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The Invention of Autonomy

The Invention of Autonomy
A History of Modern Moral Philosophy

$39.99 (G)

  • Date Published: December 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521479387

$ 39.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • J.B. Schneewind's remarkable book is the most comprehensive study ever written of the history of moral philosophy. 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. In its range, analyses, and discussion of 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Invention of Autonomy is a remarkable work." New Series

    "The author successfully aims at clarity, accuracy, and conciseness in telling the history as it was understood by those who made it -- in their own words and with a full conciousness of the religious and sociopolitical contexts. As a contribution to scholarship, Schneewind's book brings together a great deal of material from many sources. Its encylclopedic character makes it primarirly useful as a work of reference for specialists -- both professors and graduate students -- in modern ethical theory and the history of modern philosophy." John A. Gueguen, Perspectives on Political Science

    "...this book is a major scholarly achievement." Terence Penelhum, Ethics

    "The book is in part appropriate for upper-level undergraduate courses concerned with the history of ethics and practical philosophy, including aspects of political philosophy....scholars will find it to offer a strong antidote to anachronistic interpretation from the limited perspective of twentieth century ethics. Schneewind's scholarship is uniformly of the very highest caliber. Schneewind shows what can be done by someone with complete command over the currents of an entire epoch." Review of Metaphysics

    "This book is valuable in a great many ways...Schneewind has done a remarkable job of placing Kant in the context of historical issues...This is among the very most complete and insightful histories of ethics available today." Ethics and Medicine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521479387
    • length: 650 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 150 x 41 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    A note on references and abbreviations
    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
    24. Pythagoras, Socrates, and Kant: understanding the history of moral philosophy
    Index of names
    Index of subjects
    Index of biblical citations.

  • Author

    Jerome B. Schneewind, The Johns Hopkins University

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