The ethical philosophy of Sidgwick - by Frank Hayward - PDF ebook

The ethical philosophy of (Henry Sidgwick)

Henry Sidgwick
Henry Sidgwick

The ethical theory. " Common sense " is a valuable guide, but it is not always infallible, nor yet is it always even clear and consistent. The student may now turn to the chapters on egoism (book ii.). 
On the break-down of " common sense," men sometimes fly to egoism, for this commends itself as simple and consistent. Sidgwick examines this system on its merits; finds that it involves many practical difficulties, but refuses to deny it a place in ethics. 

The last chapter of this second book is valuable but difficult; in it, Sidgwick shows that evolutionary science has not been able to remove the practical d^fficulties^which surround egoism, and, indeed, hedonism generally. 
In other words, he shows that the boasted attempts of " scientific " writers to come to the rescue of hedonism are not really successful. 
 These two chapters represent Sidgwick's own views, and, together with the concluding chapter of the fourth book, should be studied with great care. The chapters on utilitarianism (book iv., ch. i.-v.) are full of good, but not especially striking, matter.

Having followed some such order as that indicated above, the student may now well begin again at the first chapter and go through the whole work systematically. If at any point he loses the drift of the argument, a reference to the table of contents at the beginning of the volume may afford some help. But superficial reading will never suffice to a grasp of the significance of Sidgwick's highly balanced arguments. 

The book must be studied again and again before its astonishing merits become fully apparent. Unless this is done, the student will inevitably be disappointed and will crave a different kind of diet. The lesson which Sidg- wick has to teach us is the difficult lesson of openness of mind, of freedom from dogmatism: — the lesson referred to by a recent able writer on theological subjects when he says: " Some of the qualities of Grote's work, impartiality, candour, the determination neither to exaggerate nor to undervalue have marked more recent philosophic work at Cambridge ".
The student must go to Sidgwick, not for a mass of facts, but to acquire a spirit, to learn a method, to distinguish sound reasoning from unsound, to know " processes " rather than " results ".

Some characteristics of the Methods of ethics and of Sidgwick's philosophy generally.--Sidgwick's predecessors.--Ethics and evolution.--Sidgwick's treatment of the free-will problem.--The incorrigibility of egoism. The three maxims of philosophical intuitionism critically considered.--Sidgwick and the idealists.--The summum bonum--Sidgwick's critics.--Bibliography

book details :
  • Author: Frank Hayward
  • Publication date: 1901

  • Download The ethical philosophy of Sidgwick  - PDF ebook - 11 MB

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