Shaftesbury, Hutcheson and Moral Scepticisms

Chapter
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 210)

Abstract

In this paper I discuss Shaftesbury’s moral sense theory in the context of his response to Locke’s philosophy and, in turn, Hutcheson’s adoption of Shaftesbury. After offering with some general background, I first look at the different senses of ‘scepticism’ at play in Shaftesbury’s work. I then narrow the focus to consider how Shaftesbury considered Locke’s attacks on moral nativism as tantamount to pyrhhonism. I then argued that at the bottom of Shaftesbury’s response to Locke lies a form of platonism. I then turn to Hutcheson, who sees Hobbes and Mandeville as a greater threat than Locke, in as much as that they seek to understand all moral practice as nothing but disguised self-interest. I then try to show that, in light of this difference, Hutcheson’s moral sense has a different character and grounds from the sense of Shaftesbury.

Keywords

Moral Sense Moral Concept Moral Truth Moral Practice Moral Distinction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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