Revolutionary Writing, Moral Philosophy, and Universal Benevolence in the Eighteenth

Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (2):221-240 (1993)
Of all the Enlightenment questions reopened in Britain by the French Revolution, none was more hotly debated and none became more politically charged than universal benevolence-the ideathat benevolence and sympathy can be extended to all humanity. Inthe British controversy overthe Revolution, issues that had been argued by eighteenth-century moral philosophers surfaced not only with a new urgency but also with a fresh sense of possible political and social implications; taking a stance on universal benevolence quickly came to imply an attitude towards the Revolution and apolitical position.
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