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If you are over the required word count, you will need to make edits so that you are within the limit. If you are significantly under the word count, consider adding a supporting paragraph. Back InternationalStudent. By Ralph G. Bradley With an introduction by Ralph G. The end is self-realization; as is shown from morality; and from psychological considerations. It means realizing self as a whole; and an infinite whole. Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake 29 Happiness a vague phrase. Common opinion on pleasure. Hedonism irreconcilable with morality. Illusory nature of the Hedonistic end.

My pleasure as the end gives no rule of life. And the pleasure of all is illusory; opposed to morality; and gives no practical guidance; it is dogmati- cally postulated; and irreconcilable with Hedonistic psy- chology. Further modifications of Hedonism. Qualitative distinction of pleasures is, in both its forms, untenable.

Further criticism on Mill's view. This is the universal form. What "ought" means. Principle of noncontradiction. This con- tradicts itself. Duty and duties. Psychological objection. Practical uselessness of noncontradiction.

Collision of duties unavoidable. My Station and Its Duties 98 Present result. Advance to a higher point of view. Individ- ualism criticized. The end is realization as a member of a community. The moral organism seems to be the solution of ethical problems. Satisfactoriness of this view. Relative and absolute morality. Intuitive character of moral judg- ments. Morality not a mere private matter. Criticism of the above view. Oxford, Principles of Logic ; second edition, revised, with Ter- minal Essays. Appearance and Reality ; second edition, with appendix , new edition.

Essays on Truth and Reality. Collected Essays. Works about Bradley Campbell, Charles Arthur. Scepticism and Construction. London, Church, Ralph W. Ithaca, New York, Eliot, Thomas Stearns. Francis Herbert Bradley , re- printed in T. Eliot, Selected Essays. New York, Kagey, Rudolf, F. Bradley s Logic. Metz, Rudolf.

A Hundred Years of British Philosophy. Muirhead, John H. London, , chapters V-IX. Ross, Ralph Gilbert. Taylor, Alfred Edward. Francis Herbert Bradley, Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. XI, , pp. Eliot in , "that a book so famous and influential should remain out of print so long as Bradley's Ethical Studies.

A second edition, with the notes, was published in , fifty-one years after the book's appearance.


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Reading Bradley is always a pleasant experience, although it is sometimes mixed with exasperation. Indubitably, Bradley deserves his place in that long line of British philosophers who are masters of English prose — a line that includes Bacon, Hobbes, Berkeley, and Hume. Although he often lacks the clarity of his predecessors, Bradley has his own qualities: precision and inten- sity, wit that is sometimes caustic, an alteration of assurance and diffidence, and above all, a singular honesty that often startles the reader by admission of error. As with all good writers, Bradley's style brings one into the presence of the man, in his case a man always exciting, sometimes paradoxical, with a deep sense of his mission as a philosopher.

Yet this man, who does not hide himself behind an impersonal mask of prose, whose style is that extension of personality that all work should be, was a recluse for most of his life, seldom seen by his colleagues, with no students, and perhaps no intimates. It was natural enough that Bradley should seek an academic career. An older half-brother, G. A younger brother, A. Bradley, became a distinguished literary critic and foremost Shakespearian scholar. Bradley born January 30, early showed promise of scholarship and philosophic ability but failure to take a First Class in "Greats" vii viii Ethical Studies at Oxford, and a subsequent failure to obtain a Fellowship upset him deeply and gave him much concern for his future.

In , however, Merton College, Oxford, elected him to a Fellowship with life tenure, but with the traditional stipulation that it was terminable by marriage. A description of Bradley at about this time by his sister carries conviction, even allowing for her strong prejudice in his favor. His outward appearance was striking; he was tall and upright in carriage; well and muscularly made, singularly handsome, with large gray-blue eyes under dark eyebrows and lashes, a well-modelled fore- head, mouth, and chin; his head set well on his shoulders. It certainly was an arresting face.

Athletic as a youth, Bradley's physical activities had been somewhat curtailed, shortly before he came to study at Oxford, by a severe attack of typhoid fever which was followed by pneumonia. But it was not until about a year after he became a Fellow of Merton that his whole mode of life was changed by a "violent inflammation of the kidneys" never precisely diagnosed which turned him into a Ufelong invalid. We can only speculate on the changes in Bradley made by ill-health: in later years, some regarded him as sensitive and kindly; others as splenetic.

From on, although he attended college functions and concerned himself with the business and administrative affairs of Merton — junior colleagues sometimes being terrified by the mordant wit of the man rumored to be "the best mind in England" — he remained for the most part in his rooms, never teaching, seldom having guests, often leaving Oxford to avoid the cold. Indeed, his constant fear of cold and draughts raises psychological questions about Bradley which could only be answered if we had considerably more information.

In any event, he was the type of invalid whose constant self-care helped him outlive his contemporaries. He died of blood-poisoning on September 18, , in his 79th year, after a short illness. As a Fellow of Merton for fifty-four years, Bradley's life story is chiefly the intellectual life recorded in his writing. Each of his books made a great stir. Bosanquet called the publication Introduction ix of Ethical Studies "an epoch-making event. Although writers like Coleridge and Carlyle were very much influenced by German thought, it still remained for a later group to master the technical equipment of the Germans and to apply it systematically.

The attack that these men mounted against English empiricism and Scottish intuitionism was successful in that the rebels created a new orthodoxy and then had to fight a rear-guard action against the realists and pragmatists of another generation. What Eliot said of Bradley might be repeated by their admirers about the whole group: "He replaced a philosophy which was crude and raw and provincial by one which was, in comparison, catholic, civilized, and universal. The political implication is clear, since a labor government was in power.

X Ethical Studies In theory of knowledge and metaphysics, Bradley and most of the British Idealists emphasized both the creative powers of mind and the organic character of the universe, and they returned religion to eminence among "advanced" thinkers McTaggart is a notable exception. By insisting that error and evil are results of viewing the world in its parts, but that the Whole is true and good, they became apologists for a kind of Christian theology, stated in new terms and demanding reason, not faith, for proof.

In ethics and politics they were by and large supporters of conservatism with some exceptions, like T. To understand this, it is important to distinguish two historical traditions: that of nature, for the most part liberal; and that of society, chiefly conservative. Although these traditions can be found in ancient thought, it is the modern world, in which the lines have been drawn somewhat differently, with which we will concern ourselves. One can pose Locke and Hegel as representa- tives of almost antithetical positions — traditional empiricism and idealism respectively.

Full text of "Ethical studies; selected essays.: With an introd. By Ralph G. Ross. -"

To regard man as a creature of nature, or of God, capable of probable knowledge of the world, assured of natural law and natural right, is basic to English empiricism. It leaves its mark on documents like the Declaration of Inde- pendence and the Rights of Man. Society, it follows, should not violate natural rights, which are universal; institutions like the state are means for living well, and if they do not serve their purposes they should be altered or abolished. The indi- vidual act of thought attains tremendous importance. By thinking, men can discover whether or not their institutions are worthy, and how, if necessary, to change them.

The general temper of this Lockean attitude is not changed by the utilitarian attack on natural law. Instead of a state of nature and natural rights, the utilitarians depend on other "uni- versal truths" about human psychology and the rational calculation of advantage. For earlier empiricists, individual liberty is a natural, or God-given, right; for John Stuart Mill it is a supremely useful social device, necessary for good government.

We cannot, according to Mill, govern well without truth, and truth is a product of that human inquiry from which no one Introduction xi should be barred, for he may be right. Truth is not certain, and the great advantage of scientific procedures is that they can correct error; so no matter what our social decisions, people must be free to criticize, for we may be wrong. There is, of course, a variation on this school of nature which has a very different sound. If metaphysics, or the authority of a church, can yield absolute knowledge, then society should be reshaped in accordance with the truth, and no one should be allowed to question it.

Why should error be allowed when truth is known? The reaction against the belief in natural man gave us a belief in social man and historical man. If man as we know him is essentially natural, not social, he has not changed through history; only the institutional forms of his society have changed.

But if man is essentially social, he has changed along with changes in institutions. For the school of society, man is to be understood in terms of his history, his traditions, his institutions. These contain a kind of collective wisdom, for they embody the ways in which the race has solved its problems. The individual act of thought, and to some extent the individual himself, loses importance; for the act of thought is conditioned by society and, insofar as its conclusion differs from the conventional, the ac- cepted, it is opposing the history and the wisdom of the race.

Hume, as a Tory in politics, had intimated portions of this argument, and had paved the way for Burke. But as an empir- icist, Hume had developed other theories which were used by the philosophical radicals. It was Burke, and to some extent Carlyle, who developed the conservative implications of social man in England. The Germans, especially Hegel and in his own way, Marx developed the full doctrine of "historicism. They exhibit an under- lying idea which can be discovered by examining them in their interrelations; and they are the necessary product of what preceded them.

Equally, man's philosophies, his moral obligations, his artistic creations, are relative to, and integrated with, a given society and a given time. Is it not itself a product of a culture and an age, to be succeeded by another philosophy, equally true for its time? No, it can be answered, for it is a philosophy which explains philosophies, a sort of meta-philosophy. Its truth, then, is not relative, like the truth of other philosophies; it is absolute, and must not be superseded.

This paradox and its resolution create further doctrine. Throughout history, there is a progression toward greater and still greater self-consciousness, an accretion of wisdom, until the process itself is finally understood. In the course of this process, society moves toward absolute truth, in its outlines at least, about the universe, society, and man. This assurance of truth in general, which does not always extend to truth in detail, is far from uncommon. People who are unsure of the laws of physics, the name of England's ruling house, and the size of the population of New York, are often sure of the nature and destiny of man, his purposes on earth, and the nature of his moral obligations.

Bradley, who was honestly doubtful of many of his own conclusions, and who rejected much of the Hegelian pattern, could yet write about his doctrine of the Absolute : Outside our main result there is nothing except the wholly unmean- ing, or else something which on scrutiny is seen really not to fall outside. Thus the supposed Other will, in short, turn out to be actually the same; or it will contain elements included within our view of the Absolute, but elements dislocated and so distorted into erroneous appearance. And the dislocation itself will find a place within the limits of our system.

The approval which won Bradley the Order of Merit can perhaps be better understood in terms of this background: The British Idealists were justifying the established social order; they were sanctifying tradition by making it reasonable; in a way they were justifying all traditions by making them right for their time and place, and then adding a fillip to their self- righteousness by making theirs the best, because it was the latest.

Introduction xiii Hegel had done the same thing for Prussia; Marx did it for those rebels who allied themselves with the society to come; Bradley did it, less explicitly, for England. The absolute idealists, believing in the organic nature of the universe and in man as a part of the total organism, could not, however, rest entirely on society as a criterion of morals. They developed a twofold criterion based on the dual nature of man: as social and as ideal. This was an attempt to deal with man as a natural being by redefining nature so as to make it ideal, or spiritual, or experiential, and in consequence to redefine man.

But the opposition between man as social and man as ideal created a new problem to be resolved dialectically on a higher level. In ethics, the problem was posed thus: man should fulfill his obligations as a member of society; he should also live up to his ideal nature; how, then, should he behave so as to reconcile the two? Naturalism has made us familiar with the belief that man is continuous with nature, not a perceptive and purposive creature set off from a blind and mechanical matter.

Bradley's attitude toward man and his relations to the world is more romantic than naturalistic. Truth is a mode of the self-realization of myself and of the Universe in one. It is as if the universe as a total structure actually strove to realize itself in the conscious- ness of man. That consciousness is a perspective on a common world, but it is not a perspective that can be shared directly with others; what sharing there is results from communication. The self is not to be identified with a perspective, or an individual consciousness. The self may not be distinguished, in any partic- jdv Ethical Studies ular experience, from the object of that experience as in the instance of listening to music ; on the other hand the self may become its own object of thought.

We can now understand more clearly the pioblem of the dual nature of man. Society is not the sole criterion of morality, because man is not only a sbcial being; he is a part of the universe as well. His obligations would be inadequately met by the performance of social duty; he has also to live up to the conditions imposed on him as a being through whom universal truth and reality strive to be realized. Ill The publication of Ethical Studies was a setback to the influence of the Utilitarians. It wps the first full-scale work in ethics of the British Idealists and it pointed a direction which, for the most part, they took.

The book contains a vigorous polemic, with all of Bradley's dialectical virtuosity in play, against both the Utilitarians and the Kantians. The Utilitarians, Bradley argued, did not understand the necessarily universal character of morals; and the Kantians understood the universal but provided it with no content. The categorical imperative urged a duty which it never defined, but it was a universal duty and Bradley tried to make it concrete.

The general principle that Bradley urged as a moral guide was self-realization. This involves the problem of the nature of the self and, as we have seen, that is twofold. One of its aspects, the nature of man as social, is the basis for criticism of the school of nature in philosophy. In the chapter, "My Station and its Duties," Bradley presents the heart of his arguments. His position is more extreme than Rousseau's. Rousseau had regarded man's humanness as being a result of society; Bradley made society necessary for man's reality.

The mere individual is a delusion of theory; and the attempt to realize it in practice is tjie starvation and mutilation of human nature, with total sterility or the production of monstrosities. Introduction rv Each individual man has a station in society; he is not merely an anonymous member of it. Every station is individual. It is not merely that a man is a lawyer; he is this lawyer, with these clients, and a particular set of cases that he has tried. Every citizen, or subject, will have certain moral obligations just insofar as he is a citizen or subject; he will have other obligations insofar as he is a farmer, husband, father, and so on; he will have still other obUgations insofar as he is himself, a specific and identifiable part of the larger network of social relations, uniquely determined by the totality of his own relations.

This leads to a position at once stoical and conservative. Every station in life has obligations which should be fulfilled.

In general, fulfilling them, doing one's work in the world is good. It is shallow to raise questions about whether there should be such a station as some man occupies or whether its obligations are worthy of being fulfilled. The existence of the station Is the product of a social history that embodies human wisdom.

It is arrogant and pretentious to think that I, who result from that history and am formed by the institutions in which I was educated, can question their essential soundness. Bradley says: ". It teaches us that a man who does his work in the world is good, not with- standing his faults, if his faults do not prevent him from fulfilling his station. It tells us that the heart is an idle abstraction ; Ave are not to think of it, nor must we look at our insides, but at our work and our life, and say to ourselves, Am I fulfilling my appointed function or not?

Fulfill it we can, if we will: what we have to do is not so much better than the world that we cannot do it; the world is there waiting for it; my duties are my rights. To state the categorical imperative without qualification is for Bradley only to insist that we should fulfill undefined duties.

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What is to happen when a man has several duties and these conflict? Even in a particular case, what is the xvi Ethical Studies precise extent of our behavior in following our duty? Bradley conceives an "ordinary man" as thinking: One should give to the poor — in what cases and how much? Should sacrifice oneself — in what way and within what limits? Should not indulge one's appetite — except when it is right.

Should not idle away one's time — except when one takes one's pleasure. Nor neglect one's work — but for some good reason. All these points we admit are in one way matter of law; but if you think to decide in particular cases by applying some "categorical imperative" you must be a pedant, if not a fool. In giving Kant's universal a particular content, Bradley has come perilously near to an identification of what is with what ought to be, so that, as with Hegel or Marx, it is almost impossible to avoid the conclusion that what is, is right. Bradley did not even have the philosophical justification of an elaborate philosophy of history which, like Hegel's or Marx's or for that matter St.

Augustine's , makes the good an inevitable outcome of historical development. He was not committed to the doctrine that what exists is necessary and what is necessary is right. His conserva- tism is more like Burke's: a belief in the wisdom of existing institutions and social relationships. But, with Hegel, Bradley believed in the organic character of society as well as the organic character of the world. The second aspect of man's nature is what saves him from a necessary acceptance of all that is conventional.

Selected Essays

As a part of the organic universe, man has other duties than those to society. Not only does the universe try to realize itself in man as truth and reality, but also as goodness. This goodness consists, at least in part, in trying to attain truth and reality and beauty. In a way, these obligations are based on our social nature, for we would not be real, or capable of understanding, except that we are social. But they transcend the social; just as social duties may be inconsistent with each other, so these universal obligations may be inconsistent with social obligations.

We may regard this inconsistency as placing the whole matter on the level of Appear- ance in Bradley's later terminology and so driving us to Introduction xvii something still farther off in order to effect a reconciliation. What we are driven to, Bradley says, is religion. In religion, man's actual social self and his ideal universal self are somehow reconciled in the acceptance of God, and in the way in which we are at one and the same time set apart from God and yet united with Him. In later years, when Bradley had elaborated a complete meta- physical system, religion, too, seemed insufficient and even God was subordinated to the Absolute.

But this is just a higher dialectical stage; the principles of the solution are the same. In practical terms, however, the problem of conflicting duties is not resolved however much it seems, verbally, to disappear. A man must act, and any attempt to reconcile the opposition between his duties as a social being and his duties as an ideal, or a natural being, by the invocation of religion only raises another problem: should one fulfill his religious duties even where they conflict with other duties?

Bradley's emphasis on the social nature of man was a badly needed antidote to the extreme individualism of the empiricist tradition.

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Carried too far, the antidote is worse than the disease for it denies the individuality of man and leads to his total subordination to the State. Bradley was too honest to deny all other aspects of man's nature but the social one; he was too well aware of the power of the individual mind for any such folly.

But Bradley's solution of man's dualism is not sufficient to permit criticism of the conventionally moral and of human institu- tions. The problem remains of doing justice to the natural and genetic aspects of man, on the one hand, and his social aspect, on the other. Then the philosopher, on the basis of an adequate social theory, must formulate criteria m terms of which we can make particular judgments of value, so that we can adjust society to changing conditions, preserving what is valuable and eliminating what is not valuable.

Then empiricism and naturalism returned, in a more sophisticated version, and became, at the least, an equally accepted alternative. A good deal of the new sophistication of the empiricists was a result of idealist criticism. Mind was no longer regarded as passive, or initially "blank," nor were social influences on mind and behavior neglected. But reading Bradley today is not to be justified only by his historical importance, or the qualities of his prose, though they are excellent justifications. Bradley carried a specific set of beliefs about as far as they could go; he thought through the problems he set himself, with stubbornness and honesty.

If we find some of his arguments to be purely verbal, even when he regards them as something more, we cannot thereby impugn his integrity. If we find his dialectic sometimes confusing or equivocal, we cannot therefore deprecate his brilliance. Our assumptions and our criteria may be different, and we can refuse to accept his conclusions. But we should be willing to learn from him and to formulate his best insights in our own terms. It is easy to be misled by the articulateness of contemporary naturalists into the belief that their doctrines are more widely understood and accepted than they actually are.

Bradley's pre- suppositions are still current, even when they are called by a variety of names, and one can find them in political theories, in the writings of some gestalt psychologists, in the social philo- sophizing of some anthropologists, in educational philosophy, institutional theory, and so on. The basic difference between Bradley and most of those who share his assumptions is that Bradley carried the argument through. If we are prepared to follow him, to see where'the beliefs lead when they are treated with great intelligence and care, we can understand better the full implications of much contemporary thinking.

It is essentially on the following Essays that Bradley's reputation as an original moralist must rest. The Essays have been reprinted in their entirety, including his Notes and footnotes. Spelling and punctuation have been revised to conform to current American usage. Since the author makes repeated references to several of the Essays which are not included in this edition, we here for the convenience of the reader give the table of contents of the complete edition. It appears to be one we ought to ask, and yet we feel, when we ask it, that we are wholly removed from the moral point of view.

To ask the question Why? She teaches us that what is good must be good for something, and that what is good for nothing is not good at all. And so we take it as certain that there is an end on one side, means on the other; and that only if the end is good, and the means conduce to it, have we a right to say the means are good. It is rational, then, always to inquire. Why should I do it? But here the question seems strange. For morality and she too is reason teaches us that, if we look on her only as good for something else, we never in that case have seen her at all.

She says that she is an end to be desired for her own sake, and not as a means to something beyond. Degrade her, and she disappears; and to keep her, we must love and not merely use her. And so at the question Why? Both virtue and the asking Why? The moral world, or world of morality, is opposed to the natural world, where morality cannot exist. It stands for the inner relation of this or that will to the universal, not to the whole, outer and inner, realization of morality.

Why should I? Could anything be more modest? Could anything be less assuming? It is not a dogma; it is only a question. And yet a question may contain perhaps must contain an assumption more or less hidden; or, in other words, a dogma. Let us see what is assumed in the asking of our question. In "Why should I be moral? For Avhat is it good? The dogma at the root of the question is hence clearly either: 1 the general statement that only means are good; or 2 the particular assertion of this in the case of virtue. To explain: the question For what?

It holds everywhere, or we mean it to hold only here. Let us suppose, in the first place, that it is meant to hold everywhere. Such is the general canon by which virtue would have to be measured. No one perhaps would explicitly put forward such a canon, and yet it may not be waste of time to examine it. The good is a means: a means is a means to something else, and this is an end. Is the end good? No, if we hold to our general canon, it is not good as an end; the good was always good for something else, and was a means.

To be good, the end must be a means, and so on forever in a process which has no limit. If we ask now What is good? Everything is relative to something else. And the essence of the good is to exist by virtue of something else and something else forever. Everything 15 something else, is the result which at last we are brought to, if we insist on pressing our canon as universally applicable. The good for them was not an infinite process of idle distinction. Their interest is practical, and they do and must understand by the good which they call a means some means to an end in itself; which latter they assume and unconsciously fix in whatever is agreeable to themselves.

If we said to them, for example : "Virtue is a means, and so is everything besides, and a means to every- thing else besides. Virtue is a means to pleasure, pain, health, disease, wealth, poverty, and is a good, because a means; and so also with pain, poverty, etc. They are all good, because all are means. Is this what you mean by the question Why?

And they would answer No because some- thing has been taken as an end, and therefore good, and has been assumed dogmatically. The universal application of the question For what? The question does not hold good every- where, and we must now consider, secondly, its particular applica- tion to virtue.


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Is virtue good? And it is the dogmatic character of the question that we wished to point out. Your reply must be that you take it to be so and are prepared to argue on the thesis that something not virtue is the end in itself. And so are we; and we shall try to show that this is erroneous. But even if we fail in that, we have, I hope, made it clear that the question Why should I be moral?

It is quite true that to ask Why should I be moral? But it is a mistake to suppose that the general asking of Why? If any theory could stand upon the What for? But we have seen that all doctrines alike must reject the What for? And if so, is it not foolish to suppose that its giving a reason for virtue is any argument in favor of Hedonism, when for its own end it can give no reason at all? Is it not clear that, if you have any Ethics, you must have an end which is above the Why? And the asking that question, as reason and history both tell us, is not in itself the presupposing of a Hedonistic answer, or any other answer.

The claim of pleasure to be the end, we are to discuss in another paper. But what is clear at first sight is that to take virtue as mere means to an ulterior end is in direct antagonism to the voice of the moral consciousness. That consciousness, when unwarped by selfishness and not blinded by sophistry, is convinced that to ask for the Why? Stephen, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity 2nd ed. Why Should I Be Moral? You think otherwise by virtue of a psychological illusion. We may, how- ever, remark in passing, that this view confuses the motive, which is an object before the mind, with the psychical stimulus, which is not an object before the mind and therefore is not a motive nor a Why?

This may be called the "do it or be d d" theory of morals, and is advocated or timidly suggested by writers nowadays, not so much it seems probable because in most cases they have a strong, or even a weak, belief in it, but because it stops holes in theories which they feel, without some help of the kind, will not hold water. We are not concerned with this opinion as a theological doctrine, and will merely remark that, as such, it appears to us to contain the essence of irreligion; but with respect to morals, we say that, let it be never so true, it contributes nothing to moral philosophy, unless that has to do with the means whereby we are simply to get pleasure or avoid pain.

The theory not only confuses morality and religion, but reduces them both to deliberate selfishness. Fear of crimi- nal proceedings in the other world does not tell us what is morally right in this world. It merely gives a selfish motive for obedience to those who believe, and leaves those who do not believe, in all cases with less motive, in some cases with none. I cannot forbear remarking that, so far as my experience goes, where future punishments are firmly believed in, the fear of them has, in most cases, but little influence on the mind.

And the facts do not allow us to consider the fear of punishment in this world as the main motive to morality. In most cases there is, properly speaking, no ulterior motive. A man is moral because he likes being moral; and he likes it, partly because he has been brought up to the habit of liking it, and partly because he finds it gives him what he wants, while its opposite does not do so.

He is not as a rule kept "straight" by the contemplation of evils to be inflicted on him from the outside; and the shame he feels at the bad opinion of others is not a mere external evil, and is not feared simply as such. In short, a man is a human being, something larger than the abstrac- tion of an actual or possible criminal. Here we shall do well, I think, to avoid all praises of the pleasantness of virtue. We may believe that it transcends all possible delights of vice, but it would be well to remember that we desert a moral point of view, that we degrade and prostitute virtue, when to those who do not love her for herself we bring ourselves to recommend her for the sake of her pleasures.

Is it not disadvan- tageous to be so? We can ask, is your view consistent?

See a Problem?

Does it satisfy you and give you what you want? And if you are satisfied, and so far as you are satisfied, do see whether it is not because, and so far as, you are false to your theory; so far as you are living not directly with a view to the pleasant, but with a view to something else, or with no view at all, but, as you would call it, without any "reason.

And more than this I think we ought not to say. What more are we to say? If a man asserts total skepticism, you cannot argue with him. You can show that he contradicts himself; but if he says, "I do not care" — there is an end of it. So, too, if a man says, "I shall do what I like because I happen to like it; and as for ends, I recognize none" — you may indeed show him that his conduct is in fact otherwise; and if he will assert anything as an end, if he will but say, "I have no end but myself," then you may argue with him and try to prove that he is making a mistake as to the nature of the end he alleges.

We who have the power believe that what is rational if it is not yet at least is to be real, and decline to recognize anything else. For standing on reason we can give, of course, no further reason; but we push our reason against what seems to oppose it, and soon force all to see that moral obligations do not vanish where they cease to be felt or are denied. Has the question, Why should I be moral?

No, the question has no sense at all; it is simply unmeaning unless it is equivalent to. Is morality an end in itself; and if so, how and in what way is it an end? Is morality the same as the end for man, so that the two are convertible; or is morality one side or aspect or element of some end which is larger than itself? Is it the whole end from all points of view or is it one view of the whole? Is the artist moral, so far as he is a good artist, or the philosopher moral, so far as he is a good philosopher?

Are their art or science and their virtue one thing from one and the same point of view or two different things, or one thing from two points of view? These are not easy questions to answer, and we cannot discuss them yet. We have taken the reader now so far as he need go, before proceeding to the following essays. What remains is to point out the most general expression for the end in itself, the ultimate practical "why"; and that we find in the word self- realization. But what follows is an anticipation of the sequel, which we cannot promise to make intelligible as yet; and the reader who finds difficulties had better go on at once to Essay III ["Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake"].

How can it be proved that self-realization is the end? There is only one way to do that. This is to know what we mean when we say "self" and "real" and "realize" and "end"; and to know that is to have something like a system of metaphysic, and to say it would be to exhibit that system. Instead of remarking then that we lack space to develop our views, let us frankly confess that, properly speaking, we have no such views to develop, and therefore we cannot prove our thesis.

All that we can do is partially to explain it, and try to render it plausible. It is a 10 Ethical Studies formula which our succeeding Essays will in some way fill up, and which here we shall attempt to recommend to the reader beforehand. An objection will occur at once. Let us first go to the moral consciousness and see what that tells us about its end. Morality implies an end in itself — we take that for granted. Something is to be done, a good is to be realized.

But that result is, by itself, not morality; morality differs from art in that it cannot make the act a mere means to the result. Yet there is a means. Morality implies both the something to be done and the doing of it by me; and if you consider them as end and means, you cannot separate the end and the means. If you chose to change the position of end and means and say my doing is the end and the "to be done" is the means, you would not violate the moral con- sciousness; for the truth is that means and end are not applicable here.

The act for me means my act, and there is no end beyond the act. This we see in the belief that failure may be equivalent morally to success — in the saying that there is nothing good except a good will. In short, for morality the end implies the act, and the act implies self-realization. This, if it were doubtful, would be shown we may remark in passing by the feeling of pleasure which attends the putting forth of the act.

For if pleasure be the feeling of self and accompany the act, this indicates that the putting forth of the act is also the putting forth of the self. But we must not lay too much stress on the moral conscious- ness, for we shall be reminded, perhaps, that not only can it be, but, like the miser's consciousness, it frequently has been ex- plained; and that both states of mind are illusions generated on one and the same principle.

This, we think, will be readily admitted by our main psycho- logical party. What we wish to avoid is that it should be admitted in a form which makes it unmeaning; and of this there is perhaps some danger. We do not want the reader to say, "Oh yes, of course, relativity of knowledge — everything is a state of consciousness," and so dismiss the question. If the reader believes that a steam engine, after it is made, is nothing but a state of the mind of the person or persons who have made it, or who are looking at it, we do not hold what we feel tempted to call such a silly doctrine; and would point out to those who do hold it that, at all events, the engine is a very different state of mind after it is made to what it was before.

He will tell you that "all" or "all we know and can know" — there is no practical diflFerence between that and "all" is relative to consciousness — not giving you to under- stand that he means thereby any consciotisness beside his own, and ready, I should imagine, with his grin at the notion of a mind which is anything more than the mind of this or that man; and then, it may be a few pages further on or further back, will talk to you of the state of the earth before man existed on it.

But we wish to know what in the world it all means, and would suggest, as a method of clearing the matter, the two questions — 1 Is my consciousness something that goes and is beyond myself; and if so, in what sense? What do I mean by that, and how do I reconcile my assertion of it with my answer to question 1? All my ends are my thoughts, but all my thoughts are not my ends; and if what we meant by self-realization was that I have in my head the idea of any future external event, then I should realize myself practically when I see that the engine is going to run off the line, and it does so.

A desired object as desired is a thought, and my thought, but it is something more and that something more is, in short, that it is desired by me. And we ought by right, before we go further, to exhibit a theory of desire; but, if we could do that, we could not stop to do it. However, we say with confidence that, in desire, what is desired must in all cases be self. If we could accept the theory that the end or motive is always the idea of a pleasure or pain of our own, which is associated with the object presented, and which is that in the object which moves us, and the only thing which does move us, then from such a view it would follow at once that all we can aim at is a state of ourselves.

We cannot, however, accept the theory, since we believe it both to ignore and to be contrary to facts see Essay VII ; but, though we do not admit that the motive is always, or in most cases, the idea of a state of our feeling self, yet we think it is clear that nothing moves unless it be desired and that what is desired is ourself. For all objects or ends have been associated with our satisfaction, or more correctly have been felt in and as our- selves, or we have felt ourselves therein; and the only reason why they move us now is that when they are presented to our minds as motives we do now feel ourselves asserted or affirmed in them.

The essence of desire for an object would thus be the feeling of our affirmation in the idea of something not ourself, felt against the feeling of ourself as, without the object, void and negated; and it is the tension of this relation which produces motion. If so, then nothing is desired except that which is identified with ourselves, and we can aim at nothing except so far as we aim at ourselves in it.

Let us take this for granted then; but is this what we mean by self-realization? Is the conclusion that, in trying to realize, we try to realize some state of ourself, all that we are driving at? No, the self we try to realize is for us a whole, it is not a mere collection of states. See more in Essay III. If we may presuppose in the reader a belief in the doctrine that what is wanted is a state of self, we wish, standing upon that, to urge further that the whole self is present in its states, and that therefore the whole self is the object aimed at; and this is what we mean by self-realization.

If a state of self is what is desired, can you, we wish to ask, have states of self which are states of nothing compare Essay I ; can you possibly succeed in regard- ing the self as a collection or stream or train or series or aggregate? If you cannot think of it as a mere one, can you on the other hand think of it as a mere many, as mere ones; or are you not driven, whether you wish it or not, to regard it as a one in many, or a many in one? Are we not forced to look on the self as a whole which is not merely the sum of its parts, nor yet some other particular beside them?

And must we not say that to realize self is always to realize a whole, and that the question in morals is to find the true whole, realizing which will practically realize the true self? This is the question which to the end of this volume we shall find ourselves engaged on. For the present, turning our attention away from it in this form, and contenting ourselves with the prop- osition that to realize is to realize self, let us now, apart from questions of psychology or metaphysics, see what ends they are, in fact, which living men do propose to themselves and whether these do not take the form of a whole.

Upon this point there is no need, I think, to dwell at any 14 Ethical Studies length; for it seems clear that if we ask ourselves what it is we should most wish for, we find some general wish which would include and imply our particular wishes. And if we turn to life we see that no man has disconnected particular ends; he looks beyond the moment, beyond this or that circumstance or position ; his ends are subordinated to wider ends; each situation is seen consciously or unconsciously as part of a broader situation, and in this or that act he is aiming at and realizing some larger whole which is not real in any particular act as such, and yet is realized in the body of acts which carry it out.

We need not stop here because the existence of larger ends, which embrace smaller ends, cannot be doubted; and so far we may say that the self we realize is identified with wholes, or that the ideas of the states of self we realize are associated with ideas that stand for wholes.

But is it also true that these larger wholes are included in one whole? I think that it is. I am not forgetting that we act, as a rule, not from principle or with the principle before us, and I wish the reader not to forget that the principle may be there and may be our basis or our goal, without our knowing anything about it. And here, of course, I am not saying that it has occurred to every one to ask himself whether he aims at a whole, and what that is; because considerable reflection is required for this, and the amount need not have been reached.

Nor again am I saying that every man's actions are consistent, that he does not wander from his end, and that he has not particular ends which will not come under his main end. Nor further do I assert that the life of every man does form a whole; that in some men there are not coordinated ends which are incompatible and incapable of sub- ordination into a system.

It has been said that "every man has a different notion of happiness," but this is scarcely correct unless mere detail be referred to. Certainly, ' The unhappiness of such lives in general, however, points to the fact that the real end is a whole. Dissatisfaction rises from the knowing or feeling that the self is not realized, and not realized because not realized as a system. Most men have a life which they live and with which they are tolerably satisfied, and that life, when examined, is seen to be fairly systematic; it is seen to be a sphere including spheres, the lower spheres subordinating to themselves and qualifying particular actions, and themselves subordinated to and qualified by the whole.

And most men have more or less of an ideal of life — a notion of perfect happi- ness which is never quite attained in real life; and if you take not of course any one, but the normal decent and serious man, when he has been long enough in the world to know what he wants, you will find that his notion of perfect happiness or ideal life is not something straggling, as it were, and discontinuous, but is brought before the mind as an unity, and, if imagined more in detail, is a system where particulars subserve one whole. Without further dwelling on this I will ask the reader to reflect whether the ends, proposed to themselves by ordinary persons, are not wholes, and are not in the end members in a larger whole; and if that be so, whether, since it is so, and since all we can want must as before stated be ourselves, we must not now say that we aim not only at the realization of self, but of self as a whole, seeing that there is a general object of desire with which self is identified, or on another view with the idea of which the idea of our pleasure is associated.

Up to the present we have been trying to point out that what we aim at is self, and self as a whole; in other words, that self as a whole is in the end the content of our wills. It will still further, perhaps, tend to clear the matter if we refer to the form of the will — not, of course, suggesting that the form is anything real apart from the content.

On this head we are obliged to restrict ourselves to the assertion of what we believe to be fact. We remarked in our last Essay [I] that, in saying "I will this or that," we really mean something. In saying it we do not mean at least, not as a rule to distinguish a self that wills from a self that does not will; but what we do mean is to distinguish the self, as will in general, from this or that object of desire, and, at the same time, to identify the two; to say. The will is looked on as a whole, and there are two sides or fac- tors to that whole.

Let us consider an act of will and, that we may see more clearly, let us take a deliberate volitional choice. We have conflicting desires, say A and B; we feel two tensions, two drawings so to speak , but we cannot actually affirm ourselves in both. Action does not follow, and we reflect on the two objects of desire and we are aware that we are reflecting on them, or if our language allowed us to say it over them. But we do not merely stand looking on till, so to speak, we find we are gone in one direction, have closed with A or B.

For we are aware besides of ourselves, not simply as something theoretically above A and B, but as something also practically above them, as a concentration which is not one or the other, but which is the possibility of either, which is the inner side indifferently of an act which should realize A, or one which should realize B, and hence, which is neither, and yet is superior to both.

In short, we do not simply feel our- selves in A and B, but have distinguished ourselves from both, as what is above both. This is one factor in volition and it is hard to find any name better for it than that of the universal factor, or side, or moment. In order to will, we must will something; the universal side by itself is not will at all.

To will we must identify ourselves with this, that, or the other; and here we have the particular side, and ' As we saw in our last Essay [I], there are two dangers to avoid here, in the shape of two one-sided views, Scylla and Cheirybdis.