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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses various conceptions of moral judgment during the eighteenth century in Britain. It begins with a characterization of moral rationalism that centres on Samuel Clarke and John Locke. It then discusses moral sentimentalism or moral sense theory, which is associated with Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume, portraying it partly as a reaction to moral rationalism but also as a response to the perceived positions of Hobbes and Mandeville. The chapter then discusses the position of Joseph Butler, Adam Smith’s sophisticated version of sympathy and sentimentalism, and the theories of Richard Price and Thomas Reid, both of which rejected sentimentalism.

Keywords: moral judgment, sentimentalism, rationalism, sympathy, moral sense

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