Lectures on Moral Science
Date : 1862
"Philosophy investigates causes, unities, and ends. Of these it is the last two that are chiefly considered in the following lectures. "Happy," it has been said, "is he who knows the causes of things." But in a world where there are so many apparent discrepancies both natural and moral, he must be more happy who knows the arrangement of things into systems, and sees how all these systems go to make up one greater system and to promote a common end. An investigation of causes respects the past; of unities and ends, the present and the future. Of these the latter are more intimate to us, and he who can trace the principle of unity by which nature is harmonized with herself, and man with nature, and man with himself, and the individual with society, and man with God--who can see in all these a complex unity and can apprehend their end--will have an element of satisfaction far greater than he who should know the causes of all things without being able to unravel their perplexities. From the place assigned to Moral Philosophy in the classification adopted in these lectures, an incidental consideration of the above harmonies seemed to be required. Hence it is hoped that the book may contain suggestions that will be valuable to some who may not agree with its doctrines on the particular subject of morals. It is particularly hoped that it may do something towards introducing more of unity into the courses of study, or some of them, in our higher seminaries. If the works of God, regarded as an expression of his thought, are built up after a certain method, it deserves to be considered whether that thought will not be best reached by following in their study the order that has been followed in their construction, and which is involved in that method. Something of this I have long aimed to do in my instructions, and with very perceptible advantage. With suitable text-books and a right arrangement of studies, much more might doubtless be done. In treating of any natural system, as each part implies all the others, wherever we begin, and whatever method we follow, we are compelled to use terms whose full meaning can be reached only in the progress of the investigation. This is particularly true when, as in the present instance, instead of beginning with definitions, we seek for them. For this it is hoped that due allowance may be made. It will be seen that important, and even cardinal points, are often but briefly touched in these discussions. I can only say that the work is, of necessity, suggestive rather than exhaustive, and that if these points are so treated as to show their place in the system, the outline may be readily filled up"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).