We cannot be happy in solitude: Hume on pride, love and the desire of others’ happiness

Marco Antonio Azevedo

Resumo


Love and pride are passions related to ideas of entities capable of well-being. In the case of love, those entities are people we are related to, whose characters, qualities or traits we admire; pride, by its turn, is a passion related to the self. In spite of that, Hume is explicit in stating that love is naturally attended by a desire for the goodness and happiness of the beloved being; but it does not make sense to say that we desire our own happiness and well-being because we are proud of ourselves. How can we explain this asymmetry? First, I will deal with the problem of the contrast between the unrelatedness of the emotion of pride and the desire of our own happiness and the relatedness of passion of love and the desire of happiness of the beloved person. After, I will link the conclusions reached with Hume’s famous claim that we cannot be happy in solitude. Our own happiness depends not only on our own well-being and success, but also on the well-being and happiness of the people we love, and both of which are related to the well functioning of society in the long run.


Palavras-chave


Hume; passions; happiness; solitude

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Referências


BAIER, Annette C. A progress of sentiments. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1991.

CAPALDI, Nicholas. Hume’s place in moral philosophy. New York: Peter Lang, 1989.

FRANKFURT, Harry. The reasons of love. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2006.

HUME, David. Treatise of Human Nature. [Selby-Bigge/Nidditch (SBN) Edition]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1896.

HUME, David. Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume, ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge, M.A. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902.

HUME, David. Essays Moral, Political, Literary, edited and with a Foreword, Notes, and Glossary by Eugene F. Miller, with an appendix of variant readings from the 1889 edition by T.H. Green and T.H. Grose, revised edition. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987.

MACKIE, John. Hume’s moral theory. Abindgon: Routledge, 1980.

PENELHUM, Terence. The self of Book 1 and the selves of Book 2. Hume Studies 18 (2), 1992: 281-292.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/1677-2954.2018v17n1p67

          

 

 

ethic@. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil, eISSN 1677-2954

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