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  1. Newman on Natural and Revealed Religion.Cyril O’Regan - 2020 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):159-186.
    This essay reflects on Newman’s famous analyses of natural and revealed religion and their relation in the tenth and final chapter of the Grammar of Assent. There are two lines of reflection, the first internalist, the second externalist. On the first front, the essay draws attention to how conscience plays a foundational role in Newman’s discussion of natural religion and how it helps to distinguish it from the “religion of civilization,” which Newman considers to be a rationalist substitute for the (...)
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  2. Conscience: What is its History and Does It Have a Future?John Cottingham - 2019 - History of European Ideas 45 (3):338-345.
    ABSTRACTThis chapter looks briefly at the religious roots of the notion of ‘conscience’ in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, before examining the rise in the early-modern period of a ‘naturalizing’ approach that tries to explain our moral capacities in purely empirical terms, by reference to our natural inclinations and drives. The problem with this approach, highlighted by Joseph Butler, is that it fails to account for the authority or ‘normativity’ of the deliverances of conscience. An examination of the naturalistic approaches of J.S. (...)
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  3. Explaining the Paradox of Hedonism.Alexander Dietz - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):497-510.
    The paradox of hedonism is the idea that making pleasure the only thing that we desire for its own sake can be self-defeating. Why would this be true? In this paper, I survey two prominent explanations, then develop a third possible explanation, inspired by Joseph Butler's classic discussion of the paradox. The existing accounts claim that the paradox arises because we are systematically incompetent at predicting what will make us happy, or because the greatest pleasures for human beings are found (...)
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  4. Hume, Mandeville, Butler, and “That Vulgar Dispute”.Erin Frykholm - 2019 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 101 (2):280-309.
    The debate over whether human motivations are fundamentally selfinterested or benevolent consumed Shaftesbury, Mandeville, and Hutcheson, but Hume – though explicitly indebted to all three – almost entirely ignores this issue. I argue that his relative silence reveals an overlooked intellectual debt to Bishop Butler that informs two distinguishing features of Hume’s view: first, it allows him to appropriate compelling empirical observations that Mandeville makes about virtue and moral approval; second, it provides a way of articulating a fundamental criticism of (...)
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  5. Liberty, Poverty and Charity in the Political Economy of Josiah Tucker and Joseph Butler.Peter Xavier Price - 2019 - Modern Intellectual History 16 (3):741-770.
    Josiah Tucker, who was the Anglican dean of Gloucester from 1758 until his death in 1799, is best known today as a controversialist, a political economist and a lesser contemporary of Adam Smith. Little attention has been paid, however, to the important relationship between his religious writings and his wider economic thought. This article addresses this lack of attention in two ways: first by demonstrating the link between Tucker's conception of civil and religious liberty and his “science” of political economy, (...)
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  6. L’évaluation de l’auto duperie : Butler, Clifford et la philosophie contemporaine.Anne Meylan - 2018 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 143:357-370.
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  7. Butler's Stone.John J. Tilley - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4): 891–909.
    Early in the eleventh of his Fifteen Sermons, Joseph Butler advances his best-known argument against psychological hedonism. Elliott Sober calls that argument Butler’s stone, and famously objects to it. I consider whether Butler’s stone has philosophical value. In doing so I examine, and reject, two possible ways of overcoming Sober’s objection, each of which has proponents. In examining the first way I discuss Lord Kames’s version of the stone argument, which has hitherto escaped scholarly attention. Finally, I show that Butler’s (...)
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  8. Fifteen Sermons and Other Writings on Ethics by Joseph Butler. [REVIEW]Ralph Wedgwood - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):563-564.
    As a young Anglican clergyman, Joseph Butler published the first edition of his Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel in 1721; a revised edition appeared in 1729. Almost immediately, it was widely understood that these sermons present a strikingly subtle and careful form of a relatively traditional conception of ethics, in contrast to the more radical views of other philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes. Only a few years later, David Hume was much concerned to assimilate Butler's insights, while himself (...)
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  9. Constitutivism, Error, and Moral Responsibility in Bishop Butler's Ethics.David G. Dick - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):415-438.
    In his writings on moral philosophy, Bishop Joseph Butler adopts an identifiably “constitutivist” strategy because he seeks to ground normativity in features of agency. Butler's constitutivist strategy deserves our attention both because he is an influential precursor to much modern moral philosophy and because it sheds light on current debates about constitutivism. For example, Butler's approach can easily satisfy the “error constraint” that is often thought to derail modern constitutivist approaches. It does this by defining actions relative to the kind (...)
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  10. A Powerless Conscience: Hume on Reflection and Acting Conscientiously.Lorenzo Greco - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (3):547–564.
    If one looks for the notion of conscience in Hume, there appears to be a contrast between the loose use of it that can be found in his History of England, and the stricter use of it Hume makes in his philosophical works. It is my belief that, notwithstanding the problems Hume’s philosophy raises for a notion such as conscience, it is possible to frame a positive Humean explanation of it. I want to suggest that, far from corresponding to a (...)
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  11. Joseph Butler: Fifteen Sermons and Other Writings on Ethics.David McNaughton (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Joseph Butler's Fifteen Sermons is a classic and widely influential work of moral philosophy. Its topics include the role of conscience in human nature, self-love and egoism, compassion, resentment and forgiveness, love of our neighbour and of God. It is here presented with introduction, annotation, and other selected writings by Butler.
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  12. Custom and Habit in Physiology and the Science of Human Nature in the British Enlightenment.John P. Wright - 2017 - Early Science and Medicine 22 (2-3):183-207.
    In this paper I show how what came to be known as “the double law of habit,” first formulated by Joseph Butler in a discussion of moral psychology in 1736, was taken up and developed by medical physiologists William Porterfield, Robert Whytt, and William Cullen as they disputed fundamental questions regarding the influence of the mind on the body, the possibility of unconscious mental processes, and the nature and extent of voluntary action. The paper shows, on a particular topic, the (...)
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  13. Humes Auseinandersetzung mit den physischen Argumenten für die Unsterblichkeit der Seele und seine Kritik an Joseph Butler.Lothar Kreimendahl - 2015 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 69 (4):435-473.
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  14. Gewissen. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das 18. Jahrhundert.Katerina Mihaylova & Simon Bunke - 2015 - Würzburg, Deutschland: Königshausen & Neumann.
  15. Joseph Butler on Forgiveness.Linda Radzik - 2014 - In Johannes Brachtendorf & Stephan Herzberg (eds.), Vergebung: Philosophische Perspektiven auf ein Problemfeld der Ethik. Muenster: Mentis. pp. 139-47.
    While Charles Griswold's interpretation of Bishop Butler's theory of forgiveness is an improvement over the standard reading, it leaves Butler unable to distinguish between forgiveness and justice. The emotions and actions that are offered as definitive of forgiveness instead merely show that the agent is not unjust. However, if we refocus our interpretation of Butler, we can see how he might disentangle forgiveness and justice.
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  16. Focusing Forgiveness.András Szigeti - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (2):217-234.
    IntroductionIt is clear that forgiveness is closely related to emotions. Bishop Butler’s “forswearing of resentment” is still the definition most philosophical works on the subject take as their point of departure. Some others disagree but usually only insofar as they focus on another reactive emotion – e.g., moral hatred, disappointment, anger – which we overcome when we forgive.More specifically, according to Roberts the emotion we overcome in forgiveness is anger, see Robert C. Roberts, “Forgivingness,” American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1995): 289–306. (...)
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  17. Moral Judgment.P. J. E. Kail - 2013 - In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 315.
    This chapter discusses various conceptions of moral judgment during the eighteenth century in Britain. It begins with a characterization of moral rationalism that centres on Samuel Clarke and John Locke. It then discusses moral sentimentalism or moral sense theory, which is associated with Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume, portraying it partly as a reaction to moral rationalism but also as a response to the perceived positions of Hobbes and Mandeville. The chapter then discusses the position of Joseph Butler, Adam Smith’s sophisticated (...)
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  18. Self-Interest and Sociability.Christian Maurer - 2013 - In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 291-314.
    The chapter analyses the debates on the relation between self-interest and sociability in eighteenth-century British moral philosophy. It focuses on the selfish hypothesis, i.e. on the egoistic theory that we are only motivated by self-interest or self-love, and that our sociability is not based on disinterested affections, such as benevolence. The selfish hypothesis is much debated especially in the early eighteenth century (Mandeville, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Butler, Clarke, Campbell, Gay), and then rather tacitly accepted (Hartley, Tucker, Paley) or rejected (Hume, Smith, (...)
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  19. Butler's Ethics.David McNaughton - 2013 - In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter analyses Butler's ethical theories, which are found primarily in Fifteen Sermons and A Dissertation of the Nature of Virtue. It covers his notions of superiority and authority, the supremacy of conscience, virtue, benevolence, and self-love.
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  20. Butler’s Stone and Ultimate Psychological Hedonism.Peter Nilsson - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):545-553.
    This paper discusses psychological hedonism with a special reference to the writings of Bishop Butler, and Elliot Sober and David Sloan Wilson. Contrary to philosophical orthodoxy, Sober and Wilson have claimed that Butler failed to refute psychological hedonism. In this paper it is argued: (1) that there is a difference between reductive and ultimate psychological hedonism; (2) that Butler failed to refute ultimate psychological hedonism, but that he succeeded in refuting reductive psychological hedonism; and, finally and more importantly, (3) that (...)
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  21. Two Views of Conscience for the Australian People.Matthew Beard - 2011 - Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 1 (1):Article 4.
    Australian democracy has recently seen a new emphasis on ‘conscience votes’ in parliament. However, despite this increasing awareness, the Australian media, public and governments have failed to examine closely the concept of a ‘conscience vote’, and the important question of what conscience really is. I will examine a number of statements made by politicians, media commentators and other groups surrounding conscience votes to show the problems that emerge from lacking a clear account of conscience. From this, I will outline two (...)
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  22. Two Views of Conscience for the Australian People.Matthew Beard - 2011 - Solidarity 1 (1).
    Australian democracy has recently seen a new emphasis on ‘conscience votes’ in parliament. However, despite this increasing awareness, the Australian media, public and governments have failed to examine closely the concept of a ‘conscience vote’, and the important question of what conscience really is. I will examine a number of statements made by politicians, media commentators and other groups surrounding conscience votes to show the problems that emerge from lacking a clear account of conscience. From this, I will outline two (...)
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  23. Butler: Implications of Naturalism.Kyle Ferguson - 2011 - Philosophical Forum 42 (3):304-305.
  24. Butler: Naturalism and Mortality.Kyle Ferguson - 2011 - Philosophical Forum 42 (3):304-305.
  25. Bishop Butler on Forgiveness and Resentment.Ernesto V. Garcia - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11.
    On the traditional view, Butler maintains that forgiveness involves a kind of “conversion experience” in which we must forswear or let go of our resentment against wrongdoers. Against this reading, I argue that Butler never demands that we forswear resentment but only that we be resentful in the right kind of way. That is, he insists that we should be virtuously resentful, avoiding both too much resentment exhibited by the vices of malice and revenge and too little resentment where we (...)
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  26. The Works of Bishop Butler.Christopher D. Jones - 2011 - Faith and Philosophy 28 (3):365-368.
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  27. Conscience, Consciousness and Ethics in Joseph Butler's Philosophy and Ministry.Bob Tennant - 2011 - Boydell Press.
    out a visitation and a thorough assessment of his diocese. His predecessor (or rather his friend Benson, the bishop of Gloucester, who during Edward Chandler's decline had managed Durham's affairs) had kept the deanery records in good ...
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  28. Resentment and Moral Judgment in Smith and Butler.Alice MacLachlan - 2010 - The Adam Smith Review 5:161-177.
    This paper is a discussion of the ‘moralization’ of resentment in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. By moralization, I do not refer to the complex process by which resentment is transformed by the machinations of sympathy, but a prior change in how the ‘raw material’ of the emotion itself is presented. In just over fifty pages, not only Smith’s attitude toward the passion of resentment, but also his very conception of the term, appears to shift dramatically. What is an (...)
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  29. Memory, Quasi-Memory, and Pseudo-Quasi-Memory.Christopher Buford - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):465 – 478.
    Bishop Butler objected to Locke's theory of personal identity on the grounds that memory presupposes personal identity. Most of those sympathetic with Locke's account have accepted Butler's criticism, and have sought to devise a theory of personal identity in the spirit of Locke's that avoids Butler's circularity objection. John McDowell has argued that even the more recent accounts of personal identity are vulnerable to the kind of objection Butler raised against Locke's own account. I criticize McDowell's stance, drawing on a (...)
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  30. Ethics and the Possibility of Failure: Getting It Right About Getting It Wrong.David G. Dick - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    Entire moral philosophies have been rejected for ruling out the possibility of failure. This “fallibility constraint” (also sometimes called the “error constraint”) cannot be justified by appealing either to Wittgensteinian considerations about rules or to the moral importance of alternate possibilities. I propose instead that support for such a constraint in ethics can be found in the Strawsonian reactive attitudes. I then use the constraint to reveal hidden weaknesses in contemporary contstitutivist strategies to ground moral normativity such as Christine Korsgaard’s, (...)
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  31. The Empathic Emotions and Self-Love in Bishop Joseph Butler and the Neurosciences.Arthur J. Dyck & Carlos Padilla - 2009 - Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (4):577-612.
    In Joseph Butler, we have an account of human beings as moral beings that is, as this essay demonstrates, being supported by the recently emerging findings of the neurosciences. This applies particularly to Butler's portrayal of our empathic emotions. Butler discovered their moral significance for motivating and guiding moral decisions and actions before the neurosciences did. Butler has, in essence, added a sixth sense to our five senses: this is the moral sense by means of which we perceive what we (...)
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  32. What's in It for Me? Butler's Complaint Against Collins.Alfred C. Lent - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (2):333-349.
  33. Self-Love in Early 18th Century British Moral Philosophy: Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hutcheson, Butler and Campbell.Christian Maurer - 2009 - Dissertation, Neuchâtel
    The study focuses on the debates on self-love in early 18th - century British moral philosophy. It examines the intricate relations of these debates with questions concerning human nature and morality in five central authors : Anthony Ashley Cooper the 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Bernard Mandeville, Francis Hutcheson, Joseph Butler and Archibald Campbell. One of the central claims of this study is that a distinction between five different concepts of self-love is necessary to achieve a clear understanding of the debates (...)
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  34. “Keeping the Heart”: Natural Affection in Joseph Butler's Approach to Virtue.Sarah Moses - 2009 - Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (4):613-629.
    This essay considers eighteenth-century Anglican thinker Joseph Butler's view of the role of natural emotions in moral reasoning and action. Emotions such as compassion and resentment are shown to play a positive role in the moral life by motivating action and by directing agents toward certain good objects—for example, relief of misery and justice. For Butler, moral virtue is present when these natural affections are kept in proper proportion by the "superior" principles of the moral life—conscience, self-love, and benevolence—which involve (...)
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  35. “Keeping the Heart”: Natural Affection in Joseph Butler's Approach to Virtue.Sarah Moses - 2009 - Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (4):613-629.
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  36. Variability and Moral Phenomenology.Michael B. Gill - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):99-113.
    Many moral philosophers in the Western tradition have used phenomenological claims as starting points for philosophical inquiry; aspects of moral phenomenology have often been taken to be anchors to which any adequate account of morality must remain attached. This paper raises doubts about whether moral phenomena are universal and robust enough to serve the purposes to which moral philosophers have traditionally tried to put them. Persons’ experiences of morality may vary in a way that greatly limits the extent to which (...)
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  37. Prudence and Morality in Butler, Sidgwick and Parfit.Alessio Vaccari - 2008 - Etica E Politica 10 (2):72-108.
    The debate on personal identity has profoundly modified the approach to the analysis of prudence, its structure and its links with rationality and morality. While in ethics of 18th and 19th centuries the problem of justifying prudent behaviour rationally did not exist, in contemporary ethics it seems no longer possible to justify it rationally. Particularly, from the perspective of the complex account of personal identity it seems that the only way to condemn great imprudence is from the point of view (...)
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  38. Korespondencja.Joseph Butler & Samuel Clarke - 2007 - Idea Studia nad strukturą i rozwojem pojęć filozoficznych 19 (19).
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  39. Butler on Virtue, Self Interest, and Human Nature.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - In Paul Bloomfield (ed.), Morality and Self-Interest. Oxford University Press.
    This essay gives a new interpretation of some of the central ethical doctrines of Bishop Butler's Sermons -- in particular, of his claim that a review of the empirical facts of human nature shows that we have "an obligation to the practice of virtue", and of the precise claims that he makes about the relations between morality and self-interest.
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  40. On the Relationship Between Forgiveness and Resentment in the Sermons of Joseph Butler.Shelby Weitzel - 2007 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 24 (3):237 - 253.
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  41. Restoring Joseph Butler's Conscience.Akhtar 1 Sahar - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (4):581-600.
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  42. Restoring Joseph Butler's Conscience.Sahar Akhtar - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (4):581 – 600.
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  43. Evil, Probation and the "Sunday Truth" of Theism.David E. White - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 8:103-107.
    In this paper, I reconstruct the problem of evil as an argument to the conclusion, "No one can claim to be a theist without abandoning the ethics of belief that would ordinarily be required for a civil way of life." Most theistic replies to this argument reduce theism to a "Sunday truth," i.e., a sincere belief that has no direct relevance to ordinary life. Bishop Butler's position - that this world is best understood as a probationary state - is presented (...)
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  44. Two Approaches to Self-Love: Hutcheson and Butler.Christian Maurer - 2006 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 2 (2):81-96.
    This paper contrasts Frankfurt’s characterisation of self-love as disinterested with the predominant 18th-century view on self-love as interested. Ttwo senses of the term ‘interest’ are distinguished to discuss two fundamentally different readings of the claim that self-love promotes the agent’s interest. This allows characterising two approaches to self-love, which are found in Hutcheson’s and in Bbutler’s writings. Hutcheson sees self-love as a source of hedonistic motives, which can be calm or passionate. Bbutler sees it as a general affection of rational (...)
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  45. Evil, Probation and the "Sunday Truth" of Theism.David E. White - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 8:103-107.
    In this paper, I reconstruct the problem of evil as an argument to the conclusion, "No one can claim to be a theist without abandoning the ethics of belief that would ordinarily be required for a civil way of life." Most theistic replies to this argument reduce theism to a "Sunday truth," i.e., a sincere belief that has no direct relevance to ordinary life. Bishop Butler's position - that this world is best understood as a probationary state - is presented (...)
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  46. Evil, Probation and The.David E. White - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 8:103-107.
    In this paper, I reconstruct the problem of evil as an argument to the conclusion, "No one can claim to be a theist without abandoning the ethics of belief that would ordinarily be required for a civil way of life." Most theistic replies to this argument reduce theism to a "Sunday truth," i.e., a sincere belief that has no direct relevance to ordinary life. Bishop Butler's position - that this world is best understood as a probationary state - is presented (...)
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  47. Reflection and Exhortation in Butler's Sermons: Practical Deliberation, Psychological Health and the Philosophical Sermon.Jonathan Lavery - 2005 - The European Legacy 10 (4):329-348.
    I begin by noting the disparate legacies of Thomas Hobbes (1588?1679) and Bishop Joseph Butler (1692?1752). I suggest that part of the reason Butler's arguments in Fifteen Sermons Preached at Rolls Chapel (2nd ed. 1729) have been comparatively neglected by contemporary philosophers is due to the genre in which they are presented, i.e. the sermon. Like other non-standard genres of philosophical writing (dialogue, disputatio, meditation, etc.) both the genre and the purpose towards which Butler puts it have become unfashionable in (...)
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  48. Butler and Hegel on Forgiveness and Agency.C. Allen Speight - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):299-316.
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  49. Rousseau, Clarke, Butler and Critiques of Deism.Robin Attfield - 2004 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (3):429 – 443.
    Rousseau’s stance on natural religion, revealed religion and their relation are outlined (section 1), and then his agreements and disagreements with Samuel Clarke (section 2). After a survey of Joseph Butler's critique of deism (section 3), Rousseau’s arguments emerge as capable of supplying a counter-critique sufficient to show that deism could claim to have survived the eighteenth-century undefeated (section 4). If the attempted refutation of theistic arguments on the parts of David Hume and of Immanuel Kant was inconclusive (section 5), (...)
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  50. “Butler’s ‘Future State’ and Hume’s ‘Guide of Life’”,.Paul Russell - 2004 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4):425-448.
    : In this paper I argue that Hume's famous discussion of probability and induction, as originally presented in the Treatise, is significantly motivated by irreligious objectives. A particular target of Hume's arguments is Joseph Butler's Analogy of Religion. In the Analogy Butler intends to persuade his readers of both the credibility and practical importance of the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments. The argument that he advances relies on probable reasoning and proceeds on the assumption that our (...)
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