- Paperback: 542 pages
- Publisher: Nabu Press (14 August 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1177203901
- ISBN-13: 978-1177203906
- Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.8 x 24.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Prolegomena to Ethics Paperback – Import, 14 Aug 2010
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To such questions we should reply as follows. We must be on uni guaTcTligainst lapsing into the notion that a process dd infinitum, a process "not relative to an end, can be-arpracesff of development "aTau". "TTthe history of mankind were simpTy"X"hTs£o7y""6FT?vents...
You get the point. Some parts are completely unreadable. Another thing that I found frustrating was that there are no table of contents that tell you which page each Book or Chapter was on. This made navigating the book even more frustrating.
In short, spend the extra money to buy an older addition.
It is Green's conviction, supported here by massive argumentation, that the world in which we live cannot possibly be pieced together out of the sensations and feelings upon which such earlier British philosophers as Locke had tried to rely. On the contrary, our absolute presupposition in the possession of anything deserving to be called "knowledge" is that the world in which we live is an interconnected system, a whole bound together by relations neither the existence nor the apprehension of which can be accounted for in "empiricist" terms.
This world must, Green argues, be the activity of a single Mind the activity of which we reconstruct in some manner as we develop our own knowledge. And the activity of this single Mind, he contends, is also the ground of our moral life. This doctrine he applied to great effect in his _Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation_, in which he salvaged Rousseau's flawed doctrine of the "general will."
His reformulation of this doctrine was influential on both Bernard Bosanquet and Brand Blanshard, and in general his writings on ethics and political obligation mark a watershed in the history of liberal political thought. Specifically, his departure from Mill and Spencer marks the precise point at which liberalism began to allow an increasingly active positive role for the State -- an issue, by the way, on which I continue to disagree with him.
(For the record, I would contend that the ideal "evenly rotating economy" of the Austrian school of economics is a better expression of the "general will" or "rational will," at least as regards exchangeable goods, than any State activity will ever be. However, I think Green's metaphysics are basically sound and do in fact provide the proper foundation for the liberal commonwealth. In any case, any critics of modern liberalism will have to come to terms with Green at some point, and in my view they will find much in his thought that is worth retaining.)
Green has been criticized for failing to keep clear between two allegedly different views: the view, on the one hand, that reality is _known_ through intelligence, and the view, on the other, that real relations are _constituted_ by the activity of intelligence. I do not think this criticism is well-founded, but at any rate it is in this volume that Green offers his fullest defense of the thesis in question. The reader will have to judge.