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The Invention of Autonomy
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  • Page extent: 650 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.98 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 170/.9/032
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: BJ301 .S35 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Ethics, Modern--17th century
    • Autonomy (Philosophy)--History--17th century
    • Ethics, Modern--18th century
    • Autonomy (Philosophy)--History--18th century
    • Kant, Immanuel,--1724-1804--Ethics

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521479387 | ISBN-10: 052147938X)

This remarkable book is the most comprehensive study ever written of the history of moral philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its aim is to set Kant's still influential ethics in its historical context by showing in detail what the central questions in moral philosophy were for him and how he arrived at his own distinctive ethical views. The book is organised into four main sections, each exploring moral philosophy by discussing the work of many influential philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In an epilogue the author discusses Kant's view of his own historicity, and of the aims of moral philosophy. In its range, in its analyses of many philosophers not discussed elsewhere, and in revealing the subtle interweaving of religious and political thought with moral philosophy, this is an unprecedented account of the evolution of Kant's ethics.

• Most important book on the history of ethics in the last 25 years. It will quickly establish itself as the standard work on the subject • Simply the most comprehensive and authoritative history of modern ethics up to Kant - nothing of comparable scope exists • Amongst philosophers treated are: Machiavelli, Montaigne, Locke, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Hume • Schneewind is a preeminent authority and is recognised internationally as one of the first-rate historians of philosophy • Broad inter-disciplinary interest: philosophy, history of ideas, political theory, religious studies • Will have a four-colour cover featuring a work of art by Titian


Preface; Acknowledgements; A note on references and abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Themes in the history of modern moral philosophy; Part I. The Rise and Fall of Modern Natural Law: 2. Natural law: from intellectualism to voluntarism; 3. Setting religion aside: republicanism and skepticism; 4. Natural law restated: Suarez and Grotius; 5. Grotianism at the limit: Hobbes; 6. A morality of love: Cumberland; 7. The central synthesis: Pufendorf; 8. The collapse of modern natural law: Locke and Thomasius; Part II. Perfectionism and Rationality: 9. Origins of modern perfectionism; 10. Paths to God: I. The Cambridge Platonists; 11. Paths to God: II. Spinoza and Malebranche; 12. Leibniz: Counterrevolutionary perfectionism; Part III. Toward a World on its Own: 13. Morality without salvation; 14. The recovery of virtue; 15. The austerity of morals: Clarke and Mandeville; 16. The limits of love: Hutcheson and Butler; 17. Hume: virtue naturalized; 18. Against a fatherless world; 19. The noble effects of self-love; Part IV. Autonomy and Divine Order: 20. Perfection and will: Wolff and Crusius; 21. Religion, morality, and reform; 22. The invention of autonomy; 23. Kant in the history of moral philosophy; Epilogue: 24. Pythagoras, Socrates, and Kant: understanding the history of moral philosophy; Bibliography; Index of names; Index of subjects; Index of biblical citations.

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