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date: 06 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: morality, egoism, Europe, self-aggrandizement, Thomas Hobbes, ethical thought

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