The Data of Ethics

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A.L. Burt, 1879 - 334 páginas
"In this volume Herbert Spencer covers the "data" of ethics (Part I), the "inductions" of ethics (Part II), and the ethics of individual life (Part III). He maintains that there is a natural mechanism--an 'innate moral sense'--in human beings by which they come to arrive at certain moral intuitions and from which laws of conduct might be deduced. Spencer adopted a utilitarian standard of ultimate value--the greatest happiness of the greatest number--and the culmination of the evolutionary process would be the maximization of utility. In the perfect society individuals would not only derive pleasure from the exercise of altruism but would aim to avoid inflicting pain on others. This volume was subsequently published (in 1897) as the first part of The principles of ethics: Volume 1." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
 

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Página 164 - Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Página 224 - I must again repeat what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge, that the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct is not the agent's own happiness but that of all concerned. As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator.
Página 220 - That principle is a mere form of words without rational signification, unless one person's happiness, supposed equal in degree (with the proper allowance made for kind), is counted for exactly as much as another's. Those conditions being supplied, Bentham's dictum, "everybody to count for one, nobody for more than one," might be written under the principle of utility as an explanatory commentary.
Página 19 - is a definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous and successive, in correspondence with external coexistences and sequences.
Página 52 - Therefore, before the names of just and unjust can have place, there must be some coercive power to compel men equally to the performance of their covenants, by the terror of some punishment greater than the benefit they expect by the breach of their covenant...
Página 20 - We have also concluded that these last stages in the evolution of conduct are those displayed by the highest type of being, when he is forced, by increase of numbers, to live more and more in presence of his fellows.
Página 26 - Moreover, just as we there saw that evolution becomes the highest possible when the conduct simultaneously achieves the greatest totality of life in self, in offspring, and in fellow men ; so here we see that the conduct called good rises to the conduct conceived as best, when it fulfils all three classes of ends at the same time.
Página 52 - For where no covenant hath preceded, there hath no right been transferred, and every man has right to everything and consequently, no action can be unjust. But when a covenant is made, then to break it is unjust and the definition of injustice is no other than the not performance of covenant. And whatsoever is not unjust is just.
Página 57 - I conceive it to be the business of Moral Science to deduce, from the laws of life and the conditions of existence, what kinds of action necessarily tend to produce happiness, and what kinds to produce unhappiness. Having done this, its deductions are to be recognized as laws of conduct ; and are to be conformed to irrespective of a direct estimation of happiness or misery.
Página 20 - And there has followed the corollary that conduct gains ethical sanction in proportion as the activities, becoming less and less militant and more and more industrial, are such as do not necessitate mutual injury or hindrance, but consist with, and are furthered by, co-operation and mutual aid.