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 it might be argued that there can be no logical combination of elements from Christian ethics, with its divine sanction, and purely intuitional or evolutionary ethical theories, where the sanction is essentially different in quality.
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.
That he discovered many things himself, and communicated the beginnings of many to his successors, some of which he attempted in a more abstract manner and some in a more intuitional or sensible manner (cdo-0 p. 65).
As a matter of fact, however, egoism has been no less prominent in intuitional ethics.
The peculiarity of this work - written, of course, from what is known as the intuitional point of view - is its fivefold division of the springs of action and of their objects, of the primary and universal rights of man (personal security, property, contract, family rights and government), and of the cardinal virtues (benevolence, justice, truth, purity and order).
On the whole, it must be admitted that the doctrine of the intuitional school of the 18th and 19th centuries has been developed with less care and consistency than might have been expected, in its statement of the fundamental axioms or intuitively known premises of moral reasoning.
The whole theory has been persistently controverted by writers of the intuitional school, who (unlike Hartley) have usually thought that this derivation 1 In the before-mentioned dissertation.
But since the reaction, led by Price and Reid, against the manner of philosophizing that had culminated in Hume, free-will has been generally maintained by the intuitional school to be an essential point of ethics; and, in fact, it is naturally connected with the judgment of good and ill desert which these writers give as an essential element in their analysis of the moral consciousness.
We find, however, distinct traces of Kantian influence in Whewell and other writers of the intuitional school, and at a later date it became so strong that its importance on subsequent ethical thought can scarcely be over-estimated.
Here is the essence of that intuitional philosophy, commonly called Transcendentalism.
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.