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Humean Sentimentalism and Non-Consequentialist Moral Thinking


Of the many objections rationalists have raised against moral sentimentalism, none has been more long-lived and central than the claim that sentimentalism cannot accommodate the non-consequentialist aspects of our moral thinking. I examine how Stephen Darwall directs this criticism at Hume's account of moral judgment and argue that Darwall's criticism is based on an incorrect interpretation of Hume's view of motivation and the moral sentiments. Humean moral psychology is more nuanced than Darwall's objection in particular and rationalist criticisms more generally have assumed. Developing a clear picture of why Hume's account of moral judgment does not imply an implausible consequentialism reveals the strength of Hume's moral sentimentalism overall.