Passions and sympathy in Hume’s philosophy

Authored by: Alessio Vaccari

The Humean Mind

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138909878
eBook ISBN: 9780429429996
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the various interconnections between sympathy and the passions. After sketching the main elements of the theory of the passions and the principle of sympathy (sections 1 and 2), I consider three aspects of human sociality. First, I examine some characteristics of our relations with our family and friends (section 3). Second, I consider our evaluative practices in this context, and how our behavior governs not only how other people think and feel about us but also how we think and feel about ourselves (section 4). Finally, I explain how human beings not only behave benevolently within their family and social bonds, but can also be sensitive to the suffering of strangers (section 5).

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