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The springs of action

Principles of actions indeed there are lodged in men’s appetites; but these are so far from being innate moral principles, that if they were left to their full swing they would carry men to the overturning of all morality. [Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book I, Chapter II, “No Innate Principles,” par. 13.]

Unlike in women, where—if not quite principles, at least innate impulses toward humanity may be suspected, in men all principle has an acquired, external, ultimately heterocosmic, foundation. It is truly internalized, if at all, only in the best and rarest men. (Cf. Kohlberg and Gilligan.)

Posted by luno in Locke, Heterocosmos, Moral Sentiment, sex differences, Moral Theory, General (Thursday June 9, 2005 at 8:06 pm)

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