Hutcheson's Theological Objection to Egoism

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):101-123 (2016)
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Abstract

Francis Hutcheson's objections to psychological egoism usually appeal to experience or introspection. However, at least one of them is theological: It includes premises of a religious kind, such as that God rewards the virtuous. This objection invites interpretive and philosophical questions, some of which may seem to highlight errors or shortcomings on Hutcheson's part. Also, to answer the questions is to point out important features of Hutcheson's objection and its intellectual context. And nowhere in the scholarship on Hutcheson do we find these questions addressed. This paper addresses them. A fact that emerges is that the apparent errors or shortcomings the questions may highlight are just that – apparent errors or shortcomings; in reality they are nothing of the kind

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John J. Tilley
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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