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Cumberland, Richard (1632–1718)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA025-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

Richard Cumberland developed his ideas in response to Hobbes’ Leviathan. He introduced concepts of aggregate goodness (later used in utilitarianism), of benevolence (used in moral-sense theory), of moral self-obligation, of empirical proofs of providence and of the moral importance of tradition à la Burke. The philosophical basis for Cumberland’s views was a theory of natural law which was strongly anti-voluntarist and committed to objective moral values, but recognizing institutions such as governments of state and church as conventional or traditional. Cumberland was often seen as the third co-founder, with Pufendorf and Grotius, of modern natural law.

Citing this article:
Haakonssen, Knud. Cumberland, Richard (1632–1718), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA025-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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