On a possible influence of Rev. John Gay's Dissertation on David Hume (Sobre uma possível influência de John Gay sobre David Hume)

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This paper concerns the investigation of some speciñc possible relation between Rev. John Gay’s and David Hume’s moral theories. In the part, Gay’s thought is reconstructed trying to show his relatively neglected central role in the utilitarian tradition. From a close scrutiny of Gay’s criticisms to Hutcheson's moral theory it is possible to show how the author, Working on lockean views of language and psychology, have constructed in the moral branch an specifically utilitarian theoretical framework. In the second part, it is argued in favor of a certain continuity between Gay’s and Hume’s moral thought. The comparison of the Rev. John Gay’s Dissertation concerning the fundamental principle ofthe virtue or morality with Hume’s books II and III of A Treatise of human Nature reveals similarities which support the hypothesis, chronologically possible, that Hume was inspired or perhaps influenced by the reading of Gay's Dissertation. As matter of conclusion it is suggested that Hume’s Tïeatise paragraph about “is” and “ought” is somehow related to Gay's Dissertation paragraph in which We can read “...some things and actions are apt to produce pleasure, others pain; some are convenient, other inconvenient for a society; some are for the good of mankind; others tend to detriment of it; therefore those are to be chosen which tend to the good of mankind, the others to be avoided.”
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Archival date: 2021-01-21
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