more from Francis Hutcheson

Single Idea 6247

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

Full Idea

Every mortal is made uneasy by any grievous misery he sees another involved in, unless the person be imagined morally evil.

Gist of Idea

Everyone feels uneasy when seeing others in pain, unless the others are evil


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

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.291

A Reaction

This is the natural compassion on which Hume built his moral theory. This remark emphasises that a concern for justice is just as important as a compassion for pain. Kant was more interested in what we deserve than in what we get.