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Elements of Morals With Special Application of the Moral Law to the Duties of the Individual and of Society and the State   By: (1823-1899)

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ELEMENTS OF MORALS:

WITH

SPECIAL APPLICATION OF THE MORAL LAW TO THE DUTIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND OF SOCIETY AND THE STATE.

BY PAUL JANET,

MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE, OF THE ACADEMY OF MORAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCES, AUTHOR OF THEORY OF MORALS, HISTORY OF MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, FINAL CAUSES, ETC., ETC.

TRANSLATED BY MRS. C. R. CORSON.

A. S. BARNES & CO., NEW YORK AND CHICAGO

Copyright, 1884, by A. S. Barnes & Co.

PREFACE.

The Eléments de Morale , by M. Paul Janet, which we here present to the educational world, translated from the latest edition, is, of all the works of that distinguished moralist, the one best adapted to college and school purposes. Its scholarly and methodical arrangement, its clear and direct reasonings, its felicitous examples and illustrations, drawn with rare impartiality from the best ancient and modern writers, make of this study of Ethics, generally so unattractive to young students, one singularly inviting. It is a system of morals, practical rather than theoretical, setting forth man's duties and the application thereto of the moral law. Starting with Preliminary Notions , M. Janet follows these up with a general division of duties, establishes the general principles of social and individual morality, and chapter by chapter moves from duties to duties, developing each in all its ramifications with unerring clearness, decision, and completeness. Never before, perhaps, was this difficult subject brought to the comprehension of the student with more convincing certainty, and, at the same time, with more vivid and impressive illustrations.

The position of M. Paul Janet is that of the religious moralist.

"He supplies," says a writer in the British Quarterly Review ,[1] in a notice of his Theory of Morals , "the very element to which Mr. Sully gives so little place. He cannot conceive morals without religion. Stated shortly, his position is, that moral good is founded upon a natural and essential good, and that the domains of good and of duty are absolutely equivalent. So far he would seem to follow Kant; but he differs from Kant in denying that there are indefinite duties: every duty, he holds, is definite as to its form ; but it is either definite or indefinite as to its application. As religion is simply belief in the Divine goodness, morality must by necessity lead to religion, and is like a flowerless plant if it fail to do so. He holds with Kant that practical faith in the existence of God is the postulate of the moral law. The two things exist or fall together."

This, as to M. Janet's position as a moralist; as to his manner of treating his subject, the writer adds:

"... it is beyond our power to set forth, with approach to success, the admirable series of reasonings and illustrations by which his positions are established and maintained."

M. Janet's signal merit is the clearness and decision which he gives to the main points of his subject, keeping them ever distinctly in view, and strengthening and supplementing them by substantial and conclusive facts, drawn from the best sources, framing, so to say, his idea in time honored and irrefutable truths.

The law of duty thus made clear to the comprehension of the student, cannot fail to fix his attention; and between fixing the attention and striking root, the difference is not very great.

C. R. C.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

I. Preliminary Notions 1

II. Division of Duties. General Principles of Social Morality 33

III. Duties of Justice. Duties toward Human Life 50

IV. Duties Concerning the Property of Others 63

V. Duties toward the Liberty and toward the Honor of Others. Justice, Distributive and Remunerative. Equity 93

VI... Continue reading book >>




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