Shaftesbury and the Modern Problem of Virtue

Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (01):275- (1998)
Abstract
Anthony Ashley Cooper , the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, was the grandson of the First Earl of Shaftesbury . The First Earl, along with John Locke, was a leader and founder of the Whig movement in Britain. Locke was the First Earl's secretary and also the tutor of the Third Earl. Both the First and Third Earls were members of parliament and supporters of Whig causes. Although both the First and Third Earls were involved in politics, the Third Earl is better known for intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the Third Earl is second only to Locke in terms of influence during the eighteenth century. Yet if one takes into account effects upon literature, the arts, and manners, as well as upon philosophical trends and theories, Shaftesbury might be even more influential. Even if we restrict ourselves to philosophy, Shaftesbury's ideas were admired by thinkers as different as Leibniz and Montesquieu—something which could obviously not be said about Locke. Within ethics, Shaftesbury influenced Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Samuel Butler, and Adam Smith and is credited with founding the “moral sense” school of thought
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