Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: A Study of the Language of Religion and Ethics in England 1660–1780. Volume II, Shaftesbury to Hume

Hume Studies 30 (2):423-426 (2004)

Susan A. Martinelli-Fernandez
Western Illinois University
This two-volume masterpiece mirrors its title. The prose is lyrical and lucid, the discussions evince intellectual integrity and rigor, and the author’s voice allows readers to successfully navigate the philosophical, religious, and literary waters of formal academic and religious institutions of middle to late seventeenth-and most of eighteenth-century Britain. Both volumes are chronologically arranged, revealing the actual participants’ inquiries and debates rather than placing them into particular schools or movements. Rivers’s purpose for this structuring is much like D. D. Raphael’s, expressed in British Moralists, 1650-1800, “[to show] how the thought of the British Moralists developed and was modified by their criticism.” While the second volume alone—Shaftesbury to Hume—is the subject of this review, some discussions may be applicable to both, particularly given the overall general influence of religious beliefs upon theological and philosophical ethics documented in this study.
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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Reprint years 2004
ISBN(s) 0319-7336
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