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8) Discuss Butler’s view of “nature” and the “principle of conscience.” (250 words)

Topic– conscience as sources of ethical guidance

8) Discuss Butler’s view of “nature” and the “principle of conscience.” (250 words)


Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about Butler’s ideas about the concept of nature and its importance. It also wants us to write in detail about the principle of conscience and its relevance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about nature. E.g Conscience plays a key role in how Joseph Butler shapes his ethical philosophy, so much so that it may be seen as one of the key tenets of that philosophy.


  1. Discuss the concept of nature as explained by Butler. E.g Butler designates three perspectives of nature:
  • The first is a motivating force that drives humans to do something.
  • The next meaning is that nature is an inclination; such as a tendency to feel angry when injustice is done to one, or sad when during an emotionally damaging event.
  • Finally, the third connotation of the word refers to the natural supremacy etc.
  1. DIscuss the principle of conscience as propounded by Butler. E.g It  is one of the principles that act as the supreme guide to human nature, above instinctual inclinations, passions, or motivations of the sort in Butler’s ethical philosophy; Butler makes an important point about the role of conscience in the autonomy of the individual. He writes that “by being a law unto itself, we are motivated by our inner sense of moral rightness and wrongness and not being motivated by considerations external to the rightness or wrongness of acting or not acting” etc

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.