Moralists generally, however, are agreed that in all moral judgments of this character there is an.
Now for the moralists chiliasm had a special significance as the one distinguishing feature of the gospel, and the only thing that gave a specifically Christian character to their system.
The great object of 17th-century moralists had been to find some general principle from which the whole of ethics could be deduced; common-sense, by turning its back on abstract principles of every kind, forced the philosophers to come down to the solid earth, and start by inquiring how the world does make up its mind in fact.
The main object of the Moralists is to propound a system of natural theology, and to vindicate, so far as natural religion is concerned, the ways of God to man.
Shaftesbury is emphatically an optimist, but there is a passage in the Moralists (pt.
Herder is especially eulogistic. In the Adrastea he pronounces the Moralists to be a composition in form well-nigh worthy of Grecian antiquity, and in its contents almost superior to it.
It is too long, the sentiment is overstrained, and severe moralists have accused it of a certain complaisance in dealing with amatory errors; but it is full of pathos and knowledge of the human heart.
Severe English moralists like Johnson thought but ill of him, but the public generally was not unwilling to testify against French intolerance, and regarded his sentimentalism with favour.
Strict moralists - called rigorists, or "tutiorists" - maintained that the austerer opinion ought always to be followed; dancing on Sundays was certainly wrong, if any good authorities had declared it to be so.
The brilliant side comes out most clearly in Joinville, the Chronique de Du Guesclin, and the Histoire de Bayart; the darker side appears in the earlier chronicles of the crusades, and is especially emphasized by preachers and moralists like Jacques de Vitry, Etienne de Bourbon, Nicole Bozon and John Gower.
In its general ethical code Proverbs represents the best standard of the times; the sages are at one with the more enlightened moralists of the Western world.
To dwell here upon the Italianizing versifiers, moralists and pastoral romancers who attempted to refine the vernacular of the Romancero would be superfluous.
The British moralists who wrote with political prepossessions are interesting, not merely as contributors to speculation, but as exponents of spiritual tendencies which were expressed practically in the political agitations of their times.
This condemnation by the moralists was enforced by the Fathers of the church on the conversion of the empire to Christianity.
Among the moralists of the time three at least deserve the title of masters of prose style, Heitor Pinto for his Imagens da vida Christa, Bishop Arraez for his Dialogos, and Frei Thome de Jesus for his noble devotional treatise Trabalhos de Jesus, while the maxims of Joanna da Gama, entitled Ditos da Freira, though lacking depth, form a curious psychological document.
Plutarch, writers on rhetoric like the elder Seneca, moralists like Valerius Maximus, went to Livy for their stock examples.
Of Hobbes and Spinoza, which advocate self-preservation as the ideal, as contrasted with modern evolutionist moralists who advocate racepreservation.
In time, however, the meaning of the term underwent a change, probably due to the philosophers and moralists, by whom a radical distinction was drawn between Aphrodite Urania and Pandemos.
Similarly, the question debated at such length by English moralists as to the nature of the moral faculty (moral sense, conscience, &c.) and the controversy concerning the freedom of the will belong entirely to psychology.
However moralists may differ on first principles, there seems to be remarkably little practical divergence when they come to lay down the particular laws of morality.
Had laboured so long; but in place of this he painted with astonishing vigour the great political struggle that accompanied the fall of the republic. It was, above all, his new reading of old characters which demanded attention, if not always approval: Cicero, the favourite of men of letters, was for him "a journalist in the worst sense of the word"; Pompey, the hero of Plutarch and the Moralists, was brushed aside as a mere drill-sergeant; and the book culminated in the picture of Caesar, who established absolute rule in the name of democracy, "the complete and perfect man."
Humanitarian moralists, who hesitate to believe in the retributive theory of punishment because, as they think, its aim is not the criminal's future well-being but merely the vindication through pain of an outrage upon the moral law which the criminal need never have committed, might welcome a theory which urges that the sole aim of punishment should be the exercise of an influence determining the criminal's future conduct for his own or the social good.
In Christianity, on the other hand, we early find that the method of moralists determining right conduct is to a great extent analogous to that of jurisconsults interpreting a code.
We have, however, yet to notice the enlargement of the sphereof ethics due to its close connexion with theology; for while this added religious force and sanction to ordinary moral obligations, it equally tended to impart a moral aspect to religious, belief and worship. " Duty to God " - as distinct from duty to man - had not been altogether unrecognized by pagan moralists; but the rather dubious relations of even the more orthodox philosophy to the established polytheism had generally prevented them from laying much stress upon it.
In the same spirit, under the reviving influence of ancient philosophy (with which, however, he was imperfectly acquainted and the relation of which to Christianity he extravagantly misunderstood), he argues that the old Greek moralists, as inculcating a disinterested love of good - and so implicitly love of God as the highest good - were really nearer to Christianity than Judaic legalism was.
This attack, or rather the counter-exposition of orthodox doctrine, is conducted on different methods by the Cambridge moralists and by Cumberland respectively.
These distinctions, he insists, have an objective reality, The cognizable by reason no less than the relations of Cambridge space or number; and he endeavours to refute moralists, Hobbism - which he treats as a " novantique philo- C d sophy," a mere revival of the relativism of Protagoras - chiefly by the following argumentum ad hominem.
With the generation of moralists that followed, the consideration of abstract rational principles falls into the background, and its place is taken by introspective study of the human mind, observation of the actual play of its various impulses and sentiments.
Before concluding this sketch of the development of English ethical thought from Hobbes to the thinkers of the 19th century, it will be well to notice briefly the views held by different moralists on the question of free-will, - so far, that is, as they have been put forward as ethically important.
But in spite of the strong interest taken in the theological aspect of this question by the Protestant divines of the 17th century, it does not appear that English moralists from Hobbes to Hume laid any stress on the relation of free-will either to duty generally or to justice in particular.
In the ethical discussion of Shaftesbury and sentimental moralists generally this question drops naturally out of sight; and the cautious Butler tries to exclude its perplexities as far as possible from the philosophy of practice.
Selby-Bigge, British Moralists (1897); R.
The self-love theory of Hobbes, with its subtle perversions of the motives of ordinary humanity, led to a reaction which culminated in the utilitarianism of Bentham and the two Mills; but their theory, though superior to the extravagant egoism of Hobbes, had this main defect, according to Herbert Spencer, that it conceived the world as an aggregate of units, and was so far individualistic. Sir Leslie Stephen in his Science of Ethics insisted that the unit is the social organism, and therefore that the aim of moralists is not the "greatest happiness of the greatest number," but rather the "health of the organism."
As against the stoical self-sufficiency of the moralists, he dwelt on the helplessness of man and his dependence on his maker.