David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy Compass 2 (1):16–30 (2007)
One of the most significant disputes in early modern philosophy was between the moral rationalists and the moral sentimentalists. The moral rationalists — such as Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke and John Balguy — held that morality originated in reason alone. The moral sentimentalists — such as Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume — held that morality originated at least partly in sentiment. In addition to arguments, the rationalists and sentimentalists developed rich analogies. The most significant analogy the rationalists developed was between morality and mathematics. The most significant analogy the sentimentalists developed was between morality and beauty. These two analogies illustrate well the main ideas, underlying insights, and accounts of moral phenomenology the two positions have to offer. An examination of the two analogies will thus serve as a useful introduction to the debate between moral rationalism and moral sentimentalism as a whole.
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References found in this work BETA
Simon Blackburn (1998/2000). Ruling Passions. Oxford University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Shaun Nichols (2004). Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. Oxford University Press.
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Justin Clarke-Doane (2014). Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy. Noûs 48 (2):238-255.
Michael B. Gill & Shaun Nichols (2008). Sentimentalist Pluralism: Moral Psychology and Philosophical Ethics. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):143-163.
Julia Jorati (2014). Leibniz's Twofold Gap Between Moral Knowledge and Motivation. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):748-766.
Scott F. Aikin (2014). Prospects for Moral Epistemic Infinitism. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):172-181.
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