Additional Reading

(Critical Survey of Ethics and Literature)

Bernstein, John Andrew. Shaftesbury, Rousseau, and Kant: An Introduction to the Conflict Between Aesthetic and Moral Values in Modern Thought. London: Associated University Press, 1980. Bernstein explores Shaftesbury as a precursor to modern ethics and aesthetics. Whereas Shaftesbury assumed a kind of Platonic unity and harmony between the two, later thinkers have seen them as divided and even opposing. The chapter on Shaftesbury demonstrates how his view of both is at base psychological and is dependent on his generally deistic religious outlook.

Brett, R. L. The Third Earl of Shaftesbury: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Literary Theory. London: Hutchinson’s University Library, 1951. Brett places Shaftesbury within the Augustan literary context of his time. A major thesis is that Shaftesbury attempted to keep philosophy attuned to the arts, in opposition to empiricism, which tended toward science. Brett stresses the Christian element in Shaftesbury’s thought and credits him with providing general guidelines for literary theory of the Augustan Age. He somewhat exaggerates the philosopher’s influence on contemporaries and on the Romantics.

Grean, Stanley. Shaftesbury’s Philosophy of Religion and Ethics: A Study in Enthusiasm. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1967. In the two major parts of his book, Grean places Shaftesbury’s philosophy within its historical contexts. Part 1 explores views on the nature of...

(The entire section is 473 words.)