Join fellow Columbia alumni as the book club discusses “An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals” by David Hume selected by Patrick Murray, who initially read the book as a requirement for the Core Contemporary Civilization class at Columbia. Our host David Hartmann hopes you will attend for an evening of lively discussion.
“Hume's moral theory is of lasting importance in the history of moral philosophy both for its originality and for its influence on later moral theories. Hume introduced the term "utility" into our moral vocabulary, and his theory is the immediate forerunner to the classic utilitarian views of Bentham and Mill. Hume is famous for the position that we cannot derive ought from is -- that is, the view that statements of moral obligation cannot simply be deduced from statements of fact. Some contemporary moral philosophers see Hume as an early proponent of the meta-ethical view that moral judgments principally express our feelings. What is perhaps less well-known is that Hume's moral theory is the first in modern philosophy to be completely secular, without reference to God's will, a divine creative plan, or an afterlife. Hume also directly argues that key moral values are matters of social convention. These views spawned both praise and indignation in writings of commentators over the years.” - Dr. James Fieser
Meet with fellow Columbia alumni for an evening of lively communication as we discuss David Hume’s influence on how we think about moral judgements in our contemporary world.