This Hackett edition, first published in 1981, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the seventh edition as published by Macmillan and Company, Limited. From the forward by John Rawls: In the utilitarian tradition Henry Sidgwick has an important place. His fundamental work, The Methods of Ethics, is the clearest and most accessible formulation of what we may call 'the classical utilitarian doctorine.' This classical doctrine holds that the ultimate moral end of social and individual action is the greatest net (...) sum of the happiness of all sentient beings. Happinesss is specified by the net balance of pleasure over pain, or, as Sidgwick preferred to say, as the net balance of agreeable over disagreeable consciousness.... (shrink)
Henry Sidgwick,, philosopher, classicist, lecturer and fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and supporter of women's university education, is well known for his Method of Ethics, a significant and influential book on moral theory. First published in 1883, this work considers the role the state plays in economic life, and whether economics should be considered an Art or a Science. Sidgwick applies his utilitarian views to economics, defending John Stuart Mill's 1848 treatise of the same name. The book calls for a (...) return to traditional political economy by eliminating 'needless polemics'. Sidgwick also outlines the need to bridge the gap between his analytical or deductive method and the inductive method employed by Mill's critics, the new generation of economic philosophers including John Elliot Cairnes and William Stanley Jevons. The second edition, reissued here, was published in 1887. (shrink)
Introduction -- Ethics and politics -- Ethical judgments -- Pleasure and desire -- Free will -- Ethical principles and methods -- Egoism and self-love -- Chapter viii-intuitionism -- Good -- Book II: Egoism -- The principle and method of egoism -- Empirical hedonism -- Empirical hedonism (continued) -- Objective hedonism and common sense -- Happiness and duty -- Deductive hedonism -- Book III: Intuitionism -- Intuitionism -- Virtue and duty -- The intellectual virtues -- Benevolence -- Justice -- Laws and (...) promises -- Classification of duties. truth -- Other social duties and virtues -- Self-regarding virtues -- Courage, humility, etc. -- Review of the morality of common sense -- Motives or springs of action as subjects of moral judgment -- Philosophical intuitionism -- Ultimate good -- Book IV: Utilitarianism -- The meaning of utilitarianism -- The proof of utilitarianism -- The relation of utilitarianism to the morality of common sense -- The method of utilitarianism -- The method of utilitarianism (continued) -- Concluding chapter: The mutual relations of the three methods. (shrink)
"The work of a master in the subject, who in a few pregnant pages has sketched out skillfully and judicially the history of Greek, of medieval, and of English reflections on the aims and laws of human conduct." --William Wallace.
One of the most influential of the Victorian philosophers, Henry Sidgwick also made important contributions to fields such as economics, political theory, and classics. An active promoter of higher education for women, he founded Cambridge's Newnham College in 1871. He attended Rugby School and then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained his whole career. In 1859 he took up a lectureship in classics, and held this post for ten years. In 1869, he moved to a lectureship in moral philosophy, the (...) subject where he left arguably his greatest mark when he produced this work, regarded as his masterpiece. Published in 1874, the book argues the utilitarian approach to ethics, and a systematic and historically sensitive approach to ethical research that influenced utilitarian philosophers well into the twentieth century. It remains a valuable introduction to the philosophy, practice and history of ethics. This reissue includes the 1877 supplement. (shrink)
'A hundred years after his death, Singer's volume demonstrates that Sidgwick continues to provide an exemplary model of the philosophical search for clarity, and of the openness to the thought of others required for the avoidance of dogmatism.' -British Journal of the History of PhilosophyEssays on Ethics and Method is a selection of the shorter writings of the great nineteenth-century moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick. Sidgwick's monumental work The Methods of Ethics is a classic of philosophy; this new volume is a (...) fascinating complement to it. The volume will be a rich resource for anyone interested in moral philosophy or the development of modern analytical philosophy. (shrink)
One of the most influential of the Victorian philosophers, Henry Sidgwick also made important contributions to fields such as economics, political theory and classics. A proponent of the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, which he analysed in his classic work The Methods of Ethics , he later turned to the practical side of politics in this work, published in 1891. His aim was to have a 'rational discussion of political questions in modern states', and he offers a (...) thorough examination of Victorian politics, beginning with a discussion of political theory before moving on to more concrete matters such as property and law. The later chapters discuss the function of government through themes such as procedural matters, international affairs, war, political parties, and public participation, giving a comprehensive account of both ideas about and the functioning of late-nineteenth-century government. (shrink)
Sidgwick's first explicit statement of the utilitarian position, in an essay presented to the Metaphysical Society in 1873, provides a lucid overview of the errors to be avoided and the terms to be clarified in any adequate account of the subject. As a précis of the comprehensive treatment of utilitarianism that would soon appear in The Methods of Ethics, this essay should serve as a useful guide to that work.