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as Truths? The problem is, To find the philosophic interpretation of 'condition' in this case. (2.) If a priori truths are not always present to all minds (and the hypothesis which Locke controverted, is confessedly ridiculous), how is the recognition of them possible? The problem is, To attain the Psychological law under which a priori truth may at any time be presented in consciousness.-For Kant's Spontaneity of Reason, Met. of Eth. 71-75. (3.) Granting that there are a priori truths of Intelligence and of Practice, and that both are laws of mind, in what respect do they, as Laws, differ from each other? The problem is—To interpret legality in the two cases. (4.) If Moral Principles are at once Truths, and Laws, can we draw rigidly the distinction between these two aspects of the same Principle ? (5.) If the mind is itself the source of primary truth, how far is mind dependent upon experience for the use of what it possesses ? (6.) Can Truth be at once absolute and phenomenal? Can these two characteristics be found in combination? (7.) Can Truthfulness as a law of Personal Conduct, come into conflict with Justice as a law regulating the relations of Persons ? (8.) Can a priori moral truth be represented as expressing nothing “except general legality,' or the form of law in general'?—Kant’s Met. of Ethics, p. 13, 3d ed.



The standard of moral decisions is the test of every system of Ethics. With this is closely connected the source from which the knowledge of the standard is drawn. The briefest outline of the history of thought on this subject is all that can be attempted.

In contemplating the Ancient Philosophy, it is needful to keep in view that the questions as to the ultimate standard of morals, and the source of our knowledge of that standard, were not so definitely raised as in modern times. The utmost care is required in order to guard against judging the terminology of ancient times by modern distinctions.

SOCRATES, born about 470 B.C., made it his chief business to reach a proper understanding of such general conceptions as piety, justice, bravery, temperance, and virtue. In this, as Aristotle affirms, Metaph. xii. 4, he simply carried out a process of generalization, in order to form a general or abstract conception, which might be afterwards applied to any variety of examples. These general conceptions he constantly subjected to the test of experience. He insisted that knowledge is essential to virtue, or, even more broadly, that knowledge virtue. This last declaration, which is commonly represented as the central position of the Socratic philosophy, involves a theory of practice, rather than of knowledge, resting on the allegation that no man is knowingly vicious.

While concerning himself with the significance of ethical conceptions, he did not raise the question as to the ground on which general conceptions are held to afford a standard of moral distinctions. If, however, we may regard the Platonic Socrates in the Theatetus as the historic Socrates, he argued strenuously against the doctrine of Protagoras, which reduces everything to the phenomenal. Our best authorities as to the theory of Socrates are Xenophon's Memorabilia, and Plato's Apologia. After these in importance come the Platonic Dialogues, and references in Aristotle's Metaph. and Ethics. See Stanley's Lives of the Philos.; Ritter's Anc. Philos. vol. ii. ; Schwegler's Hist. of Philos., Dr. Hutchison Stirling ; Zeller's Socrates and Socratic Schools, Reichel ; Ueberweg's Hist. of Philos., G. S. Morris, Michigan,—Theol. and Philos. Lib. ; Lewes's Hist. of Philos. ; Sir A. Grant's Aristotle, Essay ii.

Plato, born about 427 B.C., rises into a higher region of

enquiry. He gives to the general conceptions of Socrates the character of Ideas, which constitute the fundamental ideas of Reason,—the perfect essences of things—the eternal laws of being,—and belong to a super-sensible state, 'a world or sphere of ideas.' Intelligence is confused with the shadows of the sensible state, and is ever striving to rise into this upper world' of higher knowledge. Here the Good, which he ultimately identifies with God, is supreme. See specially the Republic, B. vii., Jowett's transl. ii. 348; Aristotle's Metaph.

The power to know these primary ideas is already in the soul, Rep. vii.; and their presence may be explained by a theory of reminiscence, possible on account of our having descended from a higher sphere : Meno, Jowett's Transl. i. For the student of Moral Philosophy, the most important of the Platonic Dialogues are Protagoras, Meno, Gorgias, Phædo, Philebus, and Republic, i.-iv., and specially B. vii. On Plato's Philos., see Ritter's History, and the admirable representation of it in Archer Butler's Ancient Philos. vol. ii.

From an opposite point of view, Grote's Plato.

ARISTOTLE, born 384 B.C., formally separates Ethics from other sciences. He commences the Nicom. Ethics with a discussion of the chief good,-summum bonum, ăplotov,—or the perfect good, το τέλειον αγαθόν,-which he declares to be Happiness. He is thus led into the doctrine of the Mean, perórns, or avoidance of extremes, previously touched upon by Socrates, Mem. ii. 1. II. The leading part of the Ethics assumes the Utilitarian or the Eudæmonistic form. A different phase of theory appears in Books v., vi., vii., on account of which it has been disputed whether these books were written by Aristotle himself, or by Eudemus as an amplification of the sayings of his master. In Book vi. the rule of practical life is, to act according to right reason, -katà tòv opoòv dóyov. Reason is distinguished into Scientific, élo TN Movikov, which contemplates necessary matter, and the Reasoning or Discursive Faculty, loycotikov, which deals with contingent

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matter. Even here, however, it is left uncertain what is the standard by which to determine the mean, and there are admissions which seem to imply that there is no certain invariable standard. If the genuineness of Books v., vi. and vii., be allowed, -and the internal criticism against them is not conclusive,—it is difficult to harmonize them with the forms of life enumerated in B. i. c. 5. In any case, the theory is burdened with the admission, i. 4, that while happiness is the summum bonum, men are not agreed as to happiness, or what is most desirable. Grote maintains that by referring the principles to Intellect (Nous), Aristotle does not intend to indicate their generating source, but their evidential value and dignity. “To say that they originate from Sense through Induction, and nevertheless to refer them to Intellect (Noớs) as their subjective correlate,-are not positions inconsistent with each other, in the view of Aristotle.'-Grote's Aristotle, vol. ii. App. ii. p. 293. That both positions were taken by Aristotle seems plain ; that he raised the question of their consistency is not clear. That they did not seem to Aristotle inconsistent, can be maintained on no better ground than that he accepted both. But this is rather lofty as a canon of internal criticism,—That an author is never inconsistent. On Aristotle's Ethical system, see Ritter, Schwegler, Ueberweg, Sir A. Grant's Aristotle's Ethics, Essays and Notes; Whewell's Systematic Morality, p. 140. From the Utilitarian stand

. point, Lewes's Aristotle, and Grote's Aristotle.

Here it should be remarked that the prominent defects of ancient systems are such as to render them, on the practical side, incompatible with a theory of necessary or universal moral law. They are systems constructed for the State, not for Humanity; for friends, but not for foes. Human in their origin and development, they became more or less sectarian in their application. The inconsistency is glaring even in the midst of the grandeur of Plato's Ideal system. Zeller dwells on some of these defects in the ist chap. of Stoics, etc.

The two conflicting elements of Aristotle's theory part company, and form two distinct and conflicting philosophies in the later movements. The two antagonistic theories are represented by the Stoics and the Epicureans, and thenceforth these two divisions continue down the line of history. The separation of the conflicting elements was attended on each side by a disparagement of that which was rejected, and a consequent undue exaltation of that preferred. The Stoics selected the Rational nature as the true guide to an ethical system, but they gave to it supremacy so rigid as to threaten the extinction of the subject affections. The Epicureans, laying hold of the doctrine that happiness is the chief good, gave such ascendency to the desirable as to threaten the mob-rule against which Plato had protested.

The Stoic Philosophy was essentially a moral philosophy in which right action was rational action, and in this light the Stoic maxim is to be interpreted, to live according to nature, ομολογουμένως τη φύσει ζην. For while this implies harmony with the universe, it is by Reason that such harmony is recognised ; and this is made so vital, as practically to lean on the Socratic doctrine, that knowledge is virtue. But with the Stoics, as with Socrates, there is indecision as to the standard, though it is commonly said that the knowledge of right is given by nature. For the Stoic Philosophy, see Diog. Läertius, B. vii., specially lives of Zeno (about 350 B.C.), Cleanthes, Chrysippus. See also Plutarch ; Cicero, De Finibus and De Officiis; with Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Histories, as above, very particularly Zeller's Stoics, etc., Reichel.

The system of EPICURUS, B.C. 342, made Happiness the chief good, and declared the end of Philosophy to be the guidance of man in the attainment of it. The pleasure of the soul is placed above that of the body; but there is no standard higher or more authoritative than the agreeable. Diogenes Läertius, B. x. ; Plutarch, Cicero, and references as above.

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