IT might be observed that in what we have just been saying two different concepts of the State alternately appear: the concept of the Ethical State, and the concept of a purely political and non-moral State. The two definitions have been used in this way deliberately, without any reserve or hesitation, because both are true.
A principle not sufficiently appreciated, but which should be introduced as a fundamental of method into modern thinking and established and diffused therein, is that to understand a philosophical proposition the latter should be carried back to its historical origin and interpreted in the light of the situation that provoked it. Of every doctrine we should ask: against whom, or against what, was it first put forward? As the point has otherwise been stated: the true significance of a philosophical assertion may be determined by the