Hume's Humanity and the Protection of the Vulnerable

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Ivana Zagorac

Abstract

It is well known that Hume excluded inferior rational beings, who are incapable of resistance and weak resentment, from his concept of justice. This resulted in a critique of Hume’s theory of justice, as it would not protect those who were the most vulnerable against ill treatment. The typical answer to this critique is that Hume excluded inferior rational beings from the concept of justice, but not from that of morality, and that he considered their protection to be the task of humanity. The subject of this text is the range of Hume’s humanity. What manner of protection does Hume’s humanity truly offer? Despite the conclusion that this manner of protection of the vulnerable is insufficient, Hume’s humanity contains valuable characteristics worthy of re-evaluation in modern debate — both on the limits of humanity and on the conditions and models of protecting the vulnerable.

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How to Cite
Zagorac, Ivana. 2015. “Hume’s Humanity and the Protection of the Vulnerable”. Diametros, no. 44 (June):189-203. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.44.2015.770.
Section
Special Topic - Justice and Compassion – Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Practical Ethics
Author Biography

Ivana Zagorac, University of Zagreb

Ivana Zagorac, PhD (Assistant Professor)Primary institution: Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia (I. Lučića 3, HR–10000 Zagreb)Secondary institution: Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (Malakowturm, Markstrasse 258a, DE–44799 Bochum) E-mail: izagorac@ffzg.hrAcknowledgments: This research was supported under Marie Curie Newfelpro funding scheme for the project CONVINce-ME (FP7-PEOPLE-2011-COFUND program; Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport). Author is a CONVINce-ME project manager and a research fellow at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr University Bochum.
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