Francis Hutcheson (philosopher)
Scottish philosopher (1694–1746)
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- Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best Ends by the best Means.
- An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), Treatise I, Sect. V
- Whence this secret Chain between each Person and Mankind? How is my Interest connected with the most distant Parts of it?
- An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), Treatise II: An Inquiry concerning Moral Good and Evil, Sect. I
- That Action is best, which procures the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers; and that worst, which, in like manner, occasions Misery.
- An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725) Treatise II, Section 3
- Another valuable purpose of ridicule is with relation to smaller vices, which are often more effectually corrected by ridicule, than by grave admonition. Men have been laughed out of faults which a sermon could not reform; nay, there are many little indecencies which are improper to be mentioned in such solemn discourses. Now ridicule with contempt or ill-nature, is indeed always irritating and offensive; but we may, by testifying a just esteem for the good qualities of the person ridiculed, and our concern for his interests, let him see that our ridicule of his weakness flows from love to him, and then we may hope for a good effect. This then is another necessary rule, "That along with our ridicule of smaller faults we should always join evidences of good nature and esteem."
As to jests upon imperfections, which one cannot amend, I cannot fee of what use they can be: men of sense cannot relish such jests; foolish trifling minds may by them be led to despise the truest merit, which is not exempted from the casual misfortunes of our mortal state.
- Letter to the Author of the Dublin Journal, published in The Dublin Weekly Journal, No. 12 (19 June 1725), p. 46; later published in Reflections Upon Laughter (1750); and in Thoughts upon Laughter, and Observations on the Fable of the Bees (1758), p. 50
- The Dublin Weekly Journal, No. 12 (19 June 1725)
- All our Ideas, or the materials of our reasoning or judging, are received by some immediate Powers of Perception internal or external, which we may call Senses … Reasoning or Intellect seems to raise no new Species of Ideas, but to discover or discern the Relations of those received.
- An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections (1728), Treatise II: Illustrations upon the Moral Sense, Sect. I
- Whoever voluntarily undertakes the necessary office of rearing and educating, obtains the parental power without generation.
- A System Of Moral Philosophy (1755), Book II, Ch. II
- The ultimate notion of right is that which tends to the universal good; and when one's acting in a certain manner has this tendency, he has a right thus to act.
- A System of Moral Philosophy (1755) Book II, Ch. III
Quotes about HutchesonEdit
- Francis Hutcheson and David Hume were the two most prominent Scottish contributors to moral philosophy before Smith. They had criticized the view of rationalist philosophers, such as Samuel Clarke and William Wollaston, that the judgement and the motive of moral action are functions of reason, an understanding of necessary truth analogous to mathematical thinking. Hutcheson and Hume, in contrast, took the view that moral judgement is affective, rests on feeling, and that the motive for acting upon that judgement must likewise be affective, since reason alone does not have the power to stir bodily behaviour.
- D. D. Raphael, The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy (2007), Ch. 1: Two Versions
- Kant in fact seems to have begun his reflections on moral theory as an adherent of Francis Hutcheson’s moral sense theory. Even after abandoning it, he persists in maintaining the importance of “moral feeling” and tries consistently to make a place for it within his moral psychology.
- Allen W. Wood, Kantian Ethics (2008), Ch. 2. Moral Worth
Encyclopedic article on Francis Hutcheson (philosopher) at Wikipedia
- Brief biography at the History of Economic Thought website