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Ethical Rationalism and Secularisation in the British Enlightenment

Conscience and the Age of Reason

Authors: Daniel, Dafydd Mills

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  • Reassesses the ethics of moral reasoning in the Age of the Enlightenment 
  • Argues that conscience was a central feature of British Enlightenment ethical rationalism
  • Refines Enlightenment ethical rationalism by reinterpreting its most influential proponents in eighteenth-century Britain
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eBook 85,59 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-52203-2
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Hardcover 103,99 €
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About this book

This book reassesses the ethics of reason in the Age of the Reason, making use of the neglected category of conscience.  Arguing that conscience was a central feature of British Enlightenment ethical rationalism, the book explores the links between Enlightenment philosophy and modern secularisation, while responding to longstanding criticisms of rational intuitionism and the analogy between mathematics and morals, derived from David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Questioning in what sense British Enlightenment ethical rationalism can be associated with a secularising ‘Enlightenment project’, Daniel investigates the extent to which contemporary, and secular liberal, invocations of reason and conscience rely on the early modern Christian metaphysics they have otherwise disregarded.

The chapters cover a rich collection of subjects, ranging from the Enlightenment’s secular legacy, reason and conscience in the history of ethics, and controversies in the Scottish Enlightenment, to the role of British moralists such as John Locke, Joseph Butler and Adam Smith in the secularisation of reason and conscience. Each chapter expertly refines Enlightenment ethical rationalism by reinterpreting its most influential proponents in eighteenth-century Britain – the followers of ‘Isaac Newton’s bulldog’ Samuel Clarke – including Richard Price (Edmund Burke’s opponent over the French Revolution) and John Witherspoon (the only clergyman to sign the US declaration of Independence).


About the authors

Dr Dafydd Mills Daniel is McDonald Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at the University of Oxford, UK. His BBC radio documentaries include: Sir Isaac Newton and the Philosophers’ Stone and Where do human rights come from? He is the author of Briefly: Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, and co-author (with David Mills Daniel) of Ethics and Moral Philosophy and Briefly: 25 Great Philosophers from Plato to Sartre.


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 85,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-52203-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ethical Rationalism and Secularisation in the British Enlightenment
Book Subtitle
Conscience and the Age of Reason
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-52203-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-52203-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-52202-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 344
Topics