History as Past Ethics: An Introduction to the History of Morals

By Philip Van Ness Myers | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This work completes the series of historical textbooks which I began more than thirty years ago. It is an expansion of a course of lectures given for several years to my advanced classes in history, and is designed as a brief introduction to the history of morals. In treating the science of morals as a branch of history my thought is, without trenching in the least upon the domain of the philosophy of morals, to make the work of the department of history more helpfully introductory than it has hitherto been to that of the department of moral philosophy. The book is the outgrowth of a conviction that the philosophy of ethics, if it shall become a stimulus and guide to social service and humanitarian effort, -especially if it shall bring reënforcement to that ethical idealism which so largely motives the present-day movement for world peace,--must be based on a knowledge of the facts of the moral life of the race in all the various stages of the historic evolution, and that to gather and systematize these facts is a part of the task of the historian, indeed the most important part of his task. It is my hope that teachers of both history and ethics may find the book helpful, whether made the basis of classroom discussion or of lecture comment.

P. V. N. M.
COLLEGE HILL CINCINNATI, OHIO

-v-

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