Locke's Moral Psychology

In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. New York, NY: Routledge (2021)
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In this chapter, I discuss Locke’s contributions to moral psychology. I begin by examining how we acquire moral ideas, according to Locke. Next, I ask what explains why we act morally. I address this question by showing how Locke reconciles hedonist views concerning moral motivation with his commitment to divine law theory. Then I turn to Shaftesbury’s criticism that Locke’s moral view is a self-interested moral theory that undermines virtue. In response to the criticism I draw attention to Locke’s Christian conception of virtue.

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Ruth Boeker
University College Dublin


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