Fifteen Sermons and Other Writings on Ethics by Joseph Butler [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):563-564 (2018)

Ralph Wedgwood
University of Southern California
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 arguing for more radical views; and those who sought to respond to Hume, such as Richard Price and Thomas Reid, drew deeply on Butler's thought.Such early utilitarians as Jeremy Bentham and J. S....
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2018.0061
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