The Invention of Modern Moral Philosophy: A Review of "The Invention of Autonomy" by J. B. Schneewind [Book Review]

Journal of Religious Ethics 29 (1):145 - 173 (2001)
This review essay assesses the significance of J. B. Schneewind's "The Invention of Autonomy" for the history of moral thought in general and for religious ethics in particular. The essay offers an overview of Schneewind's complex argument before critically discussing his four central themes: the primacy of Immanuel Kant, the fundamentality of conflict, the insufficiency of virtue, and community with God. Whereas Schneewind argues that an impasse between modern natural law and perfectionist ethics revealed irresolvable tensions within Christian ethics and thus encouraged the emergence of secular moral thought, this author suggests that these tensions were specific to a voluntarist strand of Christian moral thought from which even antivoluntarists of the modern period were unable to break free
Keywords virtue  Kant  voluntarism  perfectionism  autonomy
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DOI 10.2307/40017882
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Wesley Erdelack (2011). Antivoluntarism and the Birth of Autonomy. Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (4):651-679.

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