The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy
Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy
Автор(и) : George Turnbull
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 2005
ISBN : 978-0-86597-456-2 (vol. 2)
Брой страници : 935
Език : английски
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"The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy" presents the first masterpiece of Scottish Common Sense philosophy. This two-volume treatise is important for its wide range of insights about the nature of the human mind, the foundations of morals, and the relationship between morality and religion. In order to understand the Enlightenment in Scotland, Turnbull’s work must be put next to that of Francis Hutcheson.
In the first volume, The Principles of Moral Philosophy, Turnbull presents a detailed study of the faculties of the human mind and their interrelations. He contends that moral philosophy should be treated as one part, the highest part, of natural philosophy, and not as a field requiring its own distinctive methodology. Moral philosophers should rely on observation and experiment as their means of exploration into the workings of the human mind.
In the second volume, Christian Philosophy, Turnbull presents arguments for the existence of God and for God’s infinite perfection. The underlying notion here is God’s moral government of the world, a government that is particularly at work in the allotment of recompense for our good and evil deeds.
The Liberty Fund edition of The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy is the first modern edition of this work.
"Revelation supposes the existence of God, and his moral attributes, to be known and understood by those to whom it is addressed.
“For they who have not very clear and just ideas of the divine perfections, far from being able to judge whether a message can really come from him or not, cannot so much as comprehend the meaning of such a pretension.”
Insomuch, that if a divine messenger should come to instruct a people quite ignorant of the Deity, he must first open their reason, and lead them gradually, by rational instruction suited to their capacity, to the knowledge of GOD, before he can deliver his message to them, and reason with them about it. The arguments to prove that an embassy is from GOD, must run in this manner. “’Tis worthy of GOD: ’tis suitable to his moral perfections: nay, it hath all the proper evidences and credentials of a divine message.” But can such reasoning be understood by those who have no idea of GOD, and do not know what moral perfection, and a supreme creator and governor of the world, signify?<16> To suppose that, is the same thing in effect, as to speak of measuring without some known standard or rule. This is too evident to be longer insisted upon. It is indeed by no means inconsistent to suppose a divine messenger taking pains to instruct in just notions of GOD, and the divine excellencies, that these being well understood, the divine authority he pretends to may be the more evident to those whom he would inform and influence."
George Turnbull (1698–1748) belongs to the founding figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Finding their native Calvinism repressive, they sought a rational religion closely associated with their new science of human nature, supportive of tolerance, and compatible with classical ideals. He was a lesser-known contemporary of Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith. He taught at Marischal College, Aberdeen, then became a traveling tutor, and ended his career as an Anglican clergyman, first as a chaplain to the Prince of Wales, then as a minister in Ireland. Turnbull was the first member of the Scottish Enlightenment to provide a formal treatise on the theory and practice of education.