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Hume Vs. Kant Theories


Philosophy is a subject that focuses on problems relating to existence, knowledge, reason, morality and other similar topics. The figurehead of modern philosophy was a philosopher called Immanuel Kant from Germany. Similarly, David Hume born in 1711 is another famous philosopher who originated from Scotland. Both these philosophers take a position on the issue of the relation between reason and morality via their written works.

When we look at David Humes work called Grounding for the metaphysics of morals we see that the reason has no effect on motivation and the resulting action. He believes that reason cannot produce morality because idea is not a motivator that causes humans to act in a certain way. He shows in his piece of work on how morality is dependant on feelings that support or not support an action. Hume helps draw a line between natural virtues and artificial virtues that help humans survive in society.

Similarly, when we take a look at Immanuel Kants work called A treatise of human nature shows how having a friendly attitude is a source of morality. Kant believes that theory can explain things in the world but can not define our actions in the world. He believes that compared to theoretical reason it is the practical reason that guides the course of action. Kant touches the concept of humans having a will which means to act in a certain way according to principles set for himself. It is the internal wishes and desires of a person that allow a series of actions to then take place.

Both these theories cover various aspects of sentiments of a human. Here are some differences between the two theories by these famous philosophers:

  • Hume denied the relation between cause and effect by saying these two could not support each other.
  • Moreover, a vast contrast can be seen between the philosophical thinking of Kant and Hume. David Hume follows a method that is experimental and empirical whereas Immanuel Kant supports the need for practical actions to define morality.
  • In addition, Hume was skeptical when it came to his philosophical ideas whereas Kant was open to all sorts of critique.

It can be seen that various thinkers including David Hume and Immanuel Kant have made significant contributions in the world of philosophy. The concepts and research carried out by these philosophical thinkers is still applied in various areas of life today.

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