Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):35-48 (2007)

Patricia Sheridan
University of Guelph
Locke's moral theory consists of two explicit and distinct elements — a broadly rationalist theory of natural law and a hedonistic conception of moral good. The rationalist account, which we find most prominently in his early Essays on the Law of Nature, is generally taken to consist in three things. First, Locke holds that our moral rules are founded on universal, divine natural laws. Second, such moral laws are taken to be discoverable by reason. Third, by dint of their divine authorship, moral laws are obligatory and rationally discernible as such. Locke's hedonism, which is developed most fully in his later Essay Concerning Human Understanding, consists in the view that all good amounts to pleasure, with specifically moral good taken to consist in the pleasurable consequences of discharging one's moral duties.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1353/cjp.2007.0012
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,740
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

John Locke.[author unknown] - 1956 - Philosophy 31 (116):93-93.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Locke's Moral Psychology.Ruth Boeker - 2021 - In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. Routledge.
Locke on the Guise of the Good.Antonia LoLordo - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (1):21-33.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What’s Wrong with Morality?C. Daniel Batson - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (3):230-236.
Moral Motivation.R. Jay Wallace - 1998 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Craving the Right: Emotions and Moral Reasons.Patricia Greenspan - 2011 - In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Morality and the Emotions. Oxford University Press. pp. 39.
Francis Hutcheson: Why Be Moral?Douglas R. Paletta - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):149-159.
Desire, Depression, and Rationality.Alan Goldman - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):711 – 730.


Added to PP index

Total views
57 ( #191,613 of 2,462,778 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,387 of 2,462,778 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes