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Moral Sense Theory in the French Enlightenment

  • Henry Martyn LloydEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

Moral theories in the eighteenth century were broadly divided between “natural” moralities, based on innate sensibility or a moral sense, and “artificial” moralities, which based on the social contract and which were the continuation of seventh-century traditions of natural law. Sade responded critically to both these strands of moral thought. This chapter introduces moral sense theory as it operated in France in the mid- to late-eighteenth century and in particular focuses on Louis-Jean Lévesque de Pouilly, on Diderot’s very liberal translation of Shaftesbury, and on the importance of pity for Rousseau’s moral theory. The chapter shows that, even in the non-materialist strands of the French Enlightenment the moral sense was strongly associated with embodiment, particularly with the affects of the heart.

Keywords

Moral Sense Theory Diderot heartHeart PI Type Moral Monstrosity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Historical and Philosophical InquiryUniversity of QueenslandSaint LuciaAustralia

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