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  1. Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke: Self-Interest, Desire, and Divine Impassibility.John J. Tilley - 2017 - International Philosophical Quarterly 57 (3):315-330.
    In this article I address a puzzle about one of Francis Hutcheson’s objections to psychological egoism. The puzzle concerns his premise that God receives no benefit from rewarding the virtuous. Why, in the early editions of his Inquiry Concerning Virtue, does Hutcheson leave this premise undefended? And why, in the later editions, does he continue to do so, knowing that in 1726 John Clarke of Hull had subjected the premise to plausible criticism, geared to the very audience for whom Hutcheson’s (...)
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  • The Problem of Inconsistency in Wollaston's Moral Theory.John J. Tilley - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):265–80.
    This paper challenges Francis Hutcheson's and John Clarke of Hull's alleged demonstrations that William Wollaston's moral theory is inconsistent. It also present a form of the inconsistency objection that fares better than theirs, namely, that of Thomas Bott (1688-1754). Ultimately, the paper shows that Wollaston's moral standard is not what some have thought it to be; that consequently, his philosophy withstands the best-known efforts to expose it as inconsistent; and further, that one of the least-known British moralists is more important (...)
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  • Wollaston's Early Critics.John J. Tilley - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1097-1116.
    Some of the most forceful objections to William Wollaston's moral theory come from his early critics, namely, Thomas Bott (1688-1754), Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), and John Clarke of Hull (1687-1734). These objections are little known, while the inferior objections of Hume, Bentham, and later prominent critics are familiar. This fact is regrettable. For instance, it impedes a robust understanding of eighteenth-century British ethics; also, it fosters a questionable view as to why Wollaston's theory, although at first well received, soon faded in (...)
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  • John Clarke of Hull's Argument for Psychological Egoism.John J. Tilley - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):69-89.
    John Clarke of Hull, one of the eighteenth century's staunchest proponents of psychological egoism, defended that theory in his Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice. He did so mainly by opposing the objections to egoism in the first two editions of Francis Hutcheson's Inquiry into Virtue. But Clarke also produced a challenging, direct argument for egoism which, regrettably, has received virtually no scholarly attention. In this paper I give it some of the attention it merits. In addition to reconstructing (...)
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  • Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke on Desire and Self-Interest.John J. Tilley - 2019 - The European Legacy 24 (1): 1-24.
    Among the most animating debates in eighteenth-century British ethics was the debate over psychological egoism, the view that our most basic desires are self-interested. An important episode in that debate, less well known than it should be, was the exchange between Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke of Hull. In the early editions of his Inquiry into Virtue, Hutcheson argued ingeniously against psychological egoism; in his Foundation of Morality, Clarke argued ingeniously against Hutcheson’s arguments. Later, Hutcheson attempted new arguments against psychological (...)
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