Richard Price as Moral Philosopher and Political Theorist

BookRichard Price as Moral Philosopher and Political Theorist

Richard Price as Moral Philosopher and Political Theorist

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 207


January 1st, 1982

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Part 1. Biographical introduction14
Preliminary remarks16
1. In search of a critical philosophy19
i. Origins and education19
ii. The minister20
iii. The systematization of Price's philosophy21
iv. The philosopher in society22
2. Sociological theories and practical achievements24
i. The theorist of social security24
ii. The theorist of financial security25
3. Political activity29
i. Price and the American Revolution29
ii. Price and parliamentary reform32
4. Completion of the theories35
i. Final speculative activities: the theologian35
The educator37
ii. Final participation in political life: Priee and the French Revolution38
iii. The last year40
Part 2. The moral philosopher48
1. Moral ideas as primary ideas: necessary truths52
i. Single or primary ideas52
ii. Moral ideas and necessary truths53
iii. Price and Hume56
2. From necessary truths to the divine Being60
i. From abstract infinity to the divine Being60
ii. From abstract truth to the divine Being61
iii. Price and Paley64
3. The relations between the elements of the moral law66
i. The moral law66
ii. The elements of the moral law and their relations67
iii. Price, Hutcheson, and Paley69
4. From theoretical law to action and to judgement in particular cases70
i. The impossibility ofa practical deductive moral science70
ii. Absolute 'objective' virtue and relative 'practical' virtue71
iii. Price and Butler73
5. Reason and feeling as faculties of moral action75
i. Relations between feeling and reason75
ii. Price and Cudworth75
iii. Price and Adam Smith78
i. Objections to Price's moral system80
ii. Price's contribution85
Part 3. The political theorist90
1. The theorist of the American Revolution95
i. Theory of the right of self-determination95
a. The nature and value of liberty95
b. Sources97
c. Evolution of the meaning of the expression 'self-determination'101
ii. Criticisms103
a. Criticisms made by English pamphleteers103
b. Philosophical consequences: liberty and determinism; Priee and Priestley107
iii. Price and the American theorists112
iv. Burke's view of the British Empire and Price's view of the United States of the world118
a. Burke's eclectic imperialism119
b. Price's doctrinaire internationalism123
2. The defender of the French Revolution129
i. Burke's conservative reaction129
a. Price's speech: On the love of our country129
b. The significance of the Revolution of 1688130
c. The danger of metaphysical abstractions132
d. The wisdom of the statesman136
ii. Price's doctrine of the unbounded perfectibility of rational beings136
a. Progress and philosophy137
b. Progress and religion141
c. Progress and poli tics142
General conclusion146
Select bibliography156