Utilitarianism (1902); Sir Leslie Stephen, The English Utilitarians (1900); J.
The Comtists are no better off than other utilitarians in judging policy, events, conduct.
Like many of the leading modern utilitarians, they combined with their psychological distrust of popular judgments of right and wrong, and their firm conviction that all such distinctions are based solely on law and convention, the equally unwavering principle that the wise man who would pursue pleasure logically must abstain from that which is usually denominated "wrong" or "unjust."
Leslie Stephen's English Utilitarians (pub.
His account of the sanction, again, is sufficiently comprehensive, including both the internal and the external rewards of virtue and punishments of vice; and he, like later utilitarians, explains moral' obligation to lie in the force exercised on the will by these sanctions; but as to the precise manner in which individual is implicated with universal good, and the operation of either or both in determining volition, his view is indistinct if not actually inconsistent.
But in fact the difference between intuitionists and utilitarians as to the method of determining the particulars of the moral code was complicated with a more fundamental disagreement as to the very meaning of " moral obligation."
He accepted bodily without farther questioning the hedonistic psychology by which the Utilitarians sought to justify their theory while he rejected the theory itself.
Happiness, again, is always regarded as consisting in feeling, ultimately in pleasant feeling, and there is no attempt to apply the same principles of criticism which he had successfully applied to the Utilitarians' " happiness " to the conception of " pleasure."
And, though he maintains as against the Utilitarians the existence of certain fundamental moral intuitions which have come to be quite independent of any present conscious experience of their utility, he yet holds that they are the results of accumulated racial experiences gradually organized and inherited.
Stephen, The English Utilitarians (1901); Henry Sidgwick, Outlines of the History of Ethics (5th ed., 1902); Paul Janet, History of the Problems of Philosophy (1902-1903), Eng.