Philosophy

Articles

Butler on Benevolence and Conscience

Amélie Oksenberg Rortya1

a1 Livingston College, Rutgers University

It is tempting and even useful to read the history of ethics from Hobbes to Rousseau, and even to Kant, as a response to the devastation of making self-interest—the movement to the satisfaction of particular ego-oriented desires—either the basic motive, or the basic form of motivational explanation. After Hobbes, philosophical ingenuity allied with Christian sensibility to search for countervailing forces.