Hume, Bloom, and Moral Inclusion
Philosophers today have reason to be concerned about who is included in the philosophical community, which now is almost entirely white and largely male. This chapter is concerned more generally with the problem of inclusion with regard to moral theory and practice. Inclusive moral thought and action extend to all human beings, not just those the practitioner is inclined to consider. We focus on David Hume and Paul Bloom. Hume sees sympathy as at the foundations of morality, at least in the Treatise, though he recognizes that it alone will not support an inclusive morality. Inclusion presents a problem he needs to solve. Arguably Bloom’s account of empathy is close to Hume on sympathy; for him inclusion is easier since he rejects empathy as providing a good foundation for morality. Bloom’s account of reason as providing inclusion, however, creates a problem, as we will see. Nonetheless, these two theorists are to be admired for the attention they pay to the too often ignored problem of inclusion.