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Moral Science; a Compendium of Ethics   By: (1818-1903)

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MORAL SCIENCE: A COMPENDIUM OF ETHICS

by

ALEXANDER BAIN, M.A.,

Author of "Mental Science: A Compendium of Psychology;" "The Senses and the Intellect;" "The Emotions and the Will;" "A Manual ooof Rhetoric;" Professor of Logic in the University of Aberdeen, etc., etc., etc.

1869

PREFACE

The present Dissertation falls under two divisions.

The first division, entitled The Theory of Ethics, gives an account of the questions or points brought into discussion, and handles at length the two of greatest prominence, the Ethical Standard, and the Moral Faculty.

The second division on The Ethical Systems is a full detail of all the systems, ancient and modern, by conjoined Abstract and Summary. With few exceptions, an abstract is made of each author's exposition of his own theory, the fulness being measured by relative importance; while, for better comparing and remembering the several theories, they are summarized at the end, on a uniform plan.

The connection of Ethics with Psychology is necessarily intimate; the leading ethical controversies involve a reference to mind, and can be settled only by a more thorough understanding of mental processes.

Although the present volume is properly a continuation of the Manual of Psychology and the History of Philosophy, recently published, and contains occasional references to that treatise, it may still be perused as an independent work on the Ethical Doctrines and Systems. A.B.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I.

THE THEORY OF ETHICS.

CHAPTER I.

PRELIMINARY VIEW OF ETHICAL QUESTIONS.

I. The ETHICAL STANDARD. Summary of views.

II. PSYCHOLOGICAL questions. 1. The Moral Faculty. 2. The Freedom of the Will; the sources of Disinterested conduct.

III. The BONUM, SUMMUM BONUM, or Happiness.

IV. The CLASSIFICATION OF DUTIES, and the Moral Code.

V. Relationship of Ethics to POLITICS.

VI. Relation to Theology.

CHAPTER II.

THE ETHICAL STANDARD.

1. Ethics, as a department of Practice, is defined by its End.

2. The Ethical End is the welfare of society, realized through rules of conduct duly enforced.

3. The Rules of Ethics are of two kinds. The first are imposed under a penalty. These are Laws proper, or Obligatory Morality.

4. The second are supported by Rewards; constituting Optional Morality, Merit, Virtue, or Nobleness.

5. The Ethical End, or Morality, as it has been , is founded partly in Utility, and partly in Sentiment.

6. The Ethical End is limited, according to the view taken of Moral Government, or Authority: Distinction between Security and Improvement.

7. Morality, in its essential parts, is 'Eternal and Immutable;' in other parts, it varies with custom.

8. Enquiry as to the kind, of proof that an Ethical Standard is susceptible of. The ultimate end of action must be referred to individual judgment.

9. The judgment of Mankind is, with some qualifications, in favour of Happiness as the supreme end of conduct.

10. The Ethical end that society is tending to, is Happiness, or Utility.

11. Objections against Utility. I. Happiness is not the sole aim of human pursuit.

12. II. The consequences of actions are beyond calculation.

13. III. The principle of Utility contains no motives to seek the happiness of others.

CHAPTER III.

THE MORAL FACULTY.

1. Question whether the Moral Faculty be simple or complex.

2. Arguments in favour of its being simple and intuitive: First, Our moral judgments are immediate and instantaneous.

3. Secondly, It is a faculty common to all mankind.

4. Thirdly, It is different from any other mental phenomenon.

5. Replies to these Arguments, and Counter arguments: First; Immediateness of operation is no proof of an innate origin.

6. Secondly, The alleged similarity of men's moral judgments holds only in a limited degree. Answers given by the advocates of an Innate sentiment, to the discrepancies.

7. Thirdly, Moral right and wrong is not an indivisible property, but an extensive Code of regulations... Continue reading book >>




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