Reid's moral psychology : animal motives as guides to virtueReid's moral psychology : animal motives as guides to virtue
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Center for Ethics
2014Calgary, Alta, 2014
Canadian journal of philosophy. - Calgary, Alta, 1971, currens
41(2014):1, p. 122-141
University of Antwerp
My aim in this paper is to show that animal motives play an important role in guiding human agents to virtue, according to Reid. Animal motives, for Reid, are constituted of desires and of their objects. These desires are intrinsic desires for objects other than moral or prudential worth. However, from a rational and moral point of view, animal motives are good and useful parts of the human constitution that lead to happiness, teach self-government, create the habit of acting virtuously, and add force to rational motives. Understanding animal motives as guides to virtue provides Reid with the hybrid sentimentalist/rationalist account he seeks to offer.