The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of Secular Ethics

Cambridge ;Cambridge University Press (2006)
Abstract
Uncovering the historical roots of naturalistic, secular contemporary ethics, Michael Gill shows how the British moralists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries completed a Copernican revolution in moral philosophy. They effected a shift from thinking of morality as independent of human nature to thinking of it as part of human nature itself. He also shows how the British Moralists - sometimes inadvertently, sometimes by design - disengaged ethical thinking, first from distinctly Christian ideas and then from theistic commitments altogether. Examining in detail the arguments of Whichcote, Cudworth, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson against Calvinist conceptions of original sin and egoistic conceptions of human motivation, Gill also demonstrates how Hume combined the ideas of earlier British moralists with his own insights to produce an account of morality and human nature that undermined some of his predecessors' most deeply held philosophical goals
Keywords Ethics, Modern  Ethics History  Ethics, Modern  Ethics History
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Call number BJ602.G55 2006
ISBN(s) 0521852463   0521184401   9780521852463
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Terence Cuneo (2011). Reidian Metaethics: Part I. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):333-340.
Wesley Erdelack (2011). Antivoluntarism and the Birth of Autonomy. Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (4):651-679.
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