Imperceptible Impressions and Disorder in the Soul: A Characterization of the Distinction between Calm and Violent Passions in Hume
Hume, passions, calm, violent, reason, motivation, moral psychology
Hume’s explanation of our tendency to confuse calm passions with reason due to lack of feeling appears to present a tension with his claim that we cannot be mistaken about our own impressions. I argue that the calm/violent distinction cannot be understood in terms of presence/absence of feeling. Rather, for Hume the presence or absence of disruption and disordering of natural and/or customary modes of thought is the key distinction between the calm and violent passions. This reading provides new explanations of our confusion of (felt) calm passions with reason, and the potential for calm passions to prevail over violent.
Original Publication Citation
Paxman, K. (2015) “Imperceptible Impressions and Disorder in the Soul: A characterization of the distinction between calm and violent passions in Hume.” Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 13(3): 265-278.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Paxman, Katharina, "Imperceptible Impressions and Disorder in the Soul: A Characterization of the Distinction between Calm and Violent Passions in Hume" (2015). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 19.
Journal of Scottish Philosophy
Edinburgh University Press