Recasting Scottish Sentimentalism: The Peculiarity of Moral Approval

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):91-115 (2012)
By founding morality on the particular sentiments of approbation and disapprobation, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith implied that the nature of moral judgment was far more intuitive and accessible than their rationalist predecessors and contemporaries would, or at least easily could, allow. And yet, these ‘Sentimentalists’ faced the longstanding belief that the human affective psyche is a veritable labyrinth – an obstacle to practical morality if not something literally brutish in us. The Scottish Sentimentalists thus implicitly tasked themselves with distinguishing and locating the particular sentiments of approbation and disapprobation in the human psyche. In this paper, I argue that this task led Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith to adopt a remarkable thesis when it came to the nature of the moral sentiments, namely, that the sentiments of moral approbation and disapprobation are peculiar – somehow radically unlike other sentiments
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/jsp.2012.0029
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Christina Chuang (2015). Recent Works on Hutcheson. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (2):115-121.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael Slote (2004). Moral Sentimentalism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1):3-13.
Michael Slote (2011). Reply to Justin D'Arms and Lori Watson. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):148-155.
Benjamin D. Crowe (2012). Herder's Moral Philosophy: Perfectionism, Sentimentalism and Theism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1141-1161.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #194,523 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.