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‘A Promise Made is a Debt Unpaid’: Nietzsche on the Morality of Commitment and the Commitments of Morality  

Mark Migotti

Print publication date:
Sep 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013
This article discusses what we can learn about promising and about Nietzsche’s critique of morality from his discussion of sovereign promising in the opening sections of the second essay ... More

Adam Smith  

James R. Otteson

Print publication date:
Jan 2013
Online publication date:
Apr 2013
The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) is Adam Smith's major contribution to ethical thought. Although it underwent six revisions during his lifetime, its primary arguments did not change, ... More

American Moral Philosophy  

Brad Hooker

Print publication date:
Sep 2008
Online publication date:
Sep 2009
The philosophy of language and philosophy of science were dominant from the middle 1930s for the next twenty-five years. During this period, many leading philosophers felt reluctant to ... More

Beyond Good and Evil  

Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick

Print publication date:
Sep 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013
Beyond Good and Evil is considered Nietzsche’s most important and comprehensive philosophical work. This article explores two problems involving the book’s form and content, ... More

Beyond Moral Fundamentalism: John Dewey’s Pragmatic Pluralism in Ethics and Politics  

Steven Fesmire

Drawing on unpublished and published sources from 1926 to 1932, this chapter builds on John Dewey’s naturalistic pragmatic pluralism in ethical theory. A primary focus is “Three ... More

British Idealist Ethics  

W.J. Mander

Print publication date:
Jan 2013
Online publication date:
Apr 2013
A new moral philosophy emerged on the British philosophical scene in the late 1870s, one referred to as the idealist ethic of social self-realization, which rapidly became the dominant ... More

Butler's Ethics  

David McNaughton

Print publication date:
Jan 2013
Online publication date:
Apr 2013
This chapter analyses Butler's ethical theories, which are found primarily in Fifteen Sermons (1726 and 1729) and A Dissertation of the Nature of Virtue (1736). It covers his notions of ... More

Conscience and Synderesis  

Tobias Hoffmann

Print publication date:
Jan 2012
Online publication date:
May 2012
Aquinas played a significant role in clarifying the concept of conscience and the theoretical problems connected with it. Aquinas assigned to synderesis principally a cognitive role. He ... More

Dewey’s Radical Conception of Moral Cognition  

Mark Johnson

Dewey’s conception of moral cognition as a natural problem-solving process of imaginative deliberation is . naturalistic insofar as it treats moral agents as embodied social animals ... More

Egoism and Morality  

Stephen Darwall

Print publication date:
Jan 2011
Online publication date:
May 2011
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 ... More

Emotions  

Peter King

Print publication date:
Jan 2012
Online publication date:
May 2012
Aquinas's theory of the emotions (passiones animae) is cognitivist, somatic, and taxonomical. Aquinas identified eleven essentially distinct types of emotions, which include six ... More

Ethics in the Analytic Tradition  

John Deigh

Print publication date:
Jan 2013
Online publication date:
Apr 2013
This chapter begins with a discussion of the emergence of the analytic movement in British philosophy. It highlights G. E. Moore's two most influential works, ‘The Refutation of Idealism’ ... More

The Franciscans  

Thomas Williams

Print publication date:
Jan 2013
Online publication date:
Apr 2013
This chapter analyses the Franciscans's views in ethics and moral psychology, beginning with an overview of the general characteristics of Franciscan moral thought in the late thirteenth ... More

Happiness  

Brian Davies

Print publication date:
Jan 2012
Online publication date:
May 2012
This article presents a definite and positive view of Aquinas about happiness. Aquinas distinguished between what he calls actus hominis (an act of a human being) and actus humanus (a ... More

The Highest Good and Perfection in Spinoza  

John Carriero

Print publication date:
Oct 2017
Online publication date:
Sep 2013
According to Spinoza our highest good or highest happiness consists in a special kind of cognition of God. This chapter explicates this now alien conception by tracing its debt to a ... More

History as Prologue: Western Theories of the Self  

John Barresi and Raymond Martin

Print publication date:
Feb 2011
Online publication date:
May 2011
This article examines the historical conception of the words self and person in philosophical theory. It discusses John Locke's definition of the self as the conscious thinking thing and ... More

Hume and Smith on Moral Philosophy  

Ryan Patrick Hanley

Print publication date:
Jan 2016
Online publication date:
Dec 2014
Scholars of eighteenth-century Scottish philosophy today tend to agree that Adam Smith, while deeply indebted to Hume, was also engaged in a comprehensive and creative transformation and ... More

Hume and Virtue Ethics  

Christine Swanton

Print publication date:
Jan 2016
Online publication date:
Aug 2014
This chapter shows how Hume’s “sentimentalist” moral theory can be a version of virtue ethics and elaborates the kind of virtue ethics that best describes Hume’s moral philosophy. To ... More

Hume on Pride and the Other Indirect Passions  

Jacqueline Taylor

Print publication date:
Jan 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2014
In the Treatise, Hume focuses on pride as an “indirect passion,” one indicative of self-valuing and moral virtue and contributing positively to our sense of who we are and, in particular, ... More

Hume on Suicide  

Eugenio Lecaldano

Print publication date:
Jan 2016
Online publication date:
Oct 2014
The chapter starts with the history of Hume’s essay on suicide, and the sources and the social context of it in 1755. It also exposes the first reactions to the essay, particularly that of ... More

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