Review: Principia Ethica [review-book]

H. W. Stuart
1909 American Journal of Sociology  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY judgment, nor the motive, in morality. "The good consists of friendship, family and political relations, economic utilization of mechanical resources, science, art, in all their complex and variegated forms and elements. There is no separate and rival moral good, no separate, empty and rival 'good will.'" This is a moral theory based on the facts of moral experience, a thoroughly empirical doctrine of moral values. Indeed, from beginning to end, the book is permeated with the atmosphere and the noise of facts. The ambiguities in the utilitarian doctrine of happiness, the formalism, legalism, and inadequacy of strictly intuitional methods, and the vagueness and practical weakness of the naturalistic and evolutionary ethics of the past are all brought to the common touch-stone of facts. Probably no more convincing effort to construct a system of moral philosophy by a strictly scientific method has ever been carried out. The book is written in a serious spirit which must commend itself to all who regard morality as a primary factor in civilization and to all who regard moral culture as an essential element in education. It is designed as a textbook and in view of its splendid bibliographies, the compact character of its argument, and the illustrations in ethical research containing many suggestions for further work, it may be used in both introductory and advanced classes. The honor or reproach of freshest novelty in philosophy undoubtedly belongs to these latest days to a tendency of which the present volume is an interesting representative. For the English and American revival of realism now actively in progress is younger even than pragmatism, but just now entering upon its second decade; and if it seems, in the nature of the case, less likely to enjoy or suffer from a widespread popular vogue, it is sure to provoke, perhaps most of all on the part of pragmatism itself, close attention and study. Although Mr. Moore's volume is a vigorous and stimulating discussion of ethical principles, one cannot help suspecting that it was written with a predominant interest in those more general issues of the theory of knowledge and metaphysics which