Ethics Sentence Examples
Ethics is in much the same position.
Ethics have gone out the door and greed is in.
The metaphysics of Aristotle, the ethics of Spinoza, the philosophical works of Cicero, and many kindred works, were also frequent subjects of study.
His great work was the Theologia moralis et dogmatica, a compendium in catechetical form of Roman Catholic doctrine and ethics which has been much used as a students' text-book.
Really, he urged, there could be only one substance - Descartes himself had dropped a passing hint to that effect - and the bold deductive reasoning of Spinoza's Ethics, in process if not in result, betrays its kinship to the ontological argument, with its affirmation of what must be.Advertisement
In ethics empiricism begins by recognizing that man possesses sensations, and so is liable to pleasures and pains.
His work embraces in its scope many psychological and more strictly metaphysical discussions, but it is chiefly in connexion with ethics that Tucker's speculations are remembered.
In ethics he anticipated much of the teaching of Tolstoy; in doctrine he often appealed to the authority of Wycliffe; and in some of his views it is possible to trace the influence of the Waldenses.
In reasserting and amplifying the empirical conclusions of his predecessors, especially in the sphere of ethics, Mill's chief function was the introduction of the humanist element.
This ethical teaching, which is indefinitely higher and purer than that of the Old Testament, is yet its true spiritual child, and helps to bridge the chasm that divides the ethics of the Old and New Testaments.Advertisement
Against this work and the Ethics of Spinoza the orthodox Cartesians (who were in the majority), no less than sceptical hangers-on like Bayle, raised an all but universal howl of reprobation, scarcely broken for about a century.
Perhaps in the department of thought where it is most in earnest - in ethics - it is an idealism.
The introduction to this translation, published under the title of Buddhist Psychology, contains the fullest account that has yet appeared of the psychological conceptions on which Buddhist ethics are throughout based.
A cosmopolitan on principle, and a convinced disbeliever in the ethics of his day, he comes very near to modern empiricism and especially to the modern Hedonist school.
It is true, nevertheless, that love as a prelude to marriage finds only a small place in Japanese ethics.Advertisement
Lastly, when we once have freed ourselves from the antipathy engendered by his severance of ethics from the field of politics, when we have once made proper allowance for his peculiar use of phrases like frodi onorevoli or scelleratezze gloriose, nothing is left but admiration for his mental attitude.
He excelled in logic, the theory of knowledge, ethics and physics.
If the recognition of physics and logic as two studies coordinate with ethics is sufficient to differentiate the mature Zeno from the Cynic author of the Republic, no less than from his own heterodox disciple Aristo, the Cleanthes.
The quotation may remind us that the analogy between ethics and mathematics ought to be traced further back than Locke; in fact, it results from the influence exercised by Cartesianism over English thought generally, in the latter half of the 17th century.
Hall's International Law, and more at length in an interesting paper contributed by John Westlake to the International Journal of Ethics, October 1896, which its author has reprinted privately.Advertisement
Secondly, the Eudemian Ethics, while not agreeing with Plato's Republic that the just can be happy by justice alone, does not assign to the external goods of good fortune (Eutu X ia) the prominence accorded to them in the Nicomachean Ethics as the necessary conditions of all virtue, and the instruments of moral virtue.
His ethics, too, have a religious character.
The first department of ethics, on the other hand, is the branch of the subject in virtue of which ethics forms part of philosophy.
Moreover, much work of the highest importance in ethics in modern as well as ancient times has been completed with but scanty, if any, reference to the subject of the freedom of the will, or upon a metaphysical basis compatible with most of the doctrines of both the rival theories.
On account of the conflict of opinion in ethics we cannot hope to obtain certainty upon all questions; still reflection will lead us to discard some of the conflicting views and find a reconciliation for others, and will furnish, on the whole, a practically sufficient residuum of moral truth.Advertisement
On the whole, there is probably no treatise so masterly as Aristotle's Ethics, and containing so much close and valid thought, that yet leaves on the reader's mind so strong Transi= an impression of dispersive and incomplete work.
Partly, no doubt, the limited influence of his disciples, the Peripatetics, is to be attributed to that exaltation of the purely speculative life which distinguished the Aristotelian ethics from other later systems, and which was too alien from the common moral consciousness to find much acceptance in an age in which the ethical aims of philosophy had again become paramount.
This theological view of the physical universe had a double effect on the ethics of the Stoic. In the first place it gave to his cardinal conviction of the all-sufficiency of wisdom for human well-being a root of cosmical fact, and an atmosphere of religious and social emotion.
The two systems that have just been described were those that most prominently attracted the attention of the ancient world, so far as it was directed to ethics, from their Later almost simultaneous origin to the end of the 2nd Greek century A.D., when Stoicism almost vanishes from our philo- view.
We find no development worthy of notice in Aristotelian ethics (see PExIPATETICS).
The fundamental differences between pagan and Christian ethics depend not on any difference in the value set on rightness of heart, but on different views of the essential form or conditions of this inward rightness.
Yet Locke's ethical opinions have been widely misunderstood; since from a confusion between " innate ideas " and " intuitions," 'which has been common in recent ethical discussion, it has been supposed that the founder of English empiricism must necessarily have been hostile to " intuitional " ethics.
Thus, on the whole, the impressive earnestness with which Clarke enforces the doctrine of rational morality only rendered more manifest the difficulty of establishing ethics on an independent philosophical basis; so long at least as the psychological egoism of Hobbes is not definitely assailed and overthrown.
Their characteristics are further considered in the History of Ethics, p. 186 seq.
We may take this latter treatise as representing the first in the development of English ethics, at which what were afterwards called " utilitarian" and " intuitional " morality were first formally opposed; in earlier systems the antithesis is quite latent, as we have incidentally noticed in the case of Cumberland and Clarke.
A reaction, in one form or another, against the tendency to dissolve ethics into psychology was inevitable; since mankind generally could not be so far absorbed by the interest of psychological hypothesis as to forget their need of establishing practical principles.
The truth is that the construction of a scientific method of ethics is a matter of little practical moment to Reid.
And, in fact, "private ethics, " as conceived by Bentham, does not exactly expound such a system; but rather exhibits the coincidence, so far as it extends, between private and general happiness, in that part of each man's conduct that lies beyond the range of useful legislation.
Ethics shows how to realize internal freedom by resolutely pursuing rational ends in opposition to those of natural inclination.
And both evolutionary and idealistic ethics agree in repudiating the standpoint of narrowindividualism, alike insist upon the necessity of regarding the self as social in character, and regard the end of moral progress as only realizable in a perfect society.
It was in Herbert Spencer, the triumphant " buccinator novi temporis," that the advocates of evolutionary ethics found.
His own contribution to ethics was vitiated at the outset by the fact that he never shook himself free from the trammels of the philosophy which his own system was intended to supersede.
The fact is that any close philosophical analysis of Spencer's system of ethics can only result in the discovery of a multitude of mutually conflicting and for the most part logically untenable theories.
He is hampered by a distinction between " absolute " and " relative " ethics definitely formulated in the last two chapters of The Data of Ethics.
Absolute ethics would deal with such laws as would regulate the conduct of ideal man in an ideal.
Relative ethics, on the other hand, is concerned only with such conduct as is advantageous for that society which has not yet reached the end of complete adaptation to its environment, i.e.
A similar criticism might fairly be passed upon the majority of philosophers who approach ethics from the standpoint of evolution.
They begin, for the most part, with a belief that in ethics as in other departments of human knowledge " the more developed must be interpreted by the less developed " - though frequently in the sequel complexity or posteriority of development is erected as a standard by means of which to judge the process of development itself.
Perhaps the one European thinker who has carried evolutionary principles in ethics to their logical conclusion is Friedrich Nietzsche.
For he saw clearly that to be successful evolutionary ethics must involve the " transvaluation of all values," the " demoralization " of all ordinary current morality.
Thus, though incidentally there is much to be learned from Nietzsche, especially from his criticism of the ethics of pessimism, or from the strictures he passes upon the negative morality of extreme asceticism or quietism, his system inevitably provides its own refutation.
What has not been adequately realized is that the metaphysical basis of his system of ethics - the argument, for example, contained in the introduction to the Prolegomena - is unfairly treated if divorced from his treatment of morals as a whole, and that it can be justly estimated only if interpreted as much as the conclusion as the starting-point of moral theory.
Ethics should be regarded as a purely ` positive ' or ` experimental ' and not as a ` speculative ' science."
Taylor himself attempts to find the roots of ethics in the moral sentiments of mankind, the moral sentiments being primarily feelings or emotions, though they imply and result in judgments of approval and disapproval upon conduct.
Taylor's polemic against metaphysical systems of ethics is based throughout upon an alleged discrepancy and separation between the facts of moral " experience," the judgments of the moral consciousness, and theories as to the nature of these which the philosophers whom he attacks would by no means accept.
His accounts of the genesis of the conceptions of obligation and responsibility as of most of the ultimate conceptions with which moral philosophy deals will be accepted or rejected to the extent to which the main contention concerning the psychological basis of ethics commends itself to the reader.
The systems of Plato and Aristotle sought to adjust the rival claims of physics and ethics (although the supremacy of the latter was already acknowledged); but the popular religions were thrown overboard.
Psychology or metaphysics tend in their systems to usurp the place of authority formerly assigned to ethics proper.
Equal in importance to Martineau's work is Professor Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics, which appeared in 1874.
Such aspects as concern ethics include, for example, the limited indeterminism involved in the theory, the attitude of the religious consciousness expressed by William James (Will to Believe and Pragmatism), and the pragmatic conception of the good.
In the later heresy of Manichaeism there were affinities to Gnosticism, but it was a mixture of many elements, Babylonian-Chaldaic theosophy, Persian dualism and even Buddhist ethics (p. 126).
Two treatises are sometimes erroneously attributed to him, one on the Emotions, the other a commentary on Aristotle's Ethics (really by Constantine Palaeocappa in the 16th century, or by John Callistus of Thessalonica).
But, generally speaking, there was no heart in preaching, sermons were unimpassioned, stilted and formal presentations of ethics and apologetics, seldom delivered extempore.
He also wrote Fichte's Science of Knowledge (1884); Poetry, Comedy and Duty (1888); Religions before Christianity (1883); Ethics for Young People (1891); The Gospel of Paul (1892).
The publication in 1896 of Manning's Life, by Purcell, was the occasion for some controversy on the ethics of biography.
The creed in all its forms lies behind worship, which it preserves from idolatry, and behind ethics, to which it supplies a motive power which the pre-Christian system so manifestly lacked.
Just as there is a faculty which apprehends beauty in the sphere of art, so there is in the sphere of ethics a faculty which determines the value of actions.
Shaftesbury's philosophical activity was confined to ethics, aesthetics and religion.
For metaphysics, properly so called, and even psychology, except so far as it afforded a basis for ethics, he evidently had no taste.
Crantor paid especial attention to ethics, and arranged "good" things in the following order - virtue, health, pleasure, riches.
We have hardly yet discovered that political economy has unavoidable points of contact with ethics.
He was colour-blind to commonplace morality, and we are angry with him because he merged the hues of ethics in one grey monotone of politics.
This seems to have been interpreted by its author and by the Sophists in general in a subjective sense, with the result that it became the motto of a sceptical and individualistic movement in contemporary philosophy and ethics.
In ethics Diihring follows Comte in making sympathy the foundation of morality.
In ethics Gioja follows Bentham generally, and his large treatise Del merito e delle recompense (1818) is a clear and systematic view of social ethics from the utilitarian principle.
If the dead man was John the presbyter - if this John had in youth just seen Jesus and the Zebedean, and in extreme old age had still seen and approved the Gospel - to attribute this Gospel to him, as is done here, would not violate the literary ethics of those times.
In philosophy he followed Reinhard in ethics and the monadology of Leibnitz, though he was also influenced by Kant.
This is a compilation of ritual, ethics and mysticism, and had a profound influence on Jewish life.
The literature on the subject is considerable, but the two classics are perhaps The Ethics of Diet, by Howard Williams, and The Perfect Way in Diet, by Dr Anna Kingsford.
Ravaisson-Mollien has discovered a number of fragments by him, among which the most important is the De Essentia Dei et de Substantia Dei; a Liber Sententiarum, consisting of discussions on ethics and Scriptural interpretation, is also ascribed to Champeaux.
The third and fourth books, like the larger part of the second, treat of ethics; the third, of virtues and vices, in pairs; the fourth, of more general ethical and political subjects, frequently citing extracts to illustrate the pros and cons of a question in two successive chapters.
The Letters contain a discussion of many of the principal problems in psychology and ethics.
Among modern writers, James Seth (Ethical Princ., 1894) resumes Aristotle's position, and places Eudaemonism as the mean between the Ethics of Sensibility (hedonism) and the Ethics of Rationality, each of which overlooks the complex character of human life.
His university lectures and published works ranged over the wide fields of church history in its various branches, particularly the literature and the controversies of the church, dogmatics, ethics and pastoral theology.
Here in 1 754 he became professor extraordinarius of theology, and three years later received an ordinary professorship. He lectured on dogmatics, church history, ethics, polemics, natural theology, symbolics, the epistles of Paul, Christian antiquities, historical theological literature, ecclesiastical law and the fathers, and took an active interest in the work of the Gottinger Societdt In 1766 he was appointed professor primarius.
The pre-Socratic philosophy took its stand on natural science, to the exclusion of ethics and religion.
This appears not only in its philosophical method, but also - though less prominently - in its metaphysic. And, fifthly, Neoplatonism adopted the ethics of Stoicism; although it was found necessary to supplement them by a still higher conception of the functions of the spirit.
Neoplatonism perceived that neither sense perception nor rational cognition is a sufficient basis or justification for religious ethics; consequently it broke away from rationalistic ethics as decidedly as from utilitarian morality.
The religious ethics of Philo - a compound of Stoic, Platonic and Neopythagorean elements - already bear the peculiar stamp which we recognize in Neoplatonism.
In the ethics of Plotinus all the older schemes of virtue are taken over and arranged in a graduated series.
Smith conceived the entire subject he had to treat in his public lectures as divisible into four heads, the first of which was natural theology, the second ethics, the third jurisprudence; whilst in the fourth "he examined those political regulations which are founded upon expediency, and which are calculated to increase the riches, the power, and the prosperity of a state."
In ethics he made contributions to the science in regard to the place and functions of volition and attention, the separate and underived character of the moral sentiments, and the distinction between the virtues of perfect and imperfect obligation.
The distinction between the laws and dispositions of matter, as between the ethics and objects of theology, he was the first to indicate and enforce, and he laid great emphasis on the superior authority as witnesses for the truth of Revelation of the Scriptural as compared with the Extra-Scriptural writers, and of the Christian as compared with the non-Christian testimonies.
Thus we pass from Egoistic to Universalistic hedonism, Utilitarianism, Social Ethics, more especially in relation to the still broader theories of evolution.
One of the most important contributions to the discussion is that of Sir Leslie Stephen (Science of Ethics), who elaborated a theory of the "social organism" in relation to the individual.
A criticism of the various hedonistic theories will be found in the article Ethics (ad fin.).
Seth, Ethical Principles (3rd ed., 1898); other works quoted under Ethics.
If, however, we abandon intuitional ethics, it is reasonable to argue that the term summum bonum ceases to have any real significance inasmuch as actions are not intrinsically good or bad, while the complete sceptic strives after no systematic ideal.
Aristotle in his Ethics stigmatizes as "extremely unloving" (Xiav a4xXov) the denial that ancestors are interested in or affected by the fortunes of their descendants; and in effect ancestor-worship is the staple of most religions, ancient or modern, civilized or savage.
Under such circumstances ethics becomes a doctrine of abstinence in regard to all elements which have their source within the sphere of darkness.
On the basis of such a cosmical philosophy, ethics can only have a dualistic ascetic character.
Manichaean ethics is not merely negative, however, since it is necessary to cherish, strengthen and purify the elements of light, as well as free oneself from the elements of darkness.
The aim is not self-destruction, but self-preservation; and yet the ethics of Manichaeism appears in point of fact as thoroughly ascetic. The Manichaean had, above all, to refrain from sensual enjoyment, shutting himself up against it by three seals - the signaculum oris, manus and sinus.
According to Kessler, Mani made use of the teaching of Buddha, at least as far as ethics was concerned.
This is also true of the ethics and the asceticism of the two systems. There is not a single point in Manichaeism which demands for its explanation an appeal to Buddhism.
Throughout his philosophy he endeavours to connect metaphysics with ethics and the theory of education.
The ethics of these principles were worked out in Discours sur le bonheur, La Volupte, and L' Art de jouir, in which the end of life is found in the pleasures of the senses, and virtue is reduced to self-love.
This is indeed a doctrine of Platonic ethics from which Aristotle in his later days never swerved.
Thus we find that at first, under the influence of his master, Aristotle held somewhat ascetic views on soul and body and on goods of body and estate, entirely opposed both in psychology and in ethics to the moderate doctrines of his later writings.
Thus the Nicomachean Ethics begins by identifying the good with happiness (euSaeµovia), and happiness with virtuous action.
How otherwise, we wonder, could one man writing alone and with so few predecessors compose the first systematic treatises on the psychology of the mental powers and on the logic of reasoning, the first natural history of animals, and the first civil history of one hundred and fifty-eight constitutions, in addition to authoritative treatises on metaphysics, biology, ethics, politics, rhetoric and poetry; in all penetrating to the very essence of the subject, and, what is most wonderful, describing more facts than any other man has ever done on so many subjects ?
On these principles, we regard as early genuine philosophical works of Aristotle, (I) the Categories; (2) the De Interpretatione; (3) the Eudemian Ethics and Magna Moralia; (4) the Rhetoric to Alexander.
These considerations make it probable that the author of all three treatises was Aristotle himself; while the analysis of the treatises favours the hypothesis that he wrote the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia more or less together as the rudimentary first drafts of the mature Nicomachean Ethics.
As the Platonic philosophy was primarily moral, and its metaphysics a theory of the moral order of the universe, Aristotle from the first must have mastered the Platonic ethics.
It is probable that when, after Plato's death and the accession of Speusippus in 347, Aristotle with Xenocrates left Athens to visit his former pupil Hermias, the three discussed this moderate system of Ethics in which the two philosophers nearly agreed.
The good of Ethics is human good; and human good is happiness, not the universal good or form of the good to which Plato subordinated human happiness.
As then we find this identification of pleasure with activity in the Metaphysics and in the De Anima, as well as in the Nicomachean Ethics, the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia, the only logical conclusion, from which there is no escape, is that, so far as the treatment of pleasure goes, any Aristotelian treatise which defines it as activity is genuine.
Moreover, the distinction between activity and pleasure in the tenth book is really fatal to the consistency of the whole Nicomachean Ethics, which started in the first book with the identification of happiness and virtuous activity.
It is further remarkable that the Nicomachean Ethics proceeds to a different conclusion.
Thereupon it proceeds to a discourse on friendship, which in the Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics is discussed in an earlier position, but breaks off unfinished.
From this point the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia become more like one another than like the Nicomachean Ethics.
All three are great works, contributing to the origin of the independent science of Ethics.
But the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia are more rudimentary than the Nicomachean Ethics, which as it were seems to absorb them except in the conclusion.
They are, in short, neither independent works, nor mere commentaries, but Aristotle's first drafts of his Ethics.
In the Ethics to Eudemus, as Porphyry properly called the Eudemian Ethics, Aristotle in the first four books successively investigates happiness, virtue, the voluntary and the particular moral virtues, in the same order and in the same letter and spirit as in his Ethics to Nicomachus.
They are all such rudiments as Aristotle might well polish into the more developed expositions in the first four books of the Nicomachean Ethics.
On the other hand, nobody would have gone back afterwards on his masterly treatment of happiness, in the first book, or of virtue in the second, or of the voluntary in the third, or of the particular virtues in the third and fourth, to write the sketchy accounts of the Eudemian Ethics.
On the other hand, there are still more fundamental points in which the first three books of the Eudemian Ethics are a very inadequate preparation for the common books.
After this, it can never be said that the earlier books of the Eudemian Ethics are so good a preparation as those of the Nicomachean Ethics for the distinction between prudence (Opov j ats) and wisdom (a001a), which is the main point of the common books, and one of Aristotle's main points against Plato's philosophy.
Meanwhile, however, the truth about the Eudemian Ethics in general is that it was an earlier rudimentary sketch written by Aristotle, when he was still struggling, without quite succeeding, to get over Plato's view that there is one philosophical knowledge of universal good, by which not only the dialectician and mathematician must explain the being and becoming of the world, but also the individual and the statesman guide the life of man.
Indeed, the final proof that the Eudemian Ethics is earlier than the Nicomachean is the very fact that it is more under Platonic influence.
Because, then, it is very like, but more rudimentary and more Platonic, we conclude that the Eudemian is an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics, written by Aristotle when he was still in process of transition from Plato's ethics to his own.
The Magna Moralia contains similar evidence of being earlier than the Nicomachean Ethics.
In these points it is a better preparation for the Nicomachean Ethics.
Such rudimentary and imperfect sketches would be quite excusable in a first draft, but inexcusable and incredible after the Nicomachean Ethics had been written.
Indeed, in some respects it is more like the Eudemian, though in the main more like the Nicomachean Ethics.
Because, then, the Magna Moralia is very like the Nicomachean Ethics, but more rudimentary, nearer to the Platonic dialogues in style and to a less degree in matter, and also like the Eudemian Ethics, we conclude that it is also like that treatise in having been written as an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle himself.
The hypothesis that the Eudemian Ethics, and by consequence the Magna Moralia, are later than Aristotle has arisen from a simple misconception, continued in a Scholium attributed to Aspasius, who lived in the 2nd century A.D.
Nicomachean means " addressed to Nicomachus," and Eudemian " addressed to Eudemus "; but, as Cicero thought that the Nicomachean Ethics was written by Nicomachus, so the author of the Scholium thought that the Eudemian Ethics, at least so far as the first account of pleasure goes, was written by Eudemus.
But we have seen that Aristotle wrote the first three books of the Eudemian as an earlier draft of the Nicomachean Ethics; so that, even so far as they form a better introduction, this will not prove the common books to be by Eudemus.
In the Nicomachean as in the Eudemian Ethics the limit above moral virtue is right reason, or prudence, which is right reason on such matters; and above prudence wisdom, for which prudence gives its orders; while wisdom is the intelligence and science of the most venerable objects, of the most divine, and of God.
While the Eudemian Ethics in a more theological vein emphasizes God, the object of wisdom as the end for which prudence gives its orders, the Nicomachean Ethics in a more humanizing spirit emphasizes wisdom itself, the speculative activity, as that end, and afterwards as the highest happiness, because activity of the divine power of intellect, because an imitation of the activity of God, because most dear to God.
Surely, the harmony of these three moral gospels proves that Aristotle wrote them, and wrote the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia as preludes to the Nicomachean Ethics.
Plato and Speusippus in the Ethics, Eudoxus and Callippus in the Metaphysics, he was writing these passages after the deaths of these persons; but he might have been also writing the Ethics and the Metaphysics both beforehand and afterwards.
Such is the great mind of Aristotle manifested in the large map of learning, by which we have now to determine the order of his extant philosophical writings, with a view to studying them in their real order, which is neither chronological nor traditional, but philosophical and scientific. Turning over the pages of the Berlin edition, but passing over works which are perhaps spurious, we should put first and foremost speculative philosophy, and therein the primary philosophy of his Metaphysics (980 a 211093 b 29); then the secondary philosophy of his Physics, followed by his other physical works, general and biological, including among the latter the Historia Animalium as preparatory to the De Partibus Animalium, and the De Anima and Parva Naturalia, which he called " physical " but we call " psychological" (184 a 10-967 b 27); next, the practical philosophy of the Ethics, including the Eudemian Ethics and the Magna Moralia as earlier and the Nicomachean Ethics as later (1094-124 9 b 25), and of the Politics (1252-1342), with the addition of the newly discovered Athenian Constitution as ancillary to it; finally, the productive science, or art, of the Rhetoric, including the earlier Rhetoric to Alexander and the later Rhetorical Art, and of the Poetics, which was unfinished (1354-end).
Aristotle, who made this great discovery, must have had great difficulty in developing the new investigation of reasoning processes out of dialectic, rhetoric, poetics, grammar, metaphysics, mathematics, physics and ethics; and in disengaging it from other kinds of learning.
He really left the Peripatetics to combine his scattered discourses and treatises into a system, to call it logic, and logic Organon, and to put it first as the instrument of sciences; and it was the Stoics who first called logic a science, and assigned it the first place in their triple classification of science into logic, physics, ethics.
Among all the eight passages mentioned above, the most valuable is that from the Eudemian Ethics (A 8), which discriminates extraneous discourses and philosophical (Kai ie rois i wTEpLKOLS XIyocs Kai iv roas Kara 4cXoac41av, 1217 b 22-23); and it is preceded (A 6, 1216 b 35-37 a 17), by a similar distinction between foreign discourses (h¦Xorpioc Aoyoc) and discourses appropriate to the thing (oiKEioc Aoyoc Tor, 7rpayp,aros), which marks even better the opposition intended between dialectic and philosophy.
Ethics then is a kind of Politics.
But in Ethics a man's individual good is his own happiness; and his happiness is no mere state, but an activity of soul according to virtue in a mature life, requiring as conditions moderate bodily and external goods of fortune; his virtue is (I) moral virtue, which is acquired by habituation, and is a purposive habit of performing actions in the mean determined by right reason or prudence; requiring him, not to exclude, but to moderate his desires; and (2) intellectual virtue, which is either prudence of practical, or wisdom of speculative intellect; and his happiness is a kind of ascending scale of virtuous activities, in which moral virtue is limited by prudence, and prudence by wisdom; so that the speculative life of wisdom is the happiest and most divine, and the practical life of prudence and moral virtue secondary and human.
To turn from Ethics to Politics, the good of the individual on a small scale becomes on a large scale the good of the citizen and the state, whose end should be no far-off form of good, and no mere guarantee of rights, but the happiness of virtuous action, the life according to virtue, which is the general good of the citizen.
Such is Aristotle's practical philosophy, contained in his matured Nicomachean Ethics, and his unfinished Politics.
Such is Aristotle's productive science or art, contained in his Rhetoric and Poetics, compared with his Ethics and Politics.
He became vicar-general of Orleans in 1861, professor of ethics at the Sorbonne in 1862, and, on the death of Barante, a member of the French Academy in 1867, where he occupied the seat formerly held by Voltaire.
The list of Wundt's works is long and comprehensive, including physiology, psychology, logic and ethics.
We must look for ethics to supply the corner-stone of metaphysics, and psychology is a necessary propaedeutic. The System der Philosophie (1899; 3rd ed., 1907) contained the results of Wundt's work up to that date, both in the domain of science and in the more strictly philosophic field.
In this theory there can strictly be no "causation"; one thing is observed to succeed another, but observations cannot assert that it is "caused" by that thing; it is post hoc, but not propter hoc. The idea of necessary connexion is a purely mental idea, an a priori conception, in which observation of empirical data takes no part; empiricism in ethics likewise does away with the idea of the absolute authority of the moral law as conceived by the intuitionalists.
In the year 1866 he published a little book about girls, and written for girls, a mixture of morals, theology, economics and geology, under the title of Ethics of the Dust; and this was followed by a more important and popular work, The Crown of Wild Olive.
For the philosophic application see Aristotle and Ethics.
Green's Prolegomena to Ethics can see how awkward is the Hegelian transition from " one spiritual principle" to different men's individual freedom of choice between good and evil.
The argument, therefore, for one substance in Spinoza's Ethics, and for one absolute, the Real, which is one substantially, in Bradley's Appearance and Reality, breaks down, so far as it is designed to prove that there is only one substance, or only one Real.
In his teaching he laid stress on ethics; and his most important works, of which only insignificant fragments are preserved, were on this subject.
The philosophical importance of Price is entirely in the region of ethics.
Notices of Price's ethical system occur in Mackintosh's Progress of Ethical Philosophy, Jouffroy's Introduction to Ethics, Whewell's History of Moral Philosophy in England; Bain's Mental and Moral Sciences.
Intellectually in agreement with the Megarian dialectic, he followed the practical ethics of the Cynics both in theory and in practice.
In 1881 he declined an invitation to be the sole preacher to the university and professor of Christian ethics.
He was largely instrumental in the foundation of ecoles normales in provincial towns, and himself gave courses of lectures on psychology and practical ethics in their early days.
Commentaries on books 1 -4, 7 (in part), and 8 of the Nicomachean Ethics are preserved; that on book 8 was printed with those of Eustratius and others by Aldus Manutius at Venice in 1536.
His principal works are, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (1745), which best illustrates his religious genius, and has been widely translated; The Family Expositor (6 vols., 1739-1756), Life of Colonel Gardiner (1747); and a Course of Lectures on Pneumatology, Ethics and Divinity (1763).
For the first of these the reader is referred to the article Ethics, where Theology Hume's views are placed in relation to those of his pre- and ethics.
In Hume's theory of knowledge we have the final expression of what may be called psychological individualism or atomism, while his ethics and doctrine of religion are but the logical consequences of this theory.
In the Bible the philosophical-religious problem is nowhere discussed, but Christian ethics as set forth in the New Testament assumes throughout the freedom of the human will.
For the history of the free-will controversy see the articles, Will, Predestination (for the theological problems), Ethics.
For his ethical theories see Ethics.
The Epicurean philosophy is traditionally divided into the three branches of logic, physics and ethics.
Ethics had been based upon logic and metaphysics.
The Stoics discovered that their "perfect man" was not to be found in the luxurious, often morbid society of the Graeco-Roman world; that something more than dialectic ethics was needed to reawaken a sense of responsibility.
By his Analysis of the Mind and' his Fragment on Mackintosh Mill acquired a position in the history of psychology and ethics.
The Fragment on Mackintosh is a severe exposure of the flimsiness and misrepresentations of Sir James Mackintosh's famous Dissertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy (1830), and discusses the foundations of ethics from the author's utilitarian point of view.
At the same time Christian ethics incorporated much of the current popular philosophy, especially large Stoical elements.
If only those passages had been preserved which had a permanent value for the theology, the ethics, or the jurisprudence of the Moslems, a few fragments would have been amply sufficient.
Ethics alone he considered worthy of study, and in that only general and theoretical questions.
This relation to a "good" must not, however, be construed as a doctrine of ethics in the narrower sense; nor is its "utilitarianism" to be confused with the hedonism of the British associationists.
Melanchthon, however, for whom ethics possessed a special interest, laid more stress on the law.
Yet the shrewd common-sense, the biting humour, the power of graphic description and the imaginative " mysticism " give them a unique attraction for many even who do not fully sympathize with the implied philosophy or with the Puritanical code of ethics.
This practically includes most of the psychology and ethics of Buddhism.
Here are brought together from ten to twenty stanzas on each of twenty-six selected points of Buddhist self-training or ethics.
The above works are our authority for the philosophy and ethics of the earliest Buddhists.
The philosophical basis of the old ethics is overshadowed by new 1 See Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1896, pp. 87-92.
Both of them were intent on forcing the theologians into the daylight, and grudged them any aid they might expect from Kant's postulation of God and immortality to crown the edifice of ethics.
He was an assistant in philosophy at Columbia in 1885-1886, tutor in 1886-1889, adjunct professor of philosophy, ethics and psychology in 1889-1890, becoming full professor in 1890, and dean of the faculty of philosophy in 1890-1902.
It may have been that the sophists' preference of seeming to reality, of success to truth, had a mischievous effect upon the morality of the time; but it is clear that they had no common theory of ethics, and there is no warrant for the assumption that a sophist, as such, specially interested himself in ethical questions.
The course on moral philosophy embraced, besides ethics proper, lectures on political philosophy or the theory of government, and from 1800 onwards a separate course of lectures was delivered on political economy, then almost unknown as a science to the general public. Stewart's enlightened political teaching was sufficient, in the times of reaction succeeding the French Revolution, to draw upon him the undeserved suspicion of disaffection to the constitution.
Stewart's philosophical views are mainly the reproduction of his master Reid (for his ethical views see Ethics).
But in 1890 a great stir was created by the publication, under his editorship, of Lux Mundi, a series of essays by different writers, being an attempt "to succour a distressed faith by endeavouring to bring the Christian Creed into its right relation to the modern growth of knowledge, scientific, historic, critical; and to modern problems of politics and ethics."
While the authority of Augustine received lip-homage, the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church became more Pelagian, and in the Tridentine decrees and still more in the ethics of the Jesuits, in spite of the opposition of Jansenism, Pelagianism at last triumphed.
Confucian ethics are the basis of morality and social order.
The Politicus and Philebus are guaranteed by the use made of them in Aristotle's Ethics.
Despite the fact that their philosophic interests lay rather in ethics and physics, their activity The in what they classified as the third department of specula Stoics.
Robertson, Pioneer Humanists (1907); P. Sakmann, Bernard de Mandeville and die Bienenfabel-Controverse (Freiburg i/Br., 1897), and compare articles Ethics, Shaftesbury, Hobbes.
Here you find articles in the encyclopedia on topics related to ethics.
Herein he identified metaphysics and ethics, combining the good with the truly existent and evil with the non-existent.
In ethics the term is used, like indeterminism, to denote the theory that mental change cannot always be ascribed to previously ascertained psychological states, and that volition is not causally related to the motives involved.
The last writer who, though not a political utilitarian, may be regarded as belonging to the school of Mill is Henry Sidgwick, whose elaborate Methods of Ethics (1874) may be regarded as closing this line of thought.
The most famous of the systematic exponents of evolutional utilitarianism is, of course, Herbert Spencer, in whose Data of Ethics (1819) the facts of morality are viewed in relation with his vast conception of the total process of cosmic evolution.
The best feature of the Data of Ethics is its anti-ascetic vindication of pleasure as man's natural guide to what is physiologically healthy and morally good.
Like Protagoras, he professed to train his pupils for domestic and civic affairs; but it would appear that, while Protagoras's chief instruments of education were rhetoric and style, Prodicus made ethics prominent in his curriculum.
In the sphere of ethics he is similarly regarded as a forerunner of the empirical method.
On the other hand, if those in authority perpetrate in the name of what their society holds sacred, and therefore with its full approval, acts that to the modern mind are cruel, silly or revolting, it is bad science and bad ethics to speak of vice and degradation, unless it can be shown that the community in which these things occur is thereby brought nearer to elimination in the struggle for existence.
Anthropologists have, it is true, taken widely different views of the relation of ethics and religion, and the stage at which an effective alliance between them might be recognized.
Assuming the proper fulfilment of the ritual of death, ethics gradually extends its control over the future.
Eschatology has again and again expressed the alliance between ethics and religion.
The short appendix, in which the attempt is made to present the chief points of the argument in geometrical form, is a forerunner of the Ethics, and was probably written somewhat later than the rest of the book.
The term "Nature" is put more into the foreground in the Treatise, a point which might be urged as evidence of Bruno's influence - the dialogues, moreover, being specially concerned to establish the unity, infinity and selfcontainedness of Nature 2; but the two opposed Cartesian attributes, thought and extension, and the absolutely infinite substance whose attributes they are - substance constituted by infinite attributes - appear here as in the Ethics.
The earlier differs from the later exposition in allowing an objective causal relation between thought and extension, for which there is substituted in the Ethics the idea of a thoroughgoing parallelism.
Although the systematic framework of the thought and the terminology used are both derived from the Cartesian philosophy, the intellectual milieu of the time, the early work enables us, better than the Ethics to realize that the inspiration and starting-point of his thinking is to be found in the religious speculations of his Jewish predecessors.
It was apparently intended by the author as an analytical introduction to the constructive exposition of his system, which he presently essayed in the Ethics.
Spinoza meanwhile concentrated his attention upon the Ethics, and we learn from the correspondence with his Amsterdam friends that a considerable part of book i.
The first years at Voorburg continued to be occupied by the composition of the Ethics, which was probably finished,.
In 1675 we learn from his correspondence that he entertained the idea of publishing the Ethics, and made a journey to Amsterdam to arrange matters with the printer.
Accordingly his ethics also were thoroughly dualistic. By the " works of the Demiurge," which the Christian is to flee, he meant the whole " service of the perishable."
In his ethics, as in his theology, Butler had constantly in view a' certain class of adversaries, consisting partly of the philosophic few, partly of the fashionably educated many, who all participated in one common mode of thinking.
Cudworth and Clarke had tried to place ethics on a nobler footing, but their speculations were too abstract for Butler and not sufficiently "applicable to the several particular relations and circumstances1 of life."
Ultimately, this view of nature, as the sphere of the realization of final causes, rests on a theological basis; but Butler does not introduce prominently into his ethics the specifically theological groundwork, and may be thought willing to ground his principle on experience.
Every one, he seems to think, knows what virtue is, and a philosophy of ethics is complete if it can be shown that such a course of action harmonizes with human nature.
It has received very small consideration at the hands of German historians of ethics.
His De Conscientia, ejus Jure et Casibus (1632), an attempt to bring Christian ethics into clear relation with particular cases of conduct and of conscience, was a new thing in Protestantism.
Nevertheless, in some departments of theory, too, and notably in ethics and jurisprudence, Stoicism has dominated the thought of after ages to a degree not easy to exaggerate.
Reading the Ephesian doctrine with the eyes of a Cynic, and the Cynic ethics in the light of Heracliteanism, he came to formulate his distinctive theory of the universe far in advance of either.
It was left for Cleanthes to discover this motive cause in a conception familiar to Zeno, as to the Cynics before him, but restricted to the region of ethics - the conception of tension or effort.
Herein lies the key to the entire system of the Stoics, as Cleanthes's epoch-making discovery continually received fresh applications to physics, ethics and epistemology.
So absolutely is the " rare and priceless wisdom " for which we strive identical with virtue itself that the three main divisions of philosophy current at the time and accepted by Zeno - logic, physics and ethics - are defined as the most generic or comprehensive virtues.
Accordingly Aristo, holding to Cynicism when Zeno himself had got beyond it, rejected two of these parts of philosophy as useless and out of reach - a divergence which excluded him from the school, but strictly consistent with his view that ethics alone is scientific knowledge.
Of the three divisions logic is the least important; ethics is the outcome of the whole, and historically the all-important vital element; but the foundations of the whole system are best discerned in the science of nature, which deals pre-eminently with the macrocosm and the microcosm, the universe and man, including natural theology and an anthropology or psychology, the latter forming the direct introduction to ethics.
A critical account of it will be found in the article Ethics.
The result of this theory of ethics is of great value as emphasizing the importance of a systematic view of conduct, but it fails to resolve satisfactorily the great Socratic paradox that evil is the result of ignorance.
The special objects of attack were the Stoic theory of knowledge, their theology and their ethics.
He wrote only upon ethics, where historical knowledge would be of use.
But in ethics his innovations were more suggestive and fertile.
Books of direction were written by Sextius in Greek (as afterwards by Seneca in Latin), almost the only Roman who had the ambition to found a sect, though in ethics he mainly followed Stoicism.
In ethics, if there is no novelty of doctrine, there is a surprising change in the mode of its application.
Other peculiarities of the later Stoic ethics are due to the condition of the times.
His philosophy, however, is yet more concentrated upon practice than Seneca's, and in ethics.
With him even the " physical basis " of ethics takes the form of a religious dogma - the providence of God and the perfection of the world.
Founding ethics on the native and cultivable capacity in men to appreciate worth in men and actions, and, like the ancient Greek thinkers whom he followed, associating the apprehension of morality with the apprehension of beauty, he makes morality wholly independent of scriptural enactment, and still more, of theological forecasting of future bliss or agony.
He composed, it is said, nearly 500 treatises on various subjects, including logic, ethics and grammar.
True happiness consists in taking advantage of what one has and being content with it (see Ethics).
In 1832 he returned to Tubingen and became repetent in the university, lecturing on logic, history of philosophy, Plato, and history of ethics, with great success.
Goldenthal (Paris, 1839); a more popular treatise on ethics, the Kimiya us-Sa'ada, published at Lucknow, Bombay and Constantinople, ed.
Beginning with metaphysics and ethics and passing on to mathematics, he turned to chemistry at the end of 17 9 7, and within a few months of reading Nicholson's and Lavoisier's treatises on that science had produced a new theory of light and heat.
In ethics, egoistic doctrines disregard the ultimate problems of selfhood, and assume the self to consist of a man's person and those things in which he is or ought to be directly interested.
A practical theory of ethics seeks to establish a particular moral ideal; if it is an absolute criterion, then the altruist would place first the attainment of that ideal by others, while the egoist would seek it for himself.
As a matter of fact, however, egoism has been no less prominent in intuitional ethics.
Thus Christian ethics may be said to insist equally on duty to self and duty to others, while crudely egoistic systems become unworkable if a man renders himself obnoxious to his fellows.
The same turn for detail is observable in his ethics, where, to judge from the imperfect evidence of the Characters, he elaborated still farther Aristotle's portraiture of the virtues See Gellius, Noct.
In ethics, again, the revolt against absolute standards limits us to the relative, and morals are investigated on the basis of history, as largely conditioned by economic environment and the growth of intellectual freedom.
Whatever the titles of his discourses, "Literary Ethics," "Man the Reformer," "The Present Age," "The Method of Nature," "Representative Men," "The Conduct of Life," their theme was always the same, namely, "the infinitude of the private man."
While the gospel is pre-eminently the divine gift of "wisdom," "wisdom" is not personified, but conceived primarily as a system of humanitarian ethics, i.
Perhaps it may be accounted for by the order of the compend of Christian ethics the writer was following.
Outside of his dialectic, it was in ethics that Abelard showed greatest activity of philosophical thought; laying very particular stress upon the subjective intention as determining, if not the moral character, at least the moral value, of human action.
The Dissertation on the Nature of True Virtue, posthumously published, is justly regarded as one of the most original works on ethics of the 18th century, and is the more remarkable as reproducing, with no essential modification, ideas on the subject written in the author's youth in the notes on the Mind.
Logic, ethics and physics, psychology, theory of knowledge and metaphysics are all fused together by Plato in a semi-religious synthesis.
To this correspond the Platonic confusion of logic and ethics and the attempt to substitute a theory of concepts for a metaphysic of reality.
He became the founder of logic, psychology, ethics and aesthetics as separate sciences; while he prefixed to all such (comparatively) special inquiries the investigation of the ultimate nature of existence as such, or of those first principles which are common to, and presupposed in, every narrower field of knowledge.
Subsidiary to metaphysics, as the central inquiry, stand the sciences of logic and ethics, to which may be added aesthetics, constituting three normative sciences - sciences, that is, which do not, primarily, describe facts, but rather prescribe ends or set forth ideals.
It is evident, however, that if logic deals with conceptions which may be considered constitutive of knowledge as such, and if ethics deals with the harmonious realization of human life, which is the highest known form of existence, both sciences must have a great deal of weight in the settling of the general question of metaphysics.
This is not unnatural, seeing that it is only so far as they bear on the one central question of the nature of existence that philosophy spreads its mantle over psychology, logic or ethics.
Similarly, logic, so far as it is an art of thought or a doctrine of fallacies, and ethics, so far as it is occupied with a natural history of impulses and moral sentiments, do neither of them belong, except by courtesy, to the philosophic province.
Of ethics (q.v.) it may also be said that many of the topics commonly embraced under that title are not strictly philosophical in their nature.
If we exclude such questions in the interest of systematic correctness, and seek to determine for ethics a definite subject-matter, the science may be said to fall into two departments.
The second of these departments is really the proper subject-matter of ethics considered as a separate science; but it is often conspicuous by its absence from ethical treatises.
It is only under the head of casuistry that ethics has been much cultivated as a separate science.
As described above, it ought rather to be called, in Kant's phrase, the metaphysic of ethics.
The connexion of ethics with metaphysics will be patent as a matter of fact, if it be remembered how Plato's philosophy is summed up in the idea of the good, and how Aristotle also employs the essentially ethical notion of end as the ultimate category by which the universe may be explained or reduced to unity.
In Plato and Aristotle ethics and politics are indissolubly connected.
The difficulty already hinted at, which individualistic systems of ethics experience in connecting particular duties with the abstract principle of duty is a proof of the failure of their method.
In his writings, which were numerous, he seems to have covered nearly the whole of the Academic programme; but metaphysics and ethics were the subjects which principally engaged his thoughts.
Valuing philosophy chiefly for its influence upon conduct, Xenocrates bestowed especial attention upon ethics.
Meagre as these statements are, they suffice to show that in ethics, as elsewhere, Xenocrates worked upon Platonic lines.
It rises in the realm of physical speculation, passes over into the territory of ethics and theology, and makes its way through at least three well-defined stages.
In this work Jacob ben Asher codified Rabbinic law on ethics and ritual, and it remained a standard work of reference until it was edited with a commentary by Joseph Qaro, who afterwards simplified the code into the more popular Shulhan Aruch.
Maha-vira treated ethics as corollary and subordinate to his metaphysics, with which he was chiefly concerned."
Danaeus (Daneau), a French Protestant, has the merit of publishing for the first time on Christian Ethics (1577).
He does not contrast the Christian outlook upon ethics with all others, but dwells chiefly upon the supereminence of the Ten Commandments as a summary of duty.
It is singular that Schleiermacher on the whole sums up in the Kurze Darstellung against the separation of Christian Ethics from Dogmatics.
But he grants that much may be said on both sides of that question, and in his own Glaubenslehre he follows ordinary usage and as far as possible banishes Ethics to a Christliche Sittenlehre, a book which has caused him to be regarded by Protestants as the founder of modern Christian Ethics.
There are therefore three parallel studies, on all of which Schleiermacher published - Dogmatic or Glaubenslehre, Christian Ethics, Philosophical Ethics.
Curiously enough, it is from Schleiermacher's philosophical ethics that a threefold division - the Chief Good, Virtues, and Duty or the Law - passed into almost all text-books of Christian Ethics, till recently a rebellion rose against it on the ground of redundancy and overlapping.
Books on Christian Ethics have also found room for a quasi Synoptic doctrine of the Kingdom of God, which Paulinized dogmatic systems were slow to admit.
The Church carried forward from the middle ages a tradition of " Moral Theology " 1 answering to Christian Ethics, alongside of Dogmatics or of all-inclusive Summae.
Apologetic has no separate place with them; but the system of theology (in a sense midway between the dogmatists and the encyclopedists), is allotted between Dogmatics, Christian Ethics and Practical Theology.
His Christian Ethics, though diffuse, is perhaps the finest piece of Protestant theology under that title.
At the Restoration he was deprived of the post of archivist of the empire, which he had held from 1807, but from 1819 to 1830 (when he again became archivist of the kingdom) he held the chair of history and ethics at the College de France, and his courses were among the most famous of that age of public lectures.
They involve an elaborate discussion, not only of Christian evidences, but of the entire subject-matter alike of Ethics and Metaphysics, of Philosophy as a whole, and of the philosophies of individual writers who have dealt in their different ways with the problems of existence and epistemology.
A paper on the " Roman Commonwealth" which belongs to this period, expresses convictions about religious liberty and the relations of religion to the state that were modified and deepened afterwards; objections to the sacerdotal conception of Christianity appear in another article; short work is made of ecclesiastical claims to infallibility in the interpretation of Scripture in a third; a scheme of utilitarian ethics, wider than that of Hobbes, is suggested in a fourth.
Reference should be made either to the individual philosophers themselves or to articles on metaphysics or on ethics.
Kant's theory of freedom is, perhaps, the most characteristic doctrine of his system of ethics.
The word " ethics " is derived from the Gr.
Distinctive Particulars of Christian Morality 821 Development of Opinion in Early Christi C. Modern Ethics - continued Page Association and Evolution 837 Free-will.
Definition And Subject-Matter Of Ethics In its widest sense, the term " ethics " would imply an examination into the general character or habits of mankind, and would even involve a description or history of the habits of men in particular societies living at different periods of time.
Ethics then is usually confined to the particular field of human character and conduct so far as they depend upon or exhibit certain general principles commonly known as moral principles.
Men in general characterize their own conduct and character and that of other men by such general adjectives as good, bad, right and wrong, and it is the meaning and scope of these adjectives, primarily in relation to human conduct, and ultimately in their final and absolute sense, that ethics investigates.
A not uncommon definition of ethics as the " science of conduct " is inexact for various reasons.
And experiments in morality (apart from the inconvenient practical consequences likely to ensue) are useless for purposes of ethics, because the moral consciousness would itself at one and the same time be required to make the experiment and to provide the subject upon which the experiment is performed.
If this be true it follows that one of the chief function of ethics must be criticism of mistaken attempts to find a criterion of morality superior to the pronouncements of the moral consciousness itself.
This may briefly be illustrated by reference to some of the great fundamental controversies of ethics.
When and how fresh controversies in ethics will begin it would be impossible for any one to foretell.
Sometimes the dominance of a particular science or branch of study is the occasion of an attempt to apply to ethics ideas borrowed from Sciences or analogous to the conceptions of that science.
False analogies drawn between ethics and mathematics or between morality and the perception of beauty have wrought much mischief in modern and to some degree even in ancient ethics.
Sometimes, again, whole theories of ethics have been formulated which can be seen in the end to be efforts to subordinate moral conceptions to conceptions belonging properly to institutions or departments of human thought and activity which the moral consciousness has itself originated.
It is clear then that the complexity of the subject-matter of ethics is such that no sharply defined boundary lines can be drawn between it and other branches of inquiry.
If, as has already been said, one of the chief tasks of ethics is to prevent the intrusion into its own sphere of inquiry of ideas borrowed from other and alien sources, then obviously these sources must be investigated.
It is sometimes maintained that the proper method of ethics is the psychological method; ethics, we are told, should examine as its subject-matter moral sentiments wherever found, without raising ultimate questions as to the nature of obligation or moral authority in general.
Nothing therefore is to be gained by confining ethics within limits which must from the nature of the case be arbitrary.
The fragments that remain of the moral treatises of Democritus are sufficient, perhaps, to convince us that the turn of Greek philosophy in the direction of conduct, which was actually due to Socrates, would have taken place without him, though in a less decided manner; but when we compare the Democritean ethics with the post-Socratic system to which it has most affinity, Epicureanism, we find that it exhibits a very rudimentary apprehension of the formal conditions which moral teaching must fulfil before it can lay claim to be treated as scientific.
The truth is that no system of ethics could be constructed until attention had been directed to the vagueness and inconsistency of the common moral opinions of mankind.
Plato, therefore, took this vast stride of thought, and identified the ultimate notions of ethics and ontology.
For though Aristotle's divergence from Plato is very conspicuous when we consider either his general conception of the subject of ethics, or the details of his system of virtues, still his agreement with his master is almost complete as regards the main outline of his theory of human good; the difference between the two practically vanishes when we view them in relation to the later controversy between Stoics and Epicureans.
The deliberate looseness which is thus given to his fundamental doctrine characterizes more or less his whole discussion of ethics.
In the main the appeal to reason has followed the traditional course of such movements in ethics, and has reaffirmed in the light of fuller reflection the moral principles implicit in the ordinary moral consciousness.
Westermarck, Origin and Development of Moral Ideas (1906); George Gore, Scientific Basis of Morality (1899), and New Scientific Basis of Morality (1906), containing an interesting if unconvincing attempt to explain ethics on purely physical principles.
The parts of logic which he treated with most minuteness are modal propositions and modal syllogisms. In commenting on Aristotle's Ethics he dealt in a very independent manner with the question of free will, his conclusions being remarkably similar to those of John Locke.
In philosophy he devoted himself to ethics, and especially to the examination of the ultimate intuitive principles of conduct and the problem of free will.
While he preached every Sunday, he also gradually took up in his lectures in the university almost every branch of theology and philosophy - New Testament exegesis, introduction to and interpretation of the New Testament, ethics (both philosophic and Christian), dogmatic and practical theology, church history, history of philosophy, psychology, dialectics (logic and metaphysics), politics, pedagogy and aesthetics.
The supposition is the basis of all ethics, for without the conviction of the correspondence of thought and reality action would be fruitless and in the end impossible.
Schleiermacher defines ethics as the theory of the nature of the reason, or as the scientific treatment of the effects produced by human reason in the world of nature and man.
The ontological basis of ethics is the unity of the real and the ideal, and the psychological and actual basis of the ethical process is the tendency of reason and nature to unite in the form of the complete organization of the latter by the former.
It was only the first of the three sections of the science of ethics - the doctrine of moral ends - that Schleiermacher handled with approximate completeness; the other two sections were treated very summarily.