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Summary Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) is widely regarded as the most enduringly significant figure in late 19th century Anglo-American moral philosophy. He is both the last of the three classical utilitarians (Bentham, Mill, and Sidgwick) and the first in a tradition of British intuitionists stretching into the mid 20th century and including Moore and Ross. His works include books on political philosophy, political history, and economics, and articles on issues in epistemology and general philosophy. But by far his most discussed work in his masterpiece, The Methods of Ethics (first edition 1874, 7th (posthumous) edition 1907).
Key works For the student of ethics, Sidgwick's own most important works are The Methods of Ethics (Sidgwick 1907); Lectures on the Ethics of T.H. Green, Mr. Herbert Spencer, and J. Martineau (Sidgwick 1902) and Essays on Ethics and Method (Sidgwick 2000). Important secondary sources include C.D. Broad, Five Types of Ethical Theory (Broad 1959); Jerome Schneewind, Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy (Schneewind 1977); Robert Shaver, Rational Egoism (Shaver 1998);  Bart Schultz, Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe (Schultz 2004); Terence Irwin, The Development of Ethics, Vol. III (Irwin 2009); and David Phillips, Sidgwickian Ethics (Phillips 2011).
Introductions The best introductions to Sidgwick's work are probably his own in the "short intellectual autobiography" included by his literary executor, E.E. Constance Jones, in the Preface to the 6th edition of the Methods (Sidgwick 1907, xvii-xxiii) and Bart Schultz's Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article "Henry Sidgwick".
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  1. added 2018-02-17
    On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a major work in moral philosophy, the long-awaited follow-up to Parfit's 1984 classic Reasons and Persons, a landmark of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons and a critical examination of the most prominent systematic moral theories, leading to his own ground-breaking conclusion.
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  2. added 2017-10-23
    Sidgwick on Pleasure.Robert Shaver - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):901-928.
  3. added 2017-10-23
    British Ethical Theorists From Sidgwick to Ewing.Thomas Hurka - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the first full historical study of a key strand in the development of modern moral philosophy. The subject is a school of British ethical theorists from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, including Sidgwick and Moore. Hurka shows what these philosophers thought, how they influenced each other, and how their ideas changed through time.
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  4. added 2017-10-23
    Sidgwick on Consequentialism and Deontology: A Critique.Thomas Hurka - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (2):129-152.
    In The Methods of Ethics Henry Sidgwick argued against deontology and for consequentialism. More specifically, he stated four conditions for self-evident moral truth and argued that, whereas no deontological principles satisfy all four conditions, the principles that generate consequentialism do. This article argues that both his critique of deontology and his defence of consequentialism fail, largely for the same reason: that he did not clearly grasp the concept W. D. Ross later introduced of a prima facie duty or duty other (...)
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  5. added 2017-10-23
    Sidgwick's Axioms and Consequentialism.Robert Shaver - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (2):173-204.
    Sidgwick gives various tests for highest certainty. When he applies these tests to commonsense morality, he finds nothing of highest certainty. In contrast, when he applies these tests to his own axioms, he finds these axioms to have highest certainty. The axioms culminate in Benevolence: “Each one is morally bound to regard the good of any other individual as much as his own, except in so far as he judges it to be less, when impartially viewed, or less certainly knowable (...)
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  6. added 2017-10-23
    Pleasure and Hedonism in Sidgwick.Roger Crisp - 2011 - In Thomas Hurka (ed.), Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers From Sidgwick to Ewing. Oxford University Press.
  7. added 2017-10-23
    Secrecy in Consequentialism: A Defence of Esoteric Morality.Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek & Peter Singer - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):34-58.
    Sidgwick's defence of esoteric morality has been heavily criticized, for example in Bernard Williams's condemnation of it as 'Government House utilitarianism.' It is also at odds with the idea of morality defended by Kant, Rawls, Bernard Gert, Brad Hooker, and T.M. Scanlon. Yet it does seem to be an implication of consequentialism that it is sometimes right to do in secret what it would not be right to do openly, or to advocate publicly. We defend Sidgwick on this issue, and (...)
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  8. added 2017-10-23
    Rational Egoism: A Selective and Critical History.Robert Shaver - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    The position of rational egoism centres upon the thought that the rational thing to do must be to pursue one's own self-interest. Focusing on the work of Hobbes and Sidgwick, this book is an extensive history and evaluation of rational egoism. They are, after the ancients, the foremost exponents of rational egoism. He also considers other figures - Grotius, Samuel Clarke, John Clarke, Butler, Hume, Reid, Kant, Paley and Bentham - and a related position: the instrumental theory of rationality. Robert (...)
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  9. added 2017-10-23
    The Significance of the Dualism of Practical Reason.Alison Hills - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (3):315.
    Sidgwick argued that utilitarianism and egoism were in conflict, that neither theory was better justified than the other, and concluded that there was a and all that remained to him was. The dualism argument introduced by Sidgwick is an extremely powerful sceptical argument that no theory of ethics is rationally required: it cannot be shown that a moral sceptic or an egoist ought to accept the moral theory, otherwise she is unreasonable. I explain two ways in which the significance of (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-23
    What is Sidgwick’s Dualism of Practical Reason?Mcleod Owen - 2000 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3):273-290.
    Sidgwick's ‘Dualism of Practical Reason’ has attracted the attention of many interpreters, and the Dualism itself seems to be an historically important version of the view, recently defended by Thomas Nagel, Susan Wolf, and others, that there exists a fundamental fragmentation of value – that the ‘cosmos of duty is reduced to chaos,’ in Sidgwick's words. In this paper, I consider and reject the leading interpretations of Sidgwick's Dualism, and propose an alternative reading. I conclude by offering what I hope (...)
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  11. added 2017-10-23
    Common Sense and First Principles in Sidgwick's Methods.David O. Brink - 1994 - Social Philosophy and Policy 11 (1):179-201.
    What role, if any, should our moral intuitions play in moral epistemology? We make, or are prepared to make, moral judgments about a variety of actual and hypothetical situations. Some of these moral judgments are more informed, reflective, and stable than others ; some we make more confidently than others; and some, though not all, are judgments about which there is substantial consensus. What bearing do our moral judgments have on philosophical ethics and the search for first principles in ethics? (...)
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  12. added 2017-02-15
    The ‘Creed of Science’ in Victorian England. [REVIEW]David Riley - 2001 - British Journal for the History of Science 34 (1):97-124.
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  13. added 2017-02-15
    The Education of Women in Victorian and Edwardian England.Js Pedersen - 1987 - History of European Ideas 8 (6):731-736.
  14. added 2017-02-15
    Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England.Joyce Senders Pedersen - 1987 - History of European Ideas 8 (6):731-736.
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  15. added 2017-02-15
    Days of Judgement. Science, Examinations and the Organization of Knowledge in Late Victorian England. [REVIEW]David Layton - 1985 - British Journal for the History of Science 18 (1):113-113.
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  16. added 2017-02-13
    Liberal Ideals and Feminist Organisation in Victorian England: One Cause or Many?Joyce Pedersen - 1994 - History of European Ideas 19 (4-6):733-739.
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  17. added 2017-02-13
    The Amateur and the Professional: Antiquarians, Historians and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838–1886.Joan Todd - 1988 - History of European Ideas 9 (4):517-519.
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  18. added 2017-02-13
    Between Science and Religion: The Reaction to Scientific Naturalism in Late Victorian England.Christopher J. Berry - 1981 - History of European Ideas 2 (2):173-174.
  19. added 2017-02-11
    Possession or Insanity?: Two Views From the Victorian Lunatic Asylum.Anthony Ossa-Richardson - 2013 - Journal of the History of Ideas 74 (4):553-575.
  20. added 2017-02-10
    Between Science and Religion: The Reaction to Scientific Naturalism in Late Victorian England.A. R. Louch - 1975 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 13 (2):273-273.
  21. added 2017-02-03
    George Henry Lewes: A Victorian Mind.Hock Guan Tjoa - 1977 - Harvard University Press.
    In this book Professor Tjoa not only reconstructs Lewes’ theory of criticism and his social and political opinions but also evaluates his contributions to ...
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  22. added 2017-01-29
    Schultz, Bruno K., Erbkunde, Rassenkunde, Rassenpflege.Landsberg Landsberg - 1935 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 4:144.
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  23. added 2017-01-27
    Ordinary Moral Knowledge and Philosophical Ethics in Sidgwick and Kant.Massimo Reichlin - 2008 - Etica E Politica 10 (2):109-136.
    Sidgwick considered Kant as one of his masters. However, he never devoted any systematic attention to Kant’s ethical theory; moreover, in The Methods of Ethics he concluded that Kantian ethics is inadequate to guide moral life. I review Sidgwick’s references to Kant in order to show that – along with basic differences − there are significant similarities in the main project of the two philosophers; and I suggest that, should Sidgwick have deepened his understanding of Kant, he might have realised (...)
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  24. added 2017-01-27
    Bart Schultz: Essays on Henry Sidgwick.R. Harrison - 1996 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (1):203-206.
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  25. added 2017-01-27
    Julius Schultz' Maschinen-Theorie des Lebens.Erwin Ditz - 1937 - Philosophical Review 46:106.
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  26. added 2017-01-26
    Essays on Henry Sidgwick.Richard Dees - 1994 - History of European Ideas 18 (1):119-120.
  27. added 2017-01-25
    Sidgwickian Ethics (Review).Robert Shaver - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (1):136-137.
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  28. added 2017-01-25
    The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain.Mark Steadman - 2009 - Intellectual History Review 19 (1):144-145.
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  29. added 2017-01-25
    Essays on Henry Sidgwick.Marcus G. Singer - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):533-537.
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  30. added 2017-01-23
    Henry Sidgwick.Ross Harrison (ed.) - 2001 - British Academy.
    These essays constitute a welcome addition to the current re-engagement with the ethical thought of a prominent late Victorian philosopher and reformer. Henry Sidgwick wrote the first professional work of modern moral philosophy, yet one century after his death his thought remains relevant to the present revival of interest in the question of how we should live. -/- How does moral philosophy fit in with the more general use of practical reason? - a still puzzling and deeply contested problem. Which (...)
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  31. added 2017-01-22
    The Impossibility of Sidgwick's "Proof".William Langenfus - 2000 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (1):99 - 120.
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  32. added 2017-01-22
    Sidgwick on Moral Theories and Common Sense Morality.Janice Daurio - 1997 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (4):425 - 445.
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  33. added 2017-01-22
    Commensurability as a Prerequisite of Rational Choice: An Examination of Sidgwick's Position.Henry S. Richardson - 1991 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 8 (2):181 - 197.
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  34. added 2017-01-22
    Why Sidgwick's Project Had to Fail.J. L. A. Garcia - 1987 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 4 (1):79 - 91.
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  35. added 2017-01-22
    Self and Others in Bentham and Sidgwick.Paul Gomberg - 1986 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 3 (4):437 - 448.
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  36. added 2017-01-22
    Common Sense and Paradox in Sidgwick's Ethics.Marcus G. Singer - 1986 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 3 (1):65 - 78.
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  37. added 2017-01-21
    Analogical Reasoning in Victorian Historical Epistemology.Michael Carignan - 2003 - Journal of the History of Ideas 64 (3):445-464.
  38. added 2017-01-20
    The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain.Leslie Armour - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2):351 – 354.
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  39. added 2017-01-18
    Henry James--Aristotle's Ally, an Exclusive Pact?Jane Singleton - 2006 - Philosophy and Literature 30 (1):61-78.
  40. added 2017-01-18
    Naturalism and Ethics.Arthur James Balfour - 1894 - International Journal of Ethics 4 (4):415-429.
  41. added 2017-01-18
    The Philosophy of Ethics.Arthur James Balfour - 1878 - Mind 3 (9):67-86.
  42. added 2017-01-17
    The Cosmos of Duty: Henry Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics by Roger Crisp.Bart Schultz - 2016 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (3):510-511.
    The career of Oxford philosopher Roger Crisp has produced a wonderfully rich yield of elegant, lucid philosophizing that combines in a rare mix historical erudition and brilliant, creative, and highly interdisciplinary ethical argument. Crisp is steeped in Aristotle and Mill, W. D. Ross and Derek Parfit, but his deepest source of inspiration is by his own admission the Victorian era Cambridge philosopher Henry Sidgwick, author of the famous Methods of Ethics. Although Sidgwick has been regarded as a kind of master (...)
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  43. added 2017-01-17
    The Role of Metaphysics, Common-Sense, and Interpretations of Classical Greek Philosophy in Sidgwick's Utilitarianism and Whitehead's Virtue Ethics.Kevin Karl Jones Durand - unknown
    Whitehead's metaphysical and ethical arguments accomplish two related goals. The first is a criticism of modern ethical theory---the Utilitarian views of Sidgwick and Mill and the Theistic Intuitionism of the Cambridge Moralists. I argue that Whitehead's rejection of these views depends on a rejection of the subject/predicate substance metaphysics inherited by Sidgwick, et al, from Aristotle, a rejection of the method of philosophizing that is drawn from 19th-century interpretations of Aristotle, and an amended view of the role of common-sense in (...)
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  44. added 2017-01-17
    Sidgwick’s Common Sense Realism.J. David Newell - 1979 - Philosophy Research Archives 5:472-492.
    The aim of the paper is to present an exposition of Henry Sidgwick's view of the relationship between philosophy and common sense. Sidgwick's views on such traditional philosophical issues as the existence of God, the free will controversy, and the nature of mind and matter are presented. It is argued that Sidgwick has a very positive attitude toward the beliefs of the educated plain man and that he accepts a philosophical outlook which might warrant us in classifying him, with some (...)
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  45. added 2017-01-17
    Sidgwick on Proof in Ethics.Robert C. Schultz - 1975 - Philosophy Research Archives 1:336-351.
    The objective of the paper is to provide a critical exposition of Henry Sidgwick's theory of "proof" in ethics, by means of a restatement and a critique of relevant sections of Book IV of The Methods of Ethics and an article in the 1879 volume of Mind. It is concluded that Sidgwick's thought contains two fundamental unresolved tensions. One of these relates to whether "proof" is to be treated as a normative or an empirical matter. On the one hand, Sidgwick (...)
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  46. added 2017-01-16
    Bart Schultz, Henry Sidgwick – Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. Xx+858. ISBN 0-521-82967-4. £40.00. [REVIEW]Roy MacLeod - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Science 41 (3).
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  47. added 2017-01-16
    Bart Schultz. Henry Sidgwick—Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography. Xx + 858 Pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. £40. [REVIEW]Frank M. Turner - 2006 - Isis 97 (4):781-782.
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  48. added 2017-01-16
    Practical Ethics: A Collection of Addresses and Essays.Henry Sidgwick - 1998 - Oup Usa.
    This book is a reissue of a long-unavailable work by the English philosopher and educator Henry Sidgwick. Published in 1898, it collects nine essays, in which Sidgwick discusses such issues as when public officials might be justified in lying or breaking promises, whether scientists may legitimately inflict suffering on animals for research purposes, along with a score of other problems in practical ethics. The noted ethicist Sissela Bok has contributed a Foreword to this reissue, arguing for the book's continuing relevance (...)
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  49. added 2017-01-16
    III.—Professor Sidgwick's Ethics.E. E. C. Jones - 1904 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 4 (1):32-52.
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  50. added 2017-01-15
    Outlines of the History of Ethics for English Readers.Henry Sidgwick - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.
    One of the most influential of the Victorian philosophers, Henry Sidgwick was the author of the masterpiece of utilitarianism, The Methods of Ethics. He also made important contributions to fields such as economics, political theory, and classics. An active champion of higher education for women, he founded Cambridge's Newnham College in 1871. He attended Rugby School and then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained his whole career. In 1859 he accepted a lectureship in classics, and held this post for ten (...)
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1 — 50 / 362