Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel: And Other Writings on Ethics
Oxford University Press, 2017 - 204 pages
Joseph Butler's Fifteen Sermons (1729) is a classic work of moral philosophy, which remains widely influential.
The topics Butler discusses include the role of conscience in human nature, self-love and egoism, compassion, resentment and forgiveness, and love of our neighbour and of God. The text of the enlarged and corrected second edition is here presented together with a selection of Butler's other ethical writings: A Dissertation of the Nature of Virtue, A Sermon Preached Before the House of Lords, and relevant extracts from his correspondence with Samuel Clarke. While this is a readers' edition that avoids cluttering Butler's text with textual variants and intrusive footnotes, it comes complete with scholarly apparatus intended to aid the reader in studying Butler's work in depth. David McNaughton contributes a substantial historical and philosophical introduction that highlights the continuing importance of these works. In addition, there are extensive notes at the end of the volume, including significant textual variants, and full details of Butler's sources and references, as well as short summaries of Butler's predecessors, and a selective bibliography. This will be the definitive resource for anyone interested in Butler's moral philosophy.