Article

Seventeenth-Century Moral Philosophy: Self-Help, Self-Knowledge, and the Devil's Mountain

Aaron Garrett

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199545971
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199545971.013.0012

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Seventeenth-Century Moral Philosophy: Self-Help, Self-Knowledge, and the Devil's Mountain

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This chapter focuses on the ethical theories of the early modern philosophers Thomas Hobbes, Justus Lipsius, Descartes, Spinoza, Benjamin Whichcote, Lord Shaftesbury, and Samuel Clarke. The discussions include aspects of Hobbes' moral philosophy that posed a challenge for many philosophers of the second half of the seventeenth century who were committed to philosophy as a form of self-help; Lipsius and Descartes' appropriation of ancient and Hellenistic moral philosophy in connection with changing ideas about control of the passions and the happiest and best life; and the maxim or epigram – a literary form used by moralists to counsel readers on how to best know and govern themselves.

Keywords: ethics; ethical theory; moral philosophers; Thomas Hobbes; Justus Lipsius; Descartes; Spinoza; Benjamin Whichcote; Lord Shaftesbury; Samuel Clarke

Article.  26658 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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