Category: Philosophy Essay

Much can be accorded to the exertions of the Scottish philosopher named David Hume (1711-1776) as far as his postulations are concerned on the day to day applicability. Typically, Hume has for a long time been perceived to be a contemporary of Rousseau (1712-1778); on basis that both were extensively associated with the reformist engagements of the enlightenment. It was classical for them holding an optimistic view about human nature on grounds that human nature is perfect unless corrupted by the social doctrines or environment that surrounds them. From these premises, assorted aspects about human life and its implications on politics can be drawn. Consequently, social as well as political philosophies pin massive applications on Hume’s premise. For instance, an argument presented by Hume on reason versus passion has a political significance as an application. This study seeks to analyze the applicability of Hume’s exertions on political philosophy (reason and passion in humans) in addition to his criticism of the social contrast postulate (the original contract) and finally evaluate Comparisons as well as contrasts amid Immanuel Kant’s commencement of freedom (theory and practice) versus that of John Locke’s perception of freedom.

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Significance of Hume’s premise of Reason and Passion to Political Philosophy

Firstly, a critical analysis of Hume’s postulation of how human reasons and passion correlate comes handy. In light of this, it is vital to compare the point of divergence between Hume and Rousseau who had held analogous views about human nature as aforementioned. In this regard, as Rousseau was much engulfed in search of solutions to human afflictions such as inequality, sociability vices as well as egotism utilizing an approach that could revamp human institutions; Hume was much dubious of such views and programs being successful. In his case, Hume became a proponent of the methodical empiricism as premised by Locke in addition to holding on the views of Locke about human mind (commonly as an authentic tabula rasa). Hume agrees that the notion of innate ideas as well as spacious doctrines had been falsified. He simply doubted the famous laws of nature that Locke claims to subsist in. loaded with this fact, the significance of Hume’s postulate about reason and passion for political philosophy can be cultivated. In his second book entitled (A treatise to Human Nature) of the passions, Hume is determined to put forward two points; one is seeking to prove that reason as a lone entity is not an adequate motive to pursue any given action, and secondly premising that reason cannot contest passion in pursuance to a certain will. In this regard, therefore, it is evident that reason alone cannot unswervingly influence human actions including making political choices. Thus, the ability of a reason to be a master to passion is doubted as far as human nature and way of life such as political affiliations are concerned. In essence, political viewpoint utilizes reason simply as an avenue that offers excuses or even rationalization that come as determinants to exposing human passion. This is why passion becomes a master to reason. In this connection, Hume in this second book declares reason to being the slave of passion insisting that it can principally serve and obey the passion but not pretend to any other office (404). In nature, this study finds it significant that Hume’s exertions have partial applicability. To an extent, passion has been the force behind people aligning themselves to certain political affiliations. However, reason (especially for self-gain) has gradually overtaken passion as far as political linkages are concerned. In pretense to having passion for certain policies or leadership of any given political grouping, the inner drive is a reason which has characterized most autocratic states. However, Hume holds up that reason primarily endeavors to propose what we believe is true, or even false or simply because one is undecided.

Critical Analysis of Hume’s Criticism of Social Contract

Additionally, it is essential to look at Hume’s criticism of the social contract supposition. Here, the premise is that the development of a social contract is the solitary approach to checking anti-social passions that principally encompass greed and selfishness. In the essay (of the social contract), he is decisive of the social contract custom in political philosophy. He simply does not believe that social contract can be used