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moral concepts.

There will then be a discussion of the phenomena to which such concepts are applied—the subjects of moral judgments. The general character of these phenomena will be scrutinised, and an sought to the question why facts of a certain type are matters of moral concern, while other facts are not. Finally, the most important of these phenomena will be cessified, and the moral ideas relating to each class will be seated, and, so far as possible, explained.

da investigation of this kind cannot be confined to ideas and sentiments prevalent in any particular society, or 1 ny particular stage of civilisation. Its subjectmeer is the moral consciousness of mankind at large. I arsyuently involves the survey of an unusually rich ind rared field of research-psychological, ethnograpre, historical, juridical, theological. In the present Suse of our knowledge, when monographs on most of the subjects involved are wanting, such an undertaking is probably too big for any man; at any rate it is much too big for the writer of this book. Nothing like completeness can be aimed at. Hypotheses of varying degrees of probability must only too often be resorted to. Even the certainty of the statements on which conclusions are based, is not always beyond a doubt. But though fully conscious of the many detects of his attempt, the author has nevertheless the remerity to think himself justified in placing it in the public

. It seems to him that ware of the meant objects of human speculation

Les present state of obscurity ; that at ni mogen en rust be thrown upon it by reWILL over a dozen of years; and in it was a XVS Ekrving the various customs in the master vi at even without subjecting sa vinttia in

mand minute treatment as Ministerugical monograph.

intra po its theoretical chardann von einer practical use. Though

I finish our nature, our moral

opinions are in a large measure amenable to reason. Now in every society the traditional notions as to what is good or bad, obligatory or indifferent, are commonly accepted by the majority of people without further reflection. By tracing them to their source it will be found that not a few of these notions have their origin in sentimental likings and antipathies, to which a scrutinising and enlightened judge can attach little importance ; whilst, on the other hand, he must account blameable many an act and omission which public opinion, out of thoughtlessness, treats with indifference. It will, moreover, appear that a moral estimate often survives the cause from which it sprang. And no unprejudiced person can help changing his views if he be persuaded that they have no foundation in existing facts.

3

CHAPTER I

* sver!OVIL ORIGIN OF MORAL JUDGMENTS

l'arte moral concepts are ultimately based on PRC car of indignation or approval, is a fact which a traat te or thinkers have in vain attempted to deny. the gras wéich embody these concepts must originally have been used-indeed they still constantly are so used

Repressions of such emotions with reference to the
*

Detta which evoked them. Men pronounced certain Yad or bad on account of the emotions those his anual in cheir minds, just as they called sunshine

Pind on account of certain sensations which Sin, and as they named a thing pleasant or Michev telt pleasure or pain. But to attriStadionu a thing is never the same as merely to

HSR U22 of a particular sensation or feeling in NA penrives it. Such an attribution must "Mitt Shimmer certain circumstances, makes a

You on the mind. By calling an object * viudd i NVO un asserts that it is apt to produce .:)!. VYAVheat or a feeling of pleasure. Simi

Autor bad, ultimately implies hos IN AN EY is to an emotion of approval or L'Apnounces the judgment. Whilst

sual existence of any specific emotion sisteminin judging or of anybody else,

All in adgment attributes to the Hinn munus an emotion. The moral

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concepts, then, are essentially generalisations of tendencies in certain phenomena to call forth moral emotions.

However, as is frequently the case with general terms, these concepts are mentioned without any distinct idea of their contents. The relation in which many of them stand to the moral emotions is complicated; the use of them is often vague ; and ethical theorisers, instead of subjecting them to a careful analysis, have done their best to increase the confusion by adapting the meaning of the terms to fit their theories. Very commonly, in the definition of the goodness or badness of acts, reference is made, not to their tendencies to evoke emotions of approval or indignation, but to the causes of these tendencies, that is, to those qualities in the acts which call forth moral emotions. Thus, because good acts generally produce pleasure and bad acts pain, goodness and badness have been identified with the tendencies of acts to produce pleasure or pain. The following statement of Sir James Stephen is a clearly expressed instance of this confusion, so common among utilitarians:"Speaking generally, the acts which are called right do promote, or are supposed to promote general happiness, and the acts which are called wrong do diminish, or are supposed to diminish it. I say, therefore

, that this is what the words “right' and 'wrong' mean, just as the words 'up' and 'down' mean that which points from or towards the earth's centre of gravity, though they are used by millions who have not the least notion of the fact that such is their meaning, and though they were used for centuries and millenniums before any one was or even could be aware of it.”. So, too, Bentham maintained that words like “ought,” “right," and "wrong," have no meaning unless interpreted in accordance with the principle of utility ; ? and James Mill was of opinion that “the very morality” of the act lies, not in the sentiments raised in the breast of him who perceives or contemplates it, but in " the consequences of the act, good or evil, and their being

Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fra- ? Bentham, Principles of Morals and ternity, p. 338.

Legislation, p. 4.

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2nd. p. 303.
3 Stuart Mia, Ctiitrianism, p. 959.

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