The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn

Philosophy 49 (188):123-134 (1974)
In this paper1 I shall present not just the conscience of Huckleberry Finn but two others as well. One of them is the conscience of Heinrich Himmler. He became a Nazi in 1923; he served drably and quietly, but well, and was rewarded with increasing responsibility and power. At the peak of his career he held many offices and commands, of which the most powerful was that of leader of the S.S. - the principal police force of the Nazi regime. In this capacity, Himmler commanded the whole concentration-camp system, and was responsible for the execution of the so-called ‘final solution of the Jewish problem’. It is important for my purposes that this piece of social engineering should be thought of not abstractly but in concrete terms of Jewish families being marched to what they think are bath-houses, to the accompaniment of loud-speaker renditions of extracts from The Merry Widow and Tales of Hoffman, there to be choked to death by poisonous gases. Altogether, Himmler succeeded in murdering about four and a half million of them, as well as several million gentiles, mainly Poles and Russians. The other conscience to be discussed is that of the Calvinist theologian and philosopher Jonathan Edwards. He lived in the first half of the eighteenth century, and has a good claim to be considered America’s first serious and considerable philosophical thinker. He was for many years a widely-renowned preacher and Congregationalist minister in New England; in 1748 a dispute with his congregation led him to resign (he couldn’t accept their view that unbelievers should be admitted to the Lord’s Supper in the hope that it would convert them); for some years after that he worked as a missionary, preaching to Indians through an interpreter;, then in 1758 he accepted the presidency of what is now Princeton University, and within two months died from a smallpox inoculation. Along the way he wrote some first-rate philosophy: his book attacking the notion of free will is still sometimes read..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819100048014
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,567
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Huck Finn the Inverse Akratic: Empathy and Justice.Chad Kleist - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):257-266.
Will the Real Moral Judgment Please Stand Up?Jeanette Kennett & Cordelia Fine - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):77-96.
Subjective Rightness.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):64-110.

View all 37 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Huckleberry Finn and Moral Motivation.Alan Goldman - 2010 - Philosophy and Literature 34 (1):pp. 1-16.
Mr. Bennett on Huckleberry Finn.Jenny Teichman - 1975 - Philosophy 50 (193):358 - 359.
The Conscience Principle.Mark C. Murphy - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:387-407.
Huck Finn, Moral Language and Moral Education.Anders Schinkel - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (3):511-525.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
260 ( #13,289 of 2,180,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #25,836 of 2,180,795 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums