv'd from something antecedently present to the mind; i t follows, that ' t i s impossible for us to so much as to conceive or form an idea of any thing specifically d i f f e r -ent from ideas and impressions. (pg. 67) Which i s to say that i t i s impossible for us to experience anything specifically different from ideas and impressions, or perceptions. There i s , therefore, in the Treatise, not only the stated purpose of basing theory on the authority of experience, but also an explicit 5 l i m i t placed on the forms of human experience allowed to be p o s s i b l e . I view t h i s "sensational" model of experience as the basis of what has been termed ( a f t e r Kemp-Smith's paper i n Mind, 1905) Hume's "naturalism." Having made no d i s t i n c t i o n between experiences of the ' external and i n t e r n a l worlds, the way l i e s open to the suggestion of a system of d e s c r i p t i o n and explanation which s h a l l apply equally to both the " n a t u r a l " and "human" spheres. This i s the opportunity which Hume e x p l o i t s with what he regarded as the great discovery of the T r e a t i s e , the p r i n c i p l e of the a s s o c i a t i o n of ideas: Thro' t h i s whole book, there are great pretensions to new discoveries i n Philosophy; but i f any thing can i n t i t l e the author to so glorious a name as that of an INVENTOR, ' t i s the use he makes of the p r i n c i p l e of the a s s o c i a t i o n of ideas, which enters i n t o most of h i s philosophy. . . . These p r i n c i p l e s of a s s o c i a t i o n are reduced to three, VIZ. RESEMBLANCE; a p i c t u r e n a t u r a l l y makes us think of the man i t was drawn f o r . CONTIGUITY; when ST. DENIS i s mentioned, the idea of PARIS n a t u r a l l y occurs. CAUSATION; when we think of the son, we are apt to carry our attention to the father. ' T w i l l be easy to conceive of what vast consequences these p r i n c i p l e s must be i n the science of human nature, i f we consider that so f a r as regards the mind, these are the only l i n k s that bind the parts of the universe together, or connect us with any person or object e x t e r i o r to ourselves. For as i t i s by means of thought only that any thing operates upon our passions, and as these are the only t i e s of our thoughts, they are r e a l l y TO US the cement of the universe, and a l l the operations of the mind must, i n a great measure, depend upon them. (Abstract of a T r e a t i s e of Human Nature, Archon Books, 1965 pg. 31-2 Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) I f perception exhausts experience, then an account of those p r i n c i p l e s which determine the form and ordering of perceptions w i l l be equivalent "TO US" to an explanation of the world " e x t e r i o r to ourselves," and an explanation of the " t i e s of our thoughts." Furthermore, since " i t i s by means of thought only that any thing operates upon our passions," 6 an understanding of perception, conjoined with a knowledge of the passions—where the passions are taken to be a set of-propensities^to act in particular ways when cued by certain perceptions—amounts to an explanation of human action as well. The Treatise does not address the problem of whether or not there are "links that bind the parts of the universe together, or connect us with any person or object experior to ourselves" which oper-ate independently of the principle of the association of ideas. For, since nothing i s ever present to the mind but perceptions, there can-not b e — s t r i c t l y speaking—any knowledge of the world which is not a form of knowledge about our perceptions. This point is at the center of Hume's famous spepticism, and is the main feature of his epistemo-logical position; he considered i t important to be able to limit the search for knowledge to the subject matter concerning which persons had a demonstrable competence, and even more important to categorically exclude those questions and issues which f a l l outside such a competence. In restricting the scope of philosophical and s c i e n t i f i c enquiry to the sense of "experience" which corresponds to the notion of "perception" i n the Treatise, he f e l t that he had achieved this aim: For nothing is more certain, than that despair has almost the same effect upon us with enjoyment, and that we are no sooner acquainted with the impossibility of satisfying any desire, than the desire i t s e l f vanishes. When we see, that we have arrived at the utmost extent of human reason, we s i t down contented; tho' we be perfectly satisfied in the main of our ignorance, and per-ceive that we can give no reason for our most general and most refined principles, beside our experience of their reality; which is the reason of the mere vulgar, and what is required no study at f i r s t to have discovered for the most particular and most extraordinary phaenomena. (pg. xxii) 7 Hume's route to the "utmost extent of human reason" i s complex, and h i s method of argument often seems oblique; however, one can, I be l i e v e , u s e f u l l y i s o l a t e three main l i n e s of t h e o r e t i c a l development i n the T r e a t i s e , corresponding to i t s three books. 1. Thinking and judging i s nothing but perceiving. Given that nothing i s ever present to the mind but perceptions, the assimi-l a t i o n of thought and judgment to perception must follow; however," the d e t a i l of t h i s a s s i m i l a t i o n i s at l e a s t p o t e n t i a l l y problematical, p a r t i c u l a r l y because of the common asso c i a t i o n of thought and judgment with the notion of " a c t i v i t y . " The c e n t r a l task of the f i r s t book i s an exorcism of the conception of the mind as "exerting" i t s e l f i n i t s " a c t i v i t i e s . " Hume sets about t h i s by providing an analysis of the ass o c i a t i v e p r i n c i p l e s of the mind, which makes of the experience of thinking and judging s p e c i a l cases of the experience of associa t i n g ; where " a s s o c i a t i n g " i s not to be understood as an a c t i v i t y of mind, but r a t h e r — i n a manner of speaking—as an a c t i v i t y of ideas. I t i s i n t h i s connection that the i n a c t i v i t y or p a s s i v i t y of reason i s es-ta b l i s h e d . I f reasoning i s not percei v i n g , and no r e a l a c t i v i t y i s involved i n the "act" of perception, then reasoning must not be an a c t i v i t y , and cannot be d i r e c t l y concerned with the determination of human action; or, equ i v a l e n t l y , reason must be i m p r a c t i c a l . In a sense, given the "vulgar" notion of reasoning as p r a c t i c a l , Hume's attack on t h i s notion can be seen as an attempt to vi n d i c a t e h i s conception of "experience." For, i f one allows the p o s s i b i l i t y of a conscious determination to action (which i s i n t e g r a l to the "vulgar" 8 notion of practical reason), then one allows the possibility of an experience which is not perceptual i n form, insofar as i t could not be construed as any sort of discovery. Aristotle provided, in De Motu  Animalium, a description of practical reasoning which emphasizes i t s difference from discovering or perceiving: But how i s i t that thought i s sometimes followed by action, sometimes not; sometimes by movement, sometimes not? What happens seems parallel to the case of thinking and inferring about the immovable objects of science. There the end i s the truth seen (for when one conceives the two premises, one at once conceives and comprehends the conclusion), but here the two premises result in a conclusion which i s an action—for example, one conceives that every man ought to walk, one is a man oneself; straightway one walks . . . (Chapter 7, Emphasis mine) Hume thought that i f his conception of experience was to be defensible, he could not allow the possibility of reasoning on this mode; and, of course, i f he could not defend his notion of experience, then his account of human nature would f a i l . Hume's general program for the vindication of his notion of experience i s the most thorough possible: he attempts to set out, i n the Treatise, an account, based on the iden-t i f i c a t i o n of experiencing with perceiving, of a l l kinds of human action. (It should be noted, in this connection, that Aristotle's account of practical reason does not entail the experience of a conscious deter-mination to action, especially where such a conscious determination i s taken to be a form of nonperceptual experience. For, beyond suggesting that the conclusion of a bit of practical reasoning is an action, Aristotle has nothing to say about the phenomenology of reasoning prac-t i c a l l y . Presumably, Hume might have accepted the possibility of practical 9 reasoning on some such basis without prejudicing his identification of experiencing with perceiving. However, he clearly had in mind the "vulgar" or common sense association of practical reasoning with a con-scious determination to action, and consequently accepted the necessity of demonstrating that reason could only be theoretical.) 2. A l l action i s caused by impressions of reflection—the passions. Impressions are, of course, perceptions; and the passions are those particular perceptions which determine us to action. They do this by virtue of the fact that persons are "carry 1d to avoid or embrace what w i l l give us (an) uneasiness or satisfaction." (pg. 414) In a sense, the passions are perceptions of the prospect of pain or pleasure in an emotional form; that i s , in a form which, when gratified in action of an appropriate kind, effects that avoidance of uneasiness or embrace of satisfaction which our human nature determines us to. The passions are practical. They determine us directly to action because they arise in the mind with direct reference to the fundamental human propensity to avoid pain and embrace pleasure. (Although Hume does not N e x p l i c i t l y state i t , he clearly means to imply that the simple impressions of pleasure or pain can determine us to action as immediately as their prospect can.) Reason, then, i s theoretical in that i t provides infor-mation about the po s s i b i l i t i e s of pleasure or pain i n the world for us; those impressions which arise upon reflection on the information provided by reason in this connection—the passions—are practical in that they embody, in their very form, the propensity to action which w i l l avoid or embrace the pain or pleasure perceived. 10 In general, the view supported by the T r e a t i s e with respect to the causation of action i s that an impulse to action arises i n ^  the passions, or that the passions are an impulse to action. This i s not to be conceived as an experience of impelling oneself to ac t i o n , but rather the experience of being impelled to act. Persons are carry'd to avoid or embrace pleasure and pain; they do not carry themselves. Thus, the passions are i n no danger of being anything other than a per-c e p t i o n — i n the case of ac t i o n , a perception of the prospect of pain or pleasure which i s conjoined with some "new motion of our body, or new perception of our mind." (pg. 399) Furthermore, the perception of be-ing caused to act by one's passions i s not r e a l l y , because of the character of Hume's account of causation, an experience of a c t i v i t y being "produced" or impelled. What i s experienced i s an emotion and an acti o n , and the sense of being impelled or c a r r i e d to act which i s associated with these experiences represents an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of them i n terms of a p r i n c i p l e of the ass o c i a t i o n of ideas—namely, the p r i n -c i p l e of causation. The e s s e n t i a l point here i s that even i n the case of the p r a c t i c a l passions, Hume preserves the e s s e n t i a l p a s s i v i t y of perception, and hence of persons. Because of t h i s , there i s very l i t t l e d i f f e r e n c e between the experience of our own a c t i v i t y and the a c t i v i t y of others, as these ex-periences are described i n the T r e a t i s e ; only that i n the f i r s t person, the " e f f e c t i v e " cause i s an impression, while i n the case of others, the cause i s an idea. 3. Moral judgments are passions; or, moral judgments are not r e a l l y "judgments" at a l l , but rather impressions of r e f l e c t i o n . Hume 11 holds the view that moral judgments are practical, and have an immediate influence on our actions and affections. Given the argument of the f i r s t two books of the Treatise, this view of morals implies that moral judgments are not a form of information about a particular character or action, but rather an emotional or affective perception of a particular character or action; for, only a passion can be practical in the way that Hume describes moral judgments as immediately influencing action. This emotivism in ethics is problematical for Hume in that i t coheres with one principal feature of his account of human nature and action, while i t threatens to conflict with another principal feature of that account. The analysis of moral judgments as impressions of reflection i s consistent with the view that only passions can influence action—given that one holds, as Hume does, that moral "judgments" are practical. However, the fact that moral judgments and actions tend to the interest of persons other than the person judging and acting morally seems inconsistent with the fundamental hedonism of human nature as described by Hume. Impressions of reflection "naturally" arise in the soul i n response to the perceived possibility of embracing pleasure or avoiding pain; and there i s never any question in the Treatise (until the third book) 'whose pleasure or pain is thus attended t o — i t i s always the pleasure or pain of the perceiver, or those with whom he has a strong affective connection. Moral feelings are remarkable, and seemingly anomalous in this connection, in that they arise in response to the pleasure and pain of others who are, affectively and hence effectively, strangers to the person perceiving the pleasure and pain concerned. To 12 put i t more simply: Hume's account of human nature and action seems to allow for the possibility of only " s e l f i s h " motivations, and his admission of the possibility of impressions of reflection which aim at the interest of strangers appears to be inconsistent with this selfishness. Hume moves to disarm this problem with the provision of an account of how, in the case of morals, the experiences of the self are expanded to include at least some of the impressions of others. The claim here i s that under certain circumstances, because of a sort of attunement existing between human minds, persons "diffuse" their passions onto one another. This "sympathy," and the principles in terms of which i t operates, l i e s at the center of Hume's account of moral action; for, i n explaining how persons can "share" passions, i t explains how they can share interests as well. As we learned from his introduction to the Treatise, Hume's i n -tention was to develop his theory of human nature in accordance with a "cautious observation of human l i f e , " taking such observations "as they appear in the common course of the world . . . " To a large extent, how-ever, the f i r s t two books of the Treatise, in which the account of human nature and action i s drawn out, display a minimal attention to such "experiment" and the possibility of observations which might constitute counter-cases to the theory proposed. Hume has a quite legitimate excuse for this, however, in that the theory of the faculties must be fu l l y de-veloped before i t can f a i r l y or profitably be set against the d i f f i c u l t i e s 13 of e xplaining "men's behavior i n company, i n a f f a i r s , and i n t h e i r pleasures." In a sense, the f i r s t two books are devoted to an exten-s i v e presentation of Hume's hypothesis, and i t i s not u n t i l the t h i r d and f i n a l book that he f i n a l l y sets h i s general theory of human nature to the t e s t of the "common a f f a i r s of l i f e . " (pg. 455) This i s not to say that the account of the "Understanding" and the "Passions" i s undertaken without regard to the "authority" of ex-perience; f o r , i n the f i r s t instance, these books of the Tr e a t i s e are evidently framed with the challenge of the explanation of morals i n mind, and i n the second instance, they are both r i c h l y furnished with i l l u s t r a t i v e facets of human l i f e . In p a r t i c u l a r , the second book i s addressed, i n part, to the problem of freedom and determinism, and a treatment of that issue i s essayed i n connection with the n a t u r a l i s t i c theory of human nature. Nonetheless, t h i s i s not a " t e s t " of Hume's theory at the hands of the "common a f f a i r s of l i f e , " but rather a con-s i d e r a t i o n of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of experience from a n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective. I t i s , one might say, an instance of Hume turning the power of h i s theory to the explanation of a point i n metaphysics. The p r i n c i p l e of sympathy has an importance i n the Tr e a t i s e which goes beyond i t s importance f o r the account of morals. The p o s i t i o n of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy at the center of the t h e o r e t i c a l developments of the t h i r d book of the Tr e a t i s e places i t at the for e f r o n t of Hume's e f f o r t s to make h i s theory of human nature and action cohere with i t s " t e s t " i n common experience. Hume himself seemed to regard morals as the c r i t i c a l t e s t of the explanatory power of a theory of human nature 14 in that the sub-title of the Treatise exp l i c i t l y mentions the intended effort to introduce the "experimental method of reasoning" into this class of judgments and actions. As we have noted, the specific role played by the principle of sympathy in Hume's theory of morals i s to provide an explanation of how persons come to be practically concerned with the pleasure or pain of strangers. What i s most essential for Hume to attend to in the f i t t i n g of the principle to this particular role i s that the purely perceptual quality of experience be preserved. One might characterize, in a very rough and ready way, the rationalist position on morals as holding— among other things—that since the moral -agent's personal interest (acquisition of pleasure and avoidance of pain) i s not served by his moral judgments and actions, those judgments and actions must be a function of the agent's reason, rather than his passions. This general feature of the rationalists' position i s closely connected with their adherence to the view (which is closely connected to the "vulgar" or common sense view) that not a l l experiences are perceptual i n form; moral choice and action forming, for them, a sort of paradigm of an experience which i s phenomenologically distinct from any perceptual experience. Hume is concerned to show, therefore, with his sympathetic system of morals, that the rationalist analysis of morals goes wrong at the very beginning, as i t were, with a misidentification of moral judgments as products of the understanding. In view of the above, a failure of the "sympathetic system" of morals would be a most serious blow to Hume's general ambitions in the 15 Treatise. Furthermore, a f a i l u r e of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy which took the form of lending weight to the view that moral..actions are^ "caused" by operations of the understanding would be the most damaging sort of f a i l u r e possible. I regard the issue of "proof" and " f a i l u r e " i n the following way: There are not, i n my opinion, any claims i n the f i r s t two books of the Treatise which are at once indefensible and essen t i a l to Hume's theory of action. The basic account of the f a c u l -t i e s and action i s coherent, but th i s fact may be attributed to the absence, i n those two books, of the kind of experimentation upon which Hume wishes to rest the credentials of his thesis. Given the novelty and advertised form of Hume's account of human nature, i t i s incumbent upon him to act i v e l y seek endorsement of the f i r s t two books at the hands of the "authority of experience" i n the t h i r d book. Thus, i t i s essential to his hope to advance "a compleat system of the sciences, b u i l t on a foundation almost e n t i r e l y new, and the only one upon which they can stand with security" ( i . e . , the foundation of experience), that he not only avoid disproof of his general theory of human nature i n the t h i r d book, but that he provide for i t there the foundation i n c experiment which i s his stated goal. In point of f a c t , I believe that he f a i l s to provide such proof for his theory i n the t h i r d book, and act u a l l y , through the nature of the i n s u f f i c i e n c i e s of the "sympathetic system" of morals which are brought to l i g h t there, lends i n d i r e c t support to a conception of reason as being possibly p r a c t i c a l as wel l as t h e o r e t i c a l . Hume's f a i l u r e i n the t h i r d book i s largely due to his surpris-ingly ( i n view of the dangers i t posed for his theory) thorough explication 16 of the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved i n providing a n a t u r a l i s t i c explanation of moral judgment and actio n . We have already noted the most obvious problem f o r a hedonistic theory of human nature i n t h i s connection; namely, that of explaining how persons come to be a f f e c t i v e l y concerned with the pleasures and pains of others with whom they are not " n a t u r a l l y i n t e r e s t e d . Besides t h i s most prominent issue, however, there e x i s t s the common view of moral judgments as being " o b j e c t i v e " and "evaluative" ( i n the s p e c i a l sense f o r Hume of being s e n s i t i v e to the " u t i l i t y " of the act or character judged o f ) . Neither of these two features of morals i s r e a d i l y incorporated into an emotive theory of e t h i c s . Hume does not attempt to avoid these d i f f i c u l t i e s , but rather goes, as I have s a i d , to great lengths i n e x p l i c a t i n g them and attempt-ing to adjust h i s basic theory of the process of sympathy to accommodate them. This involves him, I b e l i e v e , i n ever-deepening compromise of those features of h i s account of sympathy which serve to substantiate the adequacy of h i s general explanation of human nature and action; f o r , i n the f i r s t instance, the basic process by which the passion of an other i s " d i f f u s e d " onto the mind of a sympathetic observer can not be, as Hume would have i t , construed as a kind of "communication" o r i g i n a t i n g i n the mind of the other sympathized with. Instead, every process of sympathy depends, i n terms of Hume's own e x p l i c a t i o n of i t , upon an imaginative r e a l i z a t i o n of the passion of an other i n terms of a s p e c i a l a p p l i c a t i o n of the p r i n c i p l e s of the asso c i a t i o n of ideas. This circumstance, i n the absence of any account of the motivation of such imaginative r e a l i z a t i o n s of the passions of others i n some 17 o r i g i n a t i n g passion, throws the explanation of the generation of moral judgment back on the understanding—but t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y what Hume must avoid i f he i s to defend h i s view that moral "judgments" are r e a l l y and f i n a l l y impressions of r e f l e c t i o n . As f o r the cases of the o b j e c t i v i t y and evaluative aspects of moral judgments, Hume i s con-strained to provide ever more ingenious ad hoc "remedies" i n the under-standing which f i n a l l y prove to be so extensive and fundamental to the processes described, that the understanding s u b s t a n t i a l l y usurps the process of sympathy as the instrument of moral judging. This " f a i l u r e " of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy does not prove that reason i s p r a c t i c a l , but i t does e f f e c t i v e l y destroy any chance bf Hume v i n d i c a t i n g h i s theory of human nature and action with the "authority of experience." Furthermore, the manner of sympathy's f a i l u r e i n the t h i r d book at l e a s t suggests that a theory of human nature and action which allows f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of p r a c t i c a l reason has a bett e r chance of meeting the s p e c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s posed by the explanation of moral action than a theory which holds, as Hume's does, that only impressions of r e f l e c t i o n can be p r a c t i c a l . (Although, of course, such an a l t e r -nate theory must then meet the d i f f i c u l t i e s which the naturalism of Hume's account p r e v a i l s over; f o r instance, the issue of freedom and determinism.) F i n a l l y , one must consider as not proven by the Tr e a t i s e Hume's fundamental tenet that a l l of human experience i s perceptual i n form. A f i n a l caveat should be noted by the reader: students of Hume's Enquiries w i l l be aware that the argument of the T r e a t i s e reappears there 18 i n a revised form, and also that Hume expressed a desire that the Enquiries "alone be regarded as containing (my) p h i l o s o p h i c a l sentiments and p r i n c i p l e s . " (Advertisement to the posthumous e d i t i o n of 1777) Without intending to pass judgment on the r e l a t i v e merits of these two works, or upon Hume's wisdom or motivation i n abandoning h i s T r e a t i s e , I desire to be understood as concerning myself s o l e l y with a Tr e a t i s e of Human Nature i n th i s t h e s i s . I. HUME'S THEORY OF ACTION IN THE TREATISE Nothing i s more usual i n philosophy, and even i n common l i f e , than to t a l k of the combat of passion and reason, to give the preference to reason, and to assert that men are only so f a r virtuous as they conform themselves to i t s d i c -tates. . . •• On t h i s method of thinking the greatest part of moral philosophy, ancient and modern, seems to be founded. . . . In order to show the f a l l a c y of a l l t h i s philosophy, I s h a l l endeavour to prove FIRST, that reason alone can never be a motive to any act i o n of the w i l l ; and SECONDLY, that i t can never oppose passion i n the d i r e c t i o n of the w i l l . (pg. 413) Reason, of i t s e l f , i s p e r f e c t l y i n a c t i v e ; action i s always grounded i n passion: these two claims are the centerpiece of Hume's theory of ac t i o n . They are also, as Hume allows, novel claims. The conception of reasoning which Hume i n h e r i t e d from "the greatest part of moral philosophy, ancient and modern" was as a kind of a c t i v i t y fundamentally d i f f e r e n t from a l l other kinds of a c t i v i t y i n the world. The a c t i v i t y of reason was represented as being f r e e , conscious, and purposeful; while the a c t i v i t i e s of the "na t u r a l " world were regarded as determined, u n r e f l e c t i v e , and i n t r i n s i c a l l y meaningless. This t r a d i t i o n a l conception of reason served the human experience of thinking and doing, but i t also generated the dilemma of explaining the e f f e c t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n between two e s s e n t i a l l y d i s t i n c t l e v e l s of r e a l i t y — t h e human and the n a t u r a l . In p a r t i c u l a r , i t raised the very d i f f i c u l t problem of mind's influence upon matter; the f a c t of such an influence being u n i v e r s a l l y allowed, yet everywhere defying s a t i s f a c t o r y explanation. 19 20 The general strategy of the Tr e a t i s e aims at the collapse of the d u a l i s t i c conception of world, arid one of the p r i n c i p a l t a c t i c s addressed to t h i s purpose i s the establishment of the view that reason i s , i n i t s e l f , p e r f e c t l y i n a c t i v e . As I stated i n my int r o d u c t i o n , i t i s my purpose i n t h i s essay to show that Hume f a i l s to e s t a b l i s h the i m p r a c t i c a l i t y of reason. Hume's argument i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r i s not, however, "simply" wrong, and my c r i t i q u e cannot be "simply" set against i t . We must, I b e l i e v e , follow Hume c l o s e l y i n the development of h i s theory of reason, passion, and action i n the f i r s t two books of the T r e a t i s e , before we can muster a convincing attack upon i t i n the con-text of the t h i r d and f i n a l book. Although the negative claim concerning the a c t i v i t y of reason i s not argued—or even e x p l i c i t l y m a d e — u n t i l the cl o s i n g sections of the second book, i t s "proof" i s completely derivable from the account of the f a c u l t y of "Understanding" developed i n the f i r s t book. This account of the "understanding" can be described as providing the basis for a conception of reason as only discovering or informing, and never doing; that i s , a conception of reason as s t r i c t l y t h e o r e t i c a l and per-f e c t l y i m p r a c t i c a l . We s h a l l begin our consideration of Hume's theory of a ction with a review of t h i s argument i n the f i r s t book. Hume begins the Tr e a t i s e with the introduction of h i s categories fo r the f u r n i t u r e of the mind: A l l the perceptions of the human mind resolve themselves into two d i s t i n c t kinds, which I s h a l l c a l l IMPRESSIONS and IDEAS. The 21 difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into, our thought and consciousness. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions; and under this name I comprehend a l l our sensations, passions and emotions, as they make their f i r s t appearance in the soul. By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reason- , ing . . . (pg. 1) Hume believes that " i t w i l l not be very necessary to employ many words in explaining this distinction. Every one of himself w i l l readily per-ceive the difference betwixt feeling and thinking." (pg. 1-2) This i s doubtless true; but i t i s not at a l l clear that what we admittedly do so "readily" i s done in the way that Hume describes here: i.e., by making distinctions of the force and liveliness of our perceptions. It would seem, rather, that in some cases where the distinction between an impression and an idea presents d i f f i c u l t i e s , the criterion applied is one of "origin" of perception, and not one of degree of force. We might consider, in this connection, those cases which involve the perception or misperception of a material object. Surely one of the most orginary prejudices of "common l i f e " in this area consists in the distinction made between perceptions originating i n either the "external" or "internal" world. Thus, the fact that we "readily perceive the difference betwixt feeling and thinking" (or, between seeing and think-ing) In these cases that involve the perception of a material object may simply be a function of our ready reliance upon this universal prejudice. Hume might counter this view by arguing that the conception of the "origin of any perception is a prejudice which depends upon the difference in degree of force with which impressions and ideas strike upon the mind; 22 that i s , he might contend that the notion of the "origin" of percep-tions i s not a r i v a l to the criterion which he proposes., but in faqt derived from i t . It would be d i f f i c u l t , however, to make such a counter-argu-ment conclusive. There are at least two reasons for this. In the f i r s t place, Hume admits that the distinction between impressions and ideas i s not always discoverable in terms of the sort of phenomeno-logical evidence he has put forward. He mentions the cases of sleep, fever, and madness, where the force of our impressions and ideas may be indistinguishable, (pg. 2) This i s a damaging admission, in that i t suggests that an appeal to other c r i t e r i a for distinguishing impressions and ideas might be made in such an impasse, and the possibility of such an appeal to other evidence carries with i t the possibility that that evidence i s the most fundamental for distinguishing impressions and ideas Hume tries to avoid this line of thought by inviting us to pass over those "few instances" in which the criterion of degree of force of per-ception seems to f a i l of i t s purpose, and reminds us that impressions and ideas "are in general so very different, that no-one can make a scruple to rank them under distinct heads, and assign to each a peculiar name to mark the difference." (pg. 2) But this won't do. The d i f f i c u l t cases of sleep, fever, and madness, do not represent a challenge to the fact that persons distinguish between impressions and ideas or feeling and thinking, but rather they represent a damaging test of the criterion that Hume is proposing as the sole distinguishing one between the two categories of perception. We are confident that they are "so very 2 3 different"; i t i s the issue of the quality of that difference that is raised by the d i f f i c u l t cases, and i f Hume's account of..the quality- of -the difference between impressions and ideas can f a i l anywhere, then i t cannot conclusively exclude the possibility of other c r i t e r i a — s u c h as the origin of the perception in question—being advanced to settle the d i f f i c u l t y . Secondly, when we examine the nature of our efforts to resolve the d i f f i c u l t sort of case indicated above, we find ourselves at least as concerned with evidence and clues pertaining to the origin of the perception i n question as we are with attempts to more "clearly" detect the force of that perception. Faced with the problem of determining whether what we are "seeing" is real or imagined—or, to put i t more crudely, whether i t is "out there" or "just in our mind"—we may ask others, i f they are present, about their perceptions; consider the possible effects of any drugs that we may have been exposed to; research the coherence of the questionable perception with the balance of the perceptual set. These recourses are not an attempt to acquire more or better phenomenological data, but are clearly aimed at a resolution of the problem by quite different means; namely, the discovery of the "origin" of the perception i n question. What we seem to pursue in these instances i s not another "look," but a judgment. This suggests that what may be involved in the categorization of perceptions into impressions and ideas is the "attachment" to or association with each perception a judg-ment concerning i t s origin. This possibility would not rule out Hume's claims concerning the importance of phenomenological evidence in the 24 distinction between impressions and ideas, but would rather absorb them as facets of a decision procedure which is of a higher l e v e l — i n the sense that i t represents the f i n a l sort of appeal in the most d i f f i c u l t cases. Against such a critique of his account of the categorization of perceptions, Hume might well urge the point that although the evidence he depends upon i s fundamentally phenomenological in form, he is not restricted to the present content of the mind; that i s , i t i s not merely present experience upon which he must base his judgment that that par-ticular experience is either an impression or an idea. Ideas are the "faint images" of impressions, and hence-an idea may always be traced to i t s corresponding impression—being identified as an idea rather than an impression through the success of such a tracing operation. Thus, the fact that an impression i s an "original" perception, and an idea is a copy of some previously experienced impression, makes possible the cate-gorization of ideas and impressions in a manner which i s independent of their primary distinction in terms of degree of force and liveliness. The d i f f i c u l t y involved in such an "alternate" instrument of categorization l i e s in the fact that although ideas may always in principl be traced to their corresponding impressions, such an operation may well prove to be practically impossible. We may forget many of our impressions yet s t i l l have ideas which are actually "faint images" of them. In such a case, we may f a i l to trace an idea to i t s "forgotten" antecedent, and be misled into identifying i t as an impression because of this failure. More importantly, so many of our impressions are not unique that the 25 danger always exists of mistakenly "tracing" a present impression to some previous similar impression, and consequently identifying i t as an idea. Thus, both success and failure in tracing a present perception to some antecedent impression may result in a mistaken categorization of that present perception. The fundamental problem here i s that although the tracing instrument for the categorization of perceptions i s indepen-dent of the mere experience of the force of our perceptions (a criterion which Hume exp l i c i t l y admits the inadequacy of in d i f f i c u l t cases), i t s t i l l necessitates the formulation of a judgment from an essentially s o l i p s i s t i c position. These considerations do not prove Hume to be wrong about the proper method of categorizing our perceptions. They do, however, indicate that he i s representing as self-evident and conclusive a criterion for distinguishing types of perception when, in point of fact, r i v a l c r i t e r i a are easily imaginable and at least as supportable. Specifically, he is suggesting that perceptions and ideas are distinguishable solely by a form of phenomenological evidence—the degree of force with which they enter consciousness; but, as we have seen, a case can be made out for the contention that our perceptions are categorized in terms of a judgment of their origin. This is an instance of Hume representing a statement which i s really hypothetical as self-evident or easily proven, when i t i s neither. This i s not, i n i t s e l f , a conclusive failure of his theory, but i t places the onus for proof of the hypothesis on the explanatory power and coher-ence of the general theory which flows from i t . Hume incurs several 26 "debts" in this manner in the Treatise, with most of them f a l l i n g due in the third book where the "authority of experience" must f i n a l l y be met with and satisfied. In the case of the categorization of perceptions into impressions and ideas, this kind of carelessness is especially danger-ous, since the fundamental tenet of the Treatise i s that a l l of experience i s perceptual in form. Thus, in describing the phenomenological distinc-tion between impressions and ideas, Hume believes himself to be providing for the identification of a l l possible human experiences as one or the other. It i s , therefore, enormously important, that Hume locate and neutralize any possibility of a r i v a l account of the categorization of experience. He f a i l s to do this. If impressions and ideas are the two constituents of the mind, however we might distinguish them, what is i t that the mind does with them? It is with reference to this question that Hume introduces the truly remarkable point of the f i r s t book: impressions and ideas exhaust a l l of experience, and hence nothing is ever present to the mind in any form but i t s perceptions; i t follows from this that a l l of the " a c t i v i -t i e s " of the mind must be perceptions. We may observe, that ' t i s universally allow'd by philosophers, and i s besides pretty obvious of i t s e l f , that nothing is ever present to the mind but i t s perceptions or impressions and ideas, and that external objects become known to us only by those per-ceptions they occasion. To hate, to love, to think, to feel, to see; a l l this is nothing but to perceive. (pg. 67) The mind does virtu a l l y nothing with or to i t s perceptions, but i s instead 27 a kind of setting within which the perceptual experiences of sensing, emoting, and thinking "happen"; or, consistent with this view, the mind may be,conceived of as the "system" of such perceptual experiences. In the section of the f i r s t book on "Personal Identity," Hume provides us with both these images of the mind: . . . we may observe, that the true idea of the human mind, i s to consider i t as a system of different perceptions or different existences, which are link'd together by the relation of cause and effect, and mutually produce, destroy, influence, and modify each other. (pg. 261) . . .1 may venture to affirm of . . . mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed one another with an inconceivable rapidity, and are i n a perpetual flux and movement. . . . The mind i s a kind of theatre, where several perceptions successively make their appearance; pass, repass, glide away, and mingle i n an i n f i n i t e variety of postures and situations. (pg. 252-3) (Hume quickly warns us that we must not press this metaphor to the point of identifying the "simplicity and identity" of a theatre with whatever i t i s we experience or conceive the mind to be. It is precisely at this point that the comparison breaks down, and at which the notion of the mind as a "system" rather than a "setting" i s therapeutic.) As I suggested in my introduction, the importance of this conception of the mind l i e s in i t s positive exclusion of the possibility of a range of human experience; namely, the experience of the self "acting" as opposed to merely moving or "behaving." In particular, i t forms the general grounds for a view of reason as "inactive" rather than practical. It i s with reason as a "power of the soul" that we are concerned in this section. If the mind i s simply a "setting" or a "system," then 28 what place can the "understanding" have in i t s form or description? The answer to this question l i e s in Hume's "discovery" that our perceptions do not "make their appearance; pass, repass, glide away, and mingle" randomly or merely by chance, but that they display a "system" or logic of association with one another. One "notices," as i t were, that ideas of a certain type occasion the appearance of other ideas of a certain type, or that they appear in the company of other ideas of a certain type, etc. I use the term "notice" in this connection because i t empha-sizes the purely passive character of "thinking" as simply perceiving a particular association of ideas, rather than imposing or extracting such associations through a form of exertion. (Of course, impressions play a large role i n any such system of perception, but since we are concerned here with the "understanding," we shall limit our attention to ideas.) Thus, we may at once characterize the mind as "the collection of different perceptions" before i t , and as a collection which is systematically arranged in terms of discoverable principles. In "discovering" these principles, Hume f e l t that he had uncovered the nature of the "understand-ing." Were ideas entirely loose and unconnected, chance alone wou'd join them; and ' t i s impossible the same simple ideas should f a l l regularly into complex ones (as they commonly do) without some bond of union between them, some associating quality, by which one idea naturally introduces another. . . . The qualities, from which this association arises, and by which the mind is after this manner convey'd from one idea to another, are three, viz. RESEMBLANCE, CONTIGUITY in time and place, and CAUSE and EFFECT. (pg. 10-11) It is this "associating quality," or the systematic quality of the appearance and arrangement of our ideas that imagining and reasoning 2 9 consist i n . * Hume likens the associative phenomenon to that of "attrac-tion," a phenomenon customarily hypothesized—in this" sense, at least only of physical objects. These are therefore the principles of union or cohesion among our simple ideas, and in the imagination supply the place of the inseparable connection, by which they are united in our memory. Here is a kind of ATTRACTION, which in the mental world w i l l be found to have as extraordinary effects as in the natural, and to shew i t s e l f in as many and as various forms. (pg. 12-13) In a word, nature has bestow'd a kind of attraction on certain impressions and ideas, by which one of them, upon i t s appearance, naturally introduces i t s correlative. (pg. 289) This "attraction" which "nature has bestow'd" on certain perceptions i s what the power of the understanding consists in. However, the associa-tive quality or attraction between ideas in terms of which we reason does not represent a power by virtue of which reason introduces ideas in a certain relation to one another, but rather a "gentle force" (pg. 10) "by which one idea naturally introduces another." If nature has be-stowed the power to attract upon reason's objects, rather than on reason i t s e l f , then i t i s a mistake to speak of the "power" or reason in such a way as to imply that reason "operates" upon i t s objects. Str i c t l y speaking, Hume would have us regard the principles of the association of ideas not as principles which delineate the operations of reason, but * We should note here that the "understanding" i s , for Hume, composed of the "imagination" and "reason"; these two faculties being distinguished solely by the concern of reason with rea l i t y , and the concern of the imagination with "mere fictions." (pg. 108) 30 rather as principles which formulate the combinatory propensities of reason's objects. Just as the mind i s , for Hume, merely the collection.-of a l l our perceptions, enjoying no "identity nor simplicity" apart from this collective status, the "power of the understanding" inheres only in the respective powers to attract of i t s objects, viewed syste-matically in terms of the principles of the association of ideas. The essential point here i s that reason does not act or operate, but rather suffers the operations of i t s objects; reason derives both i t s identity and power from i t s subject matter. Reasoning i s not something that the mind does, but is rather a way of characterizing the logic of what happens in our experience. As regards the causes of this attraction which governs the happenings of the mind, Hume pleads ignorance and indicates the limits of f r u i t f u l inquiry: Its effects (that of attraction) are every where conspicuous; but as to i t s causes, they are mostly unknown, and must be re-solv'd into original qualities of human nature, which I pretend not to explain. (pg. 13) The three principles of the association of ideas represent, in Hume's view, the fundamental knowledge obtainable concerning the "ties of our thoughtsFurthermore, since our perceptions exhaust our experience, these principles are really the fundamental knowledge obtainable con-cerning the world in general. Thus i t i s that Hume regarded the discovery of these "original qualities of human nature" as the basis of "a compleat system of the sciences, built on a foundation almost entirely new" (pg. xx) and as the greatest single innovation of the Treatise. The ultimate 31 "given" of the world i s the systematic quality of our experience of i t . Hume often speaks of reason in ways which might be construed as implying that i t has forms of activity peculiar to i t s e l f . These instances do not, I believe, indicate any real inconsistency in the theory of the f i r s t book when viewed in connection with the above con-siderations. Thus, when Hume states that: " A l l kinds of reasoning con-si s t in nothing but a comparison, and a discovery of these relations, either constant or inconstant, which two or more objects bear to each other." (pg. 73), there may be a temptation to regard "discovery" as an activity, and by extension to regard reason as being active by virtue of i t s role in discovering. However, our consideration of the "power" of reason must serve to i l l u s t r a t e how figurative a way of describing reason this i s , from the point of view developed in the f i r s t book. Properly speaking, what i s involved here is the "discovery" on the part of the objects themselves of their relationship to one another through the attraction which they have for one another. The objects of reason are discovered to one another through their own power to associate; "reason" i s , i n this regard, merely a descriptive term for the systematic quality of these "discoveries." This notion i s important, I think, in the f a i r interpretation of most of what might be regarded as Hume's "carelessness" concerning the i n -activity of reason in the f i r s t book. At the beginning of Part IV of this book, for instance, Hume states that: Our reason must be consider'd as a kind of cause, of which truth is the natural effect; but such-a-one as by the irruption of other 32 causes, and by the inconstancy of our mental powers, may frequently be precented. (pg. 180) Now, i f we read here: "Our reason is a system of causes and effects (pg. 261) which result i n the discovery of those relations between objects (pg. 73) which constitute the truth . . . " then the problem posed by the characterization of reason as an active cause must disappear. Similarly, when Hume claims in Part II that: " . . . the mind is endow'd with a power of exciting any idea i t pleases; whenever i t dis-patches the s p i r i t s into that region of the brain, i n which the idea is placed . . . , " we can handle this surprising mention of the power of the mind in .the same manner. The mind is a setting or scene upon which any combination of ideas may make an appearance in terms of their power to excite one another into an association. In general, therefore, I believe that we must regard as innocuous Hume's habit of referring to the "power," "activity," and "operations" of reason. This lapse into a more vulgar manner of speaking may be excused as an attempt to avoid some f a i r l y complex circumlocutions demanded by the " s t r i c t e s t " expression. There is one account of reasoning in the f i r s t book of the Treatise which poses a problem of coherence which is not so easily re-solved. We have seen that any "action" of the mind or reason reduces to an "act" of perception; the mind exerts i t s e l f only in perceiving. But, of course, the mind can hardly be said to exert i t s e l f in perception, when i t is the perceptions themselves which "strike upon the mind," "make their way into thought," and "enter consciousness" ( a l l quotations from pg. 1). Perceptions are something that the mind suffers. Consequently, 33 the mind i s properly regarded as perfectly inactive. Now, there i s a passage in the f i r s t book in which Hume explic i t l y distinguishes "per-ception" and "reasoning." Since this contradicts such a fundamental feature of Hume's theory of reason and action, i t demands our attention. A l l kinds of reasoning consist in nothing but a comparison, and a discovery of those relations, either constant or inconstant, which two or more objects bear to one another. This comparison we may make, either when both the objects are present to the senses, or when neither of them i s present, or when only one. When both of the objects are present to the senses along with the rela-tion, we c a l l this perception rather than reasoning; nor is there in this case any exercise of the thought, OR ANY ACTION, PROPERLY SPEAKING, BUT A MERE PASSIVE ADMISSION OF THE IMPRESSIONS THRO' THE ORGANS OF SENSATION. (pg. 73 Emphasis in capitals mine) The remarkable implication here i s that at least some kinds of judgment are NOT assimilable to the process of perception. When there IS "exer-cise of the thought," there IS action of a kind; and this action Is to be understood as something different from "mere passive" perception. But i f the mind may never exert i t s e l f in any action other than that of perceiving, how i s i t that we find Hume here speaking of "perception rather than reasoning?" How can the mind both act and be wholly i n -active? F i r s t of a l l , we must determine exactly what type of reasoning Hume is referring to as an "exercise of thought." By implication, i t must be the reasoning that takes place when either only one of the objects i s present to the senses, or neither of the objects i s present to the senses. This i s the case only i n causal reasoning: According to this way of thinking, we ought not to receive as reasoning any of the observations we make concerning identity, and 34 the relations of time and place; since in none of them the mind can go beyond what i s immediately present to the senses, either to discover the real existence or the relations of objects. 'Tis only causation, which produces such a connexion, as to give us assurance from the existence or action of one object, that 'twas follow'd or preceded by any other existence or action . . . (pg. 73-4) Whether we consider a single object, or several; whether we dwell on these objects, or run from them to others; and in what-ever form or order we survey them, the act of the mind exceeds not a simple conception; and the only remarkable difference, which occurs on this occasion, i s , when we join belief to the conception, and are persuaded of the truth of what we conceive. (Footnote pg. 96-7) So, the specific action of the mind referred to on page 73 of the Treatise i s the joining of belief to an absent cause or effect; the relating or associating of a l i v e l y idea with a present impression. Hume seems to have had some d i f f i c u l t y satisfying himself with his account of causal reasoning, but he was at least clear that i t , l i k e other "acts" of the understanding, did not depend upon the w i l l . There was no question, for him, of the mind bestirring i t s e l f in matters of belief in a manner different from i t s other a c t s — a l l of which may be considered as perceptions. In the last statement in the Treatise to touch on the question of causal reasoning, Hume makes the following remark: We may therefore conclude that belief consists merely in a certain feeling or sentiment; in something, that depends not upon the w i l l , but must arise from certain determinate causes and principles, of which we are not masters. (pg. 624 Appendix) Thus, there is no real "activity" involved in causal reasoning; at least, no activity different in kind from other exertions of the mind—all of 35 which we may comprehend as perceptions arising "from certain determinate causes and principles. . . . " Why, then, does Hume so carelessly^ identify "perception" with the "mere passive admission of the impressions thro' the organs of sensation" and distinguish this from the activity of the mind in causal reasoning? What i s the special character of this activity that "depends not upon the w i l l ? " Perhaps our analysis of the source of the "power" of reason can help us here. We recall that reason's power does not reside in any operations which can be s t r i c t l y termed i t s own, but rather i n the "attractive" qualities of i t s objects. We see from the remarks on page 73 that Hume regards ALL comparisons and discoveries of reason, except that of causation, as relations in which "both the objects are present to the senses along with the relation." Thus, a l l perceived relations among ideas, with the exception of causation, are such that the opera-tions of the attractive qualities of the ideas related are not a facet of the act of perception i t s e l f . The ideas present themselves to our senses already bound, as i t were, in terms of the operation of principles which "act" independently of the perception. We might press a physical metaphor into service here, and say of such ideas that we do not see or otherwise experience their movement towards one another; such movement occurs independently of the experience of i t s result. Causation, how-ever, i s a relating of ideas whose "operation" may be conceived to be perceivable in precisely this way. Only one object i s present to our senses, and we are sensible of the operation of that one present object in effecting the appearance in consciousness of the following or precedent 36 object with which i t is related. "Movement" i s seen; action is ex-perienced. Causation affords us our unique opportunity, to witness ^ the , attraction of particular ideas for one another at work. Other instances of the relating of ideas present themselves to us as already related, and are passively admitted through the organs of sensation in their related condition. I find this to be the most plausible explanation for this troubling account of reasoning as distinct from perceiving. Even such a friendly reading as this, however, does not provide a completely satisfactory interpretation. One cannot blink at the out-right inconsistency inherent in claiming on the one hand that reasoning i s distinct from perceiving, and on the other hand that a l l of the acts of the mind are really only perceptions; particularly when the implica-tion i s made that what distinguishes reasoning from perceiving is reason' activity. The main point of Hume's identification of the "exertions" of the mind with perception was to underscore the perfect inertness of the mind, and i t surely must be regarded as carelessness of some sort to advance a view subsequent to this which threatens to be inconsistent with i t . I am not inclined to see in this carelessness, however, any serious departure in Hume from his central position. What really seems to l i e at the bottom of this problem i s a notion of Hume's that the phenomenology of the perception of causal relations was interestingly different from the phenomenology of the perception of a l l other relations among ideas. I don't believe that his infelicitous characterization of this phenomenology in terms of the "exercise of thought" or "action" involved represents a slide towards a more active conception of the mind. 37 Hume's claim that reason i s inactive is supported by the developments of the f i r s t book of the Treatise. A l l the exertions of the mind "arise from certain determinate causes and principles, of which we are not masters"; and, in any case, the mind i t s e l f i s not properly regarded as being invested with these causes and principles, since they inhere only in the objects of the understanding. The imagin-ation and reason are not operators. We shall move now to a consideration of Hume's positive claim concerning action: i f there i s a "master," i t i s passion; action i s always grounded in passion. Specifically, Hume advances a tropic account of human motivation which centers on the impressions of "desire" and "aversion," or the direct passions; these two impressions are, in their turn, respectively cued by reflection upon the idea of pleasure or pain. Thus, the funda-mental human propensity to act is associated with and determined by the perception of pain and pleasure, and the direct passions are impressions of reflection caused by the perception of the "prospect" of pain and pleasure. Further to this, there i s postulated a system of indirect passions, such as love and hatred, which are impressions arising i n the context of reflection upon the cause of a direct passion; for instance, we might love our friend because we have a desire (which i s general and protracted) for his company. Finally, i t i s the passions which set i n train and generally guide the operations of the understanding. The logic and form of the operations of the mind are determined by the principles of the association of ideas, but the direction and bent of the understand-ing i s determined by the passions. 38 'Tis obvious, that when we have the prospect of pain or pleasure from any object, we feel a consequent emotion of aversion or propensity, and are carry'd to avoid or embrace what w i l l give us this uneasiness or satisfaction. 'Tis also obvious, that this emotion rests not here, but making us cast our view on every side, comprehends whatever objects are connected with the original one by the relation of cause and effect. Here then reasoning takes place to discover this relation; and according as our reasoning varies, our actions receive a subsequent variation. But 't i s evident i n this case, that the impulse arises not from reason, but i s only directed by i t . 'Tis from the prospect of pleasure or pain that the aversion or propensity arises towards any object; And these emotions extend themselves to the causes and effects of that object, as they are pointed out to us by reason and exper-ience, (pg. 414) This i s straightforward. Just as the ultimate ties of our thoughts may be reduced to the three principles of resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect, the f i n a l determination of our behavior i n the world may be located i n our response to two c r i t i c a l perceptions: pleasure and pain. The human organism i s determined by this most fundamental feature of i t s nature to move towards the sources of pleasure i n the environment, and retreat from the sources of pain; and this propensity which animates i t not only emotes desire and aversion, but also (through the mediation of the passions) the understanding with i t s capacity to discover the sources of pleasure and pain and judge of the appropriateness of different plans to approach or avoid them. Thus, the passions, l i k e the operations of the understanding, are s t i l l perceptions—but they are perceptions associated with the two experiences that determine a l l of our activity, and consequently we "are carry'd" by them, just as we would be by the impressions of pleasure and pain themselves. (Strictly speaking, of course, not ALL of human action i s caused by passions, since the impres-sions of pleasure and pain would, i n themselves, determine their recipient 39 t o a c t i o n . This i s completely c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Hume's theory of a c t i o n , and he probably found i t so obvious as to riot m e r i t mention.) Once t h i s c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of human nature i s e s t a b l i s h e d , we can see that v i r t u a l l y a l l human emotion—and hence a c t i o n — i s to be understood i n terms of i t : 'Tis easy to observe., t h a t the p a s s i o n s , both d i r e c t and i n -d i r e c t , are founded on p a i n and p l e a s u r e , and tha t i n order to .. produce an a f f e c t i o n of any k i n d , ' t i s only r e q u i s i t e to present some good or e v i l . Upon the removal of p a i n and ple a s u r e there immediately f o l l o w s a removal of lov e and hatred., p r i d e and h u m i l i t y , d e s i r e and a v e r s i o n , and of most of our . r e f l e c t i v e and secondary impressions. (pg. 433) We n o t i c e a l s o here t h a t i n s o f a r as human nature i s concerned, Hume makes an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between "good and e v i l " and "pleasure and p a i n . " In f a c t , i n the.very f i r s t sentence of tha t p a r t of the T r e a t i s e d e a l i n g w i t h the " w i l l , " Hume makes t h i s equivalence q u i t e e x p l i c i t : We come now to e x p l a i n the d i r e c t p a s s i o n s , or the impressions, -which a r i s e immediately from good or e v i l , from p a i n or pl e a s u r e , (pg. 399) Thus the c l o s e s t a s s o c i a t i o n i s drawn between the p r i m i t i v e e v a l u a t i v e terms of "good and e v i l " and the impressions of "pleasure and p a i n . " T h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of an experience (the impressions of ple a s u r e and pain) as the b a s i s of e v a l u a t i o n i s , of course, c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Hume's emp i r i c i s m ; i t a l s o a n t i c i p a t e s h i s l i n e of argument concerning morals. Let us summarize the argument thus f a r . Hume has set out to show t h a t " f i r s t , reason alone can never be a motive to any a c t i o n of. 40 the w i l l ; and secondly, that i t can never oppose passion i n the direction of the w i l l . " To support the f i r s t claim, he has only~to refer to the implications of his account of the understanding in the f i r s t book. If reason i s perfectly inactive, and a l l of i t s "exertions" are properly considered to rest in the associative propensities of i t s objects, then reason can not produce any impulse to "move" the w i l l . Hume's account of the mind's " a c t i v i t i e s " aims at a conception of reasoning which i s perfectly impractical. Persons are not properly said to be "run" by their reason in the same way that factories are not properly said to be "run" by their computers. In both cases, analysis reveals a further or " f i n a l " motive which determines the running of both the faculty of reason and the computer. Furthermore, i f the understanding does not have the power to produce impulse—the primitive component of any motive to the w i l l , and hence action, then i t cannot have the power to counteract the impulses originating in the passions: 'Tis impossible reason cou'd have the . . . effect of pre-venting v o l i t i o n , but by giving an impulse in a contrary direction to our passion; and that impulse, had i t acted alone, wou'd have been able to produce action. (pg. 415) Thus,„to prove that reason can never be the source of an impulse to the w i l l i s to prove that reason i s not the sort of activity that can be properly thought of as contesting an impulse to the w i l l . Since a l l the impulses to the w i l l originate i n the passions, i t follows that no effective relationship can exist between reason and the w i l l ; such a relationship exists only between the passions and the w i l l , and centers 41 on the propensities cued by the perception of pleasure and pain. Reason i s inactive or "inert"; a l l action i s grounded in passion. In the remainder of this section, I shall discuss two very different sources of d i f f i c u l t y in this theory of action. Neither of these are " f i n a l " d i f f i c u l t i e s , in that neither of them constitutes a disproof of Hume's account. However, they are, I believe, suggestive of a kind of weakness in the theory that i s not immediately apparent. The f i r s t d i f f i c u l t y concerns what might be called the "direc-tive" and "promptive" functions of the understanding. In the f i r s t two books of the Treatise, Hume makes two seemingly inconsistent claims con-cerning the influence of reason upon action. The f i r s t claim—and the one which we have concentrated on as being central to his general theory of a c t i o n — i s that reason "can never produce any action, or give rise to v o l i t i o n . " Reason can have no influence upon action, and i s , properly speaking, regarded as being completely independent of the w i l l and action. Hume dramatized this claim in the second book with his famous statement: 'Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. 'Tis not contrary to reason for me to chuse my total ruin, to prevent the least un-easiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. 'Tis as l i t t l e contrary to reason to prefer even my own aknowledged lesser good to my greater, and have a more ardent affection for the former than the latter, (pg. 416) Reason does not influence or guide the passions and action, but merely "accompanies" them: thus, " . . . passions can be contrary to reason only so far as they are accompany'd with some judgment or opinion. . . . " 42 Whis is to say, no passion or action can be, s t r i c t l y speaking, con-trary to reason at a l l . This claim i s very strongly seconded in the third book, in the context of Hume's theory of morals: Since morals, therefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, i t follows, that they cannot be deriv'd' from reason; and that because reason, as we have already prov'd, can never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of i t s e l f i s utterly impotent in this particular. (pg. 457) Now, i f we refer again to the quotation from page 414 of the second book (please see page 38 of this section) we find a quite d i f f e r -ent claim; namely, that reason can both prompt and direct us in action. For, the prospect of pain or pleasure (which i s , of course, very d i f f e r -ent from the impression of pain or pleasure) i s clearly afforded us by the understanding, and this prospect produces a "consequent emotion of aversion or propensity" which carries us to action. Thus, we have here an instance of reason prompting or causing an emotion and action. Further to this, Hume points out that "this emotion rests not here, but making us cast our view on every side, comprehends whatever objects are connected with the original one by the relation of cause and effect."; that i s , the emotion produced by the prospect of pleasure or pain determines the understanding to an exploration of the associated causes and effects, the results of which exploration may, in their turn, determine our pas-sions—or "direct" them. In both prompting and directing passion, i t seems clear that reason influences action; for, as Hume admits, "as our reasoning varies, our actions receive a subsequent variation." Again, we find this claim echoed in the third book of the Treatise: 43 Reason and judgment may, indeed, be the mediate cause of an action, by prompting, or by directing a passion . . . (pg. 462) The implication here seems to be that reason may mediately cause action by immediately influencing (prompting or directing) a passion. Therefore, support can be found in the Treatise for the claim that reason can have no influence upon action, and the claim that reason can influence action. What is the course of this dilemma, and how far can we proceed towards i t s resolution? Let us begin by considering the directive function of reason. We have seen that Hume accounts for action i n terms of the interaction between passions and the perceived environment. Insofar as action is concerned, Hume conceives of persons as a bundle of persisting propen-s i t i e s which are cued by the perception of particular features of the environment (i.e., those features linked with the prospects of pleasure and pain). The environment is perceived and responded to impulsively i n terms of the individual's repertoire of passions. Now, in the sense that the passions are "cued" by a perception of the environment, one might venture to say that the stimulation of our passions i s occasioned by or proceeds from particular perceptions. As our perceptions vary, the stimulation of our passions receives a subsequent variation. Per-ceptions cause passions. It i s important to remember in this connection, however, that Hume contends that our acts of perception (i.e., those operations of the understanding concerned with the relation of cause and effect) originate-as a l l our acts must—in the passions. This point is ex p l i c i t l y made in 44 his treatment of the directive function of reason. It i s an emotion which, in "making us cast our view on every side" gives rise to th< operations of the understanding involved in the direction of passion . . . and hence, mediately, action. Thus, Hume points out, " ' t i s evident in this case (in a case of the direction of passion by reason), that the impulse arises not from reason, but is only directed by i t " ; and that what really occurs in such instances i s a sort of extension of the impulse of the emotions through the operations of the understanding to the ultimately resulting actions. What reason discovers, may, to some extent, determine which actions are stimulated and which actions are ultimately taken; but that we reasoned, in any particular circumstance, w i l l have been completely determined by one or some of our passions. An important distinction i s implicit i n this point: those perceptions which arise "originally" in the mind are to be distinguished from per-ceptions which proceed from some "activity" of the mind—such as an operation of the understanding. Some impressions may immediately give rise to passion or action ( i . e . , the impressions of pleasure or pain), and hence be s t r i c t l y considered to be some form of cause of action; but such impressions are not perceptions which derive from some act of the understanding, and therefore do not threaten the thesis that reason, of i t s e l f , can never influence action. Hume professes to complete ignor-ance in connection with the cause of our original impressions: / As to those impressions, which arise from the senses, their ultimate cause i s , in my opinion, perfectly inexplicable by human reason, and 't w i l l always be impossible to decide with certainty, whether they arise immediately from the object, or are produc'd 45 by the creative power of the mind, or are deriv'd from the author of our being. Nor i s such a question any way material to our present purpose. v ' •-• ' -r' What Hume does see as material to his purposes i n the Treatise i s some account of the origins of those perceptions which arise from the operations of the understanding; and particularly those arising in the context of the causal relation. For, since reason is involved i n the "production" of such perceptions (which may possibly influence the passions and actions), reason may also be seen to be involved practically in the influence of passions and actions. It is because of this possi-b i l i t y that Hume's description of "emotion" as "making us cast our view on every side" i s important. Our attention i s drawn here to a distinc-tion between the content of reason's discoveries, and the cause of reason's a c t i v i t i e s . If i t i s the emotions which are the cause of reason's act i v i t i e s i n "casting" a view on every side for the causal connections between perceptions, then i t i s the emotions which are the ultimate cause of any influence upon the passions issuing from such reason-ing. Thus, the case for the impracticality of reason in i t s directive function properly rests on Hume's fundamental contention that a l l action (hence, a l l acts of perception—which exhausts the acts of the under-standing) i s caused by the passions. Therefore, whatever influence the perceptions which derive from the understanding have in the direction of our passions and actions w i l l be derivative and mediate rather than i n -dependent and original; for, our perceptual activity i s completely de-termined by our passions, and the influence of the content of those perceptions issuing from such activity must always be traced to the passion 46 m o t i v a t i n g the p e r c e p t u a l a c t i v i t y . (Hume leaves aside here the obvious question posed by those a c t i o n s proceeding immediately 'from our o r i g i n a l -p e r c e p t i o n s : do not such a c t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e an example of a c t i o n s not caused by the passions? The reason f o r t h i s i s , I b e l i e v e , that Hume i s i n t e r e s t e d — i n the T r e a t i s e , at l e a s t — o n l y w i t h those a c t i o n s con-nected w i t h "moral s u b j e c t s . " I t i s those " a r t i f i c i a l " (pg. 4.75) a c t i o n s which proceed from some design and i n t e n t i o n which h o l d h i s a t t e n t i o n , and are the o b j e c t s of h i s explanation.) S u r p r i s i n g l y , Hume does not draw out t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between the content of reason's d i s c o v e r i e s and the m o t i v a t i o n of i t s o p e r a t i o n s ; because of t h i s , one of h i s arguments concerning the d i r e c t i v e f u n c t i o n of reason i s s o p h i s t i c a l . Speaking of the reasoning i n v o l v e d i n the I d i s c o v e r y of the causes and e f f e c t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the emotions of av e r s i o n and p r o p e n s i t y , Hume argues: I t can never i n the l e a s t concern us to know, th a t such objects are causes and such others e f f e c t s , i f both the causes and e f f e c t s be i n d i f f e r e n t to us. Where the objects themselves do not a f f e c t us, t h e i r connexion can never give them any i n f l u e n c e ; and ' t i s p l a i n , t h a t as reason i s nothing but the discovery of t h i s connexion, i t cannot be the means by which the objects are able to a f f e c t us. (pg. 414) The p o i n t here i s that the power to a f f e c t the passions inheres i n the obje c t s brought before them by the a c t i v i t i e s of the understanding. Reason may " d i s c o v e r " or f a i l to d i s c o v e r p a r t i c u l a r o b j e c t s to the emotions, but i f those objects d i d not, i n themselves, possess the power to a f f e c t us, then reason's a c t i v i t i e s i n t h i s connection could have no i n f l u e n c e . The i m p l i c a t i o n to be drawn i s that when reason does d i s c o v e r an ob j e c t 47 which does have the power to affect us, then the influence upon passion and action resulting from this discovery rests entirely with the object.. This implication is false, because i t disregards the fact that the i n t r i n s i c power of any particular object to affect us can have no i n -fluence upon our passions and actions unless that object i s perceived. This i s a curious point for an empiricist to miss. Consider the following examples: A l . Where the object i t s e l f does not have the power to affect us, i t s discovery to the passions cannot provide i t with such power. A2. If poison i t s e l f would not k i l l me, placing i t i n my food would not cause my death. Bl. Where the object i t s e l f has the power to affect us, i t s discovery to the passions cannot be regarded as the source of that power. B2. Since poison i n i t s e l f can k i l l me, placing i t i n my food cannot be regarded as the cause of my death. A2 and B2 bear a symmetry with A l and B l , where A l and Bl are true. We notice, however, that the symmetry between Bl and B2 i s not perfect, and that B2 i s actually false. An obvious fact of our ordinary causal analyses i s exemplified i n this instance. That power by which poisons affect us (let us term this our vulnerability to them) i s perfectly i n -dependent of whether or not they are actually placed i n our food. Even i f we escape exposure to poison, we remain vulnerable to i t and i t re-tains i t s power to affect us. However, this i n t r i n s i c power must remain 48 potential or unrealized unless certain conditions are" f u l f i l l e d . If any poison is to affect us, we must be exposed to it;'" one of the ways that this can be brought about is the introduction of.poison into our food. This fact i s underlined by the answer to the following question: i f a man had the power to determine whether or not poison was placed in your food, could i t be properly said that such a man had the power to affect you? Similarly, the in t r i n s i c power of any object to stimulate our passions must remain merely potential unless that object i s brought before the passions by an act of perception. This is an instance of Hume forgetting that i t is not objects per se which have any influence upon us, but our perception of objects. The fact, therefore, that a particular object is the "content" of a perception—or the discovery of a b i t of reasoning—is as important to the issue of whether or not we are affected as is the int r i n s i c power of that object to stimulate our passions. Similarly, Hume argues that reason alone—the discovery of objects to the passions—cannot affect us; reason can only affect us c through the "interest" of the^objects which i t discovers. Furthermore, even i f we attribute to reason that power to affect our emotions which is only properly associated with reason's objects, the fact remains that the impulse to action remains entirely with the passions. Reason can only influence action insofar as i t affects our emotions and passions, a view consistent with the claim that reason can only mediately influence action by prompting or directing a passion. Hume evidently believes that this consideration represents an argument for the inactive or impractical character of reason; but i t 49 really i s not such an argument. It is evident from Hume's account of action that the passions, in their role as "secondary"..impressionsv (impressions of reflection), never arise originally i n the soul in the absence of any stimulating perception. It is consistent, therefore, with Hume's account of action to claim that the passions alone cannot "affect our actions, since the passions can only affect us when cued by particular perceptions. Often, that particular perception i s one that can, in fact, be provided only by reason. If reason succeeds in discovering to the passions the object requisite to their stimulation in such an instance, then the fact that the object did in fact affect us i s properly due to the understanding as well as the passions—a point supported by the reflection that i f reason had in fact failed to dis-cover the object, we would not have been affected at a l l . If poison i s not placed in my food, my vulnerability to poisons w i l l not be the cause of my death. Even i f reason enjoys only a mediate influence upon action, then i t cannot be contended that reason i s perfectly inactive, since reason can b e — i n those cases in which .it i s such a mediate cause of action—the f i n a l cause of action, and hence active i t s e l f in some way. However, as we have already noted, Hume is quite clear that reason i s not i t s own master, and i t i s in this fact, and not the fact that reason "alone" cannot produce any action, that his claims concerning the inactivity of reason properly l i e . We recall that question asked earlier: i f a man had the power to determine whether or not poison was placed in your food, could i t be properly said that such a man had the power to affect you? 50 Now, one of the reasons that i t makes sense to answer this question in the affirmative is that such a man could properly be regarded as being independently motivated; that i s , i t would make sense to think of him as the author of your death or the responsible agent—even though the proximate cause of death would be identified i n terms of the " i n t r i n s i c " powers of the poison employed. But we cannot, on Hume's account, ever regard reason as enjoying any such "independent" status as a motivation, since he views reason as being determined i n a l l of i t s ac t i v i t i e s by the passions. Thus, even though Hume might be pressed to admit of reason that i t can be the mediate cause of action, he cannot be pressed to consider i t to ever be the f i n a l or original cause of an action, since i t i s in every instance of i t s activity caused by an emotion. This i s the most important consequence of Hume's famous claim that: "Reason i s , and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." (pg. 415) Even in those cases where we find reason influencing one passion, we shall find reason i t s e l f in that instance determined in i t s activities by yet another passion. Thus, even when reason appears to be influencing one passion, i t does so only in the service of another passion, and i t i s this " f i r s t " passion which must be regarded as the original cause of any action resulting from this chain of influences: These considerations must be kept in mind when discussing the promptive function of reason. It has been observ'd, that reason, in a s t r i c t and philosophical sense, can have an influence on our conduct only after two ways: 51 Either when i t excites a passion by informing us of the existence of something which i s a proper object of i t ; or when i t discovers the connexion of causes and effects, so as to afford us means of exerting any passion. (pg. 459) It must be allowed that i f the power to excite any passion rested en-ti r e l y with reason, then the promptive function of reason would amount to a very real—even i f mediate—influence upon the passions and action. The passions are neither served or obeyed by being excited; reason serves passion only in i t s directive function. Hume can respond here that a l l "promptive" acts of reason are, at bottom, directive acts; with the proviso that the passion directed i s not apparent. Thus, when-ever we find reason exciting a passion, we may be s u r e — i n terms of the general theory of action put forward by Hume—that that activity of reason i s , in fact, "on the service" of some other, and prior, passion. It i s not at a l l clear that Hume had this particular view of the promptive function of reason; that i s , the view that any instance of reason prompting a passion was really an instance of reason being in the service of yet another passion. In the second book, at least, his arguments for the inactivity of reason seem to center on his insistence that the impulse to action always derives from a passion. Given his view of causation, however, this preoccupation with a mechanistic and "productive" conception of what the source of action must be like i s very suspect. In any case, when he eventually does admit that reason may be the mediate cause of action (in the third book), we can see that, because of his general theory that a l l action i s grounded in the passions, this is not a damaging or inconsistent admission. Reason may influence 52 the passions, and hence mediately cause action; but reason i s always a "caused" cause, being the e f f e c t — i n every instance of i t s opera-t i o n — o f a passion. Hume's carelessness on this head (claiming at once that reason can have no influence upon the passions and action, and that i t can mediately cause actions by influencing the passions) derives, I believe, from his failure to distinguish between the contents of reason's discoveries and the motivation of i t s a c t i v i t i e s . Once we become clear on this important distinction, we can educe interpretations which make both of Hume's seemingly inconsistent claims cohere with his general account of action. There remains, however, as I suggested at the beginning of this discussion of the promptive and directive functions of reason, a source of weakness. We have no other assurance than the form of Hume's theory of action that every promptive act of reason is actually grounded in a passion; i.e. , that i t i s actually a directive act of reason. The con-tention that every act of reason is motivated by a passion requires empirical support; and although Hume speaks of i t as having been proven, i t remains—as does the theory of action developed in the f i r s t two books—an hypothesis u n t i l i t i s vindicated or collapses in the test of experience in the third book. As we shall see, Hume meets consider-able d i f f i c u l t i e s in this regard when he attempts to identify the various acts of reason involved in the formulation of moral judgments as being exclusively directive. 53 The second d i f f i c u l t y with Hume's theory of action that I wish to discuss concerns the distinction he draws between the "violent" and "calm" passions. At the very beginning of the second book of the Treatise, Hume describes an important difference between the two types of passions: The reflective impressions may be divided into two kinds, viz. the calm and the violent. Of the f i r s t kind i s the sense of beauty and deformity in action, composition, and external objects. Of the second are the passions of love and hatred, grief and joy, pride and humility. This division i s far from being exact. The raptures of music and poetry frequently rise to the greatest height; while those other impressions, properly called passions, may decay into so soft an emotion, as to become, in a manner, imperceptible. (pg. 276) Thus, we find Hume introducing his account of the passions as impressions of reflection with the problematical proviso that at least some of these impressions are, "in a manner, imperceptible," at least upon some occasions. The notion of an "imperceptible impression"—i.e., an impression which i s , l i t e r a l l y , not perceived—is certainly anomalous, when viewed against the general account of experience and action developed in the f i r s t two books. We have already been told that impressions are the most l i v e l y and vivacious of our perceptions, striking upon the mind with a force sensibly superior to that of our ideas. How, therefore, are .we to make sense of the notion of an impression which i s "so soft an emotion" as to not be perceivable at all? Hume attempts to answer this question much later i n the second book: 'Tis evident passions influence not the w i l l in proportion to their violence, or the disorder they occasion in the temper; but on 54 the contrary, that when a passion has once become a s e t t l e d p r i n c i p l e of a c t i o n , and i s the predominant i n c l i n a t i o n of the sou l , i t commonly produces no longer any sensible a g i t a t i o n . As repeated custom and i t s own force have made everything y i e l d to i t , i t d i r e c t s the actions and conduct without that opposition and emotion, which so n a t u r a l l y attend every momentary gust of passion. We must, therefore, d i s -t i n g u i s h betwixt a calm and a weak passion; betwixt a v i o l e n t and a strong one. (pg. 418-19) Here we f i n d an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the calm passions with some notion of character, or s e t t l e d p r i n c i p l e s of acti o n . This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n rests on the complex theory that emotion (at l e a s t that "sensible a g i t a t i o n " which we regard as an impression) a r i s e s i n the soul not simply as a function of our perception of the prospects of pain and pleasure, but l a r g e l y as a function of the amount and force of any "opposition" to that p a r t i c u l a r emotion i n our character. Because of t h i s , a passion which i s consistent with the "predominant i n c l i n a t i o n of the soul . . . commonly produces no longer any sensible a g i t a t i o n " ; i . e . , that passion i s no longer perceivable. A great deal would have to be added to t h i s account of the calm passions to make i t cohere with e i t h e r the balance of Hume's theory of ac t i o n , or our common sense view of the emotions. One might argue, quite p l a u s i b l y , that actions which are habi t u a l are often performed le s s con-s c i o u s l y ( i . e . , with l e s s attendant impressions of e f f o r t , a t t e n t i o n , movement, etc) than those which are novel or to which we are unaccustomed. But t h i s argument i s not e a s i l y transposed to the emotions, which are, by d e f i n i t i o n , impressions; a f e e l i n g , no matter how common i t may be to us, i s s t i l l f e l t — o r e l se " i t " i s not a f e e l i n g at a l l . However, Hume ex-p l i c i t l y r e f e r s , i n the two quotations considered above, to the view that emotions may be "imperceptible" or "no longer produce any sensible 55 a g i t a t i o n . " This f a c t must r a i s e the p o s s i b i l i t y that the "emotions" re f e r r e d to i n such instances are not simply "calm," but absent. The obvious reason f o r Hume's resistance to t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i s that, i n each instance of h i s intr o d u c t i o n of a calm passion, he has before him an action which he cannot account f o r i n terms of any of the "se n s i b l e " passions a v a i l a b l e . (I am here r e f e r r i n g to the extreme case where the calm passion i s not perceived. The other case, i n which the calm passion i s perceived, but le s s v i o l e n t than the other passions a v a i l a b l e f o r the determination of ac t i o n , i s s l i g h t l y more easy f o r him to handle.) Thus, i f the determination of the action i s not a t t r i -butable to some present but unperceived passion, then the p o s s i b i l i t y a r i s e s that action i s e i t h e r undetermined or motivated by some other power i n the soul such as the understanding. Both of these p o s s i b i l i t i e s are u n a t t r a c t i v e to Hume because they contradict fundamental tenents of h i s theory of human nature and action. However, the remedy he provides i n the calm passions i s not completely s a t i s f a c t o r y , f o r , at the very l e a s t , i t i s inconsistent with h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the passions as impressions. Further to t h i s , Hume o f f e r s a comment on the "common" confusion of the calm passions with reason that does as much to damage h i s case as to support i t : What we commonly understand by passion i s a v i o l e n t and sensible emotion of mind, when any good or e v i l i s presented, or any object, which, by the o r i g i n a l formulation of our f a c u l t i e s , i s f i t t e d to exci t e any appetite. By reason we mean a f f e c t i o n s of the very same kind with the former; but such as operate more calmly, and cause no disorder i n the temper: Which t r a n q u i l l i t y leads us i n t o a mistake 56 concerning them, and causes us to regard them as conclusions only of bur intellectual faculties. . . . Generally speaking, the violent passions have a more powerful influence on..the w i l l ; tb^o' ' t i s often found, that the calm ones, when corroborated by reflec-^ tion, and seconded by resolution, are able to controul them in their most furious movements . . . (pg. 437-8) Here we find Hume cashing out "usual talk" into the technical currency of the Treatise. The struggle between reason and passion really does not exist after a l l , but i t is properly regarded as a struggle between violent and calm passions; the calm passions being chronically confused with reason because of their "tranquillity." However, in his explanation of how the calm passions overcome the "generally more powerful influence of the w i l l " of the violent passions, Hume is indirectly aiding the confusion he has exposed instead of dispelling i t . For, what could i t mean, in the terms of the Treatise at least, for a passion to be corroborated by reflection? Hume has already been at pains to insi s t that "A passion is an original existence," and i t i s therefore impossible "that this passion can be oppos'd by, or be contradictory to truth and reason . . . " (pg. 415) If a passion cannot be opposed by reason, how can i t possibly be corroborated by reason? Similarly, i t cannot advance Hume's case here to suggest that the calm passions gain their control over the violent passions by virtue of their being "seconded by resolution." The central point of advancing the con-cept of a "calm passion" rests in i t s contribution to the general theory of the influence of the will—which theory, for Hume, consists largely in the view that the w i l l i s exclusively influenced by the passions. Be-cause of this, i t can be of no interest to learn that the calm passions gain their peculiar influence on the w i l l by being "resolved upon," in 57 that t h i s explanation merely e f f e c t s a regression of the issue addressed here: the nature and form of the re s o l u t i o n to act. Consider what i s involved here. In the f i r s t instance, we have a v i o l e n t passion being c o n t r o l l e d by a calmer passion; and i t may w e l l be the case that the only evidence we have f o r the existence of the calm passion i s the existence of an action contrary to the i n c l i n a t i o n and movement of the v i o l e n t passion, or perhaps some d i s p o s i t i o n to r e s i s t the impulse of the v i o l e n t passion. (That i s , because the calm passion i s ex hypothesi imperceptible i n such an instance, we can only i n f e r i t s presence because of an anomalous response to a v i o l e n t passion.) Because of general t h e o r e t i c a l considerations i n the T r e a t i s e , we "know" that actions cannot be e i t h e r chance or determined by the understand-ing; therefore, an action which i s determined i n s p i t e of the presence of a v i o l e n t passion which i s contrary to i t — o r , the f a i l u r e to act despite the presence of a v i o l e n t p a s s i o n — l e a d s us to i n f e r the opera-t i o n of a calm passion. Secondly, we are i n v i t e d to comprehend the p o s s i b i l i t y of a calm passion c o n t r o l l i n g a more v i o l e n t one i n terms of the calmer passion being corroborated and seconded by what appear to be acts of the understanding; f o r , i t i s at l e a s t c e r t a i n , that Hume cannot describe " r e f l e c t i o n " and " r e s o l u t i o n " as passions. Thus, we have an unperceived passion, which i s seconded i n i t s impulse by reason, c o n t r o l l i n g a more v i o l e n t — a n d hence " n a t u r a l l y " more powerful—passion. One finds i t necessary to note, i n such a case, that the most evident source of con t r o l over the v i o l e n t passion i s the operations of the under-standing which Hume represents as the mere a n c i l l a r i e s of the unperceived 58 calm passion. Moreover, the very presence of the calm passion under these conditions i s r e a l l y nothing more than a supposition derived from the general t h e o r e t i c a l conviction that a l l actions are determined by the passions; hence i f an action (or otherwise i n e x p l i c a b l e lack of an action) i s not seen to be determined by a perceived passion, then i t i s supposed to be the e f f e c t of an unperceived passion. Given the weak-ness of t h i s l i n e of argument, one finds i t not at a l l c e r t a i n that the common i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of reason as the contestant, with passion, f o r the con t r o l of the w i l l i s mistaken. For, although the calm passion may be unperceived—and i t s very presence merely supposed, the operations of the understanding which are represented as a n c i l l a r y to i t are perceived, and hence unquestionably present. Perhaps Hume means, i n h i s reference to the calm passions being "corroborated by r e f l e c t i o n , and seconded by r e s o l u t i o n , " that they are revealed or confirmed by some a n c i l l a r y acts of the understanding to t r u l y be "the s e t t l e d p r i n c i p l e of action, and . . . the predominant i n c l i n a t i o n " of the agent. Hume considers the calm passions to be con-cerned with "the sense of beauty and deformity i n action , composition, and external objects" (pg. 276), and with t h i s i n mind we might construct an example of the influence of a calm passion where the contribution of r e f l e c t i o n and r e s o l u t i o n i s a n c i l l a r y i n the way suggested above: Con-s i d e r the case of a man confronted with the murderer of h i s c h i l d . The opportunity i s at hand to personally punish the c r i m i n a l — l e t us imagine that a gun i s i n the hands of the bereaved father. Now, i n such an i n -stance the v i o l e n t passions of love and hatred must j o i n i n determining 59 the father to take revenge: but he might very w e l l forbear. Why? Because the influence of the v i o l e n t passions of love" and hatred ate over-ruled by the calm influence of a general regard f o r the importance of the r u l e of law i n securing the p u b l i c peace. A calm a f f e c t i o n f o r the general good proves stronger than the v i o l e n t d i s p o s i t i o n to take a personal revenge. The "calm a f f e c t i o n " may very w e l l want some corro-boration from reason i n i t s struggle with the more v i o l e n t passion; and t h i s corroboration might be understood as an example of the d i r e c t i v e function of reason. The a f f e c t i o n f o r the p u b l i c good has presumably been w e l l established i n the context of the e a r l i e r l i f e experiences of the bereaved father. However, when t h i s calm passion i s brought to a c r i t i c a l t e s t such as the one we are imagining, the father might w e l l wish to trace through the r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g between h i s actions i n that s i t u a t i o n and h i s general regard f o r the p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . The understanding may w e l l be d i r e c t e d to discover yet again the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n d i v i d u a l acts of lawlessness and the erosion of the conditions of general s e c u r i t y and happiness; and i t may also be di r e c t e d to confirm that the influence of the action associated with the v i o l e n t passion i s of the type to damage the respect f o r law i n himself and others. One might describe the influence of reason i n such a context as "corrobor-ating and seconding" without r e f e r r i n g to any f i n a l or immediate influence of reason upon the w i l l or action. What i s involved i n such an instance i s simply a s p e c i a l case of the d i r e c t i v e function of reason being pressed i n t o s ervice l i k e an accountant c a l l e d up to make a second and t h i r d t a l l y of the amount of tax owing by an anxious c l i e n t . 60 Now, this account of the "corroborating and seconding" function of reason in connection with the calm passions would seem to avoid .the criticism of that function as being possibly practical, and hence in-consistent with the general theory of action in the Treatise. I do not, however, find i t completely satisfying. Hume's notion of the "calm passions" is linked by him with the moral sense; but whether or not the moral sense is purely, or even primarily, affective is an item of con-tention. Because of this, the interpretation of the corroborating and seconding function of reason as directive depends, for its plausibility, upon the acceptance of the theory that morals are more properly felt than judged of. If this theory is not accepted, then further argumenta-tion would be necessary to show that what Hume suggests is merely a corroborating operation of reason is not actually constitutive of the moral judgment which i t supposedly is corroborating, or at. least promptive of the passions associated with the judgment. To return to the case of the father bent on revenge, one might argue that there really is no calm passion brought to the "test" of the circumstances which aroused his violent passions. Instead, i t might be suggested that i t is reason "alone" which initiall y acts in tracing up the general consequences of an act of revenge, and which corroborates itself with a calm affection for the public good. The central issue here is the motivation of the operations of reason in such a case. Hume insists that the understanding is motivated in every instance by some passion or passions; but this claim requires extensive substantiation in the case of moral judgments. A proponent of practical reason will tend, in the case of an example such as we have been 61 considering, to point out that there i s no e x p e r i e n t i a l or "perceived" basis f o r supposing, as Hume must, that the understanding was motivated by an "unperceived" calm passion. Instead, such a proponent w i l l claim i t seems more evident than not that there r e a l l y i s no " c l i e n t " passion seconded by reason i n such an instance; but rather that reason i t s e l f i s the i n s t i g a t o r and f i n a l cause of the moral point of view which po s s i b l y over-rules the v i o l e n t passion. These considerations are not advanced as a conclusive argument against Hume's notion of the calm passions, but are meant to locate t h i s whole issue i n the context of h i s theory of moral judgment and action. Whether or not the notion of a "calm passion" i s defensible depends, u l t i m a t e l y , on whether or not Hume can support h i s account of "the sense of beauty and deformity i n action" as being grounded i n the passions. In general, I be l i e v e that Hume accomplishes h i s aim, i n the f i r s t two books Of the T r e a t i s e , of developing an account of human nature and action which i s n a t u r a l i s t i c . As we have noted, Hume has a tendency to claim that the f i r s t two books co n s t i t u t e something l i k e a "proof" of the perfect i n a c t i v i t y of reason and the exclusive deter-mination of action by the passions; but t h i s i s to overstate the accomplishments r e a l l y made there. What Book I and II do provide i s a coherent hypothesis concerning human nature and a c t i o n — a n hypothesis of which the form i s n a t u r a l i s t i c . The r e a l accomplishment, i n t h i s connection, i s not the proof of t h i s hypothesis, but the preservation 62 of i t s coherence throughout the development of i t s d e t a i l . The co-herence of t h i s account i s , to be sure, strained at some points; but I f e e l that a f a i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n must allow that i t i s not conclusively broken. In the following s e c t i o n , we s h a l l consider Hume's a p p l i c a t i o n of h i s n a t u r a l i s t i c theory of human action to the perennial issue of freedom and determinism. This a p p l i c a t i o n of the theory does not represent, of course, i t s test at the hands of experience, but i s rather an instance of Hume turning i t s explanatory power onto a purely p h i l o s o p h i c a l or metaphysical problem. A c r i t i c a l examination of Hume's treatment of the motivation of the w i l l c"an, I hope, provide us with more information concerning the i n t e r n a l coherence of h i s theory of act i o n . I I . NATURALISM, DETERMINISM, AND VOLITION Hume's naturalism e n t a i l s a form of ! determinism. I f human action i s completely a c c e s s i b l e to explanation i n terms of "determinate causes and p r i n c i p l e s , " i t follows that persons' experience of choice must be, i n some sense, i l l u s o r y . In h i s discussion of the " w i l l " i n the second and t h i r d books of the T r e a t i s e , Hume develops t h i s theme, and i n d i r e c t l y provides a d d i t i o n a l information concerning h i s notion of "a c t i o n . " Hume begins h i s discussion of " l i b e r t y and necessity" with the claim that the actions of matter provide a paradigm of necessary or determined actions. 'Tis u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged, that the operations of external bodies are necessary, and that i n the communication of t h e i r motion, i n t h e i r a t t r a c t i o n , and mutual cohesion, there i s not the l e a s t traces of i n d i f f e r e n c e or l i b e r t y . . . . The actions, therefore, of matter are to be regarded as instances of necessary actions; and whatever i s i n t h i s respect on the same footing with matter, must be acknowledged to be necessary. (pg. 400) Thus, the b a s i c form of Hume's argument i s to demonstrate a correspondence between our account of the actions of matter and our account of human actions. With t h i s aim i n mind, he sets about providing an analysis of the necessity of the actions of matter. Hume notes that i t has been "observ'd already" that our idea of the necessity of the operations of external bodies does not derive from our perception of any power or capacity inherent i n objects; i t i s only from our experience of t h e i r "constant union" that our idea of necessity a r i s e s . This i s a reference to the f i r s t book, where i t was established of causation 63 64 that "the necessity, which enters into that idea, i s nothing but a deter-mination of the mind to pass from one object to i t s usual attendant-, and~ infer the existence of one from that of the other." (pg. 400) We notice here that there i s more involved in the arousal of the idea of necessity than the simple perception of a constant union between two objects; for, besides that perception, there must also be a certain "determination of -the mind" to causally associate the objects. Thus, there are "two parti-culars, which we are to consider as essential to necessity, viz. the constant union and the inference of the mind; and wherever we discover these we must acknowledge a necessity." (pg. 400) Following the form of Hume's argument, i t only remains, in order to prove the necessity of human actions, to demonstrate that "our actions have a constant union with our motives, tempers, and circumstances" and to bring forward ex-amples of the mind's inference when stimulated with such constant union. Hume sets about this with confidence, bringing forward many examples of what might be called our capacity to predict human behavior in terms of our knowledge of persons. There i s a general course of nature in human action, as well as i n the operations of the sun and the climate. There are also characters peculiar to different nations and particular persons, as well as common to mankind. The knowledge of these characters -is founded on the observation of an uniformity in the actions, that flow from them; and this uniformity forms the very essence of necessity. (pg. 402-3) Founded on this "general course of human nature" there i s a type of reasoning which coheres with our judgments founded on the general course of material nature. 65 A merchant looks for f i d e l i t y and s k i l l in his factor or super-cargo. A man, who gives orders for his dinner, doubts not of the obedience of his servants. In short, as nothing more readily interests us than our own actions and those of others, the greatest part of our reasonings is employ'd in judgments concerning them. Now I assert, that whoever reasons after this manner, does ipso facto believe the actions of the w i l l to arise from necessity, and that he knows now what he means, when he denies i t . (pg. 405) Thus, we discover a constant union between character and action, and our minds are determined to infer a necessity i n that union. Of course, Hume does not conceive these two circumstances to represent discrete acts or operations of the mind, for this would introduce a suggestion that there i s involved in causal reasoning an "act" of judgment distinct from perceiving: We must not here be content with saying, that the idea of cause and effect arises from objects constantly united; but must affirm, that ' t i s the very same with the idea of these objects, and that the necessary connexion is not discover'd by a conclusion of the understanding, but is merely a perception of the mind, (pg. 405-6) Hume claims that i t follows from this that " . . . when we consider how aptly moral and natural evidence cement together, and form only one chain of argument betwixt them, we shall make no scruple to allow, that they are of the same nature, and deriv'd from the same principles." (pg. 406) Which is to say, they are derived from the principles of the association of ideas, being a particular instance of the associative principle of cause and effect. If we must conceive of a l l human actions as being "necessary," that i s , of bearing a necessary relationship with certain features of 66 character and circumstance, then what sense can we make of the use of the notion of "liberty" i n connection with human actions? None at a l l , Hume claims: for the absence of necessity is not liberty, but chance— and i t has already been argued in the f i r s t book of the Treatise that the notion of "chance" does not cohere with experience, and i s chroni-cally misused: 'Tis commonly allowed by philosophers, that what the vulgar c a l l chance is nothing but a secret and concealed cause. (pg. 130) Hume regards the notion of a "chance action" to be "directly contrary to experience" (pg. 407) , and thus concludes that the notion of a free action, because of i t s equivalence with the former idea, must suffer the same fate. Actually, Hume does suggest a special notion of liberty in a more positive, though passing, light. Few are capable of distinguishing betwixt the liberty of spontaneity, as i t is call'd in the schools, and the liberty of indifference; betwixt that which is opposed to violence, and that which means the negation of necessity and causes. The f i r s t is even the most common sense of the word; and as ' t i s only that species of liberty, which i t concerns us to preserve, our thoughts have been principally turn'd towards i t , and have almost universal-ly confounded i t with the other. (pg. 407-8) The implication here is that Hume regards the notion of liberty which i s associated with the idea of the absence of external force, violence, or constraint as the "true" idea of freedom. Hume clearly regards this positive notion of liberty as consistent with his general account of causation and action, but some d i f f i c u l t i e s can be seen in i t . Great 67 pains are taken in the Treatise to demonstrate that causes do not compel or produce their associated effects, but that the causal rela-tionship i s psychologically determined; the necessity of causal rela-tions does not inhere in any property or power of causes, but rather in the determination of the mind to perceive constantly conjoined objects as necessarily conjoined. Because of this, i t seems odd that Hume would so casually describe the relationship between "external" causes and the w i l l in terms of "violence" and "constraint." Hume unequivocally con-tends that material objects do not compel their respective motions in causal relationships, and that there i s no compulsion in the causes operating internally upon the w i l l . Therefore, i t would seem that Hume sets aside the case of "external" constraint of the w i l l from the other instances of causation. I don't believe that there is much to be educed from this con-cerning Hume's theory of action or causation. It i s , I think, a clear instance of carelessness on Hume's part; but i t must be allowed that he makes very l i t t l e of that form of liberty "which is opposed to violence." In point of fact, the real carelessness involved in his "positive" account of liberty as the absence of external compulsion may simply l i e in his neglect to warn us that he is not speaking " s t r i c t l y " or properly. This possibility i s supported by a f i n a l reference to the issue of liberty i n the last book of the Treatise: . . . As to free-will, we have shewn that i t has no place with regard to the actions, no more than the qualities of men. It is not a just consequence, that what i s voluntary is free. Our actions are more voluntary than our judgments; but we have not more liberty in the one than the other. (pg. 609) 68 Here we have the introduction of a new term to describe the peculiar influence of external causes upon the w i l l ; a term which Hume exp l i c i t l y separates from the issue of freedom and necessity. Thus, the liberty of spontaneity—or that liberty which is opposed to external constraint upon the will—properly refers to the voluntariness or involuntariness of actions, and not to their freedom or necessity. Generally speaking, Hume's account of the necessity of a l l actions, whether material or human, coheres with his theories of causa-tion and action. As I remarked at the beginning of this section, a "form" of determinism i s entailed by this account, but Hume was quick to point out that i t i s a form which markedly differs from others previously conceived and described. In a sense, this is a case of Hume providing us with an interpretation of his analysis of the problem of freedom and determinism: Let no one . . . put an invidious construction on my words, by saying simply, that I assert the necessity of human actions, and place them on the same footing with the operations of sense-less matter. I do not ascribe to the w i l l that unintelligible necessity, which i s suppos'd to l i e in matter. But I ascribe to matter, that i n t e l l i g i b l e quality, c a l l i t necessity or not, which the most rigorous orthodoxy does or must allow to belong to the w i l l . I change, therefore, nothing in the receiv'd systems, with regard to the w i l l , but only with regard to material objects, (pg. 410) This i s subtle, and involves at least two important, distinct issues. F i r s t l y , Hume i s directing our attention to a point which I earlier associated with the strategy of the Treatise as a whole. (pg. 1 of section I) One of the most common ways of attempting to resolve the dilemmas posed by a dualistic conception of world is to "reduce" one or 69 other of the "substances" or systems into the other. In the above quotation, Hume warns us against the temptation to construe him as offering a form of materialism, or reductionist treatment of "mind" and w i l l . Instead of assimilating explanations of human action to the re-ceived conceptions of the material world, Hume has developed a completely novel account of the necessary connections perceived in both the human and the natural worlds. Through the introduction of the principles of the association of ideas, Hume has essayed a description of mind which i s , at the same time, a radical re-description of the furniture and forces to be found in the external world. "The operations of senseless matter" were in the received version of the physics of Hume's day, supposed to inhere in the powers of particular causes to effect their respective and consequent "new productions." This i s precisely the account of causation which Hume was concerned to replace in the f i r s t book of the Treatise, and he quite properly resist the possibility of his reader attributing to his theory of the w i l l the very form of necessity which he has denied the existence of even in the material world. "Necessity," whether in the natural or the moral world, i s viewed by Hume as simply and purely a product of thought; i t is never discoverable as an inherent power or entity anywhere. What is "explained" f i n a l l y , by the principle of causation—or any of the other principles of the association of i d e a s — i s not the operations of either matter or the w i l l , but the ordering of our perceptions. In addressing the problem of explain-ing the external and internal worlds in terms of our experience of both of them, Hume f e l t that he was explaining both of them i n terms of a single 70 mode; and hence making the point that our distinction between the two . worlds was misconceived. The second claim made by Hume on page 410 in the second book i s that his treatment of liberty and necessity, because i t does not place the necessity of human actions on the same footing with the operations of senseless matter, represents no change " i n the received systems, with regard to the w i l l . " This is not true; for, although the form of deter-minism put forward by Hume is_ different from the traditional form, i t does represent a very real change in the "receiv'd systems, with regard to the w i l l . " The "received system" of the w i l l i s closely connected with the "received system" of liberty. How can Hume insi s t upon the incoherence of the common notion of "liberty," and at the same time claim to repre-sent no threat to the common notion of the "will?" The answer to this l i e s in what might be called the "psychological" character of Hume's theory of causation, and his conception of the libertarian position. Hume believes that the sticking point for libertarians (or what possibly "should" be the sticking point for a reasonable libertarian) i s the un-attractiveness of understanding human action on the model of the actions of matter where this model involves the notion of "compelling qualities" effecting—given certain specifiable conditions—"new productions." Hume provides a sceptical analysis of causation, which positively denies the possibi l i t y of perceiving such "compelling qualities," and which offers instead a notion of "necessity" which i s psychological rather than sub-stantial. Thus, the determination of every action i n the world, whether 71 material or human, rests in the mind of a perceiver rather than in some compelling force or power of the causes of action. This form of da£er-._ minism, though i t involves a direct attack on the notion of "liberty," is often described—consistent with Hume's interpretation of i t — a s "softer" than the traditional notion of determinism; and this i s the basis of Hume's claim that i t represents no change in the traditional view of the w i l l . By locating the "necessity" of causal relationships i n a systematic feature of our experience of the world, rather than in some power inhering in particular causes i n the world, Hume f e l t that he had effectively removed the fundamental reason for the libertarians' interest in defending the notion of "liberty" which their position centered on. As we have seen, Hume f e l t that his sceptical treatment of causation made possible the rescue of a notion of "voluntariness" from the ashes of the notion of "liberty"; a circumstance that must serve to comfort the libertarians. In assessing this "offer" of Hume's to the libertarians, we must keep i n mind the fact that his account of causation has two aspects, a positive one and a negative one. The negative aspect i s the one which Hume makes most of in connection with his treatment of the w i l l : there i s no inherent power to compel in any cause, hence one can dispense with the notion of "liberty" (which i s only properly identified with the absence of causes—or indifference) and retain a notion of "voluntari-ness" (which i s properly identified with the absence of external con-straints upon the w i l l ) . Since Hume identifies the form of our perception of the world with the reality of the world, any question of some form of power "really" persisting in the world outside of our capacity to exper-ience i t must remain unanswerable. The central epistemological point of 72 Hume's empiricism is that our experience of the world i s the knowable world. . «v -The positive aspect of Hume's analysis of causation is where the "danger" of his invitation to the libertarian l i e s . It i s not to be supposed that because the necessity of causes has suffered a reloca-tion, that i t has thereby suffered a transformation that in some way deprives i t of the reality i t enjoyed when i t consisted in the power of causes to compel their effects. Necessity i s not the less real for being a quality of perceptions rather than of objects; neither i s i t , i f one may so speak, "less necessary." Again we must remember that things are, for Hume, exactly and exclusively what they are perceived to be; his c r i t i c a l treatment of the conceptual schemes which we have attached to our experience does not carry with i t an attack upon the reality of that experience. If nothing i s ever present to us but our perceptions, then everything that our reality (which i s , s t r i c t l y speak-ing, reality simpliciter) can consist in can be revealed in nothing else but our perceptions. In keeping with this feature of his account, Hume does not question the fact of necessity, for this "fact" must be as unassailable as the human experience of i t i s universal. What he does question i s an interpretation of the experience of necessity, which has involved the invention of a notion of "compulsion" or "power" inhering in causes; i t i s this notion which has no basis in experience, and which Hume considers to be an indefensible construction upon what causation and world actually seem to b e — i . e . , what causation and world actually are perceived as. 73 Therefore, the necessity of causes should not be considered to be—upon Hume's account, at any rate—"merely" psychological. Necessity remains as real as our experience of i t , and i t is by the same token as antithetical to the libertarians' account of human w i l l and action as i t was when i t was conceived in i t s "harder" form. Because of this, the rescue of the notion of "voluntariness" i s a rather empty consola-tion for the libertarians, since i t represents l i t t l e more than a techni-cal term identifying the causation of action by one particular set of determinants rather than another. Human actions are really always necessary, and even i f voluntary, they are never really free. By redescribing the entire world, Hume has not escaped changing the "receiv'd systems, with regard to the w i l l . " Associated with such a novel theoretical treatment of the deter-mination of action, one expects to find a comparably novel treatment of the notion of " w i l l . " In point of fact, however, Hume's description of the w i l l seems to be curiously traditional: Of a l l the immediate effects of pain and pleasure, there is none more remarkable than the WILL; and tho' , properly speaking, i t be not comprehended among the passions, yet as the f u l l under-standing of i t s nature and properties, is necessary to the explan-ation of them, we shall here make i t the subject of our enquiry. I desire i t may be observed, that by the w i l l , I mean nothing but the internal impression we feel and are conscious of, when we  knowingly give rise to any new motion of our body, or new percep- tion of our mind. This impression . . . 't i s impossible to define, and needless to describe any futher . . . (pg. 399) This description looks very much like an account of the w i l l as the origin or cause of deliberate action; that i s , action which 74 represents the p r a c t i c a l e f f e c t of a choice. I t at l e a s t i m p l i e s that persons are p r a c t i c a l , and that they can con s c i o u s l y b r i n g f o r t h or produce n o v e l t y i n the world. Furthermore, Hume suggests that t h i s experience of "knowingly g i v i n g r i s e t o " i s , i n some sense, a p r i m i t i v e or u n i n t e r p r e t a b l e f e a t u r e of our experience which " ' t i s impossible to d e f i n e , and needless to describe any f u r t h e r . . . '. " Since a p r i m i t i v e impression i s , upon Hume's account, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of a fa c e t of r e a l i t y , then the w i l l must r e a l l y be as we experience i t . However, i n s o f a r as our experience of the w i l l can be regarded as supporting a conception of choice as p r a c t i c a l , i t must be regarded as i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the general theory of a c t i o n developed i n the f i r s t book of the T r e a t i s e . To choose or d e l i b e r a t e l y give r i s e to a p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n i s to reason p r a c t i c a l l y ; t h a t i s , the p o s s i b i l i t y of so a c t i n g i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t y of reason having a p r a c t i c a l and immediate i n f l u e n c e upon a c t i o n . Such a p o s s i b i l i t y cannot be a s s i m i l a t e d to Hume's c l a i m that only the passions can have such a p r a c t i c a l and immediate i n f l u e n c e on our ac t i o n s and a f f e c t i o n s . Hume claims t h a t the d e s c r i p t i o n of the w i l l o f f e r e d i s impossible to d e f i n e o r des c r i b e f u r t h e r , but he has a c t u a l l y prefaced i t w i t h the very s u b s t a n t i a l c l a i m that the w i l l i s one of the immediate e f f e c t s of pleasure and p a i n . We r e c a l l the e a r l i e r c l a i m that " ' T i s obvious, that when we have the prospect of pleasure or p a i n from any o b j e c t , we f e e l a consequent emotion of av e r s i o n or p r o p e n s i t y , and are ca r r y ' d to avoid or embrace what w i l l give us t h i s uneasiness or s a t i s f a c t i o n . " (pg. 414)-Now, t o be c a r r i e d i s t o be given r i s e t o ; i t i s to s u f f e r the a c t i v i t y 75 or power of that which carries—but to " w i l l " on Hume's description i s to knowingly give rise to action; i t i s to cause rather than to suffer the status of effect. Thus, the claim that the w i l l i s one of the immediate effects of pain or pleasure must be regarded as inconsistent with the interpretation of Hume's description of the w i l l as a conscious experience of practicality. Faced with this inconsistency, I believe that the interpretation of "knowingly give r i s e " to action as "deliber-ately give r i s e " to action must be regarded as untrue to Hume's inten-tions. The conception of reason as being only theoretical and never practical i s so fundamental to the general theory of human nature and action developed in the Treatise that we must, i f we are to be f a i r , make every effort to avoid an interpretation which runs counter to i t . The main source of d i f f i c u l t y with Hume's description of w i l l i s , I believe, that in the expression "we knowingly give rise to (action)" he seems to be identifying that feature of us which "knows" as the cause or productive element i n action. However, such an interpretation of the expression is not necessary, in the sense that there i s an alterna-tive; and that alternative i s more felicit o u s , i n that i t does not generate any contradiction to the main lines of Hume's theory of action. Let us approach the expression in the following way: That element or feature of the self which is the cause of action i s the passionate element. Therefore, whenever we give rise to action, i t i s an instance of a passion or passions giving rise to action. Thus, to knowingly give rise to action i s to have a conscious experience of acting, where the cause of the action experienced i s properly understood to be a passion. In 76 point of fact, i t would be very odd to imagine our being unable to experience our own actions; and Hume's description of the impression of willing i s probably best regarded as a description of the experience accompanying action. The impression of willing i s the experience we have when we act. This notion of the w i l l as an "accompanying" ex-perience to the process of passion causing action i s supported by a remark of Hume's concerning the arousal of the direct passions: The impressions, which arise from good and e v i l most naturally, and with the least preparation are the direct passions of desire and aversion, grief and joy, hope and fear, along with volition, (pg. 438) and similarly: Thus a suit of fine cloaths produces pleasure from their beauty; and this pleasure produces the direct passions, or the impressions of volition and desire. (pg. 439) (Here, of course, we must keep in mind Hume's injunction that "properly speaking" vo l i t i o n i s not to be comprehended among the passions. The impressions of voli t i o n and desire are not to be regarded as both i n -stances of the direct passions.) This interpretation serves to rescue that passage in which Hume actually describes the impression of willing; that i s , i t establishes the consistency of the description with his general theory of action. However, Hume uses the notion of " w i l l " or "volition" in a manner which introduces another kind of d i f f i c u l t y . He sometimes refers to the " w i l l " as though i t were not simply a perception or experience of action, but 77 as though i t was a faculty. Thus: . . . I shall endeavour to prove f i r s t , that reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the w i l l ; and secondly, that i t can never oppose passion in the direction of the w i l l . (pg. 413) and: DESIRE arises from good consider'd simply, and AVERSION is deriv'd from e v i l . The WILL exerts i t s e l f , when either the good or the absence of e v i l may be attain'd by any action of the mind or body. (pg. 439) Here, the implication is that the " w i l l " i s to be regarded as the proxi-mate cause of voluntary actions. This involves Hume in what might be termed a three-tiered account of a l l those actions in which we "know-ingly give r i s e " to something new. Instead of passion immediately causing action, we find passion merely directing the w i l l ; and i t is the w i l l which provides the immediate "exertion" which results in action. Thus, the w i l l must be regarded, like reason, as a mediate cause of action. In fact, the second passage considered above—that quotation from page 439—suggests yet another parallel between the w i l l and reason. The directive function of reason is described by Hume as the discovery of "the connexion of causes and effects, so as to afford us the means of exerting any passion." (pg. 459) Now, in the passage under consid-eration, Hume seems to imply that the exertion of the w i l l i s condi-tional upon reason discovering the possibility of attaining the object of our desire or aversion by exerting our desire or aversion. The w i l l i s exerted when reason positively directs the influence of action by 78 passion. This suggests a connection between the w i l l and reason, and reminds us of our original interpretation of the notion of "willing." as "knowingly giving rise to" action as supportive of a practical con-ception of reason. Such an interpretation would again raise the di f f i c u l t i e s which we considered la i d to rest with the dissociation of "knowingly" with "reasoned." Furthermore, yet another d i f f i c u l t y i s introduced by Hume's claim that i t is "desire" and "aversion" that arise from good and e v i l "consider'd simply," while the w i l l arises from good and e v i l (or, more properly speaking, from the passions arising from good and evil) not "simply," but in a manner dependent upon some judgment of the possibility of attaining the object of the desire and aversion. I n i t i a l l y , Hume states that vo l i t i o n , l i k e the direct passions, is one of the immediate effects of pleasure and pain; but i f immediate, then why would i t not arise, l i k e the direct passions, from the simple con-sideration of good and evil? If the exertion of the w i l l does not bear such a simple relationship to the consideration of good and e v i l , then the conclusion to be drawn is that the w i l l i s immediately influenced hot by good and e v i l , but by the passions and directive acts of reason caused by the consideration of good and e v i l . Thus, Hume's use of the notion of " w i l l " raises several questions 1. Does Hume regard the w i l l as a perception, or as a faculty of the mind like the understanding—with, perhaps, i t s own peculiar principles of "operation?" 2. Does Hume believe that the w i l l causes actions? 3. Does Hume regard the experience of willin g as associated 79 with the operations of reason? 4. What does Hume mean by describing the w i l l .as one of tjje "immediate" effects of pleasure and pain? I believe that Hume can be extricated from these problems in a manner consistent with our original interpretation of his description of w i l l i n g as the experience accompanying action. We shall consider each of the above questions i n turn. 1. We have already noted that Hume wished to be regarded as introducing no real changes to the "received systems" with regard to the w i l l . If he i s to pursue this wish with any consistency or success, then i t seems necessary for him at least to use the ordinary language associated with those received systems. Thus, I believe that Hume's casual use of the notion of " w i l l " as a kind of faculty i s really only a sort of self-conscious reversion to a vulgar manner of speech in order to avoid constantly" cashing out" the common use of the notion into his own rather technical analysis of i t . We rec a l l that even within his actual definition of the " w i l l " as an experience, Hume refers to i t not as "willing" but in i t s usual form of "the w i l l . " Therefore, in the case of the passage on page 413 where Hume seems to be referring to the w i l l as a faculty, we might more "properly" read: " . . . I shall endeavour to prove f i r s t , that reason alone can never be a motive to any voluntary action; and secondly, that i t can never oppose passion i n the direction of voluntary action." Similarly, i n that instance on page 439 where Hume refers to the w i l l as "exerting i t s e l f , " we should probably regard this much as we have regarded those instances of Hume referring to the 80 mind or reason exerting themselves. The mind i s never properly regarded as exerting i t s e l f i n any action, and i t i s v i r t u a l l y certain that even i f Hume did regard the w i l l as a kind of faculty that he would hot " s t r i c t l y " consider i t to exert i t s e l f i n any action. Home does not outline any operations or pri n c i p l e s of the w i l l , but simply describes i t as the experience peculiar to "knowingly" acting. With this i n mind, we could more properly read the troublesome sentence on page 439 as: "An impression of w i l l i n g or v o l i t i o n a r i s e s , when either the good or absence of e v i l may be attained by any action of the mind or body." Therefore, I do not think that Hume i s f a i r l y considered to hold, i n the Treatise, any equivocal or undeveloped notion of the w i l l as a faculty. 2. Our consideration of the above question e f f e c t i v e l y disposes of the view that Hume regarded the w i l l as the proximate cause of actions. I f we s t i c k by Hume's description of the w i l l as an experience which accompanies acting without external constraint, then the w i l l cannot be regarded as an operation or set of pr i n c i p l e s which cause anything."'' ^ This interpretation, which I believe to be the most l i k e l y , raises an inter e s t i n g issue. The experience of w i l l i n g i s to be regarded as constantly conjoined with every instance of voluntary action; however, Hume does not consider v o l i t i o n to be the cause of voluntary actions. Thus, we have here an instance of the constant conjunction of two objects or perceptions without a determination of the mind to consider them as being causally related. However, i n common speech, one often finds the w i l l , as a fa c u l t y , causally associated with those actions which are con-sidered to proceed from i t s "exertions." This raises the question of why Hume neglects to remark on this signal instance of a constant con-junction which does not determine the mind to a necessary a s s o c i a t i o n — especially when common speech suggests that such an association i s usually made. Now, Hume i s not bound b,y his account of causation to consider every instance of constant conjunction to determine the mind to a causal association; he c l e a r l y stipulates that the determination of the mind i s 81 3. Hume describes the experience of w i l l i n g as associated with voluntary a c t i o n , and voluntary action i s often mediately caused by an act of reason. However, t h i s set of connections does not imply any asso c i a t i o n between the w i l l and reason which suggests any form of i d e n t i t y between them. The impression of w i l l i n g i s f e l t when reason p o s i t i v e l y d i r e c t s the influence of action by passion; but t h i s implies nothing more than the already established view that v o l i t i o n accompanies every voluntary a c t i o n . Furthermore, the impression of w i l l i n g i s not to be regarded as having been caused or occasioned by such a d i r e c t i v e act of reason. "Reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the w i l l . . . . " The f i n a l cause of any action (and hence any action of the w i l l ) must be a passion, and therefore the f i n a l cause of any exper-ience of w i l l i n g must be the passion or passion which caused the action which that experience accompanies. 4. Hume remarks that: "Of a l l the immediate e f f e c t s of pain and pleasure, there i s none more remarkable than the WILL. . . . " (pg. 399) One may i n t e r p r e t t h i s as meaning that the w i l l , l i k e the d i r e c t passions, an independent condition to be f i l l e d i n the perception of a necessary connection. However, he also usually speaks of t h i s condition as being automatically f i l l e d by the perception of a constant conjunction. Thus: We must not here be content with saying, that the idea of cause and e f f e c t a r ises from objects constantly united; but must af f i r m , that ' t i s the very same with the idea of these objects, and that the necessary connexion i s not discover'd by a con-c l u s i o n of the understanding, but i s merely a perception of the mind. (pg. 405-6) Why does the mind not properly perceive the constant conjunction between the impression of w i l l i n g and voluntary action as necessary? i 82 must always follow immediately from pain or pleasure; but one may also interpret i t as signifying only that the w i l l can possibly be one of the immediate effects of pain and pleasure. When no directive act of reason mediates between the perception of pain and pleasure and action, then the w i l l i s — l i k e the voluntary action i t accompanies—properly regarded as one of the immediate effects of pain and pleasure. However, this does not rule out the possibility that a directive act of reason may mediate between the perception of pain and pleasure and voluntary action, i n which case the experience of will i n g which accompanies such an action w i l l not "immediately arise" from pain or pleasure. There i s another possibility to he considered in the interpreta-tion of this passage. Hume often identifies an "immediate" cause with a " f i n a l " cause. Thus, reason can have no immediate influence on the actions or affections, even though i t may—in i t s directive function— be the proximate cause of an action. Similarly, in referring to the w i l l as one of the immediate effects of pain and pleasure, Hume may be simply identifying pain and pleasure as the immediate and f i n a l cause of any impression of vol i t i o n . Therefore, even i f some act of reason mediated between the pain or pleasure and the impression of voli t i o n , Hume could s t i l l describe the impression as immediately or originally arising from the pain or pleasure. It i s possible to meet each of the d i f f i c u l t i e s connected with Hume's description and use of the notion of " w i l l " ; each of them can be seen to cohere with the conception of willing as an experience which accompanies every instance of voluntary action. However, we might well 83 speculate concerning the necessity of meeting so many d i f f i c u l t i e s in connection with the notion of " w i l l , " when Hume could easily have pro-vided the requisite clarifications in the text — o r even have obviated their need by taking more care with his exposition. I find Hume's carelessness on this head to suggest a hope on his part that by using his description of the w i l l in the loosest possible manner he might be read as providing an account of the experiences associated with i n -tentional action. That "impression we fee l and are conscious of, when we knowingly give rise to" action can readily be interpreted as a description of an impression which is not merely suffered by the mind, but which i s an experience by the mind of i t s own practicality. Hume's description of the w i l l comes closer than any other feature of the Treatise to an account of a non-perceptual experience. It i s , of course— i f I am to follow my own interpretation of i t , no such thing i n reality; but i t is sufficiently misleading in this regard that we might be ex-cused i f we suspected that Hume was not altogether displeased with what i t seemed to be, as opposed to what i t actually was. This "misleading" character of Hume's treatment of the w i l l naturally raises the question of his explicit treatment of intentional or deliberate action. Intentional actions are commonly regarded as examples of the practicality of reason, and of the conscious exertion of the w i l l ; therefore, we can hope that Hume's discussion of them w i l l serve to cl a r i f y his description of the w i l l . With this aim in mind, I shall turn now to a consideration of Hume's account of intentional or deliberate actions. 84 The f i r s t obstacle we must face in considering Hume's descrip-tion of intentional action i s the fact that he does riot offer any.^ However, he makes use of the notion at two points in the Treatise, and the context i s rich enough to allow us an attempt at extracting a de-fi n i t i o n through interpretation. Most of what Hume has to say about intentionality arises in connection with his account of the formulation of moral judgments. Thus, we read in the third book: . . . however i t may be disputed, whether or not the notion of a merit or demerit in certain actions be natural or a r t i f i c i a l , ' t i s evident, that the actions themselves are a r t i f i c i a l , and are per-form' d with a certain design and intention; otherwise, they cou'd never be rank'd under any of these denominations. (pg. 475) This implies that the moral character of actions can be traced to the fact that those actions represent projects (being a r t i f i c i a l , and per-formed with a certain design and intention) rather than simply events. If actions were simply "natural," then they would simply be matters of fact or original existences which would not signify the presence of an agent to whom merit or demerit could accrue. On the other hand, by virtue of being " a r t i f i c i a l , " actions are produced by a w i l l of a certain determinate quality and are thus properly judged of morally. This, however, i s a Kantian account of morality—locating virtue and vice in the w i l l , and certainly not a Humean one. Central to the Kantian account of the formulation of moral judgments i s a judgment of the intention or the quality of w i l l of the agent. Thus, on this account, the precondition of every moral judgment i s an act of reason whereby the "design and intention" i n terms of which the action i n question was framed 85 i s discovered and understood. We shall be considering Hume's moral philosophy in some detail in the next section; and we shall find there that i n contrast to the foregoing, the central feature of his account of the formulation of moral judgments is the complete absence of any effective role for the understanding. Hume finds—as he reports on the pages immediately preceding the above quotation from page 475—moral beauty no less than natural beauty in the taste of the observer. Morality i s , according to the third book of the Treatise, more properly f e l t than judged of: "We do not infer a character to be virtuous because i t pleases; but in feeling that i t pleases after such a particular manner we in effect feel that i t is virtuous." (pg. 471) Thus, no judgment or act of the understanding is a precondition of the formulation of a moral judgment, for moral judgments are really impressions of reflection of a particular kind. The apprehension of virtue and vice in human action is as immediate, and essentially simple, as the apprehension of beauty and ugliness i n the material world. These considerations raise two questions: f i r s t l y , what i s Hume referring to about actions when he claims that they are " a r t i f i c i a l ? " We have seen that the entire force of the f i r s t two books of the Treatise i s bent to the task of providing an account of action that is "naturalis-t i c . " The central point of this account consists i n i t s demonstration of the cohesion of explanations of the operations of matter and explanations of the actions of persons in one perfectly natural causal system. What, therefore, could Hume possibly mean by referring to actions as being in any sense " a r t i f i c i a l ? " Secondly, what place does the performance of 86 action with a "certain design and intention" have to do with i t s a r t i -f i c i a l i t y ? To design and intend seem clearly to be some forms of ^  operation of the understanding—and are certainly not any sort of passion; how does the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of actions relate to their being "perform 1d" in connection with some operation or discovery of the under-standing? In connection with the f i r s t question, I believe that i t would be idle to read Hume as offering the notion of the " a r t i f i c i a l i t y " of actions in the manner of a casually contradictory deviation from the main lines of his argument. There is a kind of carelessness evident in his use of the term " a r t i f i c i a l , " but I believe that i t can be shown to operate at a relatively superficial level. It must be noted that Hume did not believe that virtue or vice inhered, s t r i c t l y speaking, in actions as such; but rather that the morality of actions was properly located in their causes. If we term the persisting system of causes of action in any particular individual as that person's "character," then i t can be said that Hume did not believe that there was anything virtuous or vicious in the world beyond a good or bad character. In this connection we find i n the section immediately following the one in which actions are described as a r t i f i c i a l , these remarks concerning morality and action: 'Tis evident, that when we praise any actions, we regard only the motives that produced them, and consider the actions as signs or indications of certain principles in the mind and temper. The external performance has no merit. We must look within to find the moral quality. This we cannot do directly; and therefore f i x our attention on actions, as on external signs. But these actions 87 are s t i l l considered as s i g n s ; and the u l t i m a t e object of our p r a i s e and approbation i s the motive, that produc'd them. (pg. 477) The importance of t h i s passage l i e s i n i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c t i o n s as a k i n d of e f f e c t , w i t h a l l moral judgments of a c t i o n being p r o p e r l y regarded as a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e i r causes i n character. A c t i o n i s an e x t e r n a l s i g n , i n d i c a t i o n , or performance produced by motives, p r i n c i p l e s of mind and temper, or character which e x i s t w i t h i n the agent. Moral a c t i o n i s the f i n a l e f f e c t of the system of causes and e f f e c t s which c o n s t i t u t e an agent's chara c t e r . A c t i o n i s the a r t i f a c t p e c u l i a r to c h a r a c t e r . Now, i f we consider the term " a r t i f i c i a l " i n connection w i t h these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , we might construe the troublesome passage as f o l l o w s : . "Whether or not the n o t i o n of a m e r i t or demerit i n c e r t a i n a c t i o n s be n a t u r a l or a r t i f i c i a l , ' t i s e v i d e n t , t h a t the a c t i o n s themselves are a r t i f i c i a l OR EFFECTS which are not o r i g i n a l e x i s t e n c e s , s i g n i f y i n g as they do the e x i s t e n c e of accompanying causes i n the c h a r a c t e r of the agent." That i s , unless a c t i o n s are perceived as s i g n i f y i n g c h a r a c t e r — the u n d e r l y i n g system of causes and e f f e c t s which p e r s i s t w i t h i n the a g e n t — t h e n they could never be perceived as v i r t u o u s or v i c i o u s and "cou'd never be ranked under any of these denominations." T h i s reading seems most l i k e l y to approach Hume's intended mean-i n g i n d e s c r i b i n g a c t i o n s as a r t i f i c i a l . I f we p e r c e i v e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a c t i o n s and character to be necessary and p r o d u c t i v e , and i f m o r a l i t y can only c o n s i s t i n the p e r s i s t e n t q u a l i t i e s of c h a r a c t e r , then i t f o l l o w s that the m o r a l i t y of any a c t i o n can only c o n s i s t i n i t s 88 association with a particular quality or qualities of character. Since the association between actions and character i s a causal one, i t follows that actions must be primarily regarded as effects of character (or artifacts of character) when being judged morally. Thus, Hume i s probably using the term " a r t i f i c i a l " in a very casual manner on page 475. Elsewhere in the Treatise, he uses the term " a r t i f i c i a l " to denote second-order causes and constructions (education is an a r t i f i c i a l cause (pg. 117); justice i s an a r t i f i c i a l virtue (pg. 484)), the obvious under-standing being that the artifacts so described have purely natural his-tories, and hence can be regarded as being ultimately or truly natural. The first-order construction of the Treatise in this connection i s the account of action; Hume cannot describe action i t s e l f as a r t i f i c i a l without endangering the naturalism of his basic account—unless, of course, by " a r t i f i c i a l " he means nothing more than "effected" or "pro-duced"; and this is the most l i k e l y possibility. Now, there i s a kind of carelessness evident i n this particular use of the notion of " a r t i -f i c i a l i t y , " since i t i s clearly not Hume's intention to regard the causal relation as distinct from the balance bf the "natural" world because of i t s " a r t i f i c i a l " character. However, we must remember that Hume does not, himself, ever refer to his theory of human nature and action as "naturalistic." Therefore, he cannot be held to any s t r i c t account for a minor departure from a description of his theory which is actually an interpretation of i t by others. In any case, the preceding identification of the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of actions with their being the product or result of a system of motives 89 in character is supported by some earlier remarks in the second book: If that quality i n another, which pleases or displeases, be constant and inherent in his person or character, i t w i l l cause love or hatred independent of the intention: But otherwise a knowledge and design is requisite, in order to give rise to these passions. One that i s disagreeable by his deformity or f o l l y i s the object of our aversion, tho 1 nothing be more certain, than that he has not the least intention of displeasing us by these qualities. But i f the uneasiness proceed not from a quality, but an action, which i s produc'd and annihilated in a moment, 't i s necessary, in order to produce some relation, and connect this action sufficiently with the person, that i t be deriv'd from a particular fore-thought and design. 'Tis not enough, that the action arise from the person, and have him for i t s immediate cause and author. This relation alone is too feeble and inconstant to be a foundation for these passions. It reaches not the sensible and thinking part, and neither proceeds from anything durable in him, nor leaves any thing behind i t ; but passes in a moment, and is as i f i t had never been. . . . This therefore is one reason, why an intention i s requisite to excite either love or hatred, (pg. 348-9) Here again, Hume's point is that the moral quality of any action cannot consist i n "external performance," but that i t must be located i n the durable principles of mind and temper. Thus, i f actions are to be regarded as virtuous or vicious, they must signify their relationship with such persisting motives in their author. Furthermore, this passage provides us with more information relevant to the second question which we posed for ourselves earlier: what i s the relationship between the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of an action and i t s being performed with a certain design and intention? Hume's point in the above passage is that i t i s only those actions which are derived from a particular design and intention that are effectively "connected" with an agent's durable principles of mind and temper. In order for an action to be "ranked" morally, i t must be 90 evidently deliberate." This proviso covers the case in which one person accidentally or unintentionally harms another. Here, although there is no question that the agent is the "immediate cause and author" of the other's injury, the fact that the harm was done unintentionally makes i t impossible to impute i t to the agent's character. It i s only when an action i s undertaken with evident knowledge and forethought that we regard i t as signifying the system of motives persisting "within" the. agent. Thus, the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of any particular a c t i o n — i t s de-rivation and causation in a particular individual's character—is due to and signified by that action's intentionality; the relationship be-tween the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of an action and i t s being performed with a certain design and intention i s , therefore, constant. The intention-a l i t y of an action is a necessary condition of i t s being considered to be a r t i f i c i a l ; and an action must be considered to be a r t i f i c i a l i f i t is to be accessible to moral judgment. Therefore, in the passage (on page 475) which reads: "the actions themselves are a r t i f i c i a l , and are perform'd . . , " we are to read the word "and" as denoting an equation between an action's being a r t i f i c i a l and i t s being designed and intended by the agent. In the passage from pages 348 to 349 quoted on the previous page, Hume's identification of the notion of "intention" with the understand-ing i s quite explicit. To design and intend an action is to undertake i t with "knowledge" and "fore-thoiight," and to involve the "sensible and thinking part" of oneself in i t s performance. This raises a very interesting point. It is evident that the only principles and tempers 91 of the mind that actions can possibly signify are the principles and tempers of the mind that can possibly influence action. The only form of influence admitted by the theory of action in the Treatise i s in terms of the causal relationship. Therefore, i f the design and inten-tion of an action is to be taken into account in any moral judgment of that action, the design and intention must be signified by the action; and i f this i s the case, then the design and intention must be causally associated with the action. Thus, we must conclude, in terms of Hume's treatment of the relationship between the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of actions and their intentionality, that some acts of the understanding have a positive causal influence upon action. The design and intention of an action must have some causal i n -fluence upon that action with which i t i s associated, or else no evidence of i t s intentionality would be accessible in the action as observed by a possible moral judge. An action can be ranked morally only i f i t i s a r t i f i c i a l ; an action can be a r t i f i c i a l only i f i t i s performed inten-tionally; and an action can be seen to be performed intentionally only i f i t has been causally influenced by i t s design and intention. The attribution, implicit here, of a causal influence upon action to reason, would appear to be completely inconsistent with Hume's general insistence that reason is perfectly inert and can have no influence upon action. This implied inconsistency is not so substantial or remarkable, however, as i t may at f i r s t appear. We have already, in the section of the second book concerned with the " w i l l , " noted Hume's remark that "as our reason-ing varies, our actions receive a subsequent variation" (pg. 414); and 92 further to this, discussed his admission early in the third book that reason "may, indeed, be the mediate cause of an action, by prompting, or by directing a passion." (pg. 462) Now, Hume's remarks concerning the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of action may be interpreted as adding two pieces of information consistent with these earlier qualifications to the view that reason i s perfectly inactive and can never have any influence upon action: f i r s t l y , that every action that can be regarded as moral (i.e., every a r t i f i c i a l action, or ever action proceeding from a durable system of causes in an individual's character) is mediately caused by an act of reason; and secondly, that every mediate act of reason has some causal influence upon the action which proceeds from i t . Both of these points are perfectly consistent with Hume's developed view of the direc-tive function of reason as the mediate cause of action, and they do not threaten the fundamental claim of the f i r s t two books, which i s that passion i s always the f i n a l and original cause of action. This view of the "activity" of reason i s supported by some further remarks Hume makes, in connection with his discussion of the liberty or necessity of the w i l l , concerning the role played by "thought and delibera-tion" in the causation of moral actions: Men are less blamed for such e v i l actions, as they perform hastily and unpremeditatively, than for such as proceed from thought and deliberation. For what reason? but because a hasty temper, tho' a constant cause in the mind, operates only at intervals, and infects not the whole character. (pg. 412) Now, this passage presents some problems of interpretation; however, I believe that they can be satisfactorily resolved i n a way which i s directly 93 relevant to the foregoing discussion of intention. Hume is claiming here that those actions which proceed from a "hasty temper" are to be distinguished from those that proceed from "thought and deliberation" in that although a hasty temper is a "constant cause in the mind, (it) operates only at intervals, and infects not the whole character." In this connection, the question arises as to what sense Hume gives to the notion of "thought and deliberation" as operat-ing steadily, and infecting the whole character. If the only causes of actions—the only influencing motives of the w i l l — c a n be passions, and i f no cause i s properly thought of as operating (and certainly not operating "steadily"), then i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see what analysis of "thought and deliberation" Hume could provide which would be consistent with the arguments of the f i r s t book of the Treatise. Furthermore, how could any cause, whether or not we conceive of i t as "operating," " i n -fect" (inhere in?) the whole character? This notion seems at once con-tradictory to both the sceptical treatment of personal identity and the confutation of the "productive" version of causation. This confusion is not as damaging as i t f i r s t appears. First of a l l , i f we stick by Hume's analysis of "thought and deliberation" as being s t r i c t l y theoretical, then the sense in which actions proceed from reason must be understood in terms of the understanding's avowed capacity to "direct" passion (where "direct" cashes out as "inform"). Thus, the "operation" of thought and deliberation implied does not threaten to represent some hitherto unrevealed "active" function of reason. Secondly, i f we stick by Hume's analysis of the mind as a "system of causes and 94 effects," then an identification of the "systematic" quality of mind with "character" may not threaten any direct contradiction^ af the sceptical treatment of personal identity, when the "durable and constant" nature of that system is properly located in the determination of the mind per-ceiving i t . With these two provisions in mind, a "hasty temper" might be considered to be a principle of mind of an individual which precluded the calling into operation of the directive function of "thought and deliberation." This would entail in part the limitation of "information" to the f i r s t passion or passions cued by any particular perception and make impossible the exposure of the "whole system" of causes and effects (which constitute the character of that individual) to that original perception, and any others that reason might possibly associate with i t . Following this line, we could then read the sense in which a hasty temper does not infect a whole character as meaning that an e v i l or virtuous action which proceeds from an individual with a hasty temper does not provide an exhaustive commentary on the goodness or badness of that individual's system of passions or principles of mind; and this because, in a manner of speaking, a significant portion of that individual's mind was never exposed to the perception or perceptions acted upon. Similarly, the "steadiness" implied of thought and deliberation can be understood to l i e i n the manner and extent to which the directive function of reason opens up any particular situation confronting an individual to his "whole system" of mental causes and effects. The thorough operation of reason in this manner, given any number of individual perceptual situations, could be expected to introduce an element of consistency into the 95 relationship between a person's character and his actions, and hence provide a more certain basis for formulating moral judgments concern-ing the person's actions. Here, again, the implication is that the blame or praise accruing to any particular action is a function of the acts of the understanding (in this case, "thought and deliberation") signified by i t . If we are to morally judge actions with special regard to whether or not they were premeditated or deliberate, then there must be something about the actions to be judged—something inherent i n them—to form the basis for the special regard. This can only be the case i f the "thought and deliberation" relevant to the issue of the action's premeditation have, in some way, influenced the action observed by a prospective moral judge. This coheres with Hume's view, which we have discussed above, that an action cannot be properly regarded as either virtuous or vicious unless i t is a r t i f i c i a l , and performed intentionally; for i f any particular action is unintentional, then i t certainly does not proceed from thought and deliberation, and consequently cannot be regarded as a form of comprehensive or f i n a l evi-dence for the quality of the agent's system of motives. The significance of Hume's treatment of intentional and deliberate actions l i e s in the revelation of the extent and scope of reason's i n -volvement in the causation of action which is implicit i n them. Reason is involved in the causation of v i r t u a l l y every intentional and deliberate action; and i t s involvement is positively inf l u e n t i a l , even though that influence does not amount to the f i n a l or original cause of the action. This represents a considerable qualification of the view, which Hume often 96 seems anxious to have regarded as his fundamental position on the causation of action, that reason is perfectly inert and can have no influence upon action. S t i l l , i t would be a mistake, I believe, to regard this "qualification" of his general view as a contradiction of i t . Even though the directive function of reason turns out, in terms of the accounts of intentional and deliberate actions, to have a sur-prisingly (in terms of what Hume broadly implies is i t s very limited role in the determination of action) extensive place to play i n the motivation of the w i l l , i t remains a directive function and does not take on the mantle of an immediate or f i n a l cause. This view i s i n -directly confirmed i n the third book, in the context of Hume's discussion of the propriety of speaking of a "state of nature": Human nature being compos'd of two principal parts, which are requisite in a l l i t s actions, the affections and the understanding; 'tis certain, that the blind motions of the former, without the direction of the latter, incapacitate men for society. (pg. 493) Hume's point here i s that i t i s admissable to "consider separately the effects, that result from the separate operations of these two component parts of the mind" (as, in considering the separate operation of only the affections i n describing the state of nature), as long as i t i s remembered that, in actual fact, both of them are requisite i n a l l the actions of human nature. This i s consistent with Hume's claim that a l l actions are a r t i f i c i a l . Furthermore, were i t not for the influence of the understand-ing upon our actions, we would be incapable of social l i f e ; and this con-stitutes evidence that the influence of the understanding is substantial— 9 7 i . e . , i t makes a real difference to the actions that i t directs. Again, however, we must take care to note that i t i s only the "direction" of reason that Hume is referring to. It i s the affections alone which provide the "motions" which constitute the f i n a l and original cause of a l l actions. An Intentional act i s , upon Hume's account, an act which proceeds from a directive operation of reason. It i s a deliberate act undertaken with forethought and knowledge; an act which proceeds from an individual's "sensible and thinking part." Our interest i n intentional action was stimulated in connection with what I earlier termed the "misleading" character of Hume's account of the w i l l ; i.e., the sense i n which his account of the impression of willing corresponded to the common notion of the experience of conscious, intentional agency. Hume's identifica-tion of intentionality with "fore-thought" and "knowledge" would appear to encourage comparison with the description of the impression of willing as "knowingly giving rise to" action; but such a comparison would be, I believe, a mistake. The question we must ask i n this connection i s : what are the respective objects of the knowledge involved in Hume's conceptions of "willing" and "intending?" If they are the same, then the conceptions of "willing" and "intending" can be considered to be closely associated with one another; but i f they are different, then the two conceptions are to be regarded as distinct. In point of fact, the respective objects of the knowledge involved in the two conceptions are 98 q u i t e d i s t i n c t . What i s "known" i n the case of w i l l i n g i s the experience or impression attendant upon a c t i n g . The "knowledge" i n v o l v e d i n the impression of w i l l i n g i s exhausted i n the impression i t s e l f ; and that i s merely the conscious experience of a c t i n g , or " g i v i n g r i s e " to a c t i o n . However, the knowledge and forethought i n v o l v e d i n an i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n i s e f f e c t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the a c t i o n ; what i s "known" i n t h i s case i s the obje c t of the a c t i o n , or the means by which the obje c t of the a c t i o n may be r e a l i z e d — a n d t h i s knowledge has i n f l u e n c e d the form of the a c t i o n . We have already discussed (please see question t h r e e , page 81 of t h i s paper), i n connection w i t h the passage quoted from page 439 of the T r e a t i s e , the p o s s i b i l i t y of Hume's a s s o c i a t i o n of the impression of w i l l i n g w i t h the d i r e c t i v e f u n c t i o n of reason. I argued there t h a t a l -though the impression of w i l l i n g may o f t e n be attendant upon an a c t i o n proceeding from a d i r e c t i v e o p e r ation of reason, t h i s circumstance does not support the i n f e r e n c e that there i s any e f f e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n between reason and the w i l l . The impression of w i l l i n g i s attendant upon every v o l u n t a r y a c t i o n ; t h e r e f o r e , the impression of w i l l i n g i s occasioned by the p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n of a c t i o n by reason, j u s t as i t would be i n the case of an a c t i o n proceeding from passion alone. Since we have i d e n t i f i e d an i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n , on Hume's account, w i t h an a c t i o n which proceeds from a d i r e c t i v e o p e r ation of reason, the same c o n s i d e r a t i o n s must be allowed to apply there. The impression of w i l l i n g may be attendant upon the mediate causation of an a c t i o n by reason, but t h i s does not support the in f e r e n c e that there i s any e f f e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n between i n t e n t i o n and the w i l l . 99 The important point to attend to, in this connection, i s the fact that there i s a distinction between voluntary and intentional actions; not a l l voluntary actions are intentional, although a l l inten-tional actions are voluntary. There is a set of voluntary actions which are not undertaken deliberately, or with forethought. Thus, the "know-ledge" involved in "knowingly giving rise to" action cannot be, in the case of such "non-intentional" voluntary action, attendant upon design and intention, let alone associated with i t . Hume does not make this distinction between volitional and intentional actions e x p l i c i t , and this omission is a f e r t i l e source of possible misapprehension. An action may be undertaken without any thought, deliberation, design, or fore-knowledge, and s t i l l be voluntary; a completely unpremediated action may s t i l l occasion an impression of "knowingly" giving rise to action. Thus, a careful reading of the relevant passages reveals, I believe, that Hume does not either associate or confuse the "exertion" of the w i l l with the "intention" of acting. Instead, he offers rather technical analyses of both the notion of "willing" and the notion of "intending" which are perfectly distinct from one another, and which are consistent with his account of a l l experience as merely perceptual. The central feature of Hume's attack upon the libertarian account of actions i s his insistence upon the constant conjunction between par-ticular durable elements of character and the actions which proceed from them. From this "constant conjunction," coupled with his theory of 100 causation as a natural principle of association determining the form of a l l our perceptions of constant conjunction, he develops his critique of the libertarian position. Actions are by their very nature temporary and perishing; and where they proceed not from some cause i n the characters and dis-position of the person, who perform'd them, they i n f i x not them-selves upon him, and can neither redound to his honour, i f good, nor infamy, i f e v i l . The action i t s e l f may be blameable; i t may be contrary to a l l the rules of morality and religion: But the person i s not responsible for i t ; and as i t proceeded from noth-ing i n him, that is durable and constant, and leaves nothing of that nature behind i t , ' t i s impossible he can, upon i t s account, become the object of punishment or vengeance. According to the hypothesis of liberty, therefore, a man i s as pure and untainted, after having commited the most horrid crimes, as at the f i r s t moment of his birth, nor i s his character any way concerned in his actions; since they are not deriv'd from i t , and the wickedness of one can never be used as a proof of the depravity of the other. 'Tis only upon the principles of necessity, that a person acquires any merit or demerit from his actions, however the common opinion may incline to the contrary, (pg. 411) There i s a powerful point here, which we touched on earlier. If action does not derive from character—some persisting system of motives which can be regarded as the cause or source of actions—then normative judg-ments can only be j u s t i f i a b l y applied to actions and never to persons proper. It i s evident that the action i t s e l f "perishes," and were i t not for the persistence of the element of character which motivated that action, both praise and blame would be equally idle. It is that which i s durable and constant i n persons that we address with praise and blame, or reward and punishment; and actions can be moral or immoral only insofar as they convey evidence of a relationship between themselves and some durable motivation i n their author. In the f i r s t book, Hume argued that 101 a l l i n fluential relationships must be causal, and hence the relationship between character and action must be considered to be" a. necessary ar causal association. Thus, i t i s only because of the necessity of the relationship between a person's system of motives and his actions that that person can be subject to praise and blame; and his actions are subject to praise and blame because of their necessary connection with him. Hume's account of the " a r t i f i c i a l i t y " of actions, and the role played by thought and deliberation i n the direction of motivation, cohere with this basic view of the causation of action and the moral judgments attached to action. Design, intention, forethought, knowledge, and de-liberation a l l refer to directive acts of reason. These directive acts of reason are relevant to the formulation of moral judgments in that they provide an indication that the actions attached to them are a result of the agent's " f u l l " system of motivations. The whole point of the notions of "thought" and "knowledge" in this connection l i e s in the presumption that the actions associated with them do not represent the "unpremeditated" or simply impulsive reaction of a single passionate element. Instead, the conscious reflection upon a situation, with the f u l l and extensive opera-tion of the directive function of the understanding, might be considered to expose the fu l l e s t possible range of an agent's system of motivations to the possibility of arousal. Hume suggests that the only alternative to his account of the causation of action would be to regard actions as unrelated (in the necessary way that he has described) to character. This would entail the view, accord-ing to his general theory of causation, that actions were free by virtue 102 of being "chance" or "capricious"; I can imagine only one way of eluding this argument, which i s by denying that uniformity of human actions, on which i t i s founded. As long as actions have a constant union and connexion with the situation and temper of the agent, however we may in words refuse to acknowledge the necessity, we really allow the thing, (pg. 403) By locating the conditions of necessity in the constant union of objects and impressions, Hume feels that he has settled the question of the "liberty" of human actions. However that might be, I feel that he implic-i t l y misrepresents or misunderstands the libertarian position in identi-fying i t with a certain lack of connection or association between char-acter and actions. It i s unlikely that any libertarian (with the possible exception of the most radical existentialists, such as the "old" Sartre) has denied that action "proceeded" from character, or some other "durable and constant" feature of persons. Instead, the f i n a l sticking point for a libertarian has usually been the manner of the derivation of action from character—and especially the place played by intention and delibera-tion i n that derivation. For instance, those actions which could be identified as "hasty and unpremediated" have usually been considered less blameable by libertarians insofar as they are more susceptible to a s t r i c t l y causal analysis and hence less directly and completely free than i f they had been more deliberate and less impulsive. In "deliberate-ness" and "intentionality" the libertarians locate not merely the directive functions of reason, but the practical functions as well; and their gen-eral tendency has been to associate their account of the morality of 103 actions with the quality of those practical functions of reason. In this connection, the libertarian notion of character--i-f we can sp&ak so loosely of such an entity—has included not only an agent's passionate elements of motivation, but also the quality of his "practical" under-standing. These practical acts of reason have not been considered to be "perceptual" in form, but rather to represent a form of irreducibly practical or "unnecessary" agency. Thus, i t is "only upon the principles of necessity, that a person acquires any merit or demerit from his actions" just in case we cannot make sense of the possibility of an action derived from "durable and constant" features of a person without considering that derivation to be necessary. In general, the libertarian i s not properly regarded—as Hume suggests—as one who is li k e l y to contest Hume's account of the relation-ship between character and accountability; rather, he is one who contests the claim that the set of caused acts and the set of chance acts (the empty set, in terms of the analysis of the f i r s t book of the Treatise) exhausts the set of acts. And even more fundamentally, the libertarian "adds" to character the practical functions of reason which are grounded in a non-perceptual act of the mind. The weakness of the libertarian position against Hume centers on the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved in the provision of such an ambitious account of the nature of thought and deliberation; and these d i f f i c u l t i e s are exacerbated by the plau s i b i l i t y of Hume's naturalistic account of a l l experience as being perceptual in form. The true strength of Hume's position against the libertarians l i e s i n his arguments for the s t r i c t l y theoretical character of reason and i t s related inactivity. 104 In this context, I feel that the most significant point raised i n connection with Hume's treatment of voluntary action i s what I kave termed the extent and scope of reason's involvement in the causation of action. Since Hume's central concern in the Treatise i s to provide a naturalistic account of moral action, and the naturalism of this account i s largely rooted in the dissociation of reason from action, i t cannot be counted as an advantage for him to have to regard the involvement of the understanding as essential to the morality of any action. To be sure, there i s no actual contradiction of his theory of action to be discovered i n his account of intentional or deliberate actions; a l l such involvement of the understanding i n the causation of action i s to be regarded in terms of the directive function of reason. However, the question raised by this universal and extensive association of reason with the causation of a l l a r t i f i c i a l (i.e., moral) actions i s whether or not a l l such operations of the understanding are merely directive as Hume claims. In order to satisfy ourselves on this head, we must press on in our consideration of Hume's theory of action into his treatment of morals, and attempt to determine there i f he is able to maintain the coherence of his account. In particular, I shall pay a great deal of attention to Hume's treatment of the formulation of moral judgments. Such judgments often play a large role i n the determination of actions—as Hume himself allows, and i t i s therefore of much importance to determine whether they proceed from the passions or the understanding (or, as Hume puts i t : from impressions or ideas). If moral judgments can be seen to proceed from the understanding, then Hume's account of action would.be conclusively defeated. If moral 105 judgments cannot be shown, i n terms of Hume's own account of them, to proceed e x c l u s i v e l y from the passions, then h i s account of action can-not be considered to succeed i n the way which he has promised. I b e l i e v e that t h i s l a t t e r , and more modest, r e s u l t i s the most l i k e l y one to be sought a f t e r i n the t h i r d book, and i t i s the one which I s h a l l seek there. III. NATURALISM AND MORALS Hume regarded his theory of morals as a test and confirmation of his theory of action as developed in the f i r s t two books of the Treatise. He points out that the concrete "common affairs of l i f e " frequently disarm or dispel the conclusions of "abstruse reasoning"; but he expresses the belief that his system w i l l escape this consequence: I am not, however, without hopes, that the present system of philosophy w i l l acquire new force as i t advances; and that our reasonings concerning MORALS w i l l corroborate whatever has been said concerning the UNDERSTANDING and the PASSIONS. (pg. 455) Here, at l a s t , that "authority of experience" (pg. xxii) which plays the central role in Hume's notion of the "experimental method of reasoning," i s to be met with and satisfied. It i s my intention to follow Hume in treating the third book of the Treatise as a kind of test of the preceding two books; and I shall argue that i t constitutes a test which reveals inconsistencies in his theory of action.^" This argument shall involve two main parts. ± One of the classical modern lines of enquiry pursued in the consideration of Hume's morals centers on what has come to be called the "is-ought distinction." In the very f i r s t section of the third book, Hume makes his famous distinction between propositions of fact and propositions of value, and remarks that i t is of the f i r s t importance in morals that the derivation of propositions of value from those of fact be fully explained: This change (from factual to normative propositions) is imperceptible (in the writings of most theorists); but i s , however, of the f i r s t importance. For as this ought, or ought not, 106 107 F i r s t l y , I s h a l l , i n th i s section of my t h e s i s , provide a short e x p l i c a -t i o n of Hume's general theory of moral judgments with a view to showing that t h i s theory centers on the p r i n c i p l e and concept of "sympathy." Secondly—and f i n a l l y — I s h a l l argue that t h i s concept of "sympathy" i s inadequate to the phenomena of morality as they are described by Hume, and inconsistent with the general theory of action as developed i n the f i r s t two books. In p a r t i c u l a r , I hope to demonstrate, as I remarked at the close of the preceding sec t i o n , that Hume f a i l s to pro-vide an account of moral judgments which guarantees t h e i r exclusive ass o c i a t i o n with or deri v a t i o n from the passions. Hume opens the t h i r d book with the following argument: 1. The mind may never exert i t s e l f i n any action, which we may not comprehend under the term of PERCEPTION. (pg. 456) 2. Therefore (from #1) the 'judgments by which we d i s t i n g u i s h moral good from e v i l ' are perceptions. (pg. 456) expresses some new r e l a t i o n or aff i r m a t i o n , ' t i s necessary that i t should be observ'd and explain'd; and.at the same time that a new reason should be given, for what seems altogether incon-ceivable, how._this new r e l a t i o n can be a deduction from others, which are e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t from i t . (pg. 469/ remarks i n parentheses mine) Now, as Hume himself "discovers" t h i s r e l a t i o n and i t s importance, i t i s to be assumed that evidence of h i s systematic attention to i t i s to be found i n the t h i r d book; and i t i s thus an obvious point of departure f o r a c r i t i c a l reader. However, t h i s perspective on the t h i r d book requires grounding i n a reading of the Trea t i s e which i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the one which I have undertaken here; and, having noted t h i s , I beg leave to remain s i l e n t on the "is-ought d i s t i n c t i o n " and the questions germane to i t . 108 3. . . . perceptions resolve themselves into two kinds, viz. IMPRESSIONS and IDEAS . . . (pg. 456) 4. The question i s derived (from #2 and #3): 'Whether ' t i s by means of our ideas or impressions we distinguish betwixt vice and virtue. . . ?' (pg. 456) (Hume does not regard "judgment" as the special province of the under-standing: we reca l l from the note on page 96-7 his claim that "we can form a proposition which contains only one idea" and thus judgment does not necessarily imply the union of two ideas. The judgment by which we distinguish between moral good and e v i l can therefore be possibly grounded upon a single impression, in which case the judgment would not be an "act of reason" . . . since reason discovers truth and false-hood only by the comparison of impressions and ideas). Thus, the question in #4 above is equivalent to the question: are the judgments by which we distinguish moral good from e v i l acts of reason, or are they rather impressions which accompany the contemplation of actions of a particular kind? Hume develops several arguments which are addressed to this question. We shall examine two of the principal ones. I. On page 457 of the Treatise, Hume introduces a famous argument with the claim that morality i s practical; that i s , "morals influence our passions and actions." From this claim, he argues that moral rules are not conclusions of our reason: Since morals, therefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, i t follows, that they cannot be deriv'd from reason; 109 and that because reason alone as we have already prov'd, can never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of i t s e l f i s utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason. These remarks can be ordered in the form of a syllogism: 1. Reason alone can never have an influence on the actions and affections. 2. A l l morals excite passions and produce or prevent actions. 3. No rules of morality are conclusions of our reason. This argument demands comment. Firs t of a l l , insofar as i t i s s t r i c t l y s y l l o g i s t i c , i t i s not valid as i t stands. On the one hand, Hume speaks of "morals," "morality," "moral judgments," and "moral rules" as though they were either identical or else related in a way which i s non-problematical for the purposes of his argument; and on the other hand, he seems to identify "reason alone" or "reason of i t s e l f " with the "conclusions of reason." Thus, we find the con-clusion of the syllogism employing two terms, "rules of morality" and "conclusions of our reason," which do not appear in the two premises. This must seriously weaken his argument. To imply that moral judgments are the same as moral rules is to,imply that the judgment that any particular action i s good or e v i l i s identical with the proposition or statement that one i s under a general obligation with respect to that particular act; that i s , under similar circumstances, everyone ought or ought not to perform an action of that kind. This is an unlikely position for Hume to hold, for i t i s his general contention in the third book that i t i s only moral 110 judgments, as sentiments of a peculiar kind, that immediately influence our passions and actions. Only the peculiar impression which is eon-stitutive of a moral judgment can possibly "controul our natural pro-pensities" i n that immediate manner which Hume attributes to "morals." Moral rules, however, enjoy no such proximate and certain influence over our passions and actions; they must f a i l of their purpose unless they prompt or occasion the relevant moral judgment—i.e. the perception, i n the form of an impression, of merit or demerit in actions—or some other passion. These considerations suggest that the conclusion of the syllogism should be read: No moral judgments are conclusions of our reason . . . an interpretation which i s , in any case, more in keeping with the original purpose of the argument. Hume's identification of "reason alone" with the "conclusions of our reason" raises a more d i f f i c u l t problem. We have already touched on the distinction between a conclusion or discovery of reason and the motivation of the operations of reason. It was suggested i n the f i r s t section of this paper that "reason alone" was considered to be "inactive 1 by Hume because i t was only the passions which could motivate the opera-tions or activity of the understanding; and i t was further noted that the conclusions of reason could possibly influence the passions and actions, since a variation i n the discoveries of reason could be the occasion of an associated variation in action. These suggestions were advanced, in part, to mitigate the inconsistencies apparent in Hume's claim that reason could be, at once, a mediate cause of action and perfectly inactive insofar as the influence of action was concerned. I l l This makes questionable Hume's association of the inactivity of reason with i t s conclusions rather than with i t s motivation. Furthermore, although Hume might argue that a moral judgment i s not a conclusion of reason (that i s , he might argue, consistent with his general theory of morals, that a moral judgment is grounded i n a single impression rather than in a comparison of impressions and/or ideas), he would be hard-pressed to persuasively argue that a moral rule proceeds from the passions alone. A moral rule may well not proceed from reason alone either, but i t i s evidently dependent upon reason insofar as i t i s a formulation derived from moral judgments and other desires; i.e. desires such as the desire to influence others or to influence ourselves at some future time. This formulation necessitates the comparison of impressions and ideas and i s thus properly considered—at least in p a r t — t o repre-sent a conclusion of reason. One wonders why Hume was not satisfied with the conclusion that i s , in point of fact, validated by the two premises of the syllogism: "No morals are derived from reason alone" or "No moral judgments are derived from reason alone." It is evident from what follows this argu-ment on page 457 that Hume considers i t to be the purpose of this argu-ment to show that "An active principle cannot be founded on an i n -active . . . " (pg. 457). Now, i t is one thing for moral judgments to be founded on the activity of reason, and i t i s quite another for them to be possibly influencedby the conclusions of reason. If Hume wants to establish the falsehood of the former proposition, then his argument is probably sufficient (insofar as i t coheres with his general treatment 112 of reason and action); but i f he wishes to establish the falsehood of the latter proposition, then any argument he advances, which coheres with his theory of action, i s lik e l y to f a i l . The conclusion: "No moral judgments are derived from reason alone" supports the claim that "an active principle cannot be founded on an inactive principle"; a moral judgment cannot be founded on reason since reason cannot be the source of "immediate influence" upon the actions and affections that morals have. However, the conclusion: "No rules of morality are conclusions of our reason" has the double disadvantage of not being a valid con-clusion of the argument advanced in support of i t , and not being supportable by any other line of argument" which can be considered to be properly available to Hume. In any case, Hume's argument here suggests that i f moral judg-ments are not derived from reason, then they must follow from the passions; thus i t must be by means of our impressions alone that we distinguish between vice and virtue. II. On page 458, Hume advances the following argument concerning the source of our moral judgments: 1. Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. 2. Truth or falsehood consists i n an agreement or disagreement either with the REAL relations of ideas, or with REAL exis-tence and matter of fact. 3. Whatever, therefore, i s not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, i s incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. 4. Passions and actions are original facts and r e a l i t i e s , complete in themselves, implying no reference to other passions and actions. 113 5. Passions and actions are therefore not susceptible of agree-ment or disagreement either with the real relations of ideas, or with real existence and matter of fact. 6. Passions and actions cannot, therefore, be pronounced either true or false, or be either contrary or conformable to reason. 7. But passions and actions can be immediately influenced by morals. 8. Therefore, moral judgments cannot be derived from reason. This i s a complex argument, and probably false as i t stands. I shall consider two possible interpretations, one of which is valid but only t r i v i a l l y true, and the other of which i s invalid. F i r s t of a l l , we shall consider an interpretation which accepts l i t e r a l l y Hume's identification of reason as the discovery of truth or falsehood. Hume's notion of truth and falsehood i s grounded in his earlier (and d i f f i c u l t ) account of the distinction between the objects of our imagination and real objects. Generally speaking, Hume con-sidered truth or falsehood to be a property of ideas assignable in terms of the agreement of disagreement of the ideas with reality. We must re c a l l that Hume did not consider the principles of the association of ideas to be an account of the operations of reason, as such, but rather to be a general account of the operations of the imagination. St r i c t l y speaking, the special work of reason, as opposed to the imagination, consists i n i t s delimitation of the set of ideas which are copies of the objects of reality from the set of ideas which are merely the offspring of the imagination. Hume suggests that there are actually two "systems" which are constituent of reality. Our basic or primitive system of reality consists in a set of beliefs in the 114 existence of certain objects, this belief being grounded in either present impressions or our memories of whatever has been present to us in the form of an original perception. Hume considers our memories to be c r i t i c a l in this regard, believing that "whatever i s present to the memory, striking upon the mind with a vivacity, which resembles an immediate impression . . . must easily distinguish i t s e l f above the mere fictions of the imagination." (pg. 107-8) Alli e d with this f i r s t system of reality i s a second one which consists of the ideas of a l l those objects which we judge to be causally related to the objects of the f i r s t system, and thus sharing in our belief of their real existence. "The f i r s t of these systems is the object of the memory and senses; the second of the judgment." (pg. 108) Thus, a l l the objects of reality are "nothing but ideas; tho 1 by their force and settled order, arising from custom and the relation of cause and effect, they distinguish themselves from the other ideas, which are merely the offspring of the imagination." (pg. 108) Now, we are not to think that because a present impression i s , by definition and inspection, not "merely the offspring of the imagination," that i t is by constrast a conclusion of reason. A present impression is a constituent of our primitive system of reality, and i s , as such, a proper object of reason as opposed to imagination; that i s , our primitive system of reality i s the proper ground for a secondary system of reality composed of judgments. In the second book of the Treatise, Hume makes two comments on the notion of "truth," both of which refer, directly or indirectly, to his theory of reality. On page 415 he states that contradiction to 115 truth and reason "consists in the disagreement of ideas, consider'd as copies, with those objects, which they represent." And on page 448 he claims that "Truth i s of two kinds, consisting either in the discovery of the proportions of ideas, consider'd as such, or in the conformity of our ideas of objects to their real existence." We notice here that one kind of truth, the discovery of the proportions of ideas, i s not considered by Hume to consist in any sort of comparison with a separate rea l i t y , but rather to inhere i n the proportions of the ideas "consider'd as such." In the third book, this i s changed, and Hume represents both kinds of truth as consisting in a sort of agreement or conformity. Thus: "Truth- or falshood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the REAL relations of ideas, or to REAL existence and matter of fact." (pg. 458), representing a ful l y developed correspondence theory of truth. Presumably, the "reality" of the relations of ideas consists in their "settled order" of association rather than in the "vivacity" which attends the impressions of existence. One could wish that Hume had said more on this head, since in earlier passages of the second book, he distinguished between the "world of ideas" and the "world of re a l i t i e s . " (pg. 413) In describing reason as the "discovery of truth and falshood," Hume identifies i t with (and limits i t to) the discovery of the corres-pondence or non-correspondence of candidate ideas with the " r e a l i t i e s " of the world of matters of fact. (We shall leave out of account the problems of truth in the "world of ideas" as not directly concerning the practical issues of morality; noting, as we do so, that this question 116 represented no small matter to Hume and those of. h i s "opponents" who considered morals to be susceptible to demonstration). I t i s important to notice that only an idea can be true or f a l s e ; or the issue of tr u t h or falsehood can only a r i s e i n connection with an idea, since impressions cannot be copies of themselves or anything e l s e . With the above considerations i n mind, we should expect Hume to argue that passions and actions cannot be pronounced e i t h e r true or f a l s e because they are, i n the form of o r i g i n a l perceived facts or r e a l i t i e s , impressions rather than ideas. At l e a s t , t h i s would be the most elegant l i n e f o r him to pursue. Only the ideas of passions and actions could be true or f a l s e i n s o f a r as- they agreed or disagreed with the o r i g i n a l impressions of which they are copies. "Whatever, there-f o r e , i s not susceptible of t h i s agreement or disagreement, i s incapable of being true or f a l s e ... . "; which i s to say, the impressions or o r i g i n a l perceptions of passions and actions cannot be regarded as true or f a l s e , since they cannot be regarded as copies of themselves. Im-pressions of actions and passions are, l i k e a l l our other impressions of sense and memory, part of our p r i m i t i v e system of r e a l i t y . S u r p ris-i n g l y , Hume argues the quite unrelated thesis that "passions and actions are o r i g i n a l f a c t s and r e a l i t i e s , complete i n themselves, implying no reference to OTHER passions and actions." (emphasis mine) This reference to "other passions and actions" suggests a coherence theory of truth rather than a correspondence theory, since the point of the reference i n t h i s connection seems to be that because perceived passions and actions are " o r i g i n a l r e a l i t i e s , " i t would be i d l e to consider t h e i r 117 agreement with the other passions and actions with which they constitute a part of our system of r e a l i t y . This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n implies that truth would not consist i n the conformity of our ideas of objects to t h e i r r e a l existence, but rather i n the coherence of our ideas and impressions of objects with our e n t i r e "system" of r e a l existence. I doubt that Hume i s f l i r t i n g with a coherence theory of truth i n r e f e r r i n g to "other passions and actions." I think i t more l i k e l y that, i n seeing that no impression can be compared with i t s e l f — a n d considering i t too obvious to merit mention, Hume f e l t constrained to point out that an impression cannot be considered to be a copy of any other impression e i t h e r . This would make the reference to "other passions and actions" s l i g h t l y gratuitous, but not altogether unreason-able. Most important, i t would not make the reference inconsistent with a correspondence theory of t r u t h . B e l i e v i n g t h i s , I must also b e l i e v e that Hume's conclusion that moral judgments cannot be derived from reason i s a v a l i d consequence of t h i s argument. The weakest aspect of t h i s argument i s not i t s v a l i d i t y , but rather the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of reason with the discovery of tru t h and falsehood. This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n quite l i t e r a l l y leaves a l l of the " i n -f l u e n t i a l " a c t i v i t i e s of the understanding to the imagination. In r e s t r i c t i n g reason to the discovery of tru t h and falsehood, Hume claims, i n e f f e c t , that the only thing that can count as a conclusion of reason i s a judgment of tru t h or falsehood. This i s a f a r more r a d i c a l and exclusive claim than any which Hume makes i n discussing the r o l e of reason i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the world of r e a l i t y from that of the imagina-t i o n . In that discussion, i t seems f a i r l y c l e a r that reason not only 118 concerns Itself with the delimitation of the objects of reality from those of the imagination (its special work, which i t shares with no^  other function of the understanding), but that i t also concerns i t s e l f with the association of the objects of reality with one another; that i s , the objects of reality are a l l , per se, properly objects of reason. It i s on page 458 that Hume states: "Reason i s the discovery of truth or falsehood." Yet, on page 459, we find the claim: "reason . . . can have an influence on our conduct . . . when i t excites a passion by informing us of the existence of something which i s a proper object of i t . . . . " Surely the discovery of an object to the passions i s hopelessly distinct from a judgment of truth or falsehood. The identification of reason with the discovery of truth or falsehood i s quite inconsistent with Hume's treatment of reason i n other parts of the Treatise. One must conclude, I think, that the validity of the argument of page 458 i s bought at the price of t r i v i a l i z i n g the notion of reason, and that this must, in turn, t r i v i a l i z e the conclusion. We can speculate concerning at least one avenue of escape from this charge of t r i v i a l i z a t i o n . It is possible that by describing reason as the discovery of truth or falsehood, Hume did not mean to make an exclusive or identifying claim, but rather only to identify one character-i s t i c of any act of reason; that i s , he may have only meant to claim that i t i s a necessary characteristic of any conclusion of reason that i t be truth functional. Thus, reason may inform us of the existence of some-thing which i s the proper object of a particular passion, and we may properly raise the question of the truth or falsehood of reason's 119 information. Insofar as we may properly consider any discovery of reason to be either true or false, we may properly consider reason-«to be the discovery of truth or falsehood. Now, this i s a non-trivial conception of reason which i s con-sistent with Hume's general treatment of reason in the Treatise. However, i f this was the claim which Hume meant to make on page 458 in describing reason as the discovery of truth or falsehood, i t would invalidate his argument. We have seen that the validity of our f i r s t interpretation of the argument hinges on the fact that an impression cannot be regarded as true or false. If reason is only the discovery of truth or falsehood, then i t can never have an impression for i t s object; only ideas can be regarded as true or false, and hence reason can have only ideas for objects. On the other hand, i f i t i s the case that Hume only meant to claim that i t is a necessary characteristic of reason that i t s conclusions be truth functional, then an impression may well be an object of reason. Reasoning in the world of existence and matter of fact i s , for Hume, causal reasoning. Causal reasoning involves the discovery of a li v e l y idea, which i s always related to or associated with a present impression. Thus, not only is i t possible that a present impression could be the object of causal reasoning, but "A present impression . . . i s absolutely requisite to this whole operation . . . " (pg. 103) If the present impression of a passion or action in any wise stimulates us in our sen-s i t i v i t y to the "prospects of pleasure and pain," then we shall very l i k e l y be determined to draw before the mind the ideas of those passions and actions causally related to i t . - This is certainly one way in which 120 we could consider our perceptions of passions and actions implying a reference to other passions and actions. Of course, they imply no such reference with respect to the question of t h e i r agreement or disagreement with other passions and actions; but t h i s consideration i s only relevant i f we accept the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of reason with the discovery of tru t h or falsehood. The fact that any discovery of reason must be t r u t h f u n c t i o n a l would not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that reason would i n f e r or imply a reference from an o r i g i n a l perception to the idea of some l i k e objects. Thus, upon our second i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t , the argument on page 458 i s i n v a l i d . Hume maintains that the argument on page 458 has a "double advantage" f o r h i s purposes: For i t proves d i r e c t l y , that actions do not derive t h e i r merit from a conformity to reason, nor t h e i r blame from a con-t r a r i e t y to i t ; and i t proves the same truth more i n d i r e c t l y , by shewing us, that as reason can never immediately prevent or produce any action by con t r a d i c t i n g or approving of i t , i t cannot be the source of moral good and e v i l , which are found to have that influence. (pg. 458) However, as we have seen, the argument does not prove e i t h e r of these propositions. Moreover, we must be e s p e c i a l l y disappointed i n Hume's statement of the second or " i n d i r e c t " proof. Actions and passions were "shown" not to be the objects of reason's capacity to discover tr u t h and falsehood because they were impressions rather than ideas. In the quotation above, Hume states that i t has been proven that "reason can never immediately prevent or produce any action by con-t r a d i c t i n g or approving of i t . . . . " Now, the "a c t i o n " considered 121 here can be either the impression of an action (the case we considered in our criticism of the argument), or i t can be the idea of an action, such as in the case of an imagined action. If the action is present in the form of an impression, the claim that reason cannot produce or prevent i t is vacuous, since i t is clear that "moral good or e v i l " cannot produce or prevent existing actions either. If the action is present in the form of an idea, then i t i s possible—even i f we con-sider reason to consist only i n the discovery of truth or falsehood— that reason might contradict or approve of i t ; that i s , reason might find i t to be either true or false. This would leave open the possi-b i l i t y that reason might prevent or produce the actual occurrence of the action i n accordance with i t s "approval" or "disapproval" of the action truth-functionally. Thus, even i f the argument was valid, i t would not prove what Hume claims for i t . Of course, Hume has already shown that reason cannot produce or prevent actions on the general theoretical grounds that reason i s perfectly inactive. Generally speaking, this i s the basis of his strongest arguments concerning the source of moral judgments. We might consider the following syllogism to represent Hume's most powerful argument regarding this question: 1. Reason can never have an immediate influence upon our actions. (Reason can have a mediate influence upon our actions by discovering objects to the passions. "Reason and judgment may, indeed, be the mediate cause of an action, by prompting or by directing a passion . . . " (pg. 462) Associated with the "mediate" quality of reason's influence is the 122 fact that i t s influence is not original or f i n a l ; that i s , the activity of reason does not "originate" in some impulse of the understanding, but is rather motivated by the passions. This is the source of Hume's claim that reason alone can never have any influence upon our actions or affections). 2. Moral judgments can have an immediate influence upon our actions. (When Hume claims that morals "excite passions and produce or prevent actions," he does not mean to claim that moral judgments produce or prevent actions by_ exciting particular passions. That would leave open the possibility that the influence of morality was—like that of reason—merely mediate in the production or prevention of action. "Moral good or e v i l immediately prevent or produce any action by contradicting or approving of i t . . . " (pg. 458) However, later remarks by Hume are inconsistent with his claim that the influence of moral judgments is immediate: We may c a l l to remembrance the preceding system of the passions, i n order to remark a s t i l l more considerable difference among our pains and pleasures. Pride and humility, love and hatred are excited, when there is any thing presented to us, that both bears a relation to the object of the passion, and produces a separate sensation related to the sensation of the passion. Now virtue and vice are attended with these circumstances. They must necessarily be plac'd either in ourselves or in others, and excite either pleasure or uneasiness; and therefore give rise to one of these four passions . . . " (pg. 473) These remarks suggest that the pleasure or pain which constitutes a moral judgment must exert i t s influence by_ giving rise to one of the four indirect passions of pride, humility, love, or hatred. This would imply that the influence of moral judgments was like that of reason in 123 being mediate rather immediate. Nonetheless, the influence of moral judgments would s t i l l be unlike that of reason in being original and fi n a l ; that i s , the influence of the moral judgment would originate in i t s e l f , being attributable to no other passion or passions. Even i f the influence of moral judgments upon action is mediate, i t i s also properly said that moral judgments, in themselves, can influence action. This guarantees the distinction between the influence of moral judg-ments and the influence of reason, and, i n a sense, Hume seems to care-lessly associate immediate influence with original influence and mediate influence with derived influence. Actually, by claiming that moral judgments have an immediate and original influence upon action, Hume is really settling the question of the origin of moral judgments, since, in terms of the account of action provided in the f i r s t two books of the Treatise, only a passion could have such an immediate and original influence). 3. Moral judgments are not judgments of reason. (Which, given the substantial character of the second premise discussed above, i s merely to say that passions are distinct from acts of reason). The weakness of this argument lie s in the absence of any account by Hume of exactly how he determines that the influence of moral judg-ments upon our actions i s immediate rather than mediate. We should like to know how Hume—by inspection, as i t were—learns that moral judg-ments produce or prevent actions in a manner radically different from the judgments of reason. A great deal hinges on Hume's claim that moral judgments are irreducibly practical, and yet he does not offer any 124 substantial account of how he arrives at this knowledge; at least, he does not offer an account which i s independent of his" Gonviction that morals are more properly f e l t than judged of. One i s l e f t with the feeling that Hume must just as well have "proved" that moral judgments have an immediate influence upon our actions by offering the premise that morals are more properly f e l t than judged of. One premise is as self-evident as the other. In any case, i t must be allowed that the claim that moral judg-ments are not judgments of reason is at least consistent with Hume's account of action and morals, even i f we could be better satisfied with what Hume offers as proof that the system is empirically true. Thus the course of the argument leads us to conclude, that since vice and virtue are not discoverable merely by reason, or the comparison of ideas, i t must be by means of some impression or sentiment they occasion, that we are able to mark the d i f f e r -ence betwixt them. Our decisions concerning moral rectitude and depravity are obviously perceptions; and as a l l perceptions are either impressions or ideas, the exclusion of the one is a con-vincing argument for the other. Morality, therefore, i s more properly f e l t than judg'd of . . . (pg. 470) Hume identifies that "impression or sentiment" occasioned by vice and virtue with the perception of pain or pleasure of a "particular kind": . . . the distinguishing impressions, by which moral good or e v i l is known, are nothing but particular pains or pleasures. . . . We do not infer a character to be virtuous, because i t pleases: But in feeling that i t pleases after such a particular manner, we in effect feel that i t is virtuous. (pg. 471) 125 Hume sees no d i f f i c u l t y inherent i n the d i s t i n c t i o n of a great number of p a r t i c u l a r pleasures, or pleasures peculiar to certain objects of contemplation or sensation. I do not intend to vigorously contest Hume i n his complacency on this head, but would l i k e to make one comment i n passing. Hume seeks to establish his view that pleasures occur i n p a r t i c u l a r kinds with a number of examples. He points out, for i n -stance, that although a good composition of music and a good b o t t l e of wine equally produce pleasure, we would not say upon that account "that the wine i s harmonious, or the music of a good f l a v o r . " Hume suggests that our a b i l i t y to thus distinguish between p a r t i c u l a r kinds of pleasure i s important, since otherwise i t might be urged against him that i t was possible for inanimate matter to become virtuous or vicious insofar as i t was the occasion of pleasure or pain. However, i t i s clear that, i n order to counter such an argument against the claim that v i r t u e and vice are distinguished by impression of pain or pleasure, Hume need not locate the d i s t i n c t i v e character of the pain or pleasure i n the impression i t s e l f . I t would be quite s u f f i c i e n t for him to point out that the pleasure or pain which distinguishes v i r t u e and vice i s peculiar i n that i t i s occasioned by the survey of actions or character—and nothing else; that i s , Hume might distinguish the " p e c u l i a r i t y " of the pleasure or pain which distinguishes between v i r t u e and vice merely i n terms of i t s o r i g i n rather than i n terms of any i n t r i n s i c feature of the impressions of pleasure or pain i t s e l f . This would be s u f f i c i e n t to counter any complaint that his account made possible the morality of inanimate matter. 126 Now, there ±s_ a complaint against the identification of moral judgments with an impression of pain or pleasure which does require that the "peculiarity" of the impression be intr i n s i c rather than recognizable merely in terms of i t s origin. It i s evident that the contemplation of actions or character can be the occasion of pleasure or pain which i s perfectly distinct from any moral considerations. The identification of those pleasures and pains which represent our moral sentiments cannot, therefore, rest merely on the identification of the source of the pleasures and pains; we might very well harbour some purely se l f i s h or otherwise amoral interest in the actions or character sur-veyed, and these—rather than any moral considerations—might be the occasion of an impression of pleasure or pain. Hume was aware of this problem: It seldom happens, that we do not think an enemy vicious, and can distinguish betwixt his opposition to our interest and real v i l l a i n y or baseness. But this hinders not, but that the senti-ments are, in themselves, distinct; and a man of temper and judg-ment may preserve himself from these i l l u s i o n s . (pg. 472) Clearly, i f the sentiments occasioned by the contemplation of the actions and character of our enemy were not distinct " i n themselves," we would not be able to distinguish our moral from our interested sentiments merely in terms of their origin. This i s the most pressing reason for an analysis of pleasures and pains as inherently or i n t r i n -s i c a l l y distinct. However, Hume's examples of "distinct" or "particular" pleasures w i l l not do for the d i f f i c u l t case of distinguishing between variant sentiments originating i n a single source. A l l of Hume's examples 127 leave open the p o s s i b i l i t y that the p a r t i c u l a r pleasure described i s dist i n g u i s h a b l e i n terms of i t s o r i g i n rather than i n terms of the sentiment considered " i n i t s e l f " ; thus, we might describe wine as f l a v o r f u l because that i s the appropriate way to describe pleasure o r i g i n a t i n g i n drink, and we might describe music as harmonious because that i s the appropriate way to describe pleasure o r i g i n a t i n g i n music. Hume's examples do not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that we i d e n t i f y those pains and pleasures occasioned by v i c e and v i r t u e i n terms of a judgment (either p r i o r to the sentiment or independently of the sentiment or both) that the actions or character surveyed i s v i c i o u s or virtuous rather than simply inconsistent with our i n t e r e s t (of~ i n some other way l i k e l y to "innocently" occasion a sentiment of pleasure or pain). This i s p r e c i s e l y the l i n e of argument that Hume must r e s i s t . I t i s apparent that i f v i r t u e and v i c e are dis t i n g u i s h a b l e by judgments which are independent of the sentiments occasioned by the v i r t u e or v i c e thus surveyed, then i t i s also the case that the influence of moral judgments i s properly a t t r i b u t a b l e to reason rather than to the passions. The confutation of t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y would require a f a r more extensive and subtle account of the phenomenology of sentiments than Hume provides. Hume must convince us that the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of the pleasure or uneasiness which constitute moral judgments i s i n t r i n s i c to the sentiment rather than assignable i n terms of the o r i g i n of the sentiment; since, i f the o r i g i n of the sentiment i s determined by an independent judgment, Hume's account of the source of our moral judgments i s undone. As i t i s , Hume does not r e a l l y o f f e r e i t h e r persuasive 128 examples or proofs that i t i s the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of the sentiments of pain or pleasure attending v i r t u e and v i c e by which v i r t u e and vice^ are known. In f a c t , Hume himself, with h i s contrast between "opposition to our i n t e r e s t " and " r e a l v i l l a i n y or baseness" suggests at l e a s t one basis upon which one can d i s t i n g u i s h moral issues from other issues i n -dependently of the " p a r t i c u l a r " q u a l i t y of any sentiment involved. In some respects, t h i s problem r e c a l l s my e a r l i e r c r i t i c i s m s of Hume's rough and ready explanation of the d i s t i n c t i o n between impressions and ideas merely i n terms of the "degree of force and l i v e l i n e s s with which they s t r i k e upon the mind." There, too, a c e n t r a l point was c a r r i e d with haste, when what was c a l l e d f o r was a more extensive treatment at a deeper, or at l e a s t d i f f e r e n t , l e v e l . (However, and by the same token, i t must be allowed to Hume that h i s l o c a t i o n of v i r t u e and v i c e i n the qu a l i t y of a perception i s p e r f e c t l y consistent with his general pro-cedure i n the T r e a t i s e . In f a c t , i t would be odd, a f t e r having d i s -tinguished impressions and ideas i n terms of a p a r t i c u l a r q u a l i t y of perceptions, f o r Hume to have proceeded d i f f e r e n t l y i n the case of " d i s t i n c t " kinds of pleasure. Thus, j u s t as the same specie of problem i s r a i s e d i n the l a t t e r case as i n the former, at l e a s t a new problem of inconsistency i s avoided.) S a t i s f i e d that i t i s fee l i n g s which constitute our moral judgments, Hume poses a question concerning them: "WHY ANY ACTION OR SENTIMENT UPON THE GENERAL VIEW OR SURVEY, GIVES A CERTAIN SATISFACTION 129 OR UNEASINESS . . . " (pg. 475) The balance of the third book i s devoted to the provision of an answer to this question*.. The second part of the third book of the Treatise, entitled "Of Justice and Injustice," i s concerned with what Hume terms the " a r t i f i c i a l virtues." Hume begins this part by considering honesty and justice i n abstaining from the property of others, and posing the problem of determining what this justice consists in. This is a con-crete case of a certain satisfaction or uneasiness associated with a particular act or sentiment, and Hume wants to argue for the view that the satisfaction or uneasiness occasioned by justice or injustice i s " a r t i f i c i a l l y " associated with i t as a consequence of convention. A principle is advanced: . . . i t may be establish'd as an undoubted maxim, THAT NO ACTION CAN BE VIRTUOUS, OR MORALLY GOOD, UNLESS THERE BE IN HUMAN NATURE SOME MOTIVE TO PRODUCE IT, DISTINCT FROM THE SENSE OF MORALITY, (pg. 479) It i s evident that this principle i s an attractive one for a theorist bent upon the explanation of vice and virtue, since i t is equivalent to the claim that vice and virtue are analyzable in terms of "motives in human nature" distinct from the sense of morality by which they are judged. The converse case is not so attractive. In answering the question: "why any action or sentiment upon the general view or survey, gives a certain satisfaction or uneasiness . . , " we would be more interested in an answer which did not merely consist i n the claim that the agent was motivated by that very satisfaction or uneasiness in 130 r e f l e c t i n g upon the p a r t i c u l a r act which he i n f a c t performed. I f i t i s the case that our s a t i s f a c t i o n or uneasiness i n observing an action simply echoes the agent's motivating s a t i s f a c t i o n or uneasiness i n considering the p a r t i c u l a r act performed, i t would also be the case that moral judgments would exhaust the set of i d e n t i f y i n g c r i t e r i a of moral acts. This would make of morality a kind of closed or c i r c u l a r system such that the same sort of "sense of morality" i s operating as a motivation for the agent and as a basis for the observer's judgments. Hume believes that t h i s unwelcome p o s s i b i l i t y can be ruled out. He argues that: To suppose, that the mere regard to the v i r t u e of the action, f may be the f i r s t motive, which produc'd the a c t i o n , and render'd i t v i r t u o u s , i s to reason i n a c i r c l e . Before we can have such a regard, the action must be r e a l l y virtuous; and t h i s v i r t u e must be deriv'd from some virtuous motive: And consequently the virtuous motive must be d i f f e r e n t from the regard to the v i r t u e of the action. (pg. 478) This argument depends upon Hume's e a r l i e r noted view that "when we p r a i s e any actions, we regard only the motives that produced them, and consider the actions as signs or i n d i c a t i o n s of c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s i n the mind and temper." (pg. 477) Only motives can be virtuous or v i c i o u s ; thus the agent cannot be motivated by the v i r t u e of an a c t i o n , since i t i s not actions, as such, that v i r t u e or v i c e consists i n . An agent could only be motivated by the v i r t u e of the motive which pro-duced the a c t i o n considered. I f t h i s motive i s postulated as a regard to the v i r t u e of the a c t i o n , we are faced with an i n f i n i t e regress. I t would seem that the very grammar of Hume's account of actions and moral 131 judgments precludes the p o s s i b i l i t y of the agent being motivated by h i s regard to the v i r t u e of any p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n . T his argument i s very weak. Surely there i s a d i s t i n c t i o n t o be drawn between an a c t i o n i n r e a l i t y , and an a c t i o n i n the imagination; and c l e a r l y i t i s the l a t t e r form of " a c t i o n " that we are to consider the agent qua agent regarding as v i r t u o u s or v i c i o u s . Now, an " a c t i o n " i n the imag i n a t i o n i s an a c t i o n o nly i n p o s s i b i l i t y , and, as such, need not be de r i v e d from any motive. ( S i m i l a r l y and g e n e r a l l y , no object or event i n the imagination i s a t t r i b u t a b l e to any s p e c i f i c cause, s i n c e a l l such o b j e c t s or events " e x i s t " o u t s ide of r e a l i t y . ) I t i s c o n c e i v a b l e , w i t h i n the bounds of Hume's system of a c t i o n and moral judgment, that the imagination might pl a y over any number of p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s i n a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n , one of which might be motivated as a consequence of i t p l e a s i n g the agent i n th a t p a r t i c u l a r manner which c o n s t i t u t e s moral approbation. We have already learned from Hume that moral approbation i s j u s t the s o r t of t h i n g to immediately i n f l u e n c e our a f f e c t i o n s and a c t i o n s , and there seems to be no obvious reason against regarding t h i s as being a l i k e l y i n s t a n c e of such immed-i a t e i n f l u e n c e . In f a c t , Hume hi m s e l f admits that some such account of moral a c t i o n i s , i n s p e c i a l cases, t r u e : But may not the sense of m o r a l i t y or duty produce an a c t i o n , without any other motive? I answer, I t may: But t h i s i s no o b j e c t i o n to the present d o c t r i n e . . • . tho' on some oc c a s i o n s , a person may perform an a c t i o n merely out of regard to i t s moral o b l i g a t i o n , yet s t i l l t h i s supposes i n human nature some d i s t i n c t p r i n c i p l e s , which are capable of producing the a c t i o n , and whose moral beauty renders the a c t i o n m e r i t o r i o u s . (pg. 479) 132 Hume's point here i s that such instances of the production of an action out of regard f o r i t s morality represent a process which i s d e r i v a t i v e from and i m i t a t i v e of the fundamental process involved i n the production of a moral action. A l l moral actions are virtuous or v i c i o u s because of the beauty or deformity of t h e i r respective motivations. Thus, when someone performs an action out of a regard f o r i t s morality, that person i s , i n a sense, "pretending" the presence of a motivation which i s the general and actual source of the morality of the action associated with i t . Hume o f f e r s , as a reason f o r someone undertaking such an i m i t a t i o n , the p o s s i b i l i t y that the agent i n question may "hate him-s e l f " because h i s heart i s "devoid of that motive" which would n a t u r a l l y and morally produce the action which he produces out of a sense of i t s morality. This suggests that the agent, i n those s p e c i a l cases under consideration here, i s attempting to f i l l a gap i n h i s system of moral motives by performing the action which i s associated with the motive which he perceives to be l a c k i n g i n him. Now, although t h i s explanation may demonstrate that instances of the sense of morality producing an act i o n are "no objection to the present doctrine,"- i t c e r t a i n l y does not constitute a c e r t a i n support of that doctrine. Hume's admission that, i n p a r t i c u l a r cases, the sense of morality may produce an action cannot be seen as supporting h i s general contention that such a p o s s i b i l i t y cannot be allowed because i t involves reasoning i n a c i r c l e . Furthermore, such s p e c i a l cases cannot be properly represented as "supposing" a system of motivation and judgment d i s t i n c t from the one i m p l i c i t i n themselves. The only supposition which i s 133 d i r e c t l y supported by instances of an action being produced by a sense of morality i s that such cases are not at a l l "special,." but rather^ commonly or even generally associated with human nature and action. One may very w e l l turn from the " s p e c i a l case" to the system of moral motives p u t a t i v e l y responsible f o r the project of i m i t a t i o n involved i n i t , and suggest that those m o t i v e s — i n t h e i r t u r n — a r e none other than a moral regard for c e r t a i n actions. The problem here i s that Hume wants to e s t a b l i s h as "an undoubted maxim," or an a p r i o r i p r i n c i p l e , something which can only be established e m p i r i c a l l y , i f at a l l . He has e a r l i e r stated, i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of moral judgments: An a c t i o n , or sentiment, or character i s virtuous or v i c i o u s ; why? because i t s view causes a pleasure or uneasiness of a par-t i c u l a r kind. In giving a reason, therefore, f o r the pleasure or uneasiness, we s u f f i c i e n t l y explain the v i r t u e or v i c e . To have the sense of v i r t u e , i s nothing but to f e e l a s a t i s f a c t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r kind from the contemplation of character. The very f e e l i n g constitutes our pra i s e or admiration. We go no far t h e r . . . (pg. 471) We go no farth e r unless we want to explain v i c e and v i r t u e ; t h e i r explanation requires that we give a reason or cause f o r the pleasure or uneasiness attending them. But how are we to know, a p r i o r i , that such^a reason must be forthcoming? How are we to know that virtuous motives are dis t i n g u i s h a b l e i n terms of some shared c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s other than the s a t i s f a c t i o n attending t h e i r contemplation? Hume i s fond of comparing moral beauty with the other forms of that source of pleasure: "The case i s the same as i n our judgments 134 concerning a l l kinds of beauty, and tastes, and sentiments" (pg. 471), yet we have an impossibly d i f f i c u l t time "giving a reason" for the^ pleasure which proceeds from a work of art which is admitted, on a l l hands, to be beautiful. Worse yet, we are accustomed to "explaining" the motivation of the a r t i s t who creates beautiful works in terms of his love of beauty, and his desire to realize the beauty which he con-jure out of his imagination. Because of this, we are inclined to reject arguments which attempt to establish the principle that there must be a reason (distinct from the beauty of the work of art) for the pleasure which constitutes our judgment in such cases. How can we know that It must be possible to explain moral beauty and ugliness, when we are faced with such d i f f i c u l t i e s in explaining the other forms of beauty and ugliness? The answer to this, I believe we must admit, is that we cannot know that i t must be possible to acquire such knowledge. Hume cannot generate, out of his account of action of moral judgment, any undoubted (or indubitable) maxim as to the analyzability of vice and virtue. What he can do i s argue a posteriori, and bring forward evidence, mainly in the form of examples, that moral judgments delimit certain sets of actions and motives which are independently or "distinctly" identifiable in terms of characteristics other than the particular pleasure or pain which marks them as virtuous or vicious. Generally speaking, this is what he does. His interest in establishing the analyzability of vice and virtue as an a p r i o r i principle seems connected with his desire to argue for the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of the virtue of justice in a reductio fashion. His 135 argument i s roughly as follows: 1. No action can be virtuous, unless there be-in human nafaire -some motive to produce i t , distinct from the sense of morality. 2. There i s no natural motive to account for acts of justice. 3. There must be an a r t i f i c i a l motive to account for acts of justice. It would be less convincing for Hume to simply hypothesize an a r t i f i c i a l motivation for justice, and then to support the hypothesis with examples. By arguing from the general principle that virtuous actions must have some motivation distinct from the sense of their morality, Hume provides a stronger reason for presuming an a r t i f i c i a l motive to be present in the absence of a natural one. Nonetheless, even i f Hume f a i l s to establish the a p r i o r i analyzability of vice and virtue, such a failure would not, i n i t s e l f , entail the unanalyzability of moral actions. Even i f his argument i s not assimilable to the reductio form he attempts to present i t i n , his explication of concrete instances of just actions might well support his contention that a motivation to virtue can be identified which i s different from the basis of moral judgments. I do not intend to examine Hume's treatment of justice and p o l i t i c s , since i t presents many d i f f i c u l t i e s which are independent of his central argument concerning moral judgments and actions. Instead, I shall simply note that the conclusion he draws from the dis-cussion of the a r t i f i c i a l virtue of justice is that the motivation to acts of justice i s a regard for the "good of mankind," and that such a regard proceeds from the "sympathy" of the moral agent. Furthermore, 136 Hume claims that the u t i l i t y of certain motives—that i s , their tendency towards the good of mankind, others, or the agent h i m s e l f — i s associated-with our natural approval or disapproval of those motives, as well as our a r t i f i c i a l judgments. Thus: . . . i t appears, that sympathy i s a very powerful principle in human nature, that i t has a great influence on our taste of beauty, and that i t produces our sentiment of morals in a l l the a r t i f i c i a l virtues. From thence we may presume, that i t also gives rise to many of the other virtues; and that qualities acquire our appro-bation, because of their tendency to the good of mankind. This presumption must become a certainty, when we find that most of those qualities, which we naturally disapprove of, have actually that tendency, and render a man a proper member of society; while the qualities, which we naturally disapprove of, have a contrary tendency, and render any intercourse with the person dangerous or disagreeable. (pg. 578) This conclusion returns us to the question posed by Hume on page 475: "WHY ANY ACTION OR SENTIMENT UPON THE GENERAL VIEW OR SURVEY, GIVES A CERTAIN SATISFACTION OR UNEASINESS. . . . " We can see that we have been provided with two answers to this question. F i r s t l y , the "tendency to the good of mankind" is identified as the cause of the satisfaction or uneasiness attending practically a l l the actions or sentiments which may be the subject of some moral judgment; and this "tendency" i s , at the same time, the motivation to virtuous, action. (Hume does not identify the tendency to the good of mankind with the notion of " u t i l i t y " in the Treatise. This expression of the motivation to virtuous action in terms of a principle of u t i l i t y does not occur u n t i l the writing of the Enquiries. However, the force of this principle i s evidently the same i n both works, and I shall refer to i t here as a principle of u t i l i t y , since i t connects this aspect of 137 Hume's theory of morals with later important work by other figures.) Hume closely identifies the notion of the u t i l i t y of qualities and actions with the sense of beauty: Now the pleasure of a stranger, for whom we have no friend-ship, pleases us only by sympathy. To this principle, therefore, is owing the beauty, which we find in every thing that i s useful. How considerable a part this is of beauty w i l l easily appear upon reflection. Wherever an object has a tendency to produce pleasure in the possessor, or in other words, i s the proper cause of pleasure, i t i s sure to please the spectator, by a delicate sympathy with the possessor. Most of the works of art are esteem1d beautiful, in proportion to their fitness for the use of man, and even many of the productions of nature derive their beauty from that source, (pg. 576-7) (Of course, by "works of art" here, Hume i s not referring to the pro-ductions of painters, sculptors, composers, etc., but rather to a l l those things which owe their form and existence to the hand of man. Thus, "works of art" are to be distinguished from "productions of nature.") An action or sentiment gives a certain satisfaction or un-easiness because of the beauty or ugliness we find i n everything that has a certain u t i l i t y or d i s u t i l i t y for mankind. Now, there is a source of danger here for Hume's general account of moral judging. As we have seen, that account centers on a form of affective apprehension of moral qualities: To have the sense of virtue, i s nothing but to feel a satis-faction of a particular kind from the contemplation of character. The very feeling constitutes our praise or admiration. We go no farther; nor do we enquire into the cause of the satisfaction, (pg. 471) Insofar as the making of a moral judgment is concerned, we "go no 138 farther" than the feeling involved; and enquiry into the cause of the "particular" satisfaction i s an independent project which plays no effective role in the formulation of the judgment. However, although Hume claims that judgments of u t i l i t y play no effective role in the making of moral judgments, i t i s not immediately apparent—in terms of his own account of it—how he could support such a claim. Once Hume has established an "explanation" of the satisfaction which attends or constitutes virtue in terms of a principle of u t i l i t y , i t seems impossible to preclude the involvement of that principle in the actual making of moral judgments. Clearly, i f such a principle i s a true explanation of the basis of moral judgments, then i t would certainly play a part in the form and settling of moral arguments. In at least some cases where there was a dispute concerning the propriety of a particular moral judg-ment or action, we would expect the dispute to center upon some analysis of the "fittingness" of the quality judged of to the use of man. Actually, a notion of "fitness" was a favorite of some of Hume's rati o n a l i s t i c predecessors and contemporaries. They attempted to support the view that the virtue or vice attending an action or motive was a function of the "fitness" of the action or motive to some conception (established and perhaps codified—by any number of r i v a l evaluative criteria) of what men and society should be, or what they really or truly were. The important point of such a notion of fitness was that i t re-quired a judgment of the understanding (to put the case in Hume's terms) to determine whether or not any particular action or motive was " f i t t i n g . " Thus, when i t develops that passions, sentiments, and actions are judged 139 to be virtuous or vicious in "proportion to their fitness for the use of man," we must, with Hume, be put on our guard by the emergence of what might be said to be his "natural" enemy. He must deal with the possibility that judgments of virtue and vice are derived from judg-ments of ut i l i t y — w h i c h judgments might well involve the comparison of a candidate object, passion, or action with some conception of what is generally useful for mankind. Such a possibility would, of course, be a very great comfort to the proponents of a positive role for practi-cal reason i n ethics; for i f judgments of u t i l i t y are effectively i n -volved in the formulation of moral judgments, then Hume's own admission that morals have an immediate influence on our actions and affections would entail the attribution of such influence to reason. Hume has a very powerful argument to advance against these considerations. He does not make i t expl i c i t , but i t i s clearly implicit i n his account of moral judging and acting. We have followed Hume, in pressing the explanation of the sense of virtue and vice to the principle of u t i l i t y as the cause of that peculiar satisfaction or unease that con-stitutes moral judgment. In following Hume this far, i t seems as though we come upon an operation of the understanding at the very bottom of the formulation of moral judgments. However, the explanation goes further yet, and i t i s in the form of i t s f i n a l limits that the explanation escapes the particular danger we identified above. We re c a l l , from the passage on page 576, the claim: "Now the pleasure of a stranger, for whom we have no friendship, pleases us only by sympathy." Qualities and actions useful to others "please the spectator, by a delicate sympathy" 140 with those others. It is because of our sympathy with others that we have any regard for the u t i l i t y or d i s u t i l i t y of things for them, and this sympathy is thus the f i n a l cause of moral judgments. Judgments of u t i l i t y are involved i n the formulation of moral judgments, but they are not the f i n a l or immediate cause of such judgments and hence are not effectively involved in their making. Thus, the operations of the understanding involved in the judgment of the "fitness" of something for the use of man are not at the bottom of the formulation of moral judgments, but are rather directive acts of reason attached to the passions occasioned by the process of sympathy . . . a process completely inde-pendent' of the understanding. Hume does not have to contest the involve-ment of judgments of u t i l i t y in the making of moral judgments, since he has a general conception of such judgments which makes the issue of u t i l i t y one of only "mediate" interest or importance. This development brings us to the "second" answer to the question: "Why any action or sentiment upon the general view or survey, gives a certain satisfaction or uneasiness . . . " We should note that by "the general view or survey," Hume refers to a view or survey which is not concerned with the "particular interest" of the observer. On page 472, he states i n this connection: "'Tis only when a character i s considered in general, without reference to our particular interest, that i t causes such a feeling or sentiment, as denominates i t morally good or e v i l . " Of course, there can be no wonder as to why any action or sentiment, as i t relates to "our particular interest" should give satisfaction or un-easiness; anything which relates to our personal interests w i l l naturally 141 occasion satisfaction or uneasiness insofar as we anticipate, through i t , an advance or prejudice to those interests. One might wonder, how-ever, as to why any action or sentiment which does not concern our own personal interest should be the occasion of any passion in us; we can reasonably ask, within the context of Hume's theory of action and morals, why the general view or survey of an action or sentiment should be the cause of any feeling at a l l . This question i s , I believe, one of the most d i f f i c u l t asked— and answered—in the Treatise. Hume has grounded the naturalism of his account of action in a hedonistic scheme of human nature. The original and f i n a l motive to any action must l i e in the passions, and the feeling associated with the gratification of passion is pleasure. Hedonism pro-vides a suitably simple psychological model for a naturalistic account of action. However, the weakness of such a scheme i s apparent when we are faced with the problems of morals. It seems evident—and i t certainly was evident to Hume, at le a s t — t h a t persons, to the extent that they are moral, are not exclusively concerned with their own personal pleasure or passions. Moral persons have a regard for the " u t i l i t i e s " relevant to the welfare of others, and in many instances act so as to maximize those u t i l i t i e s even when to do so must prejudice their own personal interest. This moral phenomenon poses the greatest challenge to the explanatory power of a hedonistic theory of human nature and action. What can Hume make of those cases where persons act out of an evidently higher regard for what i s useful to others than to themselves? What can he make of the moral point of view? 142 The answer to this question l i e s with Hume's notion of "sym-pathy." The. moral agent has a special perspective on. others, grounded not in interest or passion, but in that "powerful principle of human " r nature" . . . sympathy. "Sympathy" makes possible the abandonment of simple or individual hedonism, and effects the replacement of i t with a form of supra-individual hedonism. Moral action i s , as ALL action must be, given the general account of action in the Treatise, grounded in passion; but not the passion of the moral agent himself. Or, to put i t more precisely, moral action is grounded not simply or only in the passions of the moral agent himself. For, i t i s the fundamental characteristic of the process of sympathy that i t makes the sympathetic sensitive not only to their own personal passions, but the passions of others as well. Thus, because persons can be sympathetic, they can be subject to the passions of others just as they are subject to their own; and, this being so, they can desire the gratification of the others' passions just as they desire the gratification of their own. This explains how the survey of an action or sentiment which can have no conceivable personal interest for the observer can, nonetheless, give a certain satisfaction or uneasiness to that observer. The observer sympa-thizes with those others whose interest i s affected by the action or sentiment surveyed; and since he i s then subject to the very passions f e l t by those others upon their surveillance of the action or sentiment, he i s l i t e r a l l y affected by i t in the same way that they are. Sympathy has a special status in the Treatise. Hume terms i t variously as a "remarkable quality of human nature," a "propensity," a 143 "principle," and a "remarkable phenomenon" (pgs. 316-17), without committing himself to an assignment of sympathy to either the undesr-standing or the passions. Even though i t effects the conversion of a present idea into an impression, Hume does not describe sympathy as an operation of the imagination. Sympathy i s , by a kind of default of any other positive description, to be viewed as a sort of extension of the senses. When any affection i s infus'd by sympathy, i t i s at f i r s t known only by i t s effects, and by those external signs in the countenance and conversation, which convey an idea of i t . This idea is presently converted into an impression, and acquires such a degree of force and vivacity, as to become the very passion i t s e l f , and produce an equal emotion, as any original affection, (pg. 317) "The minds of men are mirrors to one another" (pg. 365), and although "no passion of another discovers i t s e l f immediately to the mind" (pg. 576), a l l the affections readily pass from one person to another "as motions between strings equally wound up." (pg. 576) It i s evident that i f persons are truly attuned to one another in this way, moral phenomena can present no d i f f i c u l t i e s for a naturalistic account of action. Persons are as l i k e l y as not to have a "general" perspective on actions and sentiments, and to be motivated accordingly. Thus, i t can be seen that Hume's claim concerning the affective basis of moral judgments f i n a l l y centers on the principle of sympathy. In going beyond his discovery that morals are more properly f e l t than judged of, and i n attempting to answer the question: "Why any action or sentiment upon the general view or survey, gives a certain satisfaction 144 or uneasiness . , " Hume has committed himself to an explanation of the moral point of view in terms of the principle of sympathy. I believe that his attempt to provide this explanation f a i l s , at least to the extent that he does not provide convincing evidence—in the context of the principle of sympathy—that a l l moral judgments originate in the passions. In the following section of my paper, I shall consider Hume's treatment of the process of sympathy in some detail and argue that i t i s inadequate to the task set for i t in the Treatise. Before proceeding to the next section, however, I must suggest that Hume's concern to "go farther" in the explanation of vice and virtue (than his "discovery" that i t is feelings which are constitutive of moral judgments) would seem more natural had he been a rationalist in ethics. A rationalist might accept the view that moral judgments involve a certain experience of pleasure or uneasiness attending the contemplation of action or sentiment; but he would want to press on from there in an effort to show that the "contemplation" is not passive, and that i t involves the active participation of reason. From there, the rationalist would conceivably argue that i t is the activity of reason implicit in the contemplation of action or sentiment that con-stitutes the f i n a l or original cause of moral judgments, and that i t is the form of such contemplation which is the essence of the moral point of view. Hume, of course, would seek to block such a move, but he i s l i k e the rationalist in his determination to carry his account of morality beyond the feelings involved i n (or constituting) moral judg-ment. His most conservative course would have been simply to rest his 145 account of morals upon the "discovery" that morals have their basis in impressions rather than in ideas. Nonetheless, he takes to the more dangerous ground, indicating that he was far more concerned to uncover interesting and d i f f i c u l t truths than merely to safeguard the naturalism of his account of action. Hume's generosity in this connection is the source, I believe, of some of the most damaging incoherencies in the Treatise; a claim that I shall attempt to substantiate in the following section. It i s also, however, one of the reasons for the perennial (and warranted) interest in the Treatise. The enormity of Hume's ambitions may have made the occurrence of error inevitable, but i t also assured that even his mistakes would be important to understand. (Of course, i t goes without saying that this previous statement largely depends for i t s truth as much upon Hume's capabilities as his ambitions.) IV. SYMPATHY ^ The principle of sympathy "succeeds" for Hume by explaining how we can be naturally concerned for the interest of others; and this explanation i s achieved by positing what I have termed the "supra-individualistic" character of passion. We note that, for the purposes of the Treatise, the "natural" quality of sympathy i s of the f i r s t importance. Having admitted that moral judgments have an immediate practical influence upon action, Hume must avoid the possibility of those judgments having their origin in reason. Thus, we shall find Hume at pains to demonstrate the explanatory power of the principle of sympathy and to conserve i t s independence from any fundamental reliance upon the understanding. As we have seen, Hume provides a f a i r l y concise original des-cription of the principle of sympathy in the second book: When any affection is infus'd with sympathy, i t i s at f i r s t known only by i t s effects, and by those external signs in the countenance and conversation, which convey an idea of i t . This idea is presently converted into an impression, and acquires such a degree of force and vivacity, as to become the very passion i t s e l f , and produce an equal motion, as any original affection, (pg. 317) Hume considers the basis of this phenomenon to l i e in the determination of the imagination to associate resembling impressions and ideas. He provides, however, two seemingly inconsistent accounts of this associative propensity. 146 147 'Tis evident, that the idea, or rather impression of our-selves i s always intimately present with us, and that our conscious-ness gives us so l i v e l y a conception of our own person, that ' t i s not possible to imagine, that any thing can in this particular go beyond i t . whatever object, therefore, is related to ourselves must be conceived with a lik e vivacity of conception, according to the foregoing principles; and tho' this relation shou'd not be so strong as that of causation, i t must s t i l l have a considerable influence. (pg. 317) Here, the occurrence of the association i s grounded in the steady and l i v e l y impression of self. Any resembling impression cannot f a i l to be associated with ourselves, because we are never without an impression of self which i s so powerful that i t must draw any resembling impression to i t s e l f . In contrast to this, we read on page 340: Outself, independent of the perception of every other object, i s in reality nothing; For which reason we must turn our view to external objects; and ' t i s natural for us to consider with most attention such as l i e contiguous to us, or resemble us. Here, the occurrence of the association i s grounded in the essential or "real" emptiness of self. We must turn our view to external objects because there i s simply nothing to view in ourselves. Since, for this reason, our attention i s always fixed outside ourselves, any impression which resembles ourselves cannot escape association. Now, besides being inconsistent with one another, there are further d i f f i c u l t i e s with both these accounts. The former account seems impossibly at odds with Hume's famous sceptical remarks in the earlier section on "Personal Identity"; and the latter account raises the problem of how any external object can be related to what " i s i n reality nothing." 148 I am not inclined to make much of these d i f f i c u l t i e s . In point of fact, the two quotations cohere in a way which suggests that Hume's notion of personal identity i s actually quite commonplace. When Hume says that "Ourself, independent of the perception of every other object, i s in reality nothing," he commits himself to nothing more than the interdependence of the impression of self and the impressions of "every other object." Such an interdependence is not inconsistent with a li v e l y and steady impression of self , and may, in fact, be considered to be the condition which guarantees at least the steadiness of the con-ception of self. For i f the interdependence of the impression of self and the impressions of every other object i s perfectly constant, then the impression of self must inhere in virtually every impression. We must remember exactly what i t was in the accounts of his pre-decessors that Hume was attacking in the section on personal identity: There are some philosophers, who imagine we are every moment intimately conscious of what we c a l l our SELF; that we feel i t s existence and i t s continuance i n existence; and are certain, beyond the evidence of a demonstration, both of i t s perfect identity and simplicity. (pg. 251) What Hume really wants to take "some philosophers" to task for i s their conception of the "perfect identity and simplicity' 1 of the self. There i s a clear-cut application of the tools already forged i n the f i r s t book beckoning here. If the self has a perfect identity and simplicity, then there must be a perfectly simple idea of the self which derives from a correspondent impression. Hume challenges his opponents to produce a simple impression of "s e l f , " confident that they must f a i l . 149 This question ' t i s impossible to answer without a manifest contradiction and absurdity; and yet ' t i s a question, which must necessarily be answer'd, i f we would have the idea of self pass for clear and i n t e l l i g i b l e . (pg. 251) Now, although Hume was very clear that there could be no simple idea of self in the absence of any simple impression of self, he does not seem at a l l clear that there could be no impression of self at a l l . An earlier passage i n the Treatise suggests that Hume believed that there was a sort of aura of subjectivity about our impressions and ideas. In thinking of our past thoughts we not only delineate out the objects, of which we were thinking, but also conceive the action of the mind i n the meditation, that certain je-ne-scai-quoi, of which ' t i s impossible to give any definition or description, but which every one sufficiently understands. (pg. 106) Of course, Hume does not believe that there i s any action, properly speaking, involved in the having of an idea. It is d i f f i c u l t to see what else he can be referring to here other than a certain impression of self "of which ' t i s impossible to give any definition or description"; which "impossibility" is perfectly consistent with the fact that certain " j e-ne-s cai-quoi" i s not a simple impression, but rather a concomitant experience associated with every perception. This idea of self, which is appropriately "unclear," "but which every one sufficiently under-stands," represents the positive side of Hume's notion of personal identity. "Some philosophers" thought that they examined their per-ceptions and discovered a simple impression of self. Hume wanted to prove that they did not really discover what they thought they did, but rather that the self was perceived only in a condition of dependence 150 upon every other perception; that i s , upon the perception of every other object but the self. '" . For my own part, when I enter most intimately into what I c a l l myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a per-ception, and never can observe any thing but the perception, (pg. 252) I can "catch" myself, but only with a perception of some other thing; and then only that some other thing can be observed, but not the "se l f " simpliciter. This description does not s t r i c t l y rule out the possibility of an experience of self; but such an experience would present real problems of categorization for Hume, since i t i s quite evidently not a simple impression on the model which he has developed i n the f i r s t book of the Treatise. Thus, Hume presents no positive account of the self at a l l , beyond rationalizing i t s conceptual existence i n terms of the relations of resemblance, contiguity, and causation, obtaining between certain sets of perceptions i n each person's experience. However, there i s enough implicit in the earlier parts of the Treatise to rule out the charge of gross inconsistency between the claims for the impression of self made in the third book and the sceptical account of personal identity We can only regret that Hume neglected to turn his hand to a more exten-sive and explicit treatment of that impression of ourselves "which i s always intimately present to us." 151 The relation of resemblance is seconded by some other relations in the production of sympathy: The sentiments of others, have l i t t l e influence, when far remov'd from us, and require the relation of contiguity, to make themselves communicate entirely. The relations of blood, being a species of causation, may sometimes contribute to the same effect; as also acquaintance, which operates i n the same manner with education and custom; as we shall see more ful l y afterwards. A l l these relations, when united together, convey the impression or consciousness of our own person to the idea of the sentiments or passions of others, and makes us conceive tbem i n the strongest and most l i v e l y manner. (pg. 318) We might regard "resemblance" as the necessary condition of an infusion of sympathy. We can only sympathize with those who resemble us in their humanity or sentience; but such resemblance does not guarantee that our idea of the passions of those others shall be infused by sympathy. Given that other persons resemble us, our selection of subjects for sympathy w i l l depend upon the relations of contiguity in space and time, relations of blood, and general acquaintanceship and familiarity with the other. This i s a rather complex group of rela-tions, concerning the ordering or precedence of which Hume i s vague. This vagueness is easily understood, however, when we consider how highly individual a matter such an ordering must be. That i s , even i f we could assign relatively precise orderings within any particular re-lation (father closer than uncle; acquaintance formed yesterday closer than acquaintance formed a month ago; member of our golf club more resembling than member of our union; etc.), we must be at a loss to assign precise ordering between two or more of these relations. Thus, 152 should we be asked to predict whether we would be more likely to sympathize with (a) an acquaintance formed yesterday who is a member of our union, or (b) an acquaintance formed a month ago who i s "a member of our golf club, we must f a i l to provide any prediction which could be regarded as general. But this d i f f i c u l t y i s not of much moment; Hume i s not bound to provide us with an exhaustive set of principles which determine the sympathetic process in order to vindicate his hypothesis concerning the character of that process and the place that i t has in the generation of moral judgments. The essential thing about the relations which determine the sympathetic process is their natural quality. If Hume can argue persuasively that moral judgments are generally derived from infusions of sympathy, and that sympathy i s determined in i t s operations by a set of relations which are demonstrably natural, then he has certainly provided an adequate defense of his naturalistic theory of action i n the special case of moral action. Given that the suggested relations are demonstrably natural (and this i s a point I shall not dispute), what we must examine is the claim that they alone determine the sympathetic process. As we shall see, i t i s at this point that Hume's case proves to be weakest. There is yet one other possible supporting condition for the operation of the principle of sympathy; a condition which Hume makes no explicit mention of. It seems consistent with the offered description of sympathy to suppose that the success or failure of an "infusion" of sympathy w i l l , to some extent, be a function of the strength of the passion sympathized with. Given that the relations of resemblance and 153 contiguity are considered to have a positive effect on the sympathetic process, i t seems clear that they produce this effect by virtue of their presenting the subject passion in the most li v e l y manner possible. " A l l these relations" make us conceive the passions of others " i n the strongest and most l i v e l y manner." (pg. 318) Therefore, we might con-clude that the inherent force or liveliness of the subject passion would, in conjunction with the relations of resemblance and contiguity, have a similar positive effect on the sympathetic process. If two passions of equal contiguity and resemblance to a particular observer were con-sidered to be of unequal i n t r i n s i c strength, then we would expect—all other things being equal—that the strongest passion would enjoy the greatest likelihood of being sympathized with. This expectation is consistent with Hume's general conception of sympathy as being a kind of attunement or infection: a l l the affections readily pass from one person to another "as motions between strings equally wound up." (pg. 576) The models of infection and attunement both suggest that the liveliness of the subject passion must l i t e r a l l y be of the f i r s t importance, since the process of sympathy originates in a subject passion and depends upon a liveliness of perception for i t s success. We must wonder, therefore, why Hume makes no explicit mention of this condition determining the process of sympathy when i t seems implicit in the very idea of sympathy as he describes i t . There are, I believe, at least two reasons for this omission on Hume's part. F i r s t l y , i t i s not true that the process of sympathy originates in a subject passon; at least, i t is not s t r i c t l y true. The sympathetic process 154 originates i n the idea of a subject passion. •\. *»-No passion of another discovers i t s e l f immediately to the mind. We are only sensible of i t s causes or effects. From these we infer the passion: And consequently these give rise to our sympathy. (pg. 576) Hume held the common view that the relationship between having a passion, sentiment, or opinion, and the expression of such a passion, sentiment, or opinion, was a contingent one. Thus, any particular passion, senti-ment, or opinion " i s at f i r s t known only by i t s effects, and by those external signs in the countenance and conversation, which convey an idea of i t . " (pg. 317) The perception of any passion " i n " others de-pends upon a causal inference from bits of their behavior to the idea of the passion judged to have caused that behavior. Whatever the l i v e -liness of an other's passion might be, we are never immediately exposed to that liveliness, since our very idea of the other's passion must always be produced and hence mediated by a judgment. We can, to be sure, also make judgments concerning the liveliness or force of an other's passion; but such judgments must, for a number of reasons, never enjoy the certainty that the basic judgment of the idea of an other's passion can. It is far easier to dissemble with regard to the intensity of our feelings than i t i s to dissemble with regard to their very type or form. Furthermore, there are enormous individual differences involved in the causal relationship between the liveliness of our passions and the exter-nal signs we give of them; that i s , there is certainly far more variation (and hence uncertainty involved in the judgment of) between the liveliness 155 of our passions and their consequent expression than there is between the kind or type of our passions and their consequent expression. These considerations must qualify the attunement or infection model of the process of sympathy by greatly diminishing the relative importance of the liveliness of the subject passion. This goes some distance towards explaining Hume's disinterest in this aspect of the sympathetic process. We can speculate concerning a second reason for Hume's silence in this connection, which centers on his commitment to a model of sympathy as a kind of infection or attunement. We re c a l l our interest in the question posed by Hume on page 475 of the Treatise: "WHY ANY ACTION OR SENTIMENT UPON THE GENERAL VIEW OR SURVEY, GIVES A CERTAIN SATISFACTION OR UNEASINESS . . . " How can a perfectly other-regarding act, or an act considered "without regard to our particular interest," be the occasion of any feeling in us at all? This question was regarded as hazardous for Hume insofar as i t seemed d i f f i c u l t to conceive of any answer which could be consistent with the psychological hedonism of the second book of the Treatise; but the principle of "sympathy" answered the need: Now we have no such extensive concern for society but from sympathy; and consequently ' t i s that principle, which takes us so far out of ourselves, as to give us the same pleasure or un-easiness i n the characters of others, as i f they had a tendency to our own advantage or loss. (pg. 579) Now, Hume has stated that moral judgments have a practical influence on our actions and affections. The "pleasure or uneasiness in the charac-ters of others" which constitutes our moral judgments also constitutes one 156 of the determinants of our conduct. Thus, through the relationship of cause and effect, we may properly regard the principle of sympathy as having a practical influence upon our actions and affections. I have suggested (pg. 152 this section) that Hume is bound by this practicality of the principle of sympathy to carefully guarantee both the natural quality of the relations determining i t , and the fact that i t i s exclu-sively determined by those natural relations. In accordance with this theoretical obligation, Hume constantly refers to sympathy in ways which emphasize i t s passive, involuntary character as a sort of infection or attunement. Thus: A good-natur'd man finds himself in an instant of the same humour with his company . . . A chearful countenance infuses a sensible complacency and serenity into my mind . . . (pg. 317) . . . take a general survey of the universe, and observe the force of sympathy thro 1 the whole animal creation, and the easy communication of sentiments from one thinking being to another, (pg. 363) So close and intimate i s the correspondence of human souls, that no sooner any person approaches me, than he diffuses on me a l l his opinions, and draws along my judgment i n a greater or lesser degree. (pg. 592) Hume goes sb far in this tendency to include even animals among those "thinking beings" who are capable of being sympathetic: 'Tis evident, that sympathy, or the communication of passions, takes place among animals, no less than among men. Fear, anger, courage and other affections are frequently communicated from one animal to another, without their knowledge of that cause, which produc'd the original passion. (pg. 398) 157 The point of these examples rests in their exclusion of any necessity of an act of the understanding to the sympathetic process, beyond the causal association of certain bits of behavior with the idea of certain passions. We do not choose the subjects of our sympathy; much less do we consciously select those passions or characters with whom we should, would, or shall be sympathetic. Instead, sympathy does i t s remarkable work spontaneously, and our sympathetic affections "happen" to us in terms of the natural relations of resemblance and contiguity. (We must note that what Hume describes as sympathy among animals looks suspiciously lik e a variety of instinctive self-concern, rather than a principle which takes the "sympathetic" animal out of i t s e l f . The interests of gregarious animals are common in the most primitive ways imaginable. The startled cry and fl i g h t of one goose is certain to precipitate the f l i g h t of i t s entire flock. No goose in a flock needs to be taken out of i t s e l f to fear what has frightened another member of i t s flock; the presence of a predator i s an urgent and immediate menace to every member of a flock of geese. Similarly, the evident relaxation and ease of the other members of i t s group must act as an assurance to an animal that no danger threatens i t . Such ethological considerations might be brought forward by Hume as representing something l i k e the prototype of sympathetic pro-cess in sentient beings, but they cannot be regarded as "developed" instances of sympathy.insofar as they imply no concern for others on the part of the sympathizing animal.) We have noted that the fact that the sympathetic process does not actually originate in a subject passion—but rather in the idea of a 158 subject passion, or behavior which gives rise to the idea of a subject passion—qualifies or weakens the infection or attunement model of-*, sympathy. We might add to this that the qualification seems to operate on what Hume emphasized as the passive and involuntary character of the sympathetic process. Any indication which suggests that the sym-pathetic process depends upon an imaginative realization of the other's feelings or state of mind as i t s i n i t i a t i n g element or determinant must also suggest that the sympathetic process depends, at a fundamental level, upon certain dispositions of the sympathetic agent which cannot be properly regarded as completely passive. That i s , the more essential to the i n i t i a t i o n of an infusion of sympathy the understanding becomes, the less l i k e l y becomes Hume's general treatment of the sympathetic process as a kind of imposition or infection from without; and the more li k e l y becomes a consideration of the sympathetic agent as the proper origin of the sympathetic process. This is clearly a line of thought which is most inimical to Hume's basic purposes in connection with the principle of sympathy, since the naturalism of the sympathetic process i s linked with i t s passive and involuntary character. These considera-tions might well have constituted, for Hume, good reason to avoid discussion of the part played by the strength of the subject passion in the determination of the sympathetic process. This question of an imaginative realization of the passion of the other as the i n i t i a t i n g element in a sympathetic process receives positive, and surprising, attention from Hume in the section of the second book addressed to the phenomenon of compassion. Hume has pointed 159 out i n the section preceding his treatment "Of Compassion" that the passions of love and hatred are always associated with -two other, •v i n t r i n s i c a l l y practical, passions—benevolence and anger. Thus: . . . benevolence and anger are passions different from love and hatred, and only conjoin 1d with them, by an original constitution of the mind. As Nature has given to the body certain appetites and inclinations, which she encreases, diminishes, or changes according to the situation of the fluids or solid; she has pro-ceeded i n the same manner with the mind. According as we are possess'd with love or hatred, the correspondent desire of the happiness or misery of the person, who is the object of these passions, arises in the mind, and varies with each variation of these opposite passions. (pg. 368) Love i s not i n t r i n s i c a l l y , but only contingently practical, because love i s only contingently associated with benevolence; but love i s "always followed by, or rather conjoined with benevolence," so the fact that the association is contingent i s of no practical consequence. The point i s that we bear a natural concern for those we love. The problem then arises, against this background, of how we come to be concerned for those whom we do not love; how is pity possible? Pity i s a concern for . . . the misery of others, without any friendship . . . to occasion this concern. . . . We pity even strangers, and such as are perfectly indifferent to us. . . . (pg. 369) Of course, this question must be quickly resolved through an application of the principle of sympathy. We can have a concern for the misery of strangers, because their resemblance to us, and contiguity, cause an infusion of their passions upon us. We may not, s t r i c t l y speak-ing, love those whom we pity (although this is possible)*, but we can and 160 do enter Into their feelings to such an extent that their unhappiness becomes a matter of practical concern for us. 'Twill be easy to explain the passion of pity, from the precedent reasoning concerning sympathy. We have a li v e l y idea of every thing related to us. A l l human creatures are related to us by resemblance. Their persons, therefore, their interests, their passions, their pains and pleasures must strike upon us in a l i v e l y manner, and produce an emotion similar to the original one; since a l i v e l y idea i s easily converted into an impression, (pg. 369) If the misery of others is communicated to us in such a way that i t acquires the force of an original impression, then i t follows that when and i f such a communicated impression determines us to action, that we a c t — i n a manner of speaking—for the other. This is a completely straightfoward application of the principle of sympathy as Hume has described i t in the second book. Some complications arise, however, when we consider the relationship between "pity" and "sympathy" i n more detail. F i r s t l y , Hume admits i t to be a psychological fact that the strength or degree of the passion of pity i s not always commensurate with the degree of misery f e l t by the pitied other; nor is i t necessary for a passion of pity to be communicated by sympathy, that the other be miserable at a l l ! There remains only to take notice of a pretty remarkable phaenomenon of this passion; which i s , that the communicated passion of sympathy sometimes acquires strength from the weak-ness of i t s original, and even arises by a transition from affections, which have no existence. (pg. 370) This is certainly "pretty remarkable." (We must parenthetically note 161 here that by the phrase "communicated passion of sympathy" Hume is not to be interpreted as considering "sympathy" to be a kind of passion. In this case, the possessive pronoun is used in such a way that we might reconstitute the phrase as "sympathy's communicated passion"—or even more felicitously as "the passion communicated by_ sympathy.") Hume's examples of these "remarkable" instances of pity depend upon the force of the relations of cause and effect, and comparison. When we perceive someone in certain circumstances which we recognize as prejudicial to his comfort or interest, the imagination is determined by this perception to associate with i t the feelings of discomfort, misery, and unhappiness that generally attend i t . Even i f the suffering other should not actually have these feelings himself—either through some sort of insensibility, or strength of mind and s p i r i t — t h e relation of cause and effect determines the mind of the observer to impose the idea of miserable feelings upon him, and to compare these imaginatively realized feelings with his actual and evident lack of them. Then the sympathetic observer proceeds to sympathize with the imagined feelings which he him-self has "created" and associated with his subject; and he sympathizes with this wretched other in terms of his judgment of the contrast be-tween the imagined feelings and the actual ones. In this manner, "a man, who is not.,dejected by misfortunes, i s the more lamented on account of his patience; and i f that virtue extends so far as utterly to remove a l l sense of uneasiness, i t s t i l l farther encreases our compassion." (pg. 370) Hume has recourse here to a notion of generality, or "general rules," that w i l l be seen to be important in his account of the relationship 162 between the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy and moral judgments. As we o u r s e l v e s are here acquainted w i t h the wretched s i t u a t i o n of the person, i t gives us a l i v e l y i d e a and s e n s a t i o n of sorrow, which i s the passion that g e n e r a l l y attends i t ; and t h i s i d e a be-comes s t i l l more l i v e l y , and the sensation more v i o l e n t by a c o n t r a s t w i t h that s e c u r i t y and i n d i f f e r e n c e , which we observe i n the person h i m s e l f . A c o n t r a s t of any k i n d never f a i l s to a f f e c t the i m a g i n a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y when presented by the s u b j e c t ; and ' t i s on the i m a g i n a t i o n t h a t p i t y e n t i r e l y depends. (pg. 371) We might q u e s t i o n the l i k e l i h o o d of such a c o n t r a s t having t h i s p a r t i c u l a r e f f e c t upon the imagination. That i s , i t seems reasonable to suppose that the a c t u a l and evident " s e c u r i t y and i n d i f f e r e n c e " of the "wretched" other would have the e f f e c t of weakening our determina-t i o n to impose upon him "a l i v e l y i d e a of sorrow." More important than t h i s , however, i s the f a c t that a p a s s i o n , which " a r i s e s from a t r a n s i -t i o n from a f f e c t i o n s , which have no e x i s t e n c e " cannot be considered to be "communicated": r a t h e r , the a f f e c t i o n s which have no e x i s t e n c e , and the sympathetic r e a l i z a t i o n of those a f f e c t i o n s i n the observer, both have t h e i r o r i g i n i n the sympathetic observer's judgment of the wretched s i t u a t i o n of the other. Nothing i s "communicated" here except a set of circumstances: the sympathetic observer perceives the s i t u a t i o n of the o t h e r , and the f a c t t h a t the other's a f f e c t i v e response t o h i s s i t u a t i o n i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e , or v i r t u a l l y n on-existent. The p a s s i o n of p i t y attends these circumstances, but must be considered to o r i g i n a t e e n t i r e l y i n the understanding of the sympathetic observer i n s o f a r as he judges of the wretchedness of c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s , and the inappropriateness of the l a c k of a f f e c t i n those s i t u a t i o n s . I f t h i s i s the case, however, we must 163 regard the infection and attunement model of the process of sympathy as completely irrelevant to Hume's description of the passion of pity in those "pretty remarkable" instances of the passion which arise "by a transition from affections, which have no existence." The question we must ask here i s : what is the motivation to the w i l l of the sympathetic observer that determines him to make these "original" judgments? This question i s , of course, precisely the one which Hume invites us to accept the principle of sympathy as the answer to; but so long as we regard the process of sympathy as the communication of passion, we must reject i t s applicability to this problem. We might try to resolve this d i f f i c u l t y by considering Hume to be conflating, i n this instance, the passion of pity with an impression of a different kind and origin. Consider the following description of the "remarkable" variety of pity: When a person of merit f a l l s into what is vulgarly esteem'd a great misfortune, we form a notion of his condition; and carry-ing our fancy from the cause of i t s usual effect, f i r s t conceive a l i v e l y idea of his sorrow, and then feel an impression of i t , entirely overlooking that greatness of mind, which elevates him above such emotions, or only considering i t so far as to encrease our admiration, love and tenderness for him. (pg. 370) Now, i n this instance, we can trace the impression of "admiration, love and tenderness" to the character of the person of merit which elevates him above the useless sorrow that customarily attends certain conditions. We have already learned that the passion of benevolence always i s associated with the passion of love, and therefore we might consider Hume to be confounding this benevolence with the passion of 164 pity. By admiring and loving the character of the other, he is no longer merely a stranger to us; we are disposed to desire his happiness because we love him. Thus, there i s really no need here for any recourse to the principle of sympathy to explain our concern for the "person of merit," and Hume's d i f f i c u l t i e s with the principle must disappear with the principle i t s e l f . This line of thought must f a i l , however, for exactly the same reasons that the original one f a i l s . To admire, love, and feel tenderness towards the character of a stranger, as i f that character had a tendency to our own personal advantage or loss, can only occur through the mediation of the principle of sympathy. We must be taken "out of ourselves" in order to feel anything for those others whose interests are not evidently in common with our own, or for whom we have no natural affection. Thus, when we reinterpret the passion of pity in these special circumstances as being actually the passion of benevolence, we effect the disappearance of the need for the principle of sympathy as an explanatory device at one point, only to have the need for i t reappear at another. However we are to be taken out of ourselves in feeling love and admiration for the character of another who is not affected by the wretchedness of his situation, i t i s not through a communication of passion. The principle of sympathy must f a i l of i t s explanatory purpose in the second instance, just as i t did in the f i r s t . (We note that Hume refers to the subject of sympathy in this example as a "person of merit" and describes our regard for his composure as an "encrease" in admiration and love. The implication here i s that we have a prior regard for his merit which i s enhanced, rather than created anew, 165 by his behavior in adversity. This raises the possibility that we already bear such affection for the person, prior to'-the "great mis,-fortune" considered, that our regard for his interests i s already established and only precipitated and amplified by the perception of his misfortune. If this were the case, everything in the example would depend upon a prior infusion of sympathy for this person, in which we were made aware of his "merit" in a manner consistent with the descrip-tion of sympathy as a communication of passion. Of course, this would make the case, as Hume describes i t , perfectly inappropriate as an instance of pity.) The place of the imagination in the i n i t i a t i o n of the sympathetic process i s further discussed by Hume in connection with the practicality of the passion of pity. We re c a l l Hume's description of the process of sympathy as involving the infusion of the sympathetic observer with the passion of another: 'Tis indeed evident, that when we sympathize with the passions and sentiments of others, these movements appear f i r s t in our mind as mere ideas, and are conceiv'd to belong to another person, as we conceive any other matter of fact. 'Tis also evident, that the ideas of the affections of others are converted into the very impressions they represent, and that the passions arise in con-formity to the images we form of them. (pg. 319) Now, when the ideas of the affections of others are converted into the very impressions they represent, the cognitive association of those impressions with the others is not lost. That i s , although the sympatheti cally realized passion of another is not phenomenologically distinguish-able from any of the other "ordinary" passions which arise in our souls 166 (a perception is a perception), we do not, for some reason, regard or respond to that passion as i f i t were entirely our own. Hume does not enter into the reasons for this, but his description of the passion of pity as a "concern for others" admits of no other interpretation. "Pity" i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y practical, and i t s practicality is other-directed. This fact about p i t y — t h a t i t is other-directed or other-concerned— raises an interesting problem: There is always a mixture of love or tenderness with pity, and of hatred or anger with malice. But i t must be confess'd, that this mixture seems at f i r s t sight to be contradictory to my system. For as pity i s an uneasiness, and malice a joy, arising from the misery of others, pity shou'd naturally, as in a l l other cases, produce hatred; and malice, love. (pg. 381) Since we associate the passion of pity with an other, and the passion is an uneasiness, the question must arise as to why we do not merely hate the miserable other as the identifiable cause of our new-found uneasiness, "as in a l l other cases." Hume has already made pass-ing reference to these "other cases" in an earlier section of the second book entitled "Of our esteem for the rich and powerful." In this section, he claims that our esteem for the rich and the powerful i s largely a function of the principle of sympathy, and that our contempt for the poor and the miserable is attributable to that same principle: Upon the whole, there remains nothing, which can give us an esteem for power and riches, and a contempt for meaness and poverty, except the principle of sympathy, by which we enter into the sentiments of the rich and the poor, and partake of their pleasures and uneasiness. (pg. 362) 167 Being infused by the uneasiness of the poor, we hate and hold them in contempt for imposing their feelings upon use. (We must notice, in this connection, that there i s some difference between having contempt for the poor, and hating the miserable. Hume has more to say about the passions of "respect and contempt" in a later section of the second book. (pg. 389-93) His remarks there do not alter, however, the general principle involved here; which i s , that through the mediation of the process of sympathy, we can feel antipathy for others because of their uneasiness.) Hume attempts to resolve the contradiction indicated on page 381 of the Treatise with two arguments, the f i r s t of which i s sophistical, and the second of which involves a very interesting account of the place of the imagination in the process of sympathy. Hume introduces his f i r s t argument in this connection with the suggestion that some passions are not only characterizable in terms of a particular impression or sensation, but that further to this they have a certain "bent or tendency" in their determination to action. "One impression may be related to another, not only when their sensations are resembling, as we have a l l along suppos'd i n the preceding cases; but also when their impulses and directions are similar and correspon-dent." (pg. 381) Thus, when we discover that two passions are related in terms of their impulses and direction, we may regard them as related in their characteristic impressions as well. Hume goes on from this to argue i n something like the following manner on page 382: 1. Benevolence i s the appetitive passion which i s constantly associated with love. Its bent or tendency i s a desire of the happiness 168 of the person beloved, and an aversion to his misery. 2. Pity i s a desire of happiness to another/- and aversioh vto his misery. 3. The bent or tendency of pity i s the same as that of benevo-lence, hence the two passions are related. 4. As benevolence is always connected with love, "by a natural and original quality," so must pity be connected with love. This argument begs the question i t is addressed to. Love and benevolence are contingently associated, but their association is constant; that i s , love i s always conjoined with benevolence, or a desire of the happiness of the person beloved. Thus, to describe pity as a desire of the happiness of another i s equivalent to describing pity as "mixed" or associated with love. To educe this association does not touch the question posed by Hume, which was concerned with the uneasiness connected with the passion of pity. Uneasiness occasioned by the character or actions of another customarily causes hatred of that other, and a desire for his unhappiness and misery. Why, in the particular instance of pity, i s this causal relation seemingly reversed? This question i n d i -cates a problem i n the fundamental psychology of the passion of pity which^ cannot be resolved by merely reiterating the description of pity as a desire for the happiness and aversion to the misery of another. What we want to know, in the face of this problem, is how the particular character of the practicality of the passion of pity can be made to cohere with the sensation of uneasiness that pity i s rooted in; or, to put i t even more plainly, we want to know, given that a sympathetic 169 infusion of the misery of others causes a sensation of uneasiness in the sympathetic observer, how the passion of pity i s possible. Hume seems to recognize, in the second argument with which he attempts to resolve this problem, both i t s seriousness and i t s psycho-logical character. This argument involves the introduction of some distinctions of type as regards the principle of sympathy, in terms of the notions of "extensive" or "limited" sympathy. Hume undertakes this introduction with an "experiment" (pg. 382) which centers on the common interest of two partners in trade. He points out that we bear a love and concern for our partner no matter what his fortunes should be; i f he prospers, we rejoice and love him; and i f he suffers, we pity and love him. Our love for a partner is constant because the community of our interests causes us to discover pleasure or uneasiness in the same things. Thus: The only explication, then, we can give of this phenomenon is deriv'd from that principle of a parallel direction above-mention' d. Our concern for our own interest gives us a pleasure in the pleasure, and a pain in the pain of a partner, after the same manner as by sympathy we feel a sensation correspondent to those, which appear in any person, who is present with us. . Since, therefore, a parallel direction of the affections, proceed-ing from interest, can give rise to benevolence . . . no wonder the same parallel direction, deriv'd from sympathy and from com-parison, shou'd have the same effect. (pg. 384) This discovery does not, of course, in i t s e l f resolve the question of why in some instances a sympathy with the uneasiness of others should cause hatred i n us, and in other instances cause love i n us. What this experiment does accomplish, however, is to suggest what the psychological 170 conditions for the possibility of the passion of pity might be like . If sympathy (and comparison) can effect a "parallel direction" of the passions of the sympathetic observer with the passions of that other with which he is in sympathy, then the sympathetic observer w i l l love and have concern for that other no matter what the nature of his affections may be. In the case of the two partners in trade, the parallel direction of their passions derived from their common interest. How can "sympathy" effect such a parallel direction? Hume's basic line in response to this question is that i f the sympathy i s sufficiently "extensive" and "compleat" so as to deeply concern us with the other with whom we are in sympathy, the parallel direction of passions w i l l result. By the same token, i f the sympathy is "limited" to only the immediate passion sympathized with, then there w i l l not result any such par a l l e l direction of the passions, and the basic or ordinary model of the principle of sympathy w i l l be applicable. It i s in this connection that Hume's argument depends upon an account of the place that imagination plays in the generation of an extensive sympathy with an other. Hume recalls to our attention his earlier claim that " ' t i s not the present or momentary sensation of pain or pleasure, which determines the character of any passion, but the general bent or tendency of i t from the beginning to the end." (pg. 385) He claims, with reference to this "bent or tendency" of passions, that i t consists not simply i n their impulse or direction, but the  entire situational matrix i n which any particular passion arises. An extensive infusion of sympathy effects, therefore, not only the realization 171 of the passion sympathized with, but—through an imaginative process associated with the "bent or tendency" of that passion--a sort of r e a l -ization of virtually everything about the circumstances of that person related to or suggested by that passion. Such an extensive operation of the imagination can only be precipitated by an unusually strong i n i t i a l impression of the other's passion, but when such an extensive sympathy does occur, i t can well effect such a profound sense of every-thing related to the other that the sympathetic observer i s drawn into a consideration of his own passions as being "parall e l " with that of his subject. This is such an extraordinary theoretical gambit that we must consider Hume's explication of i t , a t some length: 'Tis a great effort of the imagination, to form such l i v e l y ideas even of the present sentiments of others as to feel these very sentiments; but 't i s impossible we cou'd extend this sympathy to the future, without being aided by some circumstance in the present, which strikes upon us in a li v e l y manner. When the present misery of another has any strong influence upon me, the vivacity of the conception i s not confin'd merely to i t s immediate object, but diffuses i t s influence over a l l the related ideas, and gives me a l i v e l y notion of a l l the circumstances of that person, whether past, present, or future; possible, probable, or certain. By means of this l i v e l y notion I am interested i n them; take part with them; and feel a sympathetic motion in my breast, conformable to whatever I imagine in his. If I diminish the vivacity of the f i r s t conception, I diminish that of the related ideas; as pipes can convey no more water than what arises at the fountain. (pg. 386) The content of an extensive process of sympathy—the imaginative realization of the "general bent and tendency" of a "strong" infusion of sympathy—can actually include "a l i v e l y notion of a l l the circum-stances of that person, whether past, present, or future; possible, probably, or certain." The l i v e l y notion of a l l these circumstances 172 effects a sympathetic motion in the breast of the sympathetic observer that extends so far that he considers his passions to be parallel to that of his subject. Therefore, even though the present misery of the other with which he sympathizes is a source of uneasiness to him, the sympathetic agent i s possessed with a passion of love and concern for that other. Of course, i f the "vivacity of the f i r s t conception" i s not sufficiently strong, the imagination is not determined to pursue the entire bent or tendency of that passion, but rather leaves the sympathetic agent with that i n i t i a l or "limited" sympathy which derives only from the immediate and apparent sentiment of the other. The basic conception of sympathy as a communication of passion is the "fountain" of a l l this, and i f there is no strong beginning to the process, i t does not result in an extensive flow of associations, relations, and further occasions of sympathy. This i s a very ingenious and tenuous account. It has, to be sure, a certain degree of p l a u s i b i l i t y to i t ; i t does seem to be true that i f we enter deeply enough into an other's feelings, we shall pity him in misfortune, even i f that pity does consist of an immediate sen-sation of uneasiness. The problem with Hume's account of extensive sympathy l i e s in i t s explication of why we are determined to enter deeply into an other's feelings. Why should the strong impression of the misery of another (which amounts to a strong impression of uneasi-ness) determine me to enter more deeply and f u l l y into a l l the circum-stances and affections associated with this . i n i t i a l conception of the feelings of that other? Why would not the hatred which must naturally 173 attend such a strong infusion of uneasiness from another not prevent me from any further—and potentially more productive of uneasiness— sympathy with that person? In these questions we find virtually the same problem which the theory of "extensive sympathy" is advanced to explain: why do we pity and have concern for those others who cause us uneasiness through the mediation of the principle of sympathy? Hume's account of the psychology of extensive sympathy does not resolve this issue, but merely reintroduces i t in a more complex setting and recondite form. It s t i l l must remain psychologically anomalous, in terms of Hume's general hedonistic theory of the human understanding and passions, to find a sympathetic observer determined to imaginatively pursue a l l the impressions and ideas associated with an i n i t i a l strong impression of uneasiness or pain. The "natural" response remains, as Hume admitted i t was in terms of the uneasiness occasioned by a sympathy with misery (pg. 381), one of hatred and antipathy; passions which must, in turn, "naturally" occasion an aversion to the miserable other—and certainly not determine the sympathetic observer to pursue and "extend" the apprehension of the affections of the other which occasioned the f i r s t strong experience of uneasiness. The1above considerations identify as problematical Hume's account of the part played by the "strength" of the f i r s t conception of the misery of another in the process of extensive sympathy. Hume has a further point to make concerning the importance of this relative strength or weakness of the i n i t i a l infusion of uneasiness from another; i t i s his belief that i f the i n i t i a l conception of the misery of an 174 other should be "carry'd too f a r , " the shock of such a sympathetically r e a l i z e d passion precludes the imaginative pursuit of"the e n t i r e bent or tendency of i t . Thus, the i n i t i a l impression of an other's misery can be ei t h e r too weak or too strong to e f f e c t an extensive process of sympathy: But tho' the force of the impression generally produces p i t y and benevolence, ' t i s c e r t a i n , that by being carry'd too f a r i t ceases to have that e f f e c t . This, perhaps, may be worth our no t i c e . When the uneasiness i s e i t h e r small i n i t s e l f , or remote from us, i t engages not the imagination, nor i s able to convey an equal concern f o r the future and contingent good, as f o r the present and r e a l e v i l . Upon i t s acquiring greater force, we be-come so int e r e s t e d i n the concerns of the person, as to be sensible of both h i s good and bad fortune; and from that compleat sympathy there a r i s e p i t y and benevolence. But ' t w i l l e a s i l y be imagined, that where the present e v i l s t r i k e s with more than ordinary f o r c e , i t may e n t i r e l y engage our at t e n t i o n , and prevent that double sympathy, above-mention'd. (pg. 388) Hume suggests as an example, i n t h i s connection, the spectacle of an execution by the rack, i n which instance the sympathetic observer " i s i n a manner overcome with horror, and has no l e i s u r e to temper t h i s uneasy sensation by any opposite sympathy." (pg. 388) Now, i f t h i s "horror" or uneasy sensation i s the r e s u l t of a l i m i t e d process of sympathy, as Hume e x p l i c i t l y claims here, then i t must be regarded as mixed or associated with hatred for the v i c t i m as i t s source. But i f t h i s i s the c a s e — i f the "horror" described by Hume i n h i s example does a c t u a l l y have the q u a l i t y of a passion of h a t r e d — t h e n i t must be regarded as a curious departure from the experience of horror that i s usua l l y reported by the observers of a t e r r i b l e execution. Such horror i s never usually described as re l a t e d to a hatred f o r the v i c t i m , but 175 i s rather considered to be associated with the intensity of the suffer- ing of the victim, and the circumstances of that suffering. Hume is suggesting here that the i n i t i a l sympathetic realization of the suffer-ing of the victim is so powerful—that i t has, l i t e r a l l y , gone so f a r — that we cannot go further with i t in the pursuit of i t s whole bent or tendency. This must, i n terms of Hume's notion of limited sympathy, result in a comparably strong hatred of the victim. The fact that we do not feel any such hatred for a victim whose agony i s the occasion of our horror, must directly confute this particular instance of limited sympathy, as Hume describes i t ; and, i t must cast a more oblique doubt on his general account of sympathy. There are, I believe, several ways in which Hume might have avoided such d i f f i c u l t i e s . He might have claimed, for instance, that not only i s an extensive process of sympathy precluded by an extra-ordinarily powerful i n i t i a l realization of the misery of another; but that not even a fully-developed limited sympathy i s possible. That i s , Hume might suggest that we cannot move beyond the sympathetic realization of extreme agony even so far as to hate the victim as the source of that realization. Alternately, and more radically, Hume might have claimed that we possess a sort of defense against the sympathetic infusion of feelings or passions which are unpleasant beyond a certain measure. The experience of being horror-struck might be educed, in this connection, as the sensation attending such a defensive response. These are, admitted-ly , very ad hoc remedies; but the notion of an i n i t i a l conception of the misery of an other which goes "too far" to make an extensive process of 176 sympathy possible must be admitted to be very ad hoc in the f i r s t place. For, i f the i n i t i a l infusion of sympathy from another is the determin-ing factor i n whether or not we can extensively sympathize with that o t h e r — i f that i n i t i a l sympathy i s , as Hume claims, the "fountain" from which the whole extensive process flows—then i t seems impossibly ingenious to discover, for the purposes of a particular sort of case, that the fountain can be too generous as well as too weak. To be sure, in choosing "horror" as the response to a terrible execution, Hume has chosen the right word for the circumstances; but that word is right only i f we regard i t as being used in i t s normal sense, and i t cannot be understood in this way i f i t represents a passion mediated by a process of limited sympathy. What, in general terms, does this suggest or prove about the claim to explanatory adequacy of Hume's principle of sympathy? We might begin a summary of what we have learned about the principle with a review of Hume's description of the "basic" sympathetic process: the "infusion" of a passion from an other to the mind of a sympathetic observer. There are several distinct steps involved in this basic process: 1. The sympathetic observer perceives a b i t of behavior of an other. This might be something which the other says; his f a c i a l ex-pression; his actions; etc. 2. The sympathetic observer i s determined to make a causal association between the impression of a particular b i t of behavior of an other and the idea of an underlying passion. This represents a straight-forward instance of the principle of the association of ideas, 177 with the proviso that the sympathetic observer has had enough experience in this connection to constantly associate certain forms of behavior with the presence of certain passions in others. 3. The imagination "conveys" to this idea of the passion of an other "the vivacity of conception, with which we always form the idea of our own person." That i s , the imagination "draws" to the idea of the passion of another sufficient liveliness to convert i t into an impression. 4. The operation of the imagination outlined in step three above is determined by the relations of resemblance and contiguity, and the circumstance of our constant and vivacious conception of self. It i s our resemblance and contiguity to the-other which determines the imagination to bestow the liveliness of our general conception of self upon the idea of the other's passion. Thus, the real active and activat-ing principle motivating every process of sympathy is every person's vivid impression of self; and this principle i s determined in i t s opera-tion by the resemblance and contiguity of an other to a sympathetic observer. In terms of this account, the other does not actually "diffuse on me" his passions, but I am determined, i n a manner of speaking, to acquire his passions. It is the imagination of the sympathetic observer which "conveys" to the idea of the other's passion the force of an impression. The very passion i t s e l f of an other i s not imposed upon the mind of a sympathetic observer, but i s really "brought" to his mind by 178 the determination of h i s own imagination. This circumstance i s emphasized by Hume's claim that the other need not f e e l anything at a l l f o r us to "sympathize" with him. The mere s i t u a t i o n of the other may be s u f f i c i e n t f o r us to imagine an appropriate passion and r e a l i z e i t i n ourselves. Thus, the passive character of the sympathetic process cannot r e l y on the fa c t that the passion sympathized with i s "imposed" upon the person observing i t ; the p a s s i v i t y of the process must r e l y , instead, on the general c l a i m — i m p l i c i t i n Hume's en t i r e d e s c r i p t i o n of the f a c u l t i e s and a c t i o n — t h a t a l l " a c t i v i t y " i s , i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , t r u l y passive. Even i f there was some kind of " w i l l " to acquire the passions of others, that determination to w i l l would have a n a t u r a l basis i n determinants over which we d i d not enjoy any i n t e n t i o n a l c o n t r o l . The n o n - r a t i o n a l i s t i c , n a t u r a l i s t i c c r e d e n t i a l s of the process of sympathy must u l t i m a t e l y r e s t on the "natural" q u a l i t y of i t s deter-minants: the v i v i d conception of s e l f and the r e l a t i o n of resemblance (and c o n t i g u i t y , which i s r e a l l y a n c i l l a r y to the r e l a t i o n of resemblance i n t h i s connection). Now, we have already noted that Hume's general conception of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy as being a kind of i n f e c t i o n or attunement receives absolutely no support from h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of even the most simple instances of the p r i n c i p l e . The notion of an other " d i f f u s i n g " h i s a f f e c t i o n s and opinions upon a sympathetic observer can only be regarded as a kind of metaphor f o r a process which i s a c t u a l l y centered i n the understanding of the observer. Hume admits t h i s i n as many words: In sympathy there i s an evident conversion of an idea i n t o an impression. This conversion a r i s e s from the r e l a t i o n of objects 179 to ourselves. Ourself i s always intimately present to us. Let us compare a l l these circumstances, and we s h a l l f i n d , that sympathy i s exactly correspondent to the operations, of the under-standing; and even contains something more s u r p r i s i n g and extra-ordinary. (pg. 320) Indeed, the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy contains something more s u r p r i s i n g and e x t r a o r d i n a r y — a n d questionable than the operations of the under-standing as they have alreay been outlined i n the Tr e a t i s e ; for the process of sympathy involves the conversion of the idea of an other's passion i n t o an impression of our own. Is th i s extraordinary element of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy consistent with the balance of Hume's psychology? Is the "n a t u r a l " determination of t h i s " s u r p r i s i n g " element adequately grounded i n that psychology? This i s doubtful. The c r i t i c a l operation of the understanding i n the process of sympathy consists i n the conveyance of the " v i v a c i t y of conception with which we always form the idea of our own person" to the idea of the other's passion. I t i s th i s s p e c i a l i n f u s i o n of force and l i v e l i n e s s i n t o the idea of the other's passion which e f f e c t s the conversion of i t i n t o an impression. This i n f u s i o n i s determined by the r e l a t i o n of resemblance perceived by the sympathetic observer. Now, we must ask, i n t h i s context, exactly what i s the nature of our resemblance to the other with whom we sympathize, and what r e l a t i o n does the nature of t h i s resemblance bear to the nature of our v i v i d conception of s e l f ? Hume speaks of (and u t i l i z e s ) the notion of a " v i v i d conception of s e l f " i n t h i s instance as though i t r e f e r r e d to the p e c u l i a r force or l i v e l i -ness with which we perceived our own perceptions. However, we have already 180 argued that i f Hume's notion of a " v i v i d conception of s e l f " i s to be interpreted as consistent with his views on the question of personal i d e n t i t y , then the impression suggested by the notion can be nothing other than a kind of experience of s u b j e c t i v i t y — a certain "je-ne-scai- quoi" which attaches not only to our impressions, but also to our ideas. When we consider the nature of the r e l a t i o n of resemblance which the sympathetic observer perceives between himself and some other, we find that i t consists only i n "external" features of persons such as sex, economic c l a s s , n a t i o n a l i t y , sentience, etc. I t i s because of this ex-ternal resemblance that the idea of the passion of an other i s acquired, from his behavior, i n the f i r s t place. But when such passions appear i n the mind of the sympathetic observer, they appear "as mere ideas, and are conceiv'd to belong to another person." Why, then, should the imagination be determined to draw to the idea of the passion of an other the impression peculiar to the s u b j e c t i v i t y of our own impressions and ideas; an extraordinary impression which, even when naturally attached to our own ideas, does not effect t h e i r conversion into an impression. There seems no reason to suppose that the imagination would be determined to associate two perceptions as completely d i s t i n c t as that of s u b j e c t i v i t y and an impression "conceiv'd to belong to another person"; and i f i t did , t h i s could not account for the conversion of the idea into an impression, but could only effect the (mistaken) perception of the idea of the other's passion as the idea of our own passion. This c r i t i q u e depends upon an interpretation of Hume's notion of our " v i v i d conception of s e l f , " and must be q u a l i f i e d by that dependence. 181 However, i f this particular interpretation f a i l s , i t would then seem impossible to rescue Hume from the charge of an inconsistency between his views on personal identity and the notion of an "impression of se l f " which is necessary to the principle of sympathy. There does not seem to be any plausible third interpretation of the notion, and thus we must consider Hume to be in d i f f i c u l t i e s here one way or the other. This suggests that Hume's account of the natural determination of the principle of sympathy is in doubt at even the most basic level, that of an instance of simple or limited sympathy. When we turn to a consideration of the more developed and complex instances of sympathy, an entirely different sort of problem arises; and, even i f the doubts discussed above are ill-founded, this new problem remains. For, beyond the problem of accepting the "natural" determinants of the relation of resemblance and the vivid conception of self as the psychologically plausible causes of the basic principle of sympathy, we must face the problem of considering the effective relationship between those determinants and the most extensive instances of the principle. For example, consider the case of a sympathetic observer confronted with the perception of a patient man suffering i n silence and evident composure. Here, the perception is not one of "bits of behavior," but rather of a certain set of circumstances; and we infer the presence of a particular passion from that set of circumstances—even though we also perceive that the man in question is not possessed by that feeling. We then go on, i n the face of the fact that the man in question does 182 not a c t u a l l y f e e l miserable, to imaginatively r e a l i z e the passion of uneasiness (which we i n f e r r e d from h i s s i t u a t i o n ) in'-ourselves as .an impression. Then, upon comparing t h i s impression w i t h i n ourselves with i t s evident absence i n the mind of man whose s i t u a t i o n we are i n sympathy with, the impression i s strengthened by the love and admiration we bear the man f o r h i s patience i n adversity. Thus, we are infused with a strong f e e l i n g of uneasiness through our sympathetic perception of a man who f e e l s no uneasiness whatsoever. Then, t h i s strong impression of uneasiness determines the imagination i n a pursuit of i t s e n t i r e bent or tendency, a p r o j e c t which proves so extensive, that we are afforded a sense of a l l of t h i s man's passions running " p a r a l l e l " to our own. Feeling t h i s , we are determined to love the other man, and seek h i s comfort and i n t e r e s t , even though he has been the source of uneasiness f o r us. The point of t h i s example i s to show the degree of complexity involved i n the operations of the understanding r e q u i s i t e to the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy at work i n a concrete s i t u a t i o n . Here we have a non-exist e n t passion of an other r e a l i z e d by an act of the imagination, strengthened by an act of the imagination, and e f f e c t i v e l y given a new d i r e c t i o n by an act of the imagination. Now, the more complex and ex-tensive t h i s imaginative aspect of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy becomes, the l e s s p l a u s i b l e becomes the claim that the two n a t u r a l determinants of the b a s i c or l i m i t e d process of sympathy can be properly considered to be the exclusive causes of the most developed instances of the p r i n c i p l e . The r e l a t i o n of resemblance and the circumstance of every 183 person's v i v i d conception of s e l f may adequately explain the process of l i m i t e d sympathy; but the process of l i m i t e d sympathy-is, i n most ^ instances of the sympathetic process, merely the beginning of a system of operations of the imagination, the explanation of which must depend upon the p r o v i s i o n of a d d i t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s of a s s o c i a t i o n . How can we accept these two n a t u r a l "determinants" of the process of sympathy as the exclusive causes of t h i s extensive, m u l t i - l e v e l e d system of operations of the understanding, when i t turns out that these nominal "causes" r e a l l y play no part i n the determination of the form, strength, or d i r e c t i o n of a developed instance of the process? For, i t i s not only p i t y which "on the imagination . .•. e n t i r e l y depends," but the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy i t s e l f ; and the further we go with Hume i n hi s documentation of t h i s f a c t , the le s s persuasive and relevant becomes the general conception of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy as a kind of attune-ment or i n f e c t i o n — a n d t h i s i s the general conception that i n v i t e d the p o s s i b i l i t y of a manageably simple and n a t u r a l i s t i c account of i t s determination. Many of these problems f o r Hume's account seem to come in t o focus around one of h i s c e n t r a l claims f o r the b a s i c conception of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy: the claim that i t i s the "very passion i t s e l f " of the other which the sympathetic observer comes to r e a l i z e w i t h i n himself as an impression. The most rudimentary empirical examination of the fa c t s concerning our sympathy with and concern f o r others must tend to throw doubt on t h i s claim as a p l a u s i b l e account of the psychol-ogy of "sympathy." When we are " i n sympathy" with those who are anxious 184 and fearful, we simply do not seem to be anxious and fearful ourselves— especially in those cases where there is no evident community of interest between ourselves and the other with whom we are i n sympathy; but the lack of such an evident community of interest is one of the defining features of a situation in which the principle of sympathy effects a concern for others. If I am about to strike a stranger in a f i t of anger, but restrain myself out of a sympathy for him, I do not restrain myself out of fear. Indeed, i t may well be a kind of uneasiness that occasions my restraint, but Hume's account of the generation of such a passion of uneasiness ex p l i c i t l y depends upon a prior infusion of the passion of fear from the other, and an extensive imaginative alteration of i t . But I do not, in such an instance, feel any impression of fear, and this must be considered an embarrassment for Hume's account. Hume is probably on solid ground in his description of the process of sympathy as regards the perception of the feelings and c i r -cumstances of the other. That part of his theory which accounts for the causal association of particular bits of behavior and particular situations with the presence of particular passions is plausible. How-ever, the step which attends this acquisition of the idea of the other's feelings—the claim that we imaginatively invest the idea of the other's feelings with the vivacity of our conception of s e l v e s — i n infelicitous theoretically and implausible on empirical grounds. It i s infelicitous theoretically because i t depends upon a notion of a vivid conception of self which does not cohere with Hume's position concerning personal identity (pages 180-181 this section); and because the whole cumbersome 185 apparatus of the process of extensive sympathy, and the problems internal to i t that we have already discussed (pages 172-173 this section) are made necessary by i t . It is implausible on empirical grounds because Hume would find i t impossible to produce the impression which the idea of the other's passion is said to be converted into. Why, then, was Hume attracted to the notion of the "very passion i t s e l f " of the other making an appearance in the mind of the sympathetic observer as an impression, rather than simply as an idea? One could argue that the idea of an other's suffering might well deter-mine us to consider the associated circumstances of that other i n an extensive way, and thus constitute the psychological grounds for a passion of pity. This position would obviate the need for the more questionable operations of the imagination requisite to the notion of "extensive sympathy" as Hume describes i t . (I am thinking, in particu-lar here, of the impression of uneasiness diffused upon the sympathetic observer, which Hume claims determines the observer to imaginatively realize i t s entire bent or tendency. While i t seems unlikely, in terms of Hume's own psychology, that we should be attracted to the project of realizing the entire tendency of an impression of uneasiness, the idea of the uneasiness of some other might possibly stimulate the imagination.) To understand why Hume could not entertain such a theoretical option, we must remind ourselves of two things: f i r s t l y , that one of the main problems that the principle of sympathy is addressed to is the question of how persons come to be practically concerned for the welfare of strangers—a question intimately connected for Hume with the question of 186 how moral judgments (which are p r a c t i c a l ) are possible; and secondly, that the very structure and economy of h i s psychology demands that the process of sympathy (since i t can possibly be a p r a c t i c a l process) be motivated by a passion, rather than an idea. Hume i s not i d l y or a r b i t r a r i l y concerned to advance a con-ception of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy on the model of an attunement or i n f e c t i o n ; t h i s general notion of sympathy as being a kind of d i f f u s i o n of the passion of one person onto another i s e s s e n t i a l l y connected with h i s c e n t r a l project of providing a n a t u r a l i s t i c explanation of a l l kinds of human a c t i o n — a n d u l t i m a t e l y of human nature i t s e l f . One of h i s b a s i c t h e o r e t i c a l moves i n the ser v i c e of t h i s project was the e s t a b l i s h -ment of the exclusive p r a c t i c a l i t y of passion, and the i r r e d u c i b l e i m p r a c t i c a l i t y of reason. It was t h i s conception of the p r a c t i c a l character of passion, and the t h e o r e t i c a l character of reason that made the f a c t of persons' p r a c t i c a l concern for others problematical i n the f i r s t place, i n that i t r a i s e d the question of how—within the context of Hume's psychology—we could be p r a c t i c a l l y concerned f o r others with whom we had no a f f e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n . I f a l l action i s grounded i n passion, and a l l passions are grounded i n the s e l f , then i t follows that a l l action i s self-concerned and s e l f - d i r e c t e d i n s o f a r as a l l action i s motivated by the desire to g r a t i f y our passionate impulses. There i s , of course, no problem f o r Hume's impulsive theory of act i o n i n the f a c t that persons have a p r a c t i c a l concern for those whom they n a t u r a l l y love; the as s o c i a t i o n of the passion of benevolence with the passion of love i s p l a u s i b l e w i t h i n the framework of a psychological hedonism such 187 as i s developed i n the Tr e a t i s e . However, actions which are directed to the comfort and i n t e r e s t of others who are e s s e n t i a l l y strangers seems inconsistent with the fundamental self-concern l e g i s l a t e d by t h i s theory of human nature. I f we do not love the others for whom we show a p r a c t i c a l concern i n our moral l i v e s , what i s the a f f e c t i v e basis f o r our actions which serve t h e i r i n t e r e s t at the expense of our own? I t i s t h i s question, and i t s context i n h i s theory of the f a c u l t i e s , that determines Hume's notion of sympathy as a communication of passion, and leads him to formulate what I have termed a " s u p r a - i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c " hedonism. Thus, i t must be the "very passion i t s e l f " of the other that a r i s e s i n the mind of the sympathetic observer; and i t must a r i s e there In the form of an impression rather than an idea, because the p r a c t i c a l -i t y of the sympathetic response to others demands an i n i t i a l motivation i n a passion. I f the passion of the other was communicated to the mind of the sympathetic observer merely i n the form of an idea, Hume would be faced with the further problem of explaining, i n terms of h i s own psychology, how such an idea could motivate the understanding and the passions of the observer i n a way that could conceivably issue i n a p r a c t i c a l concern f o r the other. Hume has, therefore, very l i t t l e choice i n the matter of the t h e o r e t i c a l form of h i s p r i n c i p l e of sympathy i f he i s to continue to pursue h i s n a t u r a l i s t i c l i n e and maintain h i s p o s i t i o n as regards the respective r o l e s of the f a c u l t i e s . He must present the basic process of sympathy as an i n f u s i o n of the passion of an other, and then attempt to show how t h i s "raw" sympathetic impression causes c e r t a i n remedial 188 acts of the imagination and the understanding so as to make i t a plausible source of our practical concern for others;~ However, once Hume sets about f i l l i n g in the details of the basic process of sympathy and the form of its remedies, problems appear at every turn of the account. For, in the first instance, the simplest form of the process of sympathy turns out to be a sort of imaginative acquisition of the passion of the other—a circumstance which immediately defeats the notion of the principle of sympathy being an imposition of an other's passion onto the sympathetic observer. Furthermore, once this basic impression is acquired, i t must be—in most instances, at least—"extensively" moderated and altered before i t can reasonably be considered to be the source of a practical concern for an other. This seems an impossible burden for the nominal determinants of this process (the resemblance of persons and every persons' vivid conception of self) to bear. Thus, at this point in our consideration of Hume's principle of sympathy, the theoretical propriety of its determination by the two natural relations suggested is open to question. As we turn now to the employment of the principle of sympathy as the mediating process in the formulation of moral 'judgments, we shall see an additional—and I think, thoroughly defeating—strain put on its foundation in these relations. Hume has argued that moral judgments consist in a particular sentiment or feeling arising from the general survey of some character or action. We have established that, in terms of the psychology of the 189 Treatise, i f our own interest were not involved (and the perspective indicated by the notion of a "general" survey precludes this ex hypothesis), the actions and characters of others could not be the occasion of any sentiment for us—were i t not for the "remarkable phenomenon" of the principle of sympathy. Every moral judgment is grounded in a sympathetic process; for, " ' t i s that principle, which takes us so far out of ourselves, as to give us the same pleasure or uneasiness in the characters of others, as i f they had a tendency to our own advantage or loss." (pg. 579) Thus, Hume presents the very possibility of moral judgments as grounded in the principle of sympathy, and refers to his theory of morals as a sympathetic "system" (pg. 581). There are, however, at least two features of that system which seem inconsistent with what Hume allows to be the received account of moral judgments. We re c a l l that the principle of sympathy qualified the extreme p a r t i a l i t y of the natural affections of love and benevolence by enlarging the set of causes which could occasion concern for the inter-ests of others. Nonetheless, the natural relations of resemblance and contiguity which were advanced as the basis of the sympathetic process, themselves implied a kind of pa r t i a l i t y . We naturally sympathize with those who resemble us and are close to us; but this circumstance excludes our sympathizing with those who do not resemble us or who are far from us i n space or time. Therefore, the principle of sympathy, though immeasurably increasing our natural interest in the welfare of others, i s i t s e l f p a r t i a l in i t s operations. This feature of the principle seems inconsistent with the avowed impartiality of moral judgments, and makes 190 i t incumbent upon Hume to provide an explanation which preserves the i m p a r t i a l i t y of moral judgments derived from the p a r t i a l processes of sympathy. Furthermore, Hume has claimed that one of the p r i n c i p a l features of moral judgments i s t h e i r connection with the u t i l i t y of the acts or characters judged of. However, i t i s evident that the e f f e c t i v e r e l a -t i o n s h i p between the passions a v a i l a b l e to be sympathized with i n any p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n , and the general u t i l i t i e s of the characters i n -volved i n that s i t u a t i o n , i s i n d i r e c t and tenuous. Here, j u s t as i n the case of the o b j e c t i v i t y of moral judgments, Hume must provide an explanation which smooths over t h i s apparent inconsistency between the character of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy and the nature of the judgments which i t i s to be supposed that the p r i n c i p l e produces. Hume provides a concise formulation of the f i r s t problem: When any q u a l i t y , or character, has a tendency to the good of mankind, we are pleas'd with i t , and approve of i t ; because i t presents a l i v e l y idea of pleasure; which idea a f f e c t s us by sympathy and i s i t s e l f a kind of pleasure. But as t h i s sympathy i s very v a r i a b l e , i t may be thought, that our sentiments of morals must admit of a l l the same v a r i a t i o n s . We sympathize more with persons contiguous to us, than with persons remote from us: With our acquaintance, than with strangers: With our countrymen, than with foreigners. But notwithstanding t h i s v a r i a t i o n of our sympathy, we give the same approbation to the same moral q u a l i t i e s i n CHINA as i n ENGLAND. They appear equally v i r t u o u s , and recommend themselves equally to the esteem of a jud i c i o u s observer. The sympathy v a r i e s without a v a r i a t i o n i n our esteem. Our esteem, therefore, proceeds not from sympathy. (pg. 581) Hume does not, of course, r e a l l y b e l i e v e that "our esteem . . . proceeds not from sympathy"; and he addresses himself to an explanation of these circumstances that obviates t h i s conclusion. He i n s i s t s , on the very 191 heels of the above quoted passage, that "The approbation of moral qualities most certainly i s not deriv'd from reason, or-any comparison -of ideas; but proceeds entirely from a moral taste, and from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust, which arise upon the contemplation and view of particular qualities or characters." (pg. 581) This i n s i s -tence amounts to the promise of a thorough-going explanation. To begin with, Hume does not challenge the view that the senti-ments occasioned by the principle of sympathy are partial and variable; instead, he attempts to show that the d i f f i c u l t i e s discussed above have "no force at a l l " (pg. 581) by introducing the notion of a "general point of view." This is a remarkable move which j u s t i f i e s close attention. Our situation, with regard to both persons and things, i s in continual fluctuation; and a man, that l i e s at a distance from us, may, i n a l i t t l e time, become a familiar acquaintance. Besides, every particular man has a peculiar position with regard to others; and ' t i s impossible we cou'd ever converse together on any reason-able terms, were each of us to consider characters and persons, only as they appear from his peculiar point of view. In order, therefore, to prevent those continual contradictions, and arrive at a more stable judgment of things, we f i x on some steady and general points of view; and always, i n our thoughts, place our-selves in them, whatever may be our present situation . . . In general, a l l sentiments of blame or praise are variable, according to our situation of nearness or remoteness, with regard to the person blam'd or prais'd, and according to the present dis-position of our mind. But these variations we regard not in our general decisions, but s t i l l apply the terms of our liking or dis-l i k e , in the same manner, as i f we remain'd i n one point of view. Experience soon teaches us this method of correcting our senti-ments, or at least, of correcting our language, where the senti-ments are more stubborn and inalterable. (pg. 581-2 Emphasis In original) I shall contend against this argument that i t f a i l s in at least two c r i t i c a l ways. First of a l l , i t does not preserve the notion of moral 192 judgments as peculiar sentiments, different in kind and character from other sentiments, and identifiable as such simply in terms of our particular experience of them. Secondly, i t suggests an active role for reason i n the formulation of moral judgments. I shall amplify these two contentions: 1. We re c a l l (Section III of this paper, pages 126-127) that i t i s important to Hume's system of morals that the particular pains or pleasures that constitute moral judgments should be of a special or peculiar kind; that i s , that they should be distinct and distinguishable from other impressions of pleasure and pain simply in terms of our ex-perience of them. This provision cut off the possibility that the fee l -ings which constitute moral judgment were distinguishable from other feelings of like kind (i.e. other feelings of pleasure and pain) in terms of their origin in certain operations of the understanding. For, i f -this were the case, an argument could be developed for considering moral judgments as originating in certain acts of reason: a position which would be equivalent to the view that reason can be practical as well as theoretical, as i t i s allowed by Hume that morals have a practical i n -fluence on conduct. Thus, we might, in the absence of this stipulation concerning the special quality of the sentiments of blame and approbation, undertake to identify a particular sentiment of pain or pleasure as constituting a moral judgment because i t arose in the context of reflections of the . understanding of a kind considered to be effectively associated with the notion of virtue and vice. For instance, we might make the identification 193 of a p a r t i c u l a r sentiment of pain as a judgment of vi c e c o n d i t i o n a l upon i t s being occasioned by a judgment of the lack of u t i l i t y of a c e r t a i n act or q u a l i t y of mind. I f t h i s were the case, i n s o f a r as the moral judgment could p o s s i b l y have a p r a c t i c a l influence on our actions, the act of the understanding i n which the moral judgment originated could be considered to be p r a c t i c a l . Because Hume has c l o s e l y connected the intended naturalism of h i s account of morals and human nature with the exclusive p r a c t i c a l i t y of the passions and the i r r e d u c i b l e i m p r a c t i c a l i t y of reason, he must r e s i s t t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y by demonstrating that we recognize v i r t u e and v i c e e n t i r e l y through a sort of af f e c t i o n a t e appre-hension of them. -With t h i s i n mind, i t follows that i f i t i s a condition of a sentiment being a moral judgment that i t a r i s e from a "general survey," where the generality of the survey consists i n the adoption of a s p e c i a l "point of view," then the fact that t h i s condition has been met i n any p a r t i c u l a r moral judgment must be guaranteed by our experience of the sentiment which constitutes that moral judgment. We do not analyze or examine the bases of our moral judgments with a view to discovering whether or not the judgments were a r r i v e d at from a general point of view, and hence moral; rather, when we analyze and examine those judgments which we experience as moral, we discover that they always a r i s e i n the con-text of a general point of view. Hume confirms t h i s view at the conclusion of the sect ion of the Tr e a t i s e e n t i t l e d "Of the o r i g i n of the nat u r a l v i r t u e s and v i c e s " : ' 194 Now, in judging of characters, the only interest or pleasure, which appears the same to every spectator, i s that of the person himself, whose character is examin'd; or that of persons, who ^ have a connexion with him. And tho' such interests and pleasures touch us more faintly than our own, yet being more constant and universal, they counter-ballance the latter even in practice, and are alone admitted in speculation as the standard of virtue and morality. They alone produce that particular feeling or sentiment, on which moral distinctions depend. (pg. 591, emphasis mine) A general point of view i s a necessary condition of the production of the "particular feeling or sentiment" which constitutes moral judgments, and the "necessity" of this condition i s inductively inferred from the examination of our experiences of moral judgment. In any case, one can always infer from the experience of blame or approbation the generality of the point of view which gave rise to i t . This position, which i s consistent with Hume's earlier remarks on this head (pg. 471-2), i s not supported by the "remedy" for the vari a b i l i t y of the principle of sympathy which we have under review. For, as i t turns out on Hume's own account, i t is not only sympathy which does not naturally conform to a general point of view, but indeed " a l l sentiments of blame or praise are variable, according to our situa-tion of nearness or remoteness, with regard to the person blam'd or prais'd, and according to the present disposition of our mind." In fact, our sentiments of praise and blame conform to the principle of sympathy i n i t s v a r i a b i l i t y and pa r t i a l i t y , and the general decisions which we regard as our moral judgments represent the application of a corrective procedure to effect a sort of adjustment " i n our thoughts." Thus, when Hume says that we "always, i n our thoughts, place ourselves" in some steady and general point of view, he does not mean 195 that we always perceive the world from a general point of view, or that we always sympathize from a general point of view, or that we always experience sentiments of praise and blame from a general point of view; rather, he suggests that when we reflect upon our sentiments of praise and blame with a view to coming to a "general decision," we always place ourselves " i n our thoughts" in that point of view which w i l l make our decision truly general instead of merely parti a l . This move rescues Hume's sympathetic system of morals from i t s manifest p a r t i a l i t y (and hence i t s inadequacies i n this particular as the basis for an objective system of moral judgments), but the "rescue" i s effected at the expense of the claim that moral judgments are phenom-ologically "peculiar" or "particular." In admitting the partia l i t y of our sentiments of praise and blame, and thus making necessary the imposition of a corrective generality onto those primitive sentiments, Hume introduces a s p l i t between sentiment and judgment in moral questions. This must be regarded as a truly heavy price for him to pay, as i t introduces the possibility of the active involvement of reason in the formulation of moral judgments. This i s the possibility that we shall turn to now. 2. 'We have noted that Hume insists that the va r i a b i l i t y of the principle of sympathy does not lend any support to the view that moral qualities are derived from reason. Moral judgments, he claims, "proceed entirely from a moral taste, and from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust, which arise upon the contemplation and view of particular qualities or characters." (pg. 581) The feature of this claim to attend 196 to i s the notion that moral judgments are not to be (at least necessar-i l y ) identified with certain peculiar sentiments of pleasure or disgust, but rather that moral judgments proceed entirely from such sentiments. This represents something of a retreat from the earlier position out-lined in the Treatise, which held that certain peculiar sentiments constituted our judgments of virtue and vice. Thus, on page 471, we read: To have the sense of virtue, i s nothing but to FEEL a satis-faction of a particular kind from the contemplation of character. The very FEELING constitutes our praise or admiration. . . . We do not infer a character to be virtuous, because i t pleases: But in feeling that i t pleases after such a particular manner, we in effect feel that i t is virtuous. (pg. 471) Here, judgments of virtue and vice are represented as proceeding entirely from a moral taste, but they are not represented as proceeding from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust; rather they are identified with those peculiar sentiments which proceed from a moral taste. This i s an important difference, because i f judgments of virtue and vice proceed from peculiar sentiments, rather than being identified with those sentiments, then there i s room for the notion of judgments of virtue and vice being "corrected" sentiments of praise and blame. In the statement of page 471, there i s no room for such a notion, since the identification of our sentiments of praise and sense of virtue i s unequivocal. Hume's bold insistence on page 581 that moral judgments proceed entirely from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust actually signals a retreat and the adoption of a new defensive posture. The necessity 197 for such a retreat l i e s in Hume's implicit admission that moral judg-ments are not really phenomenologically peculi ar in the way that he originally claimed that they were. Our sentiments of praise and blame are as par t i a l as the principle of sympathy that they are grounded in; they need correction before they can be considered to be judgments of virtue or vice. Thus, Hume has quietly withdrawn to the claim that although our moral judgments may not be identical with our sentiments of praise and blame, that those judgments "proceed entirely" from such sentiments. I suggest that Hume can develop two possible lines of argument which support this account of moral judgment, and which are consistent with the psychology of the Treatise. The strongest argument i s one which provides a description of the remedial principles required to "generalize" our primitive sentiments of praise and blame as being entirely passionate in character. This i s actually the course which Hume chooses, since he characterizes the correction of our sentiments of praise and blame as following from the action of the calm passions. However, should Hume f a i l i n this endeavour to show that moral judgment is a purely sentimental experience, i t i s possible for him to f a l l back on a weaker argument. He might allow that the understanding was i n -volved i n the correction of our sentiments of praise and blame without allowing that the understanding actually influenced our moral judgments. In this case, the relationship between reason and moral judgment would be understood along the same lines as the relationship between reason and action; that i s , the influence of reason would be analyzed as mediate 198 rather than f i n a l , and as determined by passion. We shall consider both of these positions i n turn. ^ A. In speaking of those cases in which our sentiments defy correction as instances of passion refusing to follow the determination of our judgment, Hume advises: This language w i l l be easily understood, i f we consider what we formerly said concerning that REASON, which is able to oppose our passion; and which we have found to be nothing but a general calm determination of the passions, founded on some distant view or reflection. (pg. 583) This line of argument places the notion of "calm passions" on very doubtful ground. Hume sees that the correction of our sentiments of praise and blame must often amount to the opposition of those senti-ments, and their subsequent alteration or extinction. Because of this, he i s anxious to represent that opposition as being a kind of passion, rather than an operation of the understanding. However, although Hume might plausibly urge that the proximate cause of opposition to our sentiments of praise and blame is a kind of passion, this does not touch the question of the nature and origin of that point of view which gives rise to such a passion. Our calm passions are "founded" on some distant view or reflection. Thus, the question which demands attention here, as i t demands attention in the general consideration of the notion of calm passions, is the character and motivation of a general point of view. The passions which correct our sentiments of praise and blame are founded in this particular kind of distant view or reflection. But what does this perspective consist in i t s e l f , and why do we adopt it? 199 In the case of those "general decisions" which constitute moral judgment, "we f i x on some steady and general points of view; and always, in our thoughts, place ourselves in them, whatever may be our present situation." This statement reveals the a r t i f i c i a l character of a general point of view; we place ourselves in i t , without regard to our present situation which must always be the natural point of view on the world. These "steady and general points of view" are such that we consider only the interests or pleasure of "the person himself, whose character is being examin'd; or that of persons, who have a connexion with him." (pg. 591) Furthermore, we adjust or correct our sentiments in terms of our knowledge of the dependence of the sympathetic process upon the relations of resemblance and contiquity. Thus: Our servant, i f diligent and fa i t h f u l , may excite stronger sentiments of love and kindness than MARCUS BRUTUS, as represented i n history; but we say not upon that account, that the former character i s more laudable than the latter. We know, that were we to approach equally near to that renown'd patriot, he wou'd command a much higher degree of affection and admiration. (pg. 582) This hypothetical ("were we to approach nearer") and theoretical ("We know") point of view, which must be specially developed within each particular situation i n terms of our attention to the interests involved, cannot escape connection with the faculty of reason. It clearly depends upon complex associations and comparisons of ideas for i t s realization. Furthermore, Hume's account of the motivations for the adoption of a general point of view makes no mention of an origin in the passions, but instead makes a surprising issue of i t s reasonableness. If we refer 200 to page 581 of the Treatise again, we find Hume claiming that we view the character and actions of others from a general point of view be-cause we cannot trust that our personal and present perspective on them is permanent; our relationship with them may alter. Similarly, we wish to avoid contradiction with the perspective of others, which is presum-ably different from our own; otherwise we cannot converse with others "on reasonable terms" concerning the character and actions of others. Now, I contend that neither of these considerations explains, in a manner consistent with Hume's general psychology, why we should wish to be impartial in our moral judgments; but rather, they can only be explained themselves in terms of a desire to be impartial or objective. Why should our sympathetic appreciation of a particular quality of character be altered by the reflection that i t i s possible that our relationship with the quality of character could be other than i t in fact is? What could even motivate such a reflection, independent of the question of i t s efficacy? These questions suggest the postulation of a desire to be impartial and objective; or, i n other words, to be f a i r . Why else would the reflection that things might be other than they are arise in us, and why else could such a reflection cause us to adopt an a r t i f i c i a l point of view? Just so, i t is odd for Hume to argue that we should alter the point of view from which we perceive the world (an alteration which must have a possibly "immediate influence" upon action, insofar as i t shall have a possibly "immediate influence" upon our moral judgments) because such an alteration would make i t possible for us to "converse together . . . on reasonable terms" with others. For, f i r s t 201 of a l l , i f moral judgments really proceed "entirely from a moral taste, and from certain sentiments of pleasure or disgust," "then the possi-b i l i t y of reasonable conversation about those judgments from some general point of view must be considered to be altogether beside the point, just as reasonable conversation concerning any question which is entirely a matter of taste i s beside the point. The desire for the possibility of such conversation i s equivalent to the desire for the possibility of the consideration of the question from some perspective other than that of simply taste, and this desire demands—especially from Hume, in view of his psychology—an independent explanation. Instead, Hume offers us, in the guise of a "point of view," a set of principles which go some distance to removing the questions of morals from the matters of simple taste. Secondly, we must not forget that what i s at stake in the adop-tion of a general point of view i s not merely the possibility of con-versation. Morals are practical, and the adoption of a general point of view with i t s consequences for my moral judgments i s a practical undertaking which can alter not just how I converse, but also how I act. Choosing to adopt a general point of view amounts, in many cases, to choosing to act differently than I might otherwise i f I remained in my "natural" point of view. Such a choice, which must often occasion the neglect of my personal interest, and cause me to attend to the interests of others instead, must be considered to be inconsistent with the general psychology of the Treatise—unless Hume can advance some plausible account of i t s motivation which coheres with his psychology. Hume's "strong" effort in this direction, in arguing that the remedy for the vari a b i l i t y of our sentiments of praise and blame i s 202 wholly passionate in character, f a i l s because the generation of the point of view that this remedy consists in clearly involves extensive operations of the understanding. Thus, we are driven back to a "weaker" position; one which allows reason an ancillary role in the formulation of moral judgments. Hume does not actually advance such an argument, but i t i s interesting in that i t i s clearly possible and seems to offer some promise of success. B. The model for the formulation of a moral judgment which this "weaker" argument suggests is one that represents a sympathetically induced sentiment of praise or blame as a primitive element, which is then corrected or adjusted by reason's provision of a general point of view, and consequently becomes a truly general decision or moral judg-ment. As I have pointed out above, the c r i t i c a l factor here i s the establishment of the "mediate" character of reason's influence upon moral judgment in this model. This central point depends upon two features of the involvement of reason in this connection: the manner of reason's "correction" of sentiment, and the determination or cause of the operations of reason which issue i n a general point of view. It w i l l be useful to re c a l l how this question was handled by Hume in the context of the general question of reason's influence upon action. Hume's argument concerning the purely theoretical and irreduc-ibly impractical character of reason's influence upon action rested on two principal claims. Fi r s t of a l l , Hume pointed out that reason's discoveries did not really oppose passion, but rather that they informed passion. The operations of reason never suggested a course of action to 203 the passions, they merely revealed to passion the world as i t was, or how i t would be i f certain courses of action were undertaken. Thus, reason could not do anything in opposition to passion, because reason could not do anything at a l l ; and further, because reason was categor-i c a l l y impractical in this way, i t could not properly be said to be in opposition to passion either. Secondly, Hume insisted that reason never determined i t s e l f to operate, but was rather always motivated by a passion or passions. Therefore, whatever the indirect influence reason had upon the shaping of behavior, that influence did not have i t s origin in reason, but rather in the passion or passions which moti-vated the understanding i n that particular instance. A comparable description seems possible i n the case of reason's influence (in the context of the development of a general point of view) upon moral judgment. However, when we examine the manner of reason's putative influence i n this connection, and i t s possible causes, we find that i t is not mediate or ancillary in the way that theoretical reason is supposed to be. For, i n the f i r s t instance, a "point of view" is not a discovery or piece of information about the world. It is a far more fundamental matter than that, for an alteration in i t constitutes an alteration in the very conditions which determine the processes of sympathy and the stimulation of passion i t s e l f . To have a different point of view from one's "natural" or uncorrected point of view is not simply to know something different about the world, but i s more like being someone different i n the world. The notion of personal identity which i s advanced in the Treatise centers on a system of characterological 204 responses of passion to perceptions of a particular kind and intensity. The question of how the self i s situated in the world i s not addressed by Hume; but the situation of the self in the world clearly has a direct bearing on the kind and intensity of the perceptions available to i t , and consequently has a direct bearing on the actions of the self. If the situation of the self i n the world i s systematically organized, or i f i t is systematically altered, then i t seems appropriate, in terms of the psychology of the Treatise, to regard the issue of the situation of the self as material to the identity of that self. In any case, to change the point of view or situation of the self in the world goes beyond the functions of theoretical reason as Hume describes them in the f i r s t book. Theoretical reason reveals to a situated individual's system of passions the world as i t i s from his point of view, or the world as i t would be from his point of view i f a certain course of action were taken; The adoption of a general point of view represents an under-taking which is categorically distinct from any of the undertakings of theoretical reason, since i t involves change in the situation of the se l f , and hence involves a systematic alteration in the perceptions available to the self and i t s reason. A change in an individual's point of view i s equivalent to a systematic alteration in that individual's raw material for reasoning—an undertaking which cannot be understood as simply the function of theoretical reason i t s e l f ; for i t i s an under-taking which i s irreducibly practical. Secondly, we have already considered the problems surrounding the question of the motivation of the adoption of a general point of 205 view, (please see pages 200-204 this section) and found Hume's position very weak there. In the case of theoretical reason, i t is always possible—at least in p r i n c i p l e — t o represent the operations of the understanding as being determined by some original passion. We desire a particular object, and this desire stimulates us to consider the possible consequences of our attaining that object. Reflection upon these consequences may stimulate a second passion in opposition to our original desire. The operations of the understanding which stimulate this opposition do so only indirectly, however, since they were moti-vated by the original desire for the object. Hume's account of the motivation for the adoption of general point of view does not parallel this description. He makes no attempt to show that our sentiments of praise and blame cause us to adopt a general point of view. Instead, he makes a rather awkward gesture in the direction of the view that the adoption of a general point of view is somehow in our general or long-term interest. These persons who are far from us may someday be near; and those who are near to us may someday be far away. Our view of the characters of others must be as peculiar or idiosyncratic as our position in the world is peculiar or idiosyncratic, and thus the adoption of a general point of view makes possible the elimination of contradiction with the view, and hence judgments, of others. It is embarrassingly obvious, however, that these considerations go no distance towards demonstrating that the adoption of a general point of view i s ever— let alone generally—in our interest. The most one can derive from con^ siderations of this kind is that in at least some cases, i t i s probably 206 in our interest to dissemble with respect to our actual judgments of character; but this i s no more interesting or radical- than the vie^r that i s in our general or long-term interest to be secretive about our opinions, motives, and plans. Given Hume's view of the self as a system of passions and associative principles, one can only view the "natural" perspective developed around that notion of self as conducive to the attainment of the self's interests. Thus, i t is impossible for Hume to represent the adoption of a general point of view (and hence the operations of the understanding which we have revealed are involved in that adoption) as caused or motivated by our p a r t i a l sentiments of praise and blame. This fact must greatly weaken any claim that the reasoning involved i n the provision of a general point of view is only "mediate" in i t s influence upon moral judgment. Finally, against the background of these very considerable d i f f i c u l t i e s , we find evidence in the text which suggests that Hume did not view every moral judgment as "sentimental." We have seen that whether we view a general point of view as a certain calm determination of the passions or as a perspective provided by some operations of the understanding, moral judgments are to be considered to be "corrected sentiments of praise or blame"; that i s , moral judgments are to be con-sidered to be sentiments, consistent with Hume's general theory of morals. However, Hume exp l i c i t l y suggests that in at least some cases, our "primitive" sentiments of praise or blame defy correction, but that we nonetheless make moral judgments directed to the character or action which gave rise to those sentiments. But i f the sentiments defy correction 207 in such cases, what jLs_ corrected and becomes a general decision and moral judgment?: our language. ' «*. Experience soon teaches us this method of.correcting our sentiments, or at least, of correcting our language, where the sentiments are more stubborn and inalterable. (pg. 582) The remark i s of the f i r s t importance, because i t i s completely incon-sistent with the identification of "moral judgment" with "corrected sentiment of praise or blame." It i s , in fact, inconsistent with the claim that moral judgments are always sentimental. We read of Marcus Brutus, as represented in history; but our servant, because of his propinquity to us and our present circumstances, excites stronger senti-ments of love and kindness than the great patriot. Since we always, in our thoughts, place ourselves in a general point of view, do we feel upon that account that Marcus Brutus i s more laudable than our servant? Hume is unclear on this point i n those cases where our sentiments prove to be •stubborn and inalterable. Given that our relative esteem for Marcus Brutus and our servant defies correction, and that we nonetheless judge Marcus Brutus to be more admirable than our servant, two explanations are possible. F i r s t l y , i t may be the case that the adoption of a general point of view effects an increase in our sentiments of approbation concerning Marcus Brutus, but not a sufficient increase in those sentiments to offset the strength of those sentiments attaching to our servant by virtue of the "natural" operation of the processes of sympathy. Secondly, i t may be the case that the adoption of a general point of view effects no increase i n our 208 sentiments at a l l , but rather causes us to describe the person judged as i f our sentiments concerning him had increased. Whichever of these two p o s s i b i l i t i e s was intended by Hume, the result i s unequivocal enough: we f i n a l l y "apply the terms expressive of our liking or dis-l i k e , in the same manner, as i f we remain'd in one point of view." (pg. 582, emphasis mine) Even though our sentiments of approbation attached to Marcus Brutus are not stronger than those attached to our servant, we "correct our language" and say that Marcus Brutus is more admirable than our servant. Here is a moral judgment, which is not any kind of sentiment, and which could well have the sort of practical con-sequences that moral judgments characteristically have: for instance, we may choose to subscribe to a proposed statue honouring Marcus Brutus rather than raise the wages of our servant. Given the crippling d i f f i c u l t i e s besetting the theory of a "general point of view," some embarrassment of this kind i s to be ex-pected. Nevertheless, Hume's admission that at least some moral judg-ments are not more properly f e l t than judged must be considered to be a stunning lapse, for i t amounts to the abandonment of his attempt to establish the naturalistic determination of a l l human action. The claim that moral judgments are practical, conjoined with the admission that not a l l moral judgments are purely sentimental, results in the proposi-tion that some moral judgments are derived from reason, and hence that reason can possibly be practical. Actually, this i s the view that we have been directed to by our general examination of Hume's f u l l argument in this connection. If we 209 accept the f a c t t h a t i t i s i n d e f e n s i b l e to argue t h a t the adoption of a general p o i n t of view i s simply an instance of c e r t a i n calm d e t e r -minations of the p a s s i o n s , then we are l e d to suppose that a general p o i n t of view i s developed through c e r t a i n operations of the understand-i n g . I f i t i s not demonstrable that the reasoning i n v o l v e d i n such an ins t a n c e i s determined by some passion or passions, then that reasoning takes on the f o r c e of an immediate i n f l u e n c e on the moral judgment f o l l o w i n g from i t . With t h i s i n mind, one i s disposed to doubt t h a t Hume can continue t o ma i n t a i n t h a t moral judgments are p u r e l y s e n t i m e n t a l ; and thus h i s admission t h a t i n at l e a s t some cases moral judgments are more p r o p e r l y s a i d than f e l t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the argument i t s e l f . On page 581, a f t e r i n t r o d u c i n g the problem posed by the p a r t i a l i t y of the processes of sympathy, Hume pretends that some v a r i a n t of t h i s problem must confront every system of morals: Now ' t i s e v i d e n t , that those sentiments, whence-ever they are d e r i v ' d , must vary according to the dis t a n c e or c o n t i g u i t y of the o b j e c t s ; nor can I f e e l the same l i v e l y pleasure from the v i r t u e s of a person, who l i v ' d i n GREECE two thousand years ago, th a t I f e e l from the v i r t u e s of a f a m i l i a r f r i e n d and acquaintance. Yet I do not say, t h a t I esteem the one more than the other: And t h e r e f o r e , i f the v a r i a t i o n of the sentiment, without a v a r i a t i o n of the esteem, be an o b j e c t i o n , i t must have equal f o r c e against every other system, as against t h a t of sympathy. (pg. 581) What does become evident here, a f t e r we consider the d e t a i l of Hume's defense of the system of sympathy i n this connection, i s that t h i s o b j e c t i o n must have equal f o r c e against every other system of morals which holds t h a t moral judgments are p u r e l y sentimental i n character. I n f a c t , t h i s o b j e c t i o n , and the f a i l u r e s of Hume's answer to i t , a f f o r d 210 a considerable measure of indirect support to a more rationa l i s t i c account of moral judgment. For, i f the possibility of the practicality of reason is allowed, and judgments of virtue and vice considered to be one of the functions of practical reason, then the disjunction between sentiment and esteem would be both explainable and expected. We shall turn now to the second d i f f i c u l t y in connection with the "system of sympathy" that Hume introduced and proposed an explana-tion to: the problem of the connection of moral judgments with the u t i l i t y of the actions or characters judged of. I now proceed to the SECOND remarkable circumstance, which I propos'd to take notice of. Where a person i s possess'd of a character, that in i t s natural tendency is beneficial to society, we esteem his virtuous, and are delighted with the view of his character, even tho' particular accidents prevent i t s operation, and incapacitate him from being servicable to his.friends and country. (pg. 584) What l i e s at the heart of this problem i s the fact that a moral judg-ment i s being made concerning a person's character in the complete absence of any sentiment which could be the subject of a process of sympathy. Since the person in question is not of service to those connected with him, there is no sentiment of pleasure with which to sympathize and causally associate with the character which is f i n a l l y productive of i t . Since i t is the case that we "esteem him virtuous" in the absence of such sentiment, we must ask, in terms of the sympathetic system of morals, how this can be. 211 As Hume poses the problem h i m s e l f , we can be sure that he has a ready r e p l y : The imagination has a set of passions belonging to i t , upon which our sentiments of beauty much depend. These passions are mov'd by degrees of l i v e l i n e s s and s t r e n g t h , which are i n f e r i o r to BELIEF, and independent of the r e a l e x istence of t h e i r o b j e c t s . Where a character i s , i n every r e s p e c t , f i t t e d to be b e n e f i c i a l to s o c i e t y , the imagination passes e a s i l y from the cause to the e f f e c t , without c o n s i d e r i n g that there are s t i l l some circumstances wanting to make the cause a compleat one. (pg. 585) Let us consider t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g way: having experienced thousands of instances i n which sentiments sympathized w i t h have proved to have been caused by p a r t i c u l a r q u a l i t i e s of c h a r a c t e r , we e s t a b l i s h a c a u s a l r e l a t i o n between those q u a l i t i e s of character and t h e i r con-sequent sentiments occasioned i n persons connected w i t h them; thus, when we per c e i v e those q u a l i t i e s of c h a r a c t e r , we imagine t h e i r customary * sentiments even though those sentiments may not enjoy any r e a l e x i s t e n c e . I n sympathizing w i t h those sentiments, we come to a moral judgment of t h e i r p u t a t i v e source. Here, the c l a i m t h a t our sentiments of beauty are f i r s t e s t a b l i s h e d by the processes of sympathy i s maintained, and what i s added i s the c l a i m that once t h i s sentiment of beauty i s e s t a b l i s h e d , i t s general f o r c e upon the imagination can cause a judgment of the u t i l i t y of a p a r t i c u l a r c haracter to occasion an operation of sympathy. Sympathy i s g e n e r a l l y the source of our judgments of the u t i l i t y of c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s of mind, but those q u a l i t i e s of mind can, under c e r t a i n circumstances, cause an o p e r a t i o n of the p r i n c i p l e of sympathy even though they do not produce a r e a l s ubject f o r the sympathetic process. 212 This is an ingenious explanation, and i t has some dangerous flaws. Hume proposes yet a new set of passions (presumably calm) "belonging" to the imagination, to account for the formulation of a moral judgment in the absence of any stimulating passion. However, i t is clear that this move i s completely ad hoc, and is as poorly supported in this instance as i t was in the case of the formulation of a "general point of view." Hume might say that the imagination i s governed by a set of principles to pass from cause to effect even in the presence of limiting circumstances which block the actual operation of the cause. He cannot claim, however, i f he wishes to remain committed to his psy-chology, that the imagination can have some particular set of passions "belonging to i t . " One might as well claim, in terms of the psychology of the Treatise, that the eye or the hand have a set of passions be-longing to them. Why would Hume make such a seemingly arbitrary claim concerning the passions "belonging to" the imagination when he has such a persuasive explanation at hand in the principles of the association of ideas? Here again, I believe, we are witnessing Hume in an attempt to preserve the naturalism of his account of moral action against the d i f f i c u l t i e s emerging frdm the detail of his account. For, i f we are moved to sympathy in the complete absence of any actual sentiment to sympathize with, and i f this "special" process of sympathy i s determined by a judgment of u t i l i t y , then we are bound to consider the possibility that the moral judgment occasioned by the process of sympathy finds i t s origin in an operation of the understanding. Of course, Hume can in this instance 213 f a l l back on the argument that what is fundamental to this particular association of ideas is a large repertoire of experiences of sentiment being perceived in a certain conjunction with particular kinds of character. Sympathy has a great influence on our taste of beauty (pg. 577), and once this taste is securely established, i t seems natural that in individual instances, our taste of beauty might have an influence upon our propensity to sympathize. Thus, though i t might seem that the understanding, in making judgments of u t i l i t y in certain circumstances, i s also the f i n a l cause of those moral judgments which issue from that judgment through the mediation of a process of sympathy, Hume can s t i l l claim that the efficacy of the understanding in such instances i s — s t r i c t l y speaking—derivative rather than f i n a l . This claim, though defensible, is far more weak than the claim which Hume wants to press as the general model for the formulation of moral judgment; that i s , that moral judgment is not only sentimental in character, but also always directly derived from sentiment. It can also be seen to be far too tenuous an account to stand the test of a large range of examples. We can easily think of some classic moral situations in which the relative virtues of the characters involved are not evident in the way suggested by Hume's example; yet the morality of the characters judged of in such situations must be determined by the stimulation of the process of sympathy through a judgment of u t i l i t y , rather than by an actually present sentiment. Let us consider, in this connection, Socrates' example of the madman and the borrowed weapon. Seeking to demonstrate to Cephalus the 214 importance of determining (among other things) the u t i l i t i e s in a moral situation, Socrates says: " v For instance, i f one borrowed a weapon from a friend who sub-sequently went out of his mind and then asked for i t back, surely i t would be generally agreed that one ought not to return i t , and that i t would be wrong to do so, or to consent to t e l l the s t r i c t truth to a madman? (Republic (Introduction), Plato) Now, here we have an instance in which the mad friend demands the return of his weapon, and is presumably angry and frustrated at the refusal of the moral agent. Surely, we must "naturally" sympathize with the mad friend in his anger, and judge as vicious the injustice of the moral agent i n not returning the rightful property of his friend. The only consideration which can go against this view of the situation is the fact that, because of the changed circumstance of his sanity, the u t i l i t i e s involved in the return of the weapon for the friend (and his associates) have drastically altered. The attention of the moral agent must be directed to the interests of the friend and society in a highly hypothetical (and hence theoretical) manner, yet these judgments of interest and u t i l i t y must over-ride present sentiment i f a "correct" moral judgment is to be arrived at. We notice also, in this example, that the judgment made does not depend upon the completion of a causal relation between any evident features of the character of the moral agent and some particular sentiments, but rather upon the consideration of a variety of possible actions of the moral agent and their possible conse-quences. These "consequences" w i l l be (possibly, i f we persist in the sympathetic system) given an imaginative realization as sentiments, and 215 these sentiments w i l l be related to the characterological qualities of mind of the moral agent which produced them. One cannot avoid thev conclusion that judgments of u t i l i t y have a direct influence upon the processes of sympathy in such cases, and hence an indi r e c t — y e t f i n a l , i n at least the sense that they are the "originating" influence—role In the formulation of moral judgments. The practicality of such u t i l i t y judgments, stemming from the practicality of the moral judgments de-rived from them through the mediation of sympathy, makes i t incumbent upon Hume to show that the causal account of any particular moral judgment does not end in a judgment of u t i l i t y . In other words, i f Hume i s driven to admit the influence of judgments of u t i l i t y i n the formulation of moral judgments, he must be prepared to advance some passion or sentiment as the motivation of the judgment of u t i l i t y ; or else he must admit that reason's influence upon action need not always be mediate and simply theoretical. But of course, Hume never does admit such a role for judgments of u t i l i t y i n moral situations; there are, he says, a set of passions "belonging to" the imagination. We have already considered how weak a ploy these passions of the imagination are, and must conclude that Hume really has no defense to offer against the problems discussed above. I doubt that any plausible argument i s forthcoming to rescue Hume at this point. What sort of passion could account for a systematic attention to the interests of others with whom we have no affective association? This i s the very question that the principle of sympathy was advanced as an answer to. If the limitations of that principle in 216 the explanation of the moral point of view drive us back to this question, we are incapable of answering i t in the absence of some additional psychological constructs. Moreover, i t seems clear that Hume could not provide any additional psychology addressed to this impasse without seriously altering that which he had already developed in the Treatise. One must conclude from this, I believe, that Hume's account of the fac u l t i e s — p a r t i c u l a r l y his account of the understanding—is indefensible, insofar as i t f a i l s i t s test at the hands of the "common affairs of l i f e " i n the third book. 217 WORKS CITED Aristotle. De Motu Animalium. Ed. W.D. Ross. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1908. Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature. Ed. L.A. Selby-Bigge. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1888. • Abstract of a Treatise of Human Nature. Archon Books, 1965. Plato. The Republic. Translated by H. Lee. Penguin, 1955. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. Methuen, 1957. 

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