David Hume: Unwitting Cosmopolitan?

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Edward W. Glowienka

Abstract

If Hume is considered cosmopolitan in his ethics at all, he is said to be so through his anti-mercantilist approach to commerce. Prevailing commercial interpretations attribute to Hume a cosmopolitanism that is best described as instrumental and supervenient. I argue that Hume’s principles lead to a cosmopolitan ethic that is more demanding than commercial interpretations recognize. Hume’s cosmopolitanism is more than merely supervenient and its instrumentality is such that cosmopolitan regard becomes inseparable from healthy patriotic concern. I show sympathy and duty, not merely justice, central to Hume’s cosmopolitanism and address how Hume’s moderate cosmopolitanism might be enacted in society. I suggest Hume’s view can contribute to contemporary cosmopolitan discourse, aiding both those forms with which it is consonant and the practical ends of otherwise opposed, Kantian forms.

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How to Cite
Glowienka, Edward W. 2015. “David Hume: Unwitting Cosmopolitan?”. Diametros, no. 44 (June):153-72. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.44.2015.768.
Section
Special Topic - Justice and Compassion – Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Practical Ethics
Author Biography

Edward W. Glowienka, Carroll College

Dr. Edward W. GlowienkaAssistant Professor of PhilosophyCarroll College1601 N. Benton Ave. Helena, MT 59625USAE-mail: eglowienka@carroll.edu
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