Does being virtuous make you cheerful? In Sacrifice Regained: Morality and Self-Interest in British Moral Philosophy from Hobbes to Bentham, (PDF), Roger Crisp explores the solutions to this historic query supplied by the so-known as ‘British Moralists’, from Thomas Hobbes, round 1650, for the following 2 hundred years, till Jeremy Bentham. This includes clarifying their views on happiness (self-curiosity, or effectively-being) and on advantage (or morality), in order to deliver out the affiliation of every to the opposite. Themes ran by many of those writers: psychological egoism, evaluative hedonism, and – after Hobbes – the acceptance of self-standing ethical causes. But there are exceptions, and even these taking the usual views endorse them for very completely different causes and categorical them in varied methods. As the ancients tended to imagine that advantage and happiness largely coincide, so these trendy authors are inspired to settle for posthumous reward and punishment.
Both positions sit uneasily with the frequent-sense concept that an individual can really give up their very own good for the sake of morality or for others. Roger Crisp reveals that David Hume – a hedonist whose ethics made no enchantment to the afterlife – was the primary main British moralist to permit for, certainly to suggest, such self-sacrifice. Morality and effectively-being in fact stay central to trendy ethics, and Crisp reveals how a lot there may be to study from this exceptional group of philosophers.
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