11. The speciality of Conscience, or the Moral
identified with our education under Government, or Authority.
The ethical systems.
Sokrates. His subjects were Men and Society. His Ethical Standard indistinctly expressed. Resolved Virtue into Knowledge. Ideal of pursuit—Well-doing. Inculcated self-denying Precepts. Political Theory. Connexion of Ethics with Theology slender.
Plato. Review of the Dialogues containing portions of Ethical Theory:—Alkibiades I. discusses Just and Unjust. Alkibiades II. the knowledge of Good or Reason. Hippias Minor identifies Virtue with Knowledge. Minos (on Law) refers everything to the decision of an Ideal Wise man. Laekes resolves Courage, and Charmides Temperance, into Intelligence or the supreme science of good and evil. Lysis (on Friendship) gives the Idea of the good as the supreme object of affection. Menon enquires, Is virtue teachable? and iterates the science of good and evil. Protagoras makes Pleasure the only good, and Pain the only evil, and defines the science of good and evil as the comparison of pleasures and pains. Gorgias contradicts Protagoras, and sets up Order or Discipline as a final end. Politikus (on Government) repeats the Sokratic ideal of the One Wise man. Philebus makes Good a compound of Pleasure with Intelligence, the last predominating. The Republic assimilates Society to an Individual man, and defines Justice as the balance of the constituent parts of each. Timoeus repeats the doctrine that wickedness is disease, and not voluntary. The Laws place all conduct under the prescription of the civil magistrate. Summary of Plato’s views.
THE CYNICS AND THE CYRENAICS. Cynic succession. The proper description of the tenets of both schools comes under the Summum Bonum. The Cynic Ideal was the minimum of wants, and their self-denial was compensated by exemption from fear, and by pride of superiority. The Cyrenaic ARISTIPPUS:—Was the first to maintain that the summum bonum is Pleasure and the absence of Pain. Future Pleasures and Pains taken into the account. His Psychology of Pleasure and Pain.
ARISTOTLE. Abstract of the Nicomachean Ethics. Book First. The Chief Good, or Highest End of human endeavours. Great differences of opinion as to the nature of Happiness. The Platonic Idea of the Good criticised. The Highest End an end-in-itself. Virtue referable to the special work of man; growing out of his mental capacity. External conditions necessary to virtue and happiness. The Soul subdivided into parts, each, having its characteristic virtue or excellence.
Book Second. Definition and classification of the Moral virtues. Virtue the result of Habit. Doctrine of the MEAN. The test of virtue to feel no pain. Virtue defined (genus) an acquirement or a State, (differentia) a Mean between extremes. Rules for hitting the Mean.