Self-Realization; An Outline of Ethics

Self-Realization; An Outline of Ethics

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Self-Realization; An Outline of Ethics

Self-Realization; An Outline of Ethics

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The writer on Ethics at the present time is fortunate in having at his disposal the valuable results of two important movements in the science which took place in the nineteenth century. The one idealistic, originating in Germany but culminating as far as Ethics is concerned in Great Britain, formulated the clearest conception which human thought has yet attained of the spiritual activities that coöperate in personal development. The other naturalistic, continuing the tradition of English Utilitarianism under the illuminating influence of evolutionary science, furnished us with the most complete description that we possess of the actual conditions, natural and social, under which morality has developed. Now while these two schools are sharply opposed in standpoint and method, their conclusions, in so far as these are well-founded, do not contradict but rather supplement one another. Hence the moralist of to-day, if he wishes to profit by the results of previous ethical reflection, must aim to make his theory a synthesis of these two different bodies of truth. Such has been my aim in the present volume. The form of the Moral Ideal I have endeavored to ground in the essential, nature of volition, understood as the controlling agency in personal development; its content I have sought to derive from the actual conditions of human existence as these have been discovered by empirical study. In carrying out this program I was made to recognize anew my heavy obligations to the leaders of the two schools above mentioned. Among idealists I owe most to Hegel, particularly to the pregnant suggestions in the Encyclopœdia, of a moral "dialectic" whereby the . . .

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