Book

Essays on Ethics and Method

Henry Sidgwick

Edited by Marcus G. Singer

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250234
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598432 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250231.001.0001

Series: British Moral Philosophers

Essays on Ethics and Method

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Moral Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

In this collection of papers, Sidgwick develops his view of universal hedonism or Bentham‐like utilitarianism, according to which the only way to reconcile a desire for one's own good with the dictates of duty by reason is through a utilitarian approach to the subordination of individual psychological impulses to universal ends. His thesis provides him the opportunity to address numerous ethical issues. In some essays, he analyses the moral implications of the theory of evolution. In other pieces, Sidgwick offers his responses to particular criticisms of the views outlined in his work Methods of Ethics, in which he attempts to identify the various methods of ethics implicit in our common sense moral reasoning. A position that Sidgwick develops throughout the collection in opposition to John Stuart Mill is that although people pursue their own happiness, it does not follow that they ought to pursue the happiness of others. Another issue that concerns him is how to verify our beliefs. He maintains that the criteria of truth proposed by Descartes, the empiricists, and Herbert Spencer are useful, but not infallible. He offers two methods of verification for excluding error – the Intuitive Verification and the Discursive Verification. Additional topics that Sidgwick considers in these papers include: free will, positive morality and positive law, the is/ought distinction, egoism, sociology, common sense, unreasonable action, and psychology.

Keywords: Bentham; ethics; evolution; free will; happiness; method; Mill; positive law; Sidgwick; universal hedonism; utilitarianism; verification

Book.  412 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Utilitarianism in Essays on Ethics and Method

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Some Fundamental Ethical Controversies in Essays on Ethics and Method

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Law and Morality in Essays on Ethics and Method

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

The Relation of Ethics to Sociology in Essays on Ethics and Method

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Pleasure and Desire in Essays on Ethics and Method

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.