What Ought I to Do? An Inquiry into the Nature and Kinds of Virtue, and into the Sanctions, Aims, and Values of the Moral Life

What Ought I to Do? An Inquiry into the Nature and Kinds of Virtue, and into the Sanctions, Aims, and Values of the Moral Life

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What Ought I to Do? An Inquiry into the Nature and Kinds of Virtue, and into the Sanctions, Aims, and Values of the Moral Life

What Ought I to Do? An Inquiry into the Nature and Kinds of Virtue, and into the Sanctions, Aims, and Values of the Moral Life

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The question, What can I know? differs most conspicuously from the one which it is now proposed to consider, in respect of the point of view from which the latter must be surveyed and the nature of its answer determined. This difference is plainly expressed, or at least irresistibly suggested, by the very terms in which the two questions must be couched before they can be laid side by side for purposes of comparison. It is not, however, the difference between Knowing and Doing, great as this at first blush appears to be. Knowing is itself a species of doing; and there is little or no high-class conscious doing which does not incorporate into the very body of the activity--be it one of a rather low-class muscular sort, so far as external appearances go--a large element of accompanying cognitive activity. Knowing how to do is not often a completely finished achievement before the deed itself begins to be done; it is oftener an essential part of the deed itself.

The difference to which we have just referred as most conspicuous is, however, expressed in the two words "can" and "ought." The latter word introduces a distinction which, as some prefer to . . .

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