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Hume assumes that murder is a representative case of “viciousness.” He also assumes that if there were “viciousness” in the “object” (the murder), we would be able to “see” it—it isn’t somehow hidden from us.
But no matter how hard we look, we don’t see “viciousness” or wrongness—we see an action taking place, and people with motives and feelings are involved in that action, but none of these things seem to be what we mean by “viciousness” or wrongness.Be sure you understand the important terms, like “vicious.” (By “vicious,” Hume seems to mean “wicked, depraved, or immoral,” which probably isn’t the way you use the word in everyday speech.) Step 2: Identify the conclusion.Sometimes your teacher will identify it for you, but even if she didn’t, you can find it.This handout discusses common types of philosophy assignments and strategies and resources that will help you write your philosophy papers.Philosophy is the practice of making and assessing arguments.Thinking of objections and examining their consequences is a way that philosophers check to see if an argument is a good one. All he has told us is that if an action is wrong, the wrongness is a sentiment in the people considering the action rather than a property of the action itself.When you consider an objection, you test the argument to see if it can overcome the objection. So Hume would probably say that what matters is how we feel about Dr. If we feel disapproval, then we are likely to call the action “wrong.” This test case probably raises all kinds of questions for you about Hume’s views.(Caution: It won’t always be the first or the last sentence in the passage; it may not even be explicitly stated.) In this case, Hume’s conclusion is something like this: The viciousness of an action is a feeling of disapprobation in the person who considers it, not a property of the action itself. Consider the conclusion and ask yourself what the author needs to do to prove it.Hume’s conclusion here seems to have two parts: When we call an action vicious, we mean that our “nature” causes us to feel blame when we contemplate that action.To object to an argument, you must give reasons why it is flawed: Often you’ll be asked to consider how a philosopher might reply to objections. You might be thinking, “Who cares whether we call the action wrong—I want to know whether it actually is wrong!After all, not every objection is a good objection; the author might be able to come up with a very convincing reply! ” Or you might say to yourself, “Some people will feel disapproval of the doctor’s action, but others will approve, so how should we decide whether the action is wrong or not?