David O. Brink

in Perfectionism and the Common Good

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199266401
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600906 | DOI:

Series: Lines of Thought


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This chapter focuses on the relation between Green and Sidgwick. Both Green and Sidgwick were schoolmates at Rugby. Their friendship lapsed during their undergraduate studies, but was renewed during a vacation together in Switzerland in 1862. Although they seemed to have had intellectual respect for each other, this was insufficient to enable them to form a just assessment of each other's views. Most of Sidgwick's criticisms focus on some genuine obscurity or ambiguity in Green' s argument; he has a good eye for philosophical extravagance; and some of his criticisms pose significant worries. It is argued that Sidgwick never manages to engage Green's perfectionism sympathetically, which prevents him from recognizing its strengths and from seeing potential weaknesses in his own hedonism.

Keywords: T. H. Green; Sidgwick; Rugby; Methods of Ethics; perfectionism; hedonism

Chapter.  3557 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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