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of our primitive desires, become in themselves sources of pleasure more valuable than the primitive pleasures, both in permanency, in the space

of human existence that they are capable of covering, and even in intensity. Virtue, according to the utilitarian conception, is a good of this description. There was no original desire of it or motive to it, save its conduciveness to pleasure, and especially to protection from pain. But through the association thus formed it may be felt a good in itself, and desired as such with as great an intensity as any other good(Utilitarianism, p. 55).

Thus through the laws of association we come to like for their own sake things which we originally only liked as means to ulterior ends. The miser loves money for its own sake, owing to the pleasant notions associated with its possession. We have come to love virtue as the miser loves money; and all our other moral sentiments-remorse,, satisfaction, repentance—though seemingly simple sentiments, are in reality made up of analogous associations.

Let us see how this theory would affect private and social life. Mill maintains that Utilitarianism is reconcilable with the demands of human dignity, and, introducing into the comparison between pleasures a new element, namely, that of quality, he substitutes for Bentham's moral arithmetic a kind of aesthetic of pleasure.

“It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasure should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. If I am asked what I mean by difference of quality in pleasures, or what makes one pleasure more valuable than another, merely as a pleasure, except its being greater in amount, there is but one possible answer. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure. .. Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted with and equally capable of appreciating and enjoying both, do give a most marked preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher faculties. Few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of the fullest allowance of the beast's pleasures ; no intelligent being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base. ... A being of higher faculties requires more to make him happy, is capable probably of much more acute suffering, and certainly accessible to it at more points than one of an inferior type; but in spite of these liabilities he can never really wish to sink into what he feels to be a lower grade of existence” (Ibid. p. 11 sq.).

Thus some pleasures are in fact higher than others, and it we are to believe Mill, these pleasures are preferred to others by those who know them, and should consequently be preferred by all men.

But if our individual happiness is to be our end, is it not to be feared that the conflict between individual interests will be detrimental to the peace of society?

"“ The utilitarian standard,” Mill replies, “is not the agent's own greatest happiness, but the greatest amount of happiness altogether" (p. 16). “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. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility » (Ibid. p. 24).

But do we not here come upon the difficulty inherent to every form of Utilitarianism? In the name of what principle are we to demand this self-sacrifice on the part of the individual? How can disinterestedness be made to grow out of interestedness?

J. S. Mill solves this difficulty in the following way: Egoism is fundamental in human nature: altruism itself is only a form of egoism. Altruism as a necessary condition of social life should be encouraged, and the surest way to do this is to associate it with self-love. Egoism, as it was the beginning of altruism, should also develop and complete it. In the first place, let the idea of crime be associated with the idea of punishment, through the legal sanction, and the fear of one will produce horror of the other. In the second place, “education > and opinion, which have so vast

a power over human character, should so use that power as to establish in the mind of every individual an indissoluble association between his own happiness and the good of the whole; especially between his own happiness and the practice of such modes of conduct, negative and positive, as regard for the universal happiness prescribes(Utilitarianism, p. 25).

Lastly, and above all, society should be so organized as to insure a real harmony between the interest of each and the interest of all. In such a perfect society no one could

conceive the possibility of personal happiness as a consequence of a course of conduct that was opposed to the general good. This golden age, this “issue hors de la civilization, as Fourier calls it, is the ideal, the last word of Utilitarianism, which can neither be logical nor sincere unless the individual and the universal interests are made identical. But how to do this is just the problem.

Herbert Spencer : Inevitableness of Ethical Evolution.

Mill's Ethics were founded on psychology, and in his system the individual and society are considered apart from the rest of Nature. Herbert Spencer, on the other hand, treats Ethics as a branch of cosmology. Humanity with him is only a part of a vaster system, and manifests, in its own sphere, laws which govern the world. It is included in the movement of things, and the evolution of man is only a part of the universal evolution. Progress is not

Progress is not an accident but a necessity; civilization, far from being a product of art, is merely a phase of nature like the development of the embryo, or the opening of the flower.

The opponents of Utilitarianism urge against it the impossibility of reconciling individual interest with the universal good; but by virtue of the laws of evolution, given the fact of social life, altruism must necessarily come out of egoism, and, owing to heredity, the altruistic sentiments must ever predominate more and more. Most of J. S. Mill's psychological analyses are, Spencer says, correct, but they must be completed by taking into account the laws of evolution and by considering the individual in the species, and the species in nature.

Pleasure, somewhere, at some time to some being or beings, is an inexpugnable element of the conception [of morality]. It is as much a necessary form of moral intuition, as space is a necessary form of intellectual intuition ” (Data of Ethics, Chapter III, p. 46).

Still pleasure is itself only a sign. Physical pleasure, for instance, is the sign by which the best adjustment of the acts of the animal to his vital functions is manifested in consciousness. Vital activity is the cause of pleasure. Vital activity, characterized by the pursuit of an

an end, is the humble starting point of human conduct. The laws governing the evolution of life, which is a transition from the

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indefinite to the definite, from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, apply therefore to human conduct. The moral life has a characteristic unity and coherence, it is in harmony with itself, sibi constat; whereas immoral conduct is incoherent, that is to say, it consists in actions that are inconsequent and contradictory. The life that we call moral is, moreover, varied in its activity. The life of a married man, which is morally superior to that of the celibate, is, besides, more heterogeneous and complex. So also is the life of a generous man or of one who takes part in politics, as contrasted with that of the egoist or the private individual (Chap. V). The progress of morality is therefore merely the progress of the adaptation of human life to its constitutive laws. The principle of moral actions consists exclusively in the consideration of their natural and intrinsic effects. There is no need to appeal to the feeling of obligation, since, when moral evolution is completed, the good is realized with pleasure.

“Evidently then, with complete adaptation to the social state, that element in the human consciousness which is expressed by the word obligation will disappear. The higher actions required for the harmonious carrying on of life will be as much matters of course as are those lower actions which the simpler desires prompt. In their proper times and places and proportions, the moral sentiments will guide men just as spontaneously and adequately as now do the sensations” (Ibid. VII, 46)

“The moral conduct will be the natural conduct” (Ibid. 47). And as private morality is merely the result of the development of life and of its progressive adaptation to necessary conditions, so also will a perfect state of society eventually be established as the effect solely of natural laws and cosmic evolution. That agreement between individual and universal interest, which was the dream of Mill, will be automatically realized. The pursuit of this remote ideal is even now our interest. As belonging to the same species, we should work towards the foundation of the best form of society. But, in any case, it will come to be, whether we desire it or not. Good, in time, will come out of the natural laws, just as evil does at present. Thus egoism is now the first law of nature, the first duty is self-preservation, and self-love is the highest virtue ; but when political economy has provided for the satisfaction of the wants of all, the present conflict of

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interests will no longer be possible. The joys of altruism and self-sacrifice will then alone have any attraction, and there will be on all sides rivalry in altruism, each desiring to bear the burden of self-sacrifice and refusing to reap its advantage.

And so the ethical ideal of which we only dream to-day is in process of being realized merely through the action of the laws of nature, for it is the consummation of our evolution. Naturalistic ethics concludes by harmonizing with the morality of duty; but its conclusions are the result of a kind of fatalism like the fatum Mahometanum, according to which things will come to pass in any case and without human interference. Nothing could be more convenient to each individual than this theory, since it allows him to yield to all his passions, knowing that progress will go on just the same, and that the supremacy of good will be in any case effected by natural forces.


Let us now see what conclusions can be drawn from this long account of the efforts made by the human mind to attain a knowledge of human destiny. The problem is to discover the meaning of life, to determine the principles which can co-ordinate all its acts. And since men can only be satisfied with that sovereign good which includes both virtue and happiness, it has ever been the object of moralists to reconcile these two terms which seem irreconcilable, but which cannot be separated without violation to the intelligence. Some philosophers reduce happiness to virtue, others teach that virtue coincides with happiness. But both these solutions are perpetually being contradicted by the facts of life. For man is not an isolated and independent being. He lives in the midst of society, and is therefore largely dependent upon his human environment; he lives in the bosom of nature, and his acts are only a fragmentary part of the immense life which surrounds him on all sides, which extends far beyond his sphere of action, and in which he is nevertheless included and involved.

Thus when they reflect upon human life, moralists are led to consider also the universal life. To those who hold that the physical depend on the moral laws, our present life is unintelligible only because it is not a whole but a part. The

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