The Theory of Morals

The Theory of Morals

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The Theory of Morals

The Theory of Morals

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Excerpt

In my Elements of Morals, published some years ago [1869], I sought to present such of the clearest and most useful results of moral science as would be accessible to all minds, especially those of the young. I avoided all delicate discussions and too abstruse researches. In the volume which I now publish, and which has only a few pages in common with the other, I have, on the contrary, endeavored to go back to first principles, and to define, with some precision, the fundamental ideas of morals; finally, to present a systematic and well-connected exposition of them; not forgetting, however, the wise precept of Aristotle, that one should expect from any science only that degree of exactness of which it is capable.

While I have not neglected to consult my predecessors, and to draw inspiration from their researches, I have done every thing in my power to add something to them. I believe that I have introduced, or brought back, into the science, some elements which have been too much neglected; that I have elucidated some difficulties; offered some solutions and suggested some subjects for investigation. I do not think that I have done every thing that can be done, but I believe that I have done my best.

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