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  • 1.
    Carlson, Åsa
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    The Moral Sentiments in Hume’s Treatise: A Classificatory Problem2014In: Hume Studies, ISSN 0319-7336, E-ISSN 1947-9921, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 73-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the Treatise, Hume writes several seemingly incompatible things about the moral sentiments, thus there is no general agreement about where they fit within his taxonomy of the perceptions. Some passages speak in favor of the view that moral sentiments are indirect passions, a few infavor of the view that they are direct passions, and yet a couple of explicit statements strongly suggest otherwise. Due to these tensions in Hume's text, we find at least five competing characterizations in the literature:

    • Moral sentiments are calm emotions.
    • Moral sentiments are calm direct passions.
    • Moral sentiments are calm versions of the indirect passions of love or hatred.
    • Moral sentiments are unique species of calm indirect passions.
    • Moral sentiments are indirect secondary impressions.

    This paper assesses each of these interpretations. When their virtues are brought together, a new interpretation of the origin of moral sentiments starts to emerge.

  • 2.
    Carlson, Åsa
    Filosofiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
    There is just one idea of self in Hume’s Treatise2009In: Hume Studies, ISSN 0319-7336, E-ISSN 1947-9921, Vol. 35, no 1-2, p. 171-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hume's mysterious words, "we must distinguish betwixt personal identity, as it regards our thought or imagination, and as it regards our passions or the concern we take in ourselves" have been the focus of a variety of different interpretations, some more creative than others. But the solution to this interpretative problem is indeed very simple, too simple to occur to most readers. What Hume has in mind is actually nothing but the different ways association works with regard to, on the one hand, imagination, and, on the other hand, passion. Hence, one may easily read the entire Treatise as containing just one idea of self, that is, the bundle of perceptions discussed in "On personal identity." Contrary to what many scholars have recently suggested, this idea may very well be "the idea, or rather impression" of self at play in the mechanism of sympathy, as well as the object of pride and humility. This faithful but dull reading makes Hume coherent, probably more coherent than any two-ideas interpretation does.

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