The Elements Of Ethics; An Introduction To Moral Philosophy

Paperback | May 13, 2012

byJohn Henry Muirhead

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1902 Excerpt: ... which as a principle of morals has too often been stark and barren, blossomed in the field of politics under the fostering care of Stoic thinkers into the great system of rights and obligations known as Roman Law. § 55. Duty for Duty's Sake as a Practical Principle In actual practice the theory that lays the emphasis upon duty, as opposed to inclination, contains an important element of truth, which naturalistic theories of the end of action have always tended to overlook. For it is undoubtedly true that at a certain stage in moral development, both in the individual and in the race, the negative or ascetic element is the prominent one. All moral progress consists in subordination of lower to higher impulses, and at a certain stage it may be more important to conquer the lower than to give effect to the higher. How far it is possible to effect this conquest without appeal to higher and more positive principles of action; how far, for instance, sensual impulses can be made to yield before the abstract announcements of reason that they are "wrong," without assignment of further reason or without appeal to the higher interests and affections, is a question for the educator. What is certain is, that morality begins in self-restraint and self-denial, and that it is impossible to conceive of circumstances in which this negative element will be totally absent from it. Whatever we are to say of the desire to enjoy pleasure, it is certain that readiness to suffer pain is an element in all virtue, and that there is more danger for the individual in indulging the former than in over-cultivating the latter. At a time when ethical theories are anti-ascetic rather than hedonistic, it is delightful, in a scientific treatise, to come across a passage like t...

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1902 Excerpt: ... which as a principle of morals has too often been stark and barren, blossomed in the field of politics under the fostering care...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:62 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.13 inPublished:May 13, 2012Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217796273

ISBN - 13:9780217796279

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