By Christopher J. Berry
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Rights” do not inhere as some natural property of persons that, as such, have normative superiority, or establish an evaluative yardstick against which, social institutions can/should be measured. The explanation as to why he distances himself from that position is his scientific intent. 2). Humans do not possess—nature has not provided them with—any “peculiar original principles” to sustain society. 1) is to endorse this view of natural provision. But the experiments in the science of man produce a different outcome.
14). In virtue of this constancy we can predict that the second static ball will move when hit by the first ball in motion. 10). If we know/can predict that a set of effects will follow from a certain set of causes then we can act accordingly—I want hot water therefore I have to heat it. ”) The prediction is the product of our belief that “nature will continue uniformly the same” (TA 13). ” So it is that Hume can claim that custom is the “guide of human life” and “the cement of the universe” (TA 16, 35).
13). ” What Hume has done is make inferences from his “scientific” analysis of human nature (human motives or passions). At best this is susceptible to a social Darwinian explanation. Those groups that developed the appropriate remedial conventions were more successful and survived to pass them on, through socialization, to their young. In what then, for Hume, does justice consist? It comprises rules. 1). Before turning, in the next subsection, to the content of these rules, we need to heed Hume’s careful account of how these rules/agreements/conventions emerged.