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Mental and Moral Science: Theory of ethics and ehtical systems


Mental and Moral Science: Theory of ethics and ehtical systems

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    Available in PDF Format | Mental and Moral Science: Theory of ethics and ehtical systems.pdf | Unknown
    Alexander Bain
Excerpt from book: WHAT IS THE PKOOF OF THE STANDARD ? 441 In the Speculative or Theoretical sciences, we prove a doctrine by referring it to some other doctrine or doctrines, until we come at last to some assumption that must be rested in as ultimate or final. We can prove the propositions of Euclid, the law of gravitation, the law of atomic proportions, the law of association: we cannot prove our present sensations, nor can we demonstrate that what has been, will be. The ultimate data must be accepted as self-evident: they have no higher authority tliau that mankind generally are disposed to accept them. In the Practical Sciences, the question is not as to a prin- i ciple of the order of nature, but as to an end of human action. There may be derived Ends, which are susceptible of demonstrative proof: but there must also be ultimate Ends, for which no proof can be offered: they must be received as self-evident, and their sole authority is the person receiving them. In most of the practical sciences, the ends are derived: the end .of Medicine is Health, which is an end subsidiary to the final nd of human happiness. So it is with Navigation, with Politics, with Education, and others. In all of them, we recognize the bearing upon human welfare, or happiness, as a common, comprehensive, and crowning end. On the theory of Utility, Morals is also governed by this highest end. Now, there can be no proof offered for the position that Happiness is the'proper.end of all human pursuit, the criterion of all right conduct. It is an ultimate or final assumption, to be tested by reference to the individual judgment of mankind. It' the assumption, that misery, and not happiness, is the proper end of life, found supporters, no one could reply, for want of a basis of argument—an assumption still more fundam...   show more
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  • PDF | 342 pages
  • Alexander Bain
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 3
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