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"The Springs of Motion": Jonathan Edwards on Emotions, Character, and Agency

Paul Lewis
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall, 1994), pp. 275-297
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40015184
Page Count: 23
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"The Springs of Motion": Jonathan Edwards on Emotions, Character, and Agency
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Abstract

Jonathan Edwards's work is notable because he understands emotions to be central to character and agency. As such, he offers an alternative to currently dominant approaches to character ethics, often inspired by Aristotle, which largely ignore emotions or, when they do recognize that emotions are important dimensions of character, treat emotions in a problematic manner. In order to demonstrate Edwards's relevance to contemporary work on character and emotions, I begin by providing some background on character ethics. I then set out relevant features of Edwards's work before relating those features to the constructive work of Stanley Hauerwas and Robert Solomon. Such comparisons illustrate the contributions which Edwards can make to an ethic of character.

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