Egoism and Morality

In Desmond M. Clarke & Catherine Wilson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. Oxford University Press (2011)
Authors
Stephen Darwall
Yale University
Abstract
This article examines changes in the conception of morality and egoism in early modern Europe. It explains that the postulate that human beings were fractious, covetous, and endowed with a strong drive towards self-aggrandizement was associated with Thomas Hobbes, and his writings produced a strong counterflow in the form of assertions and demonstrations of altruism and benevolence as natural endowments of human beings. It suggests that the modern ethical thought has defined itself by its concern with a specific ethical conception whose distinctness from eudaimonist prudential concerns is part of its very idea.
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DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199556137.003.0019
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