The Theory of Good and Evil: A Treatise on Moral Philosophy - Vol. 1

The Theory of Good and Evil: A Treatise on Moral Philosophy - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Theory of Good and Evil: A Treatise on Moral Philosophy - Vol. 1

The Theory of Good and Evil: A Treatise on Moral Philosophy - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The scope of the present work is perhaps made sufficiently obvious by the title-page. It is an attempt to deal with the chief topics usually discussed in books bearing the title 'Moral Philosophy'or 'Ethics.' It is on a rather larger scale than the books generally described as 'Textbooks,' or ' Introductions,' and is occupied to some extent with difficulties and controversies which can hardly be called 'elementary.' Still, I have in writing it had chiefly before my mind the wants of undergraduate students in Philosophy: I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to assume no previous acquaintance either with ethical or with general Philosophy: but it has not, in all parts of the work, been possible to avoid alluding to the arguments and objections of writers whose systems cannot be fully explained or examined in a book like the present. That is especially the case in Book II, which is largely occupied with replies to objections and with the criticism of views more or less opposed to my own. Even there I have endeavoured to make the drift of my argument intelligible to readers who have not read the works criticized. But those who want a short and fairly elementary treatment of the subject might perhaps read Book I by itself, or pass at once from Book I to Book III. That book deals in part with metaphysical questions which do not admit of an altogether 'popular' treatment; this section of the work would no doubt be better understood by a student who has read enough to know in a general way the meaning of the metaphysical problem, but I hope it will not be found wholly unintelligible to those who may make their first acquaintance with it in these pages. Advanced students are more likely to complain that I have touched upon many great questions, not specially belonging to the ethical branch of Philosophy, in a way which must appear unsatisfying to those who are well versed in them, and dogmatic to those who do not agree with me. I would venture . . .

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