John Clarke of Hull's Argument for Psychological Egoism

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
John Clarke of Hull, one of the eighteenth century's staunchest proponents of psychological egoism, defended that theory in his Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice. He did so mainly by opposing the objections to egoism in the first two editions of Francis Hutcheson's Inquiry into Virtue. But Clarke also produced a challenging, direct argument for egoism which, regrettably, has received virtually no scholarly attention. In this paper I give it some of the attention it merits. In addition to reconstructing it and addressing interpretive issues about it, I show that it withstands a tempting objection. I also show that although Clarke's argument ultimately fails, to study it is instructive. It illuminates, for example, Hutcheson's likely intentions in a passage relevant to egoism.
Reprint years
2015
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
TILJCO
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View other versions
Added to PP index
2014-12-14

Total views
1,216 ( #2,554 of 53,660 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
134 ( #3,479 of 53,660 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.