The Ethics of Hercules: A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values

The Ethics of Hercules: A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values

The Ethics of Hercules: A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values

The Ethics of Hercules: A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values

Excerpt

This book deals with ethics as a strictly natural science, and particularly as a branch of mechanistic psychology. It regards the realm of ethics as coterminous with the arena of human activity, and holds that the problems of conduct, being exclusively man's problems, are to be solved by the methods of applied science. Moreover, since human conduct is in the last analysis dependent upon the postures and manœuvres of our muscle-fabric, he who would understand ethics must first comprehend something of the mechanics of the human organism. Indeed, this book attempts to show, not only that ethics and physiology can no longer be studied apart from one another, but also that it is the structure and functions of the human body which have determined just what our ethical values are.

Such a program is not strictly original, for the student of philosophy will readily find its antecedents. Nevertheless, while many ethical writers have heretofore given numerous intimations of a mechanistic scheme in ethics, yet usually as they proceed to discuss what are called higher things, they seem to forget that it is the human body which performs every human action, even those deeds which . . .

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