more from Francis Hutcheson

Single Idea 6240

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism]

Full Idea

The moral sense is not an innate idea or knowledge, but a determination of our minds to receive the simple ideas of approbation or condemnation, from actions observed, antecedent to any opinions of advantage or loss to redound to ourselves.

Gist of Idea

The moral sense is not an innate idea, but an ability to approve or disapprove in a disinterested way


Francis Hutcheson (Treatise 2: Virtue or Moral Good [1725], žI.VIII)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.269

A Reaction

This may claim a pure moral intuition, but it is also close to Kantian universalising of the rules for behaviour. It is also a variation on Descartes' 'natural light' of reason. Of course, if we say the ideas are 'received', where are they received from?