How We Are Moral

Benevolence, Utility, and Self-Love in Hobbes and Hume

  • Jenna Kreyche
Keywords: philosophy, hobbes, hume, moral theory, morality, utility


In this paper, I reconstruct Hobbes’ theory of self-love. I then examine Hume’s arguments that (i) self-love does not properly account for moral behavior and (ii) self-love is unnecessary for moral theory. I argue that Hobbesian self-love can account for both of Hume’s objections. Further, I use an analysis of Hobbes’ Deliberation to show, contra Hume, that self-love does not entail a lack of intention in moral action.

How to Cite
Kreyche, J. (2019). How We Are Moral: Benevolence, Utility, and Self-Love in Hobbes and Hume. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, 4(1), 27-38. Retrieved from