- Notes on Contributors
- Locke and His Influence
- Newton and Newtonianism in Eighteenth-Century British Thought
- The Idea of a Science of Human Nature
- Rhetoric and Eloquence: The Language of Persuasion
- Perception and The Language of Nature
- Language and Thought
- The Understanding
- Mind and Matter
- Passions, Affections, Sentiments: Taxonomy and Terminology
- Reason and the Passions
- Liberty and Necessity
- The Government of the Passions
- Self-Interest and Sociability
- Moral Judgment
- The Nature of Virtue
- Practical Ethics
- The Pleasures of the Imagination and the Objects of Taste
- The Faculty of Taste
- The Pleasures of Tragedy
- Genius and the Creative Imagination
- The Origin of Civil Government
- Forms of Government
- Reform and Revolution
- Luxury, Commerce, and the Rise of Political Economy
- Causation, Cosmology, and the Limits of Philosophy: the Early Eighteenth-Century British Debate
- Philosophy, Revealed Religion, and the Enlightenment
- Religion and Morality
Abstract and Keywords
In the century following the Glorious Revolution, there was much philosophical debate about the principles according to which society could be reformed, or its ruling structure changed entirely. This chapter examines the views on this question held by the major intellectual figures of the period, and shows how the debate was affected by the American and French Revolutions. It describes the formation of a broad consensus on the desirability of incremental reform in the name of the public good, followed, in the wake of the French Revolution, by the division of political thought into radical and conservative schools.
Neil McArthur is Associate Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and is the author of the book David Hume's Political Theory.
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