Shaftesbury Anthony Ashley Cooper3rd
Shaftesbury. ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, 3RD EARL OF (1671-1713), philosopher, grandson of the 1st Earl, was born in London and educated at Winchester. After duly performing the grand tour he entered Parliament as Whig member for Poole (1695), but three years later the state of his health forced him to abandon politics, During the remainder of his blameless career, which was early cut short by consumption, he led the easy-going life of an affluent literary philosopher. He died at Naples. The leading idea in his Characteristics (1711) is that the right order of the universe is maintained by means of a due balance between the various parts of which it is composed. So it is also with the individual, who is the subject of varions passions, appetites, and affections, and human society holds a middle place between the two, and is regulated by the same law. Thus, for Shaftesbury, morality seems to have occupied much the same sphere as the aesthetic feelings. Whatever transgresses the law of the universe is to the "moral sense" or "taste," and this is the origin and sanction of our notions of right and wrong.