New PDF release: A history of English Utilitarianism

By Ernest Albee

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See p. 295. , p. 211. 61 See also p. 115. Richard Cumberland / 37 depend upon the “health of the social organism,” as Mr. Stephen would say. Cumberland does not go so far as some modern writers in pushing this analogy, but it helps to bring out an important side of his system. So much in general regarding man’s “fitness” for society, so far as an original tendency in the direction of altruistic, as well as egoistic, conduct is concerned. Here man is regarded from the standpoint of society, which is to be compared to an organism rather than to a collection of mutually repellent atoms.

A fourth argument is “that animals are incited to endeavour the propagation of their 69 See pp. 114, 115. ™See p. 173. 77 See p. 168. 72 See pp. 122 et seq. ” 73 The details of the argument are not particularly convincing. H ie important point is: Cum­ berland argues that altruism first appears as sexual love and the parental instinct to protect offspring. Having once arisen, there is no reason why it may not extend ever so much further. But in the latter part of the treatise, there is an interesting passage which should not be neglected.

At the same time, it should be noted that his position here is not in­ consistent with his own essentially static view of the Nature of Things. MNot previously quoted. See p. 29. , his doctrine of the Good. *’ On this point he is quite explicit, as might be expected from the general character of the system. ” 1 The form of the propositions makes no particular difference, as the author goes on to show. , as Laws of Nature; or (3) as “gerunds,” in the sense indicated above. Evidently we have here to do with an Ethics of the Good, and not with a Duty Ethics.

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A history of English Utilitarianism by Ernest Albee


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