Ethics, Descriptive and Explanatory

Ethics, Descriptive and Explanatory

Read FREE!

Ethics, Descriptive and Explanatory

Ethics, Descriptive and Explanatory

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The purpose of the present book is to give as adequate, critical, and methodical an account as possible of what morality and immorality are. Its assumption is, that the best way of discovering what morality and immorality are is to examine the examples of these phenomena that are open to observation. And, of course, as in the case of other phenomena with a history, the evolution of morality will be studied, not only because it is interesting in itself, but because it throws light on the nature of morality, just as knowledge of the evolution of man has thrown much light on the nature of man.

This does not mean that moral and immoral conduct will be examined as physical phenomena. A theory of Ethics founded on the observation of conduct as a body of merely external or physical facts is bound to be inadequate and fallacious. Nowhere in the physical aspect of conduct is the "ought" to be found, and the moralists who limit their examination to that aspect pass fallaciously at some point from the "is " to the "ought to be."

But, on the other hand, a theory of Ethics founded on introspection alone is sure to be inadequate and unscientific. Inadequate, because there are many more moral phenomena besides those that appear in the consciousness of the writer. Unscientific, because, however moral the writer and however true his ethical views, these views, just as his personal opinions, are unproven.

Of course there are no moralists who limit themselves strictly either to introspection or to the physical point of view. But there are many who undertake to accept . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.