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ness, the theory of evolution is simply an explanation of an order of sequent facts or processes. It is purely historical. We might know all that there is to be known about the origin and growth of moral institutions and ideas, and yet be unable to distinguish between good and evil or to set up a standard for right conduct. And this is the fundamental problem of ethics. The question which it has to answer is not a question of history at all, but of worth or goodness. In attempting to deal with this question, evolution has been pressed into alliance with the more general theory which is now known as Naturalism. In alliance with Naturalism it professes to be a complete philosophy, and has made a special claim to have revolutionised ethics and set that science on a new basis. It has been my purpose, accordingly, to examine this claim, and to discuss the ethical bearings of Naturalism, both in its earlier forms, before evolution came to its aid, and in its later and more impressive developments. The book is called "a criticism"; but it is the criticism of a theory rather than of writers; and an effort has been made to overlook no aspect of the theory which may appear to have ethical significance.

The first edition of this book was published in 1885, and was founded on a course of Shaw Fellow

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CAMBRIDGE, August 1904.

ship Lectures given in the University of Edinburgh in the preceding year. The call for a new edition has led to a careful revision of the whole argument, as well as to the incorporation of references to recent literature. The chief changes and additions which have been made are the following: a more positive definition of Naturalism has been given in chapter i.; a great part of chapter iv. has been rewritten, chiefly on account of the fresh light thrown upon Shaftesbury's philosophy by the publication of his Philosophical Regimen' in 1900; chapter v. appears now for the first time; a section on the factors of moral development has been added to chapter vi.; a few pages on the psychology of pleasure and pain in chapter viii. have been rewritten; short discussions of some recent contributions to evolutionist ethics have been added to chapter ix.; and the concluding chapter has been rewritten and considerably shortened. Apart from these modifications, and from frequent minor changes in expression, the argument of the whole book remains unaltered both as a whole and in detail.


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(a) Utilitarian conduct not a political duty

(b) Nor a moral duty

(c) Nor insisted on as a religious duty

(d) Nor sufficiently motived in private ethics

3. Exhaustive character of Bentham's treatment from his point

of view

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(a) Distinction of kinds of pleasure

(b) Ambiguities in his proof

5. Actual transition to utilitarianism

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(a) The religious sanction (Paley).

(b) Limits of the political sanction

(c) Uncertainty of the social sanction

(d) And of the internal sanction so far as a result of the


4. Mill's defence of utilitarianism

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(a) Recognition of sympathy

(b) The idea of equality

6. The two sides of utilitarian theory without logical con-


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