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- A Handbook of Ethical Theory - 2/52 -
86. The Development of Civilization.
CHAPTER XXII. THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE SOCIAL WILL 87. Man's Multiple Allegiance. 88. The Appeal to Reason. 89. The Ethics of Reason and the Varying Moral Codes.
_THE SCHOOLS OF THE MORALISTS_
CHAPTER XXIII. INTUITIONISM 90. What is it? 91. Varieties of Intuitionism. 92. Arguments for Intuitionism. 93. Arguments against Intuitionism. 94. The Value of Moral Intuitions.
CHAPTER XXIV. EGOISM 95. What is Egoism? 96. Crass Egoisms. 97. Equivocal Egoism? 98. What is Meant by the Self? 99. Egoism and the Broader Self. 100. Egoism not Unavoidable. 101. Varieties of Egoism. 102. The Arguments for Egoism. 103. The Argument against Egoism. 104. The Moralist's Interest in Egoism.
CHAPTER XXV. UTILITARIANISM 105. What is Utilitarianism? 106. Bentham's Doctrine. 107. The Doctrine of J. S. Mill. 108. The Argument for Utilitarianism. 109. The Distribution of Happiness. 110. The Calculus of Pleasures. 111. The Difficulties of Other Schools. 112. Summary of Arguments for Utilitarianism. 113. Arguments against Utilitarianism. 114. Transfigured Utilitarianism.
CHAPTER XXVI. NATURE, PERFECTION, SELF-REALIZATION I. _Nature_ 115. Human Nature as Accepted Standard. 116. Human Nature and the Law of Nature. 117. Vagueness of the Law of Nature. 118. The Appeal to Nature and Intuitionism.
II. _Perfection_ 119. Perfection and Type. 120. More and Less Perfect Types. 121. Perfectionism and Intuitionism.
III. _Self-realization_ 122. The Self-realization Doctrine. 123. The Doctrine Akin to that of Following Nature. 124. Is the Doctrine More Egoistic? 125. Why Aim to Realize Capacities? 126. The Problem of Self-sacrifice. 127. Self-satisfaction and Self-sacrifice. 128. Can Moral Self-sacrifice be a Duty? 129. Self-sacrifice and the Identity of Selves. 130. Questions which Seem to be Left Open.
CHAPTER XXVII. THE ETHICS OF EVOLUTION 131. The Significance of the Title. 132. Evolution and the Schools of the Moralists. 133. The Ethics of Individual Evolutionists.
CHAPTER XXVIII. PESSIMISM 134. The Philosophy of the Pessimist. 135. Comment on the Ethics of Pessimism.
CHAPTER XXIX. KANT, HEGEL AND NIETZSCHE 136. Kant. 137. Hegel. 138. Nietzsche.
_THE ETHICS OF THE SOCIAL WILL_
CHAPTER XXX. ASPECTS OF THE ETHICS OF REASON 139. The Doctrine Supported by the Other Schools. 140. Its Method of Approach to Problems. 141. Its Solution of Certain Difficulties. 142. The Cultivation of Our Capacities.
CHAPTER XXXI. THE MORAL LAW AND MORAL IDEALS 143. Duties and Virtues. 144. The Negative Aspect of the Moral Law. 145. How Can One Know the Moral Law?
CHAPTER XXXII. THE MORAL CONCEPTS 146. Good and Bad; Right and Wrong. 147. Duty and Obligation. 148. Reward and Punishment. 149. Virtues and Vices. 150. Conscience.
CHAPTER XXXIII. THE ETHICS OF THE INDIVIDUAL. 151. What is Meant by the Term? 152. The Virtues of the Individual. 153. Conventional Morality.
CHAPTER XXXIV. THE ETHICS OF THE STATE 154. The Aim of the State. 155. Its Origin and Authority. 156. Forms of Organization. 157. The Laws of the State. 158. The Rights and Duties of the State.
CHAPTER XXXV. INTERNATIONAL ETHICS 159. What is Meant by the Term. 160. Our Method of Approach to the Subject. 161. Some Problems of International Ethics. 162. The Other Side of the Shield. 163. The Solution. 164. The Necessity for Caution.
CHAPTER XXXVI. ETHICS AND OTHER DISCIPLINES 165. Sciences that Concern the Moralist. 166. Ethics and Philosophy. 167. Ethics and Religion. 168. Ethics and Belief. 169. The Last Word.
THE ACCEPTED CONTENT OF MORALS
IS THERE AN ACCEPTED CONTENT?
1. THE POINT IN DISPUTE.--Is there an accepted content of morals? Can we use the expression without going on to ask: Accepted where, when, and by whom?
To be sure, certain eminent moralists have inclined to maintain that men are in substantial agreement in regard to their moral judgments. Joseph Butler, writing in the first half of the eighteenth century, came to the conclusion that, however men may dispute about particulars, there is an universally acknowledged standard of virtue, professed in public in all ages and all countries, made a show of by all men, enforced by the primary and fundamental laws of all civil constitutions: namely, justice, veracity, and regard to common good. [Footnote: _Dissertation on the Nature of Virtue._] Sir Leslie Stephen, writing in the latter half of the nineteenth, tells us that "in one sense moralists are almost unanimous; in another they are hopelessly discordant. They are unanimous in pronouncing certain classes of conduct to be right and the opposite wrong. No moralist denies that cruelty, falsity and intemperance are vicious, or that mercy, truth and temperance are virtuous." [Footnote: _The Science of Ethics_, chapter i, Sec. 1.]
In other words, these writers would teach us that men are, on the whole, agreed in approving, explicitly or implicitly, some standard of conduct sufficiently definite to serve as a code of morals. But that there is such a substantial agreement among men has not impressed all observers to the same degree. Locke, who wrote before Butler, based his arguments against the existence of innate moral maxims upon the wide divergencies found among various classes of men touching what is right and what is wrong. [Footnote: _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_, Book I, chapter iii.] The historian, the anthropologist and the sociologist reinforce his reasonings with a wealth of illustration not open to the men of an earlier time. They present us with codes, not a code; with multitudinous standards, not a single standard; with what has been accepted here or there, at this time or at that; and we may well ask ourselves where, amid this profusion, we are to find the one and acceptable code.
2. WHAT CONSTITUTES SUBSTANTIAL AGREEMENT?--To be sure, we may be very generous in our interpretation of what constitutes substantial agreement; we may deny significance to all sorts of discrepancies by relegating them to the unimpressive class of "disputes about particulars." Such an impressionistic indifference to detail may leave us with something on our hands as little serviceable as a composite photograph made from individual objects which have little in common, a blur lacking all definite outline and not recognizable as any object at all. No man can guide his conduct by the common core of many or of all moral codes. Taken in its bald abstraction, it is not a code or anything like a code. Who can walk, without walking in some particular way, in some direction, at some time? Who can mind his manners without being mannerly in accordance with the usages of some race or people?
Those who content themselves with enunciating very general moral principles may, it is true, be of no little service to their fellow-men; but that is only because their fellow-men are able to supply the details that convert the blur into a picture. Some twenty-four hundred years ago
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