The following papers have been accepted for presentation at AAP 2013. If you've just submitted an abstract, it may take a few days to appear.
|Name: Ms Elizabeth Sund|
|Institution: Monash University|
|Title: Catharine Trotter Cockburn’s Theory of Moral Obligation: A Lockean Bridge Between Hutcheson and Clarke|
|Abstract: In this paper I argue that the philosophical work of Catharine Trotter Cockburn (1674?-1749) contains a theory of moral obligation that bridges the gap between Samuel Clarke’s fitness theory and Francis Hutcheson’s moral sense theory. Cockburn builds this connection on John Locke’s empiricist principles, by relying heavily on sensation and reflection as the source for our knowledge of the eternal fitness relations, which she argues are the basis of moral obligation. But what differentiates her theory from Clarke’s is the addition of the moral sense, which is a mental faculty that perceives moral attributes and results in approbation or disapprobation. Combined with the will of God, Cockburn believes fitness relations and the moral sense can create a foundation for moral obligation that stands up to the egoist position that because all actions are self-interested, the only foundation for moral obligation is the promise of rewards or punishments in the afterlife. This unique argument makes Cockburn worthy of study as a philosopher in her own right, not simply as a defender of Locke or Clarke.|
|Keywords: History of philosophy, Fitness Theory, Moral Sense, Scottish Enlightenment|