Page images
PDF
EPUB

an author's views before one begins to critiscise them. The reverse of this principle has often been practised upon Locke, and he has been sharply assailed on doctrines that he not only does not hold, but vigorously combats. Especially is this true with reference to his ethical views. We have endeavored to discover Locke's position by considering his entire works in connection with the circumstances under which they were produced. This, with the prescribed limits of our task, has excluded for the most part what is ordinarily called critiscism. We have used what Lownde and Fraser regard as the best edition of Locke's works, viz, that edited by Bishop Edmund Law, 4 vols. Folio, London, 1777. Among Locke's works, the most important for our enquiry, are; “An Essay concerning Human Understanding", 1690; "Two Treatises of Government”, 1690; “Some Thoughts concerning Education”, 1693; Locke's Replies to the Bishop of Worcester, Works I. 458–775; “Of the Conduct of the Understanding", (posthumous, 1706); Four “Letters concerning Toleration", 1685, 1690, 1692, 1704, and, finally, "The Reasonableness of Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures", 1695. The most important aids to our study have been, Lord King's Life of Locke. Ueberweg-Heinze's "Gesch. der Philos.", 3 Bände, 7te Auflage. Fox Bourne's Life of Locke, 2 vols. Hallam's “Intro. to the Literature of Europe", 4 vols., and “Marginalia, Locke-a-na". Ed. by Noah Porter, in "New Englander and Yale Review”, July 1887. Perhaps too much attention has been given to Hobbes. But it is to be remembered that Hobbes furnished employment to English moralists for about a century. He cast a spell over the English mind that was difficult to resist; a spell which Locke did not fully succeed in breaking, except in its political bearing. As Hobbes did not believe in ghosts, but was afraid of them,

so, after the time of Locke, Hobbes was not believed in, although there was much anxiety because of him. Again, Locke's views have carried us into fields that are not generally regarded as belonging to ethics. Locke maintains that the institutions of government, religion and education are, in essence, ethical and that all are parts of a system which must be based upon, and be in harmony, with the fundamental physiological and psychological principles of human nature. In so far as Locke has succeeded in relating and connecting these institutions with his first principles, he presents a general scheme of sociology.

April 15 th 1890.

Notice of Contents.

Chapter I. A Sketch of Moral Philosophy in England from 1650—1690.

The chaotic condition of the age and its causes, 1–2. The philosophy

of Hobbes, and its relation to Church and State, 2–8. His conception

of man and the statc, general effect of his philosophy, 8-9. Nathaniel

Culverwel combats Hobbes, makes reason the ethical faculty, anticipates

Locke's theory of knowledge and the Common Sense philosophy, and indi-

cates the course of the reaction against Hobbes, 9–13. Cumberland a

fruitful source of modern English ethics. He attacks the psychology of

Hobbes, views man as a rational, social, and benevolent being, an-

nounces an experimental method, gives an analysis of human nature, and

formulates the law of benevolence, but fails to depose the Leviathan,

13–17. Note on the Cambridge School, 17–18. The task left for

Locke was to replace the dogmatic materialism of Hobbes with a com-

plete system based upon the social and rational nature of man. Professor

Paulsen on Hobbes and Locke, 18-22.

Chapter II. The Ethical Faculty or Criterion. The motive and method

of Locke's investigation. His moral purpose, and conception of man

as a rational and social being. Psychological, empirical, critical, and

historical features of his method. The divisions of the Essay con-

cerning Human Understanding, 22–27. The meaning of tabula rasa,

of ideas in the mind, definition of “idea”, capacities and powers of the

mind, 27-29. In what sense Locke and Aristotle reject innate ideas,

and the force of Locke's polemic, 29–32. The chronological order of

ideas; how ideas come into the mind, what is experience? Its three

stages. The three sources of ideas; sensation, reflection, and intellect,

defined, related, and illustrated, 32—37. The logical order of knowl-

edge. Difference between ideas and knowledge, 38—39. Intuition, the

foundation of all knowledge and certainty. Demonstration, the only

means of increasing our knowledge. Sensitive knowledge is problematic.

The value of the three forms of knowledge, 41-42. Of knowledge,

and judgment. Locke explains his theory with reference to Aristotle,

43-44. Judgment, or practical reason, as distinguished from knowledge

or certainty. The ethical faculty as practical reason, compared with

conscience, 44-48.

Chapter III. The Foundations of Ethics. Constructive morality demands

a lawgiver, a known law, and rational sanctions. The existence and nature of God, and the relation of Theism to politics and ethics, 49-54. The nature of moral law is eternal and immutable; review of criticism, 54–58. Nøtural law and supernaturalism, the conception of a law of nature in history and in Locke's system, 58–63. The principles of natural morality or law defined as duties. Piety, prudence, benerolence, equity, are comprehended in the law of love, or the Golden Rule, as an imperative, 63–88. The possibility of a science of ethics illustrated by synthesis and analysis. Locke's view of the difficulties in the way of a science of ethics; language and signs, complexity of moral ideas, prejudice and self-interest, Locke holds to the possibility of a science of ethics, but thinks it would have little practical value, 68–74. The sanctions of morality, relation of theory and practise, universal morality deinands rewards and punishments. Revelation in Jesus Christ as moral philosophy. The force, extent, and relations of reason and revelation in moral obligations. Locke and Aristotle,

74–81. Chapter IV. The Ethical Life. Pleasure and pain are not principles

of knowledge, but inclinations of the appetite common to all sensitive beings. Reason must make the idea of happiness moral. Happiness, as an ethical end is, under a rational and moral government, identical with virtue, 81-85. The possibility of virtue; the antinomy between freedom and necessity, insoluble by the speculative reason, but relieved by the practical reason. “Moral actions are only those that depend upon the choice of an understanding and free agent”, 85—88. The doctrine of freedom. Freedom belongs, not to the will, but to the man.

Man has the power to follow what reason dictates as best, though the appetite lean the other way. True freedom is the freedom of self-determination, 98–94. Doctrine of education, its ethical bearing, character and end. Education rather than instruction, 94-98. Education as a means to virtue and happiness as ends. Natural parts and disposition, 99–102. Precepts and instruction, 102-104. Use,

practise, and habit, 104-106. Chapter V. Institutional Ethics. Locke opposes Filmer and Hobbes.

Politics a part of ethics, 106-108. The state of nature one of peace, equality, and liberty under the law of nature; a postulate of political philosophy. Idea of law, 108-109. How a state of war arises. Locke's extreme view of natural law, 109–110. Doctrine of Property. Property antedates civil society, and is founded in Labor.

Labor as a measure of values. Property rights and limits. Slavery, 110–114. The origin of money, the growth of possessions, the law of inheritance and of conquest. Influence of Locke's doctrine, and its ethical sorce, 114-116. Doctrine of the State, political power, its nature and extent; the origin

of political society by compact or consent of the people, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, 116–120. The three-fold division of political power, the legislative, judicial, and executive functions, 120–122. The dissolution of government; conditions and objections considered, 122–123. Doctrine of punishment, and personal identity, 123–125. Doctrina of the Church. Religion is a part of ethics. Three phases of the Church constitution.

Credenda, 125–129. Cultus religiosus, 129–131. Moralia, 131-132. Chapter VI. Conclusion. The unity of Locke's ethical system, 133–136.

The relation of Locke's work to ethical speculation in England in the early part of the Eighteenth Century. Clarke, Shaftesbury, Butler, and Price, 136-145.

« PreviousContinue »