The Moral Economy
288 Pages
English

The Moral Economy

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Moral Economy, by Ralph Barton PerryThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Moral EconomyAuthor: Ralph Barton PerryRelease Date: July 24, 2007 [eBook #22135]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MORAL ECONOMY***E-text prepared by Al HainesTranscriber's note:Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They have beenlocated where page breaks occurred in the original book. For its Index, a page number has been placed only atthe start of that section.THE MORAL ECONOMYbyRALPH BARTON PERRYAssistant Professor of Philosophy in Harvard UniversityAuthor of The Free Man and the Soldier The Moral Economy The Approach to PhilosophyCharles Scribner's SonsNew York — Chicago — Boston — AtlantaSan Francisco — DallasCopyright, 1909, by Charles Scribner's Sons All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any formwithout the permission of Charles Scribner's SonsDEDICATED TO N.MARCH 30, 1909"Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be; why then should wedesire to be deceived?"BISHOP BUTLER.{vii}PREFACEThis little book is the preliminary sketch of a system of ethics. Its form ...

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Moral
Economy, by Ralph Barton Perry
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Moral Economy
Author: Ralph Barton Perry
Release Date: July 24, 2007 [eBook #22135]
Language: English
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK THE MORAL ECONOMY***
E-text prepared by Al Haines
Transcriber's note:Page numbers in this book are indicated by
numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}.
They have been located where page breaks
occurred in the original book. For its Index, a
page number has been placed only at the start
of that section.
THE MORAL ECONOMY
by
RALPH BARTON PERRY
Assistant Professor of Philosophy in Harvard
University
Author of
The Free Man and the Soldier
The Moral Economy
The Approach to PhilosophyCharles Scribner's Sons
New York — Chicago — Boston — Atlanta
San Francisco — Dallas
Copyright, 1909, by Charles Scribner's Sons All
rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form without the permission of
Charles Scribner's SonsDEDICATED TO N.
MARCH 30, 1909
"Things and actions are what they are, and the
consequences of them will be what they will be;
why then should we desire to be deceived?"
BISHOP BUTLER.
{vii}
PREFACE
This little book is the preliminary sketch of a
system of ethics. Its form differs from that of most
contemporary books on the subject because of the
omission of the traditional controversies. I have
attempted to study morality directly, to derive its
conceptions and laws from an analysis of life. I
have made this attempt because, in the first place,
I believe that theoretical ethics is seriously
embarrassed by its present emphasis on the
history and criticism of doctrines; by its failure to
resort to experience, where without more ado itmay solve its problems on their merits. But, in the
second place, I hope that by appealing to
experience and neglecting scholastic technicalities,
I may connect ethical theory with every-day
reflection on practical matters. Morality is, without
doubt, the most human and urgent of all topics of
study; and I should like, if possible, to make it
appear so.
The references which I have embodied in the notes
are intended to serve the English reader as an
introduction to accessible and untechnical literature
on the subjects treated in the several chapters.
These chapters coincide with the main divisions of
ethical inquiry: Goodness, Duty, Virtue, Progress,
Culture, and Religion. And although so brief a
treatment of so large a programme is impossible
without sacrifice of thoroughness, it does provide
both a general survey of the field, and a varied
application of certain fundamental ideas.
RALPH BARTON PERRY. CAMBRIDGE, 1909.
{ix}
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I PAGE MORALITY AS THE
ORGANIZATION OF LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . 1I. THE GENERAL CLAIMS OF MORALITY . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 1
The practical necessity of morality, 1. The
interplay of dogmatism and scepticism, 4. The
fundamental character of morality, 7.
II. GOODNESS IN GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 9
The dependence of value on life, 9. Definition of
the simpler terms of value. Goodness: the
fulfilment of interest, 11. "Good" and "good for,"
12.
III. MORAL GOODNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. 13
The moral organization of life, 13. Definition of
the terms of moral value. Moral goodness: the
fulfilment of an economy of interests, 15. Moral
goodness and pleasure, 16. Rightness or virtue,
18. Morality and life, 19.
IV. MORALITY AND NATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 20
The alleged artificiality of morality, 20. Morality
and the struggle for existence, 21. Morality and
adaptation, 22. Morality is natural if life is, 24.V. MORALITY AND CONFLICT . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 24
Morality and competitive struggle. Morality the
condition of strength, 24. The value of conflict,
23. The elimination of conflict, 26. Morality and
the love of life, 27.
VI. THE DIGNITY AND LUSTRE OF MORALITY .
. . . . . . . . . . 28
The effect of war on sentiment and the
imagination, 28. Real power is constructive, not
destructive or repressive, 29. Moral heroism, 31.
The saving or provident character of morality, 32.
Morality and the consummation of life, 33.
CHAPTER II
THE LOGIC OF THE MORAL APPEAL . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . 34
I. THE STAND-POINT OF RATIONALISM AND
INDIVIDUALISM . . . . 34
Modern individualism, 34. Distinguished from
scepticism, 36. The individual as the organ of
knowledge, 37. Moral individualism as a protest
against convention, 39. Duty as the rational
ground of action, 40. Reasonableness acondition of the consciousness of duty, 41.
II. THE LOGIC OF PRUDENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . 43
Prudence as elementary, 43. Interest, action, and
goodness, 43. The alleged relativity of goodness,
43.
The conflict of interests solved by conciliation, 48.
The limits of prudence, 49.
III. THE LOGIC OF PREFERENCE AND
PURPOSE . . . . . . . . . . 50
The adoption of new interests and the problem of
preference, 50. A hypothetical solution of the
problem, 51. Solution in the concrete case
through the organization of a purpose, 53. The
principle of the objective validity of interests, 54.
The principle of the quantitative basis of
preference, 55.
IV. THE LOGIC OF IMPARTIALITY AND JUSTICE
. . . . . . . . . 57
The private interest, 57. The personal factor
negligible in counting interests, 58. The refutation
of egoism. The first proposition of egoism, 59.
The second proposition of egoism, 61.
Impartiality as a part of justice, 63. Justice as
imputing finality to the individual, 64. The equalityof rational beings as organs of truth, 64.
Summary of justice, 66.
V. THE LOGIC OF GOOD-WILL . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 67
All interests are entitled to consideration, 67.
Goodwill and the growth of new interests, 67.
VI. DUTY AND THE IMAGINATION . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . 69
The logical imagination, 69. Rationalism and
incentive to action, 70. Rationalism and faith, 71.
CHAPTER III
THE ORDER OF VIRTUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. 72
I. THE VIRTUES AND THEIR CLASSIFICATION .
. . . . . . . . . 72
Summary of the content and logic of moral value,
72. Virtues as verified rules of life, 73. The
material and formal aspects of morality, 74.
Materialism and formalism due to exaggeration,
75. The general importance of the conflict
between the material and formal motives, 76.
Duty identified with the formal motive, 76.