Review Questions On Sermon Two

Sermon II

1. Butler begins by giving two cautions about attempting to show moral obligations by appeal to human nature. What are they?

2. With what other faculties does Butler compare our moral faculties? Does this comparison strike you as apt? Why or why not?

3. To the notion that morality is built into human nature, Butler imagines an objection based on “interests and passion”. Summarize this objection. How does Butler answer it?

4. Give and explain each of the three senses of the word ‘nature’ that Butler identifies. Which of these three senses is the one he wishes to use when describing moral obligations as natural?

5. Butler posits two elements of human nature: “passion or appetite” on the one hand, and “the principle of reflection or conscience” on the other. Explain each of these, and then summarize his description of their interactions. Which one does Butler think should rule? Why?

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