The Academy and Literature Volume 16

The Academy and Literature Volume 16

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1879 edition. Excerpt: ...egoism will exactly coincide with those drawn from the social point of view of utilitarianism. In other words, human nature being thus remoulded, it will be everybody's interest to do just that which best promotes the aggregate happiness. Such a simplification of ethics would gratify everybody, and the only question to be raised is whether we are really tending to such a perfect state. It is one thing to say that, on the whole, men are getting a little less selfish with the progress of the ages; another thing to say that by-andby their selfishness will manage to confine itself exactly within the limits where it is innocuous to others. Is such a state of things really conceivable? Do not all our natural tastes and propensities now and again collide with regard for others, and how are such dissonances to be avoided in the golden future of which Mr. Spencer tells? May it not be enough to know that by-and-by men will be capable of repressing personal feelings on occasion with the least amount of painful effort, without demanding that there shall never be any occasion for such repression? And, again, may one not reasonably doubt whether social progress is even such an asymptotic approach to a fixed line--in other words, such a gradual adaptation of the individual nature to permanent conditions in the environment as Mr. Spencer here assumes? Does not progress continually alter the social environment itself to which the individual nature is to be adapted? To give but an instance suggested by Mr. Spencer's glowing picture of one side of the parental relation. Does not social progress necessarily work wider and wider divergences in opinion, so that to be out of intellectual sympathy with those nearest to us becomes a more and more common...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 810 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 41mm | 1,420g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236748123
  • 9781236748126