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13 Grote’s Moral Philosophy and its Context

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Chapter Summary

George Grote wrote relatively little on the issues of moral philosophy. In Plato and the other Companions of Sokrates there are numerous summaries of and remarks on Plato's moral philosophy, mostly neutral, sometimes giving Grote's assessment explicitly, sometimes simply allowing it to be inferred. Grote avowed himself a utilitarian and was much influenced by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill. Grote's systematic essays are the main sources for an understanding of his theoretical views on moral philosophy. They are concerned with issues debated among British moral philosophers in the first few decades of the nineteenth century. One main topic was the origin of moral feelings and ideas. The other was the criterion of morality. Grote's ethical writings were published in 1876, too late to have any effect on Victorian moral philosophy.

Keywords: George Grote; James Mill; Jeremy Bentham; moral philosophy; Plato; Sokrates



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