Perfectionism and the Common Good: Themes in the Philosophy of T. H. Green

Paperback | May 31, 2007

byDavid O. Brink

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David Brink presents a study of T. H. Green's classic Prolegomena to Ethics (1883) and its role in his philosophical thought. Green is one of the two most important figures in the British idealist tradition, and his political writings and activities had a profound influence on the developmentof Liberal politics in Britain. The Prolegomena is his major philosophical work. It begins with his idealist attack on empiricist metaphysics and epistemology and develops a perfectionist ethical theory that aims to bring together the best elements in the ancient and modern traditions, and that provides the moral foundations forGreen's own distinctive brand of liberalism. Brink aims to restore the Prolegomena to its rightful place in the history of philosophy by providing a prolegomenon to the Prolegomena - one that situates the work in its intellectual context, sympathetically but critically engages its main themes, andexplains Green's enduring significance for the history of ethics and contemporary ethical theory. Brink examines Green's life and work, his idealist attack on empiricism, his conception of agency, his perfectionist ethics of self-realization, the connections he draws between perfectionism and thecommon good, his conception of the differences between perfectionism and utilitarianism, and the connections between his perfectionism and his defense of a new form of political liberalism. Because Green develops his own views out of an examination of other traditions in the history of ethics, a fair assessment of Green's own contributions must compare his claims with the traditions that he examines and sometimes criticizes. Brink's study examines Green's relation to Aristotle, Locke,Hume, Butler, Mill, Kant, Hegel, Bradley, and Sidgwick, and concludes by examining Green's legacy for ethical theory. Perfectionism and the Common Good will be of substantial interest to students and scholars of the history of ethics, ethical theory, political philosophy, and nineteenth centuryphilosophy.

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David Brink presents a study of T. H. Green's classic Prolegomena to Ethics (1883) and its role in his philosophical thought. Green is one of the two most important figures in the British idealist tradition, and his political writings and activities had a profound influence on the developmentof Liberal politics in Britain. The Prolegom...

David O. Brink is in the Department of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.39 inPublished:May 31, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199228051

ISBN - 13:9780199228058

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Table of Contents

I. IntroductionII. Green's Life and WorkIII. Green's Metaphysics and EpistemologyIV. The Attack on Empiricism with AtomismV. IdealismVI. Absolute IdealismVII. NonnaturalismVIII. Self-Consciousness and Epistemic ResponsibilityIX. Self-Consciousness and Practical ResponsibilityX. Desire, Intellect, and WillXI. Pursuit of a Personal GoodXII. Psychological Hedonism and the GoodXIII. Mill and Evaluative HedonismXIV. Self-Realization and the GoodXV. Self-Realization and the Common GoodXVI. Aristotelian FriendshipXVII. Intrinsic Concern for OthersXVIII. The Scope of the Common GoodXIX. Impartiality and the Common GoodXX. Moderate and Extreme Harmony of InterestsXXI. Liberalism and Extreme HarmonyXXII. Absolute Idealism and Extreme HarmonyXXIII. Self-Realization vs. UtilitarianismXXIV. From Perfectionism to LiberalismXXV. Influences on GreenXXVI. Green and KantXXVII. Green's ImpactXXVIII. Green and BradleyXXIX. Green and SidgwickXXX. Green's LegacyBibliographical Essay