From Bloggingheads: Mark Schroeder On His Book ‘Slaves Of The Passions’

Full diavlog here.

Schroeder, on the thinking of David Hume, seems to be making the case that our passions have a lot to do with our reason(s), and ought to have to do with our reasons.  This seems to be part of a larger trend of Humean influence lately. (I’m not sure that its many practitioners have successfully addressed that problems Hume does, but rather are using Hume to address current problems.)

Schroeder, in part, seems to want to carve out free will enough for our reasoning to recognize its debt and interconnectedness to those passions. 

Wilkinson asks a good question of Schroeder:  How would this theory of moral reasoning broaden itself to, say, explain the natural world?

Schroeder’s response (following Hume) is that science has objective truths about the world and moral facts, but that there’s nothing extra-moral about them. 

A Newton or an Einstein, say, wasn’t tapping into the starry firmament, nor a Platonic world of Forms, nor the mind of God to discover the laws of the natural world…they applied their reason to direct experience and observation.  They certainly don’t need to read the musty transcendentalism of Kant or others to do their work (nor does any scientist, for that matter).  

Yet, isn’t Schroeder left with the difficult task of explaining how it is that science has objective truths about the world…and reasons for our moral facts? 

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