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The British Moralists and the Internal 'Ought' : 1640-1740 - Stephen L. Darwall

The British Moralists and the Internal 'Ought'


Paperback Published: 9th October 1995
ISBN: 9780521457828
Number Of Pages: 372

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This book is a major work in the history of ethics, and provides the first study of early modern British philosophy in several decades. Professor Darwall discerns two distinct traditions feeding into the moral philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. On the one hand, there is the empirical, naturalist tradition, comprising Hobbes, Locke, Cumberland, Hutcheson, and Hume, which argues that obligation is the practical force that empirical discoveries acquire in the process of deliberation. On the other hand, there is the group including Cudworth, Shaftesbury, Butler, and in some moments Locke, which views obligation as inconceivable without autonomy and which seeks to develop a theory of the will as self-determining.

Industry Reviews

'Positive Psychology begins with Frances Hutcheson early in the Scottish Enlightenment. Michael Gill's lucid exposition of the heavyweight thinkers of this movement is the place to begin to understand this crucial period of intellectual history.' Martin Seligman, University of Pennsylvania 'In Michael Gill's hands, the 'human nature question' becomes a powerful analytic tool that illuminates all kinds of interesting issues in early modern British moral philosophy. This book opens up insufficiently appreciated philosophical texts in ways that are simply wonderful.' Stephen Darwall, University of Michigan 'In this tour-de-force Michael Gill convincingly redefines the course of British moral philosophy over the seventeenth and early eighteenth- centuries. With sure philosophical judgment he weaves his narrative around the oscillation between pessimistic and optimistic views human nature in the major writers of the period, culminating in the cautiously progressive and subtle reconciliation in David Hume. All future work on the history of the Enlightenment, and the philosophy of the time, will need to start with this book.' Simon Blackburn, University of Cambridge

The British moralists: inventing internalism
Culverwell and Locke: classical and modern natural law
Hobbes: ethics as 'consequences from the passions of men'
Cumberland: obligation naturalised
Cudworth: obligation and self-determining moral agency
Locke: autonomy and obligation in the revised Essay
Shaftesbury: authority and authorship
Huteson: moral sentiment and calm desire
Butler: conscience as self-authorising
Hume: norms and the obligation to be just
Concluding reflections
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521457828
ISBN-10: 0521457823
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 372
Published: 9th October 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.59

Earn 109 Qantas Points
on this Book