The Scottish philosopher David Hume took a revolutionary approach to the philosophical study of human nature, including morality or ethics. He objected to metaphysical or rational arguments, instead focusing on an empirical study inspired by Newton's scientific method.
Hume's position on ethics and morality was not merely a rejection of religious or supernatural ideas about morality. Hume also rejected moral rationalism (the belief that human beings should or do arrive at moral principles by means of reasoning). Hume based his study of morality and ethics on his empiricist theory of the mind, which meant that he attempted to study morality based on an observation of human nature and behavior. Although his was a systematic approach, inspired by science, he was among the first philosophers to identify emotion as an important factor in human morality.