Anthony Shaftesbury, 3rd Earl

Anthony ShaftesburyIn existographies, Anthony Shaftesbury, 3rd Earl (1671-1713) (IQ:170|#340) (CR:4), aka "Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury", oft-cited as "Shaftesbury", not to be confused with his grandfather noted politician Anthony Shaftesbury, 1st Earl (1621-1683) (IQ:165|#440) (Cattell 1000:365), was an English deism themed, albeit "anti-religious" perceived, moral philosopher and politician, noted for []

Virtue | Merit
In 1699, Shaftesbury had finished an early version of his Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit, then published by John Toland, and later translated (1745) by Denis Diderot, which, supposedly, has some thematic relation to Pierre Bayle’s 1681 Thoughts on the Comet, and its conjecture that a “society of atheists” is perfectly viable. [1]

Morality | Universal
In 1711, Shaftesbury, in his Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions and Times, outlined some type of deism themed universal moral goodness model (see: universal morality); the gist of which is as follows: [2]

Shaftesbury’s view of virtue is part of his larger view of goodness. Something is good, according to Shaftesbury, if it contributes to the “Existence or Well-being” of the system of which it is a part (C 2.18). Every animal is a part of its species. So a particular animal, say a tiger, is a good member of its species—it’s a good tiger—if it contributes to the well-being of the tiger species as a whole. There is also “a system of all animals”, which consists of the “order” or “economy” of all the different animal species (C 2.19). So a good animal is one that contributes to the well-being of “animal Affairs” in general (C 2.19). The system of all animals, moreover, works with the system “of Vegetables, and all other things in this inferior World” to constitute “one system of a Globe or Earth” (C 2.19). So something is a good earthly thing if it contributes to the existence of earthly things in general. And the system of this earth is itself part of a “Universal System” or “a System of all Things” (C 2.20). So to be “wholly and really” good a thing must contribute to the good of the universe as a whole (C 2.20). This progression of ever-larger systems is a bit dazzling, and we might wonder how we can know (or even make sense of) whether something is contributing to the well-being of the universe as a whole. But Shaftesbury avoids this problem by discussing in detail only that which makes “a sensible creature” a good member of its species—by focusing on whether an individual creature is promoting the well-being of its species (C 2.21). Perhaps Shaftesbury believes that a creature that contributes to the well-being of its species will also always contribute to the well-being of the universe as a whole, in which case being a good member of one’s species would be coextensive with being “wholly and really” good. The goodness or evilness of a sensible creature, according to Shaftesbury, is based on the creature’s motives, and not simply on the results of the creature’s actions (C 2.21–22). This leads to a crucial claim: every motive to action involves affection or passion (C 2.40–44). Reason alone cannot motivate (C 2.28–52, 77–81).

Those influenced, to some degree, by this publication include: Alexander Pope, Joseph Butler, Francis Hutcheson, Mark Akenside, Samuel Coleridge, and Immanuel Kant. (Ѻ) Pope, in his Essay on Man, e.g., restated simple ideas from Shaftesbury’s Moralists done into verse. [5] Shaftesbury's work was read (Ѻ) by Benjamin Franklin as young man.

Education
Shaftesbury was educated directly by John Locke according to the principles of Locke’s Thoughts Concerning Education; by age 11, he could read in both Latin and Greek. Shaftesbury studied with avidity the works of Marcus Aurelius; some have compared Shaftesbury to Aurelius. [5]
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Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Shaftesbury:

Shaftesbury was a man possessing right reason in a more eminent degree than the rest of mankind and his character is the highest that the perfection of human nature is capable of.”
— Robert Molesworth (c.1714), Publication [5]

“Not only Leibnitz, Voltaire, and Diderot, but Lessing, Mendelssohn, Wieland and Herder, drew the most stimulating nutriment from Shaftesbury.”
— Hermann Hettner (c.1860), Publication [5]

Toland is best known for his call for common-sense thinking in the deist manifesto Christianity Not Mysterious, he gained notoriety as editor and biographer of Milton, Harrington, and Ludlow; translator and publicist of Giordano Bruno; pamphleteer and spy for Robert Harley, and purveyor of Hermetic and clandestine manuscripts for Prince Eugène of Savoy. A self-proclaimed atheist, he amused, annoyed, and embarrassed such personal acquaintances as Locke, Swift, Bayle, Leibniz, Shaftesbury, and Sophie Charlotte of Prussia. His works on biblical criticism, philosophical materialism, and the Druids became sources for Diderot and Holbach; and historians of Freemasonry and of English political and diplomatic affairs continue to search for keys to the intrigue that surrounded him.”
— Stephen Daniel (1984), abstract of John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind [4]

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Shaftesbury:

Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance.”
— Anthony Shaftesbury (1711), Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions and Times, Volume One (pg. 8) (Ѻ)

References
1. (a) Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1699). Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit. Publisher.
(b) La Mettrie, Julien. (1751). Machine Man and Other Writings: Treatise on the Soul, Man as Plant, The System of Epicurus, Anti-Seneca or the Sovereign Good, Preliminary Discourse (translator and editor: Ann Thomson) (pg. xxv). Cambridge University Press, 1996.
2. (a) Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1711). Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions and Times (Ѻ). Publisher, 1737.
(b) Shaftesbury (2016) – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
3. Shaftesbury (2016) – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
4. Daniel, Stephen H. (1984). John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind. McGill-Queen’s Press.
5. Anon. (1894). “Shaftesbury, 3rd Earl” in: Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 21 (pgs. 767-). Publisher.

Further reading
● Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1699). Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit. Publisher.
● Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1709). Sensus Communis: an Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humor. Publisher.
● Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1709). The Moralist: a Philosophical Rhapsody. Publisher.
● Shaftesbury, Anthony. (1710). Soliloquy: Advice to an Author. Publisher.

External links
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury – Wikipedia.

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