The traditional interpretation of Hume's account of motives and his opposition to moral rationalism consists of four theses: (A) Only desires or similar conative states provide impulses to act. (B) Beliefs alone cannot initiate action, nor cause affective states that in turn move us to act; they can only influence action by directing already-present desires. (C) Necessarily, all moral evaluations are motives. (D) Morality is not the product of reason alone. This “Humean” view has influenced much recent philosophy. But few Hume scholars have attempted to show in detail how it emerges from and comports with all of Hume's complex writings in their historical context. Fewer still have argued that it gives Hume a consistent account of action and the foundations of morality. Indeed, several recent Hume scholars argue that the traditional interpretation is, on varying grounds, a misreading of Hume. Now comes Elizabeth...

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