Often described as the father of the Scottish Enlightenment, Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746) was born in the north of Ireland to an Ulster-Scottish Presbyterian family. Organised into three 'books' that were divided between two volumes, A System of Moral Philosophy was his most comprehensive work. It synthesised ideas that he had formulated as a minister and as the Chair of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow (1729-46). Published posthumously by his son in 1755, prefaced by an account of his life, it is the only treatise by Hutcheson for which a manuscript is known to have survived. Asserting that individual natural rights derive from an innate understanding of moral behaviour, Hutcheson offers a model that mediates between individual interests and communal ideals. Containing Book 1 and part of Book 2, Volume 1 describes the role and perception of 'perfect' and 'imperfect' natural rights.
Table of ContentsSubscribers; Preface; Part I. Concerning the Constitution of Human Nature, and the Supreme Good: 1. Of the constitution of human nature; 2. Concerning the finer powers of perception; 3. Concerning the ultimate determinations of the will, and benevolent affections; 4. Concerning the moral sense; 5. The sense of honour and shame explained; 6. How far the several sensations appetites, passions and affections are in our power; 7. A comparison of the several sorts of enjoyment; 8. A comparison of the several tempers and characters; 9. The duties towards God; 10. The affections, duty, and worship, to be exercised toward the deity; 11. The conclusions of this book; Part II. Containing a Deduction of the More Special Laws of Nature: 1. The circumstances which encrease or diminish the moral good or evil of actions; 2. General rules of judging about the morality of actions; 3. The general notions of rights and law explained; 4. The different states of men; 5. The private rights of men; 6. The adventitious rights, real, and personal; 7. The means of acquiring property; 8. Concerning derived property.