chapter  2
4 Pages

Hutcheson and Hume’s ‘wilful murder’

As we saw in the last chapter, only with regard to one of his arguments in 3.1.1 does Hume make it clear that his target is specifically naturalistic objectivism. This is the argument from ‘wilful murder’ expounded in paragraph 26. Here he announces that he is turning, in this ‘second part of our argument’, from those philosophers for whom ‘morality consists . . . in relations’ to those for whom it concerns ‘matters of fact’. But we may safely assume that any philosophers for whom morality concerns such ‘matters of fact’ must be naturalists. That they can still be said to treat morality as ‘an object of reason’ indicates that they locate these matters of fact in the world rather than in the mind of the spectator.