Work dating ethics

But the primary subject matter of ethics is conduct considered objectively as producing good or bad results to self or others or both.

It was there shown that the conduct which ethics treats of is not separable from conduct at large; that the highest conduct is that which conduces to the greatest length, breadth, and completeness of life; and that, by implication, there is a conduct proper to each species of animal, which is the relatively good conduct–a conduct which stands toward that species as the conduct we morally approve stands toward the human species.

Most people regard the subject matter of ethics as being conduct considered as calling forth approbation or reprobation.

The first reply is that in that chief division of ethics treating of justice, it furnishes aid both as verifying conclusions empirically drawn and as leading to certain unaccepted conclusions of importance.

If it be said that throughout the final divisions of ethics, dealing with beneficence, negative and positive, the conclusions must, as above implied, be chiefly empirical; and that therefore here, at any rate, the doctrine of evolution does not help us; the reply is that it helps us in general ways though not in special ways.

Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. which some years since I despaired of doing, my satisfaction is dashed by the thought that these new parts are less definite in their conclusions than I had hoped to make them.

Complete definiteness was of course not to be expected.Should improved health be maintained, I hope that, before the close of next year, I may issue parts II and III, completing the first volume; and should I be able to continue, I shall then turn my attention to Part V, “The Ethics of Social Life: Negative Beneficence,” and Part VI, “The Ethics of Social Life: Positive Beneficence.” Between this Part IV of with the constructive portion of which it coincides in area, there are considerable differences.One difference is that what there was in my first book of supernaturalistic interpretation has disappeared, and the interpretation has become exclusively naturalistic–that is, evolutionary.A bird which feeds its mate while she is sitting is regarded with a sentiment of approval.For a hen which refuses to sit upon her eggs there is a feeling of aversion; while one which fights in defense of her chickens is admired.In the second volume he covers the ethics of social life (or justice), negative beneficence, positive beneficence, and a number of topics in several appendices (such as Kant’s theory of rights, land ownership, and animal rights).

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