Does being virtuous make you pleased? In Sacrifice Regained: Morality and Self-Interest in British Moral Philosophy from Hobbes to Bentham, (PDF), Roger Crisp checks out the responses to this ancient concern provided by the so-called ‘British Moralists’, from Thomas Hobbes, around 1650, for the next 2 a century, up until Jeremy Bentham. This includes clarifying their views on joy (self-interest, or well-being) and on virtue (or morality), in order to draw out the association of each to the other. Themes went through much of these authors: mental egoism, evaluative hedonism, and – after Hobbes – the approval of self-standing moral factors. But there are exceptions, and even those taking the basic views back them for extremely various factors and reveal them in different methods. As the ancients tended to think that virtue and joy mainly correspond, so these modern-day authors are urged to accept posthumous benefit and penalty.
Both positions sit uncomfortably with the typical-sense concept that an individual can really surrender their own helpful for the sake of morality or for others. Roger Crisp reveals that David Hume – a hedonist whose principles made no appeal to the afterlife – was the very first significant British moralist to enable, certainly to suggest, such self-sacrifice. Morality and well-being obviously stay main to modern-day principles, and Crisp demonstrates how much there is to find out from this impressive group of theorists.
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