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Ethics and Modern Thought : A Theory of Their Relations
by Rudolf Eucken and Margaret Von Seydewitz


Overview - These lectures on ethics were delivered before the War and before our philosophical teachers had left the study and the lecture-hall to enter the arena of international politics. While intended for the cultivated lay public rather than for the professional scholar, the lectures will be found to contain the essentials of Eucken's philosophical message.  Read more...

 
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More About Ethics and Modern Thought by Rudolf Eucken; Margaret Von Seydewitz
 
 
 
Overview
These lectures on ethics were delivered before the War and before our philosophical teachers had left the study and the lecture-hall to enter the arena of international politics. While intended for the cultivated lay public rather than for the professional scholar, the lectures will be found to contain the essentials of Eucken's philosophical message. We find in them, eloquently expressed, an appreciation of the regenerating power of Christianity in past ages; a close approximation to the Christian doctrines of grace in the recognition of man's inability to reach the moral ideal, and of his need of aid from a source higher than himself; and a clear insight into the moral needs and discords of the age in which we live, with an admission of the inadequacy of modern culture to meet these needs.
Eucken believes that the ethical systems now in vogue fail to meet the present situation. Religious Morality is too mild and subjective and lacks sufficient breadth to transform the whole of life. The Morality of Reason addresses itself to the select few and has too little influence upon the man of to-day. The Morality of Work has inner limitations; men become only parts of a structure and nothing at all in themselves, and civilization develops great power without providing for its moral guidance. Social Morality offers strong motives to the individual, but is too optimistic in its conception of man, too superficial to offer a foundation for morality which it presupposes rather than creates. In his search for an ethical principle Eucken has recourse to his familiar conception of the Spiritual Life, a comprehensive whole embracing all the departments of man's activity such as science and art, and inclusive of the whole of human society. "The centre of life and its ruling motive lie in man's relation to a superior spiritual life, which is at the root of his own being and yet has to be acquired by his own action and effort." The duty of man is at once to discover and to create a new spiritual world. Just how the "Spiritual Life" is related to the God of religion is not indicated with entire clearness either here or in the author's larger works. It will be seen that Eucken's proposed system of ethics has close affinities with religious morality and the morality of reason, both of which it was designed to supplement. While the Spiritual Life is supposed to be broader than religion, including the domains of art and science and industry, it is recognized that "it is a loss for morality that religion no longer maintains its former ruling position"; and the historical instances of the triumphs of morality are taken from the history of the Christian Church: "It was moral earnestness and moral strength that were above all instrumental in causing early Christianity to overcome the pagan world. ... It was moral energy that gave the Reformation its power to advance and conquer, while the soft and beautiful Renaissance perished because it lacked morality." Eucken belongs, again, with the Kantians in ethics rather than with the utilitarians. Utilitarianism, he believes, does not change its character by becoming social utilitarianism, and all inner values are destroyed where the sole aim of life is to provide the means of life.
Eucken's lectures were, not inappropriately, first delivered from a church pulpit, and in tone and substance they are sermons upon the text, "Fight the good fight of faith."
-"Princeton Theological Review," Vol. 13 1915]

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781516874699
  • ISBN-10: 1516874692
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publish Date: August 2015
  • Page Count: 134
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.29 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.42 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > General
Books > Literary Collections > Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Books > Philosophy > Ethics & Moral Philosophy

 
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