By Jean-Marie Guyau

There should be no doubt that the current second bargains a healthy chance for introducing to a wide circle of English readers this publication of Guyau s, which, in his personal state, is rightly thought of his masterpiece. Guyau is already recognized in England by means of his notable and suggestive paintings on schooling and Heredity and The Irreligion of the long run; and one other paintings from him, on so vital a topic as Morality, could provide a much-needed resource of proposal and encouragement, at a time while ethical technological know-how is obviously coming into upon a interval of renewed power and wider curiosity. motivated via the nice problems of an ever-increasing complexity of existence, below situations which render a few of the outdated creeds and religions incompetent to grapple with the issues difficult answer ;distressed through a psychological chaos which threatens to retard all innovative efforts via fitful reactions ;the fans of freedom and social amelioration flip to Morality for the aid and the strengthgiving caliber with no which existence is doomed to decay and destruction.
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Of a certain number of thoughts, of remembrances, of wills corresponding one to the other, and of forces in equilibrium. the This ; equilibrium can only exist in a certain intellectual and physical environment which is favourable to it. Now, — ; 20 MORALITY INDEPENDENT OF OBLIGATION OR SANCTION. environment can only be supplied during a certain Man, as he is constituted, cannot predict eternity. There is no indefinite progress in every sense, either this time. for the individual or The complete triumph species the for species are only middle ; individual and terms between past and future.

It. echo of mischief in the brain. into the brain itself on it, corresponds to evolution of not good to feel our ailment too deeply, or the sensation exaggerates re-acting like the Not only is pain the consciousness pain to dissolution. of a vital trouble, but In thus is In the rhythm and is Pain may be then a fresh evil added to the finally increasing which just partial disintegration, regarded as the A sympathetic trouble carried it. first, In this way pain, appeared only as the consciousness of now herself appears as an agent of Excess of pain over pleasure is, therefore, before disintegration.

Eternal cradle rocking fathoms, we see its creatures. it It is the If we look swarming life. There is not one of its drops of water which does not hold living creatures, and all fight one another, persecute one another, What does it matter to the avoid and devour one another. whole, of what consequence to the deep ocean, are these The inhabitants, wandering at random in its briny waves ? ocean itself gives us the spectacle of a war, a struggle into its its 44 MORALITY INDEPENDENT OF OBLIGATION OR SANCTION.

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