Interpreters often treat Hume’s conception of praise and blame as one that identifies praising and blaming with esteeming, reducible to felt impressions (see, for example, Korsgaard 1999). In such an account, to blame a person for having vicious character is identical to feeling a sentiment of blame. I challenge this view in three ways: first I show that in Hume’s Treatise, the sentiments of praise and blame are distinguished from the actual activity of praising and blaming. Second, I show that Hume identifies functions for the activity of praising and blaming, which supports a more pragmatic reading of Hume’s idea of moral assessment. Third, I explain how public expressions of praise and blame (as opposed to private impressions) are necessary for establishing the General Point of View, an essential element of Hume’s moral theory. Finally, I contrast my reading of Hume’s account with of current theories of praise and blame (see Arpaly 2003), showing how my reading of Hume adds to the contemporary debate.