Literary Correspondence. France

Lucien Arréat, Sherwood J. B. Sugden
1898 The Monist  
M D E ROBERTY resumes and develops in his L '£lhigue, le • psychisme social, the second of his series of works on ethics, certain fundamental theses which we already know. Morals find in his opinion their explanation in the bio-sociological doctrine, which he substitutes for the incomplete vitalistic doctrine. The relations of life with social conditions ought to be conceived, therefore, as follows: (i) life is organic and physiological, or hyperorganic and social; (2) organic life, in its
more » ... c life, in its higher planes, blossoms into cerebral life, and this begins at the precise point where irritability and contractility become sensation, elementary representation, and so-called conscious or reasoned action; (3) social life begins (a) with ideation, as this grows more and more complex and more and more bound up with the ideas of others, and with (£) action, as this likewise grows more complex and is dominated and shaped by the acts of others. And here issues forth a new form of cosmic energy constituting what M. Roberty calls collective psyehism or social existence. Thus, "ideas and the evolution of ideas form the sole contents, the sole subject-matter of sociology." As to the so-called contradictory notions of good and evil, justice and injustice, M. de Roberty eliminates entirely the difficulty which springs from the idea that the idea of struggle or antagonism is implied in the conservation of organic life. It is only, he says, when altruism has furnished its beautiful results and created the lofty forms of moral life, that individual reason and conscience, the products of collec-by guest on June 7, 2016
doi:10.5840/monist18988225 fatcat:liagg4n6nrbedksrcwdrvnsfq4