Love of humanity in Shaftesbury’s Moralists

Michael B. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Shaftesbury believed that the height of virtue was impartial love for all of humanity. But Shaftesbury also harboured grave doubts about our ability to develop such an expansive love. In The Moralists, Shaftesbury addressed this problem. I show that while it may appear on the surface that The Moralists solves the difficulty, it in fact remains unresolved. Shaftesbury may not have been able to reconcile his view of the content of virtue with his view of our motivational psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1135
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Moralists
  • Shaftesbury
  • love of humanity
  • virtue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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