A Sketch of Morality Independent of Obligation and Sanction by Jean-Marie Guyau

By Jean-Marie Guyau

There should be no doubt that the current second bargains a healthy chance for introducing to a wide circle of English readers this ebook of Guyau s, which, in his personal nation, is rightly thought of his masterpiece. Guyau is already identified in England by way of his extraordinary and suggestive paintings on schooling and Heredity and The Irreligion of the long run; and one other paintings from him, on so vital a subject matter as Morality, could provide a much-needed resource of suggestion and encouragement, at a time whilst ethical technological know-how is obviously getting into upon a interval of renewed power and wider curiosity. prompted by means of the nice problems of an ever-increasing complexity of lifestyles, lower than situations which render a number of the previous creeds and religions incompetent to grapple with the issues tough answer ;distressed through a psychological chaos which threatens to retard all innovative efforts by means of fitful reactions ;the fanatics of freedom and social amelioration flip to Morality for the aid and the strengthgiving caliber with out which lifestyles is doomed to decay and destruction.
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Extra resources for A Sketch of Morality Independent of Obligation and Sanction

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To believe in science seems to be to believe in death. There is a third objection induction of is life : — am I ; — that illusive thing, the familiar therefore I shall be. This illusion Even to-day there are tribes found in who do not seem able to conceive that it is absolutely not less natural. Africa man to die. Among this people the induction We Based on life still outweighs that based on death. We know that •civilized people are no longer at that stage. We nevertheless always hope 'Our present life has an end.

Incompatible with the conservation of the species. When with certain individuals the balance of suffering and enjoyment is upset, and the former prevails, this is an anomaly, which usually causes death to the individual without delay. A being who suffers too sary for the existence of much is unfit for an organism that, life. It is neces- taken as a whole, should keep up a certain regularity in its functions ; pain should be banished, or, at least, be reduced to the lowest it degree. more natural selection works without more does it tend to eliminate the sufferers in Besides, the restraint, the ; killing the diseased it also stamps out the disease.

With pleasure the dullest those in which we does — can manner. aim to succeed in filling life — that is to say, man ; —instead of enjoy himself in an And is of from action it is "the great consolaBetween two expenditures of physical rest tion of the idler. force, the civilized Its moments sleeping, like the savage intellectual and aesthetic enjoyment can be prolonged more than any other. We hear, inwardly, certain symphonies of Beethoven a long time after having heard them with our this THE HYPOTHESIS OF PESSIMISM.

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