Logical Conditions of a Scientific Treatment of Morality (2022)

1. The Use of the Term "Scientific"

THE familiar notion that science is a body of systematized knowledge will serve tointroduce consideration of the term "scientific" as it is employed in thisarticle. The phrase "body of systematized knowledge" may be taken in differentsenses. It may designate a property which resides inherently in arranged facts, apart fromthe ways in which the facts have been settled upon to be facts, and apart from the way inwhich their arrangement has been secured. Or, it may mean the intellectual activities ofobserving, describing, comparing, inferring, experimenting, and testing, which arenecessary in obtaining facts and in putting them into coherent form. The term shouldinclude both of these meanings. But since the static property of arrangement is dependentupon antecedent dynamic processes, it is necessary to make explicit such dependence. Weneed to throw the emphasis in using the term "scientific" first upon method.,and then upon results through reference to methods. As used in this article,"scientific" means regular methods of controlling the formation of judgmentsregarding some subject-matter.

The transition from an ordinary to a scientific attitude of mind coincides with ceasingto take certain things for granted and assuming a critical or inquiring and testingattitude. This transformation means that some belief and its accompanying statement areno, longer taken as self-sufficing and complete in themselves, but are regarded as conclusions.To regard a statement as a conclusion, means (1) that its basis and ground lie outside ofitself. This reference beyond itself sets us upon the search for prior assertions whichare needed in order to make this one, i. e., upon inquiry. (2) Such priorstatements are considered with reference to their bearings or import in the determinationof some further statement, i. e., a consequent. The meaning or significance of agiven statement lies, logically, in other statements to which we are committed in makingthe one in question. Thus we are set upon reasoning, the development of the assertions towhich a particular assertion or view commits and entitles us. Our attitude becomesscientific in the degree in which we look in both directions with respect to everyjudgment passed; first, checking or testing its validity by reference to possibility ofmaking finer and more certain judgments with which this one is bound up; secondly, fixingits meaning (or significance) by reference to its use in making other statements. Thedetermination of validity by reference to possibility of making other judgmentsupon which the one in question depends, and the determination of meaning byreference to the necessity of making other statements to which the one in questionentitles us, are the two marks of scientific procedure.


So far as we engage in this procedure, we look at our respective acts of judging not asindependent and detached, but as an interrelated system, within which every assertionentitles us to other assertions (which must be carefully deduced since they constitute itsmeaning) and to which we are entitled only through other assertions (so that they must becarefully searched for). "Scientific" as used in this article thus means thepossibility of establishing an order of judgments such that each one when made is of usein determining other judgments, thereby securing control of their formation.

Such a conception of "scientific," throwing the emphasis upon the inherentlogic of an inquiry rather than upon the particular form which the results of the inquiryassume, may serve to obviate some of the objections which at once suggest themselves whenthere is mention of a science of conduct. Unless this conception is emphasized, the term"science" is likely to suggest those bodies of knowledge which are most familiarto us in physical matters; and thus to give the impression that what is sought isreduction of matters of conduct to similarly physical or even quasi-mathematical form. Itis, however, analogy with the method of inquiry, not with the final product, which isintended. Yet, while this explanation may preclude certain objections, it is far, in thepresent state of discussion, from removing all objections and thus securing a free andopen field. The point of view expressly disclaims any effort to reduce the statement ofmatters of conduct to forms comparable with those of physical science. But it alsoexpressly proclaims an identity of logical procedure in the two cases. This assertion willmeet with sharp and fiat denial. Hence, before developing the logic of moral science, itis necessary to discuss the objections which affirm such an inherent disparity betweenmoral judgments and physical judgments that there is no ground in the control of thejudging activity in one case for inferring the possibility of like control in the other.

2. The Possibility of Logical Control of Moral Judgments

In considering this possibility, we are met, as just indicated, by an assertion thatthere is something in the very nature of conduct which prevents the use of logical methodsin the way they are employed in already recognized spheres of scientific inquiry. Theobjection implies that moral judgment is of such character that nothing can besystematically extracted from any one which is of use in facilitating and guaranteeing theformation of others. It denies, from the logical side, the continuity of moral experience.If there were such continuity, any one judgment could be dealt with in such a way as tomake of it a conscious tool for forming other judgments. The ground of denial ofcontinuity in moral experience rests upon the belief that the basis and justifyingprinciple of the ethical judgment is found in transcendental conceptions, viz.,considerations that do not flow from the course of experience as that is judged in termsof itself, but which have a significance independent of the course off experience as such.


The assertion of such logical disparity assumes a variety of forms, all coming back topretty much the same presupposition. One way of putting the matter is that ethicaljudgments are immediate and intuitive. If this be true, an ethical judgment cannot beconsidered a conclusion; and hence there can be no question of putting it into orderlyintellectual (or logical) relations with other like judgments. A merely immediate judgmentis, by the nature of the case, incapable of either intellectual rectification or ofintellectual application. This view finds expression in popular consciousness in thenotion that scientific judgments depend upon reason, while moral valuations proceed from aseparate faculty, conscience, having its own criteria and methods not amenable tointellectual supervision.

Another way of affirming radical disparity is that scientific judgments depend upon theprinciple of causation, which of necessity carries with it the dependence of onephenomenon upon another, and thus the possibility of stating every fact in connection withthe statement of some other fact; while moral judgments involve the principle of finalcause, of end and ideal. Hence to endeavor to control the construction and affirmation ofany content of moral judgment by reference to antecedent propositions is to destroy itspeculiar moral quality. Or, as it is popularly expressed, ethical judgment is ethical justbecause it is not scientific; because it deals with norms, values,, ideals, not with givenfacts; with what ought to be, estimated through pure spiritual aspiration, not withwhat is, decided after investigation.

Pretty much the same point of view is expressed when it is said that scientificjudgments, as such, state facts in terms of sequences in time and of co-existences inspace. Wherever we are dealing with relations of this sort, it is apparent that aknowledge of one term or member serves as a guide and check in the assertion of theexistence and character of the other term or member. But moral judgments, it is said, dealwith actions which are still to be performed. Consequently in this case characteristicmeaning is found only in the qualities which exist after and by means of thejudgment. For this reason, moral judgment is thought essentially to transcend anythingfound in past experience; and so, once more, to try to control a moral judgment throughthe medium of other judgments is to eliminate its distinctive ethical quality. This notionfinds its popular equivalent in the conviction that moral judgments relate to realitieswhere freedom is implicated in such a way that no intellectual control is possible. Thejudgment is considered to be based, not upon objective facts, but upon arbitrary choice orvolition expressed in a certain sort of approval or disapproval.

I have no intention of discussing these points in their full bearing. I shall reducethem to a single logical formulation, and then discuss the latter in its most generalsignificance. The justification of the single statement as a formulation of the objectionsjust set forth (and of other like ones) will not be attempted, for further discussion doesnot turn upon that point. When generalized, the various statements of the logical gulfbetween the moral judgment and the scientific reduces itself to an assertion of twoantinomies: one, the separation between the universal and the

(118) individual; the other, between the intellectual and the practical. And these twoantinomies finally reduce themselves to one: Scientific statements refer to genericconditions and relations, which are therefore capable of complete and objectivestatement; ethical judgments refer to an individual act which by its very naturetranscends objective statement. The ground of separation is that scientific judgment isuniversal, hence only hypothetical, and hence incapable of relating to acts, while moraljudgment is categorical, and thus individualized, and hence refers to acts. The scientificjudgment states that where some condition or set of conditions is found, there also isfound a specified other condition or set of conditions. The moral judgment states that acertain end has categorical value, and is thus to be realized without any referencewhatsoever to antecedent conditions or facts. The scientific judgment states a connectionof conditions; the moral judgment states the unconditioned claim of an idea to be madereal.

This formulation of the logic of the problem under consideration fixes attention uponthe two points which are in need of discussion. First: Is it true that scientific judgmentdeals with contents which have, in and of themselves, a universal nature -- that its wholesignificance is exhausted in setting forth a certain connection of conditions ? Secondly:Is it true that the attempt to regulate, by means of an intellectual technique, moraljudgments -- which, of course, are thoroughly individualized -- destroys or in any waylessens distinctively ethical value?

In discussing the two questions just propounded, I shall endeavor to show: First, thatscientific judgments have all the logical characteristics of ethical judgments; since theyrefer (1) to individual cases, and (2) to acts. I shall endeavor to show that thescientific judgment, the formulation of a connection of condition, has its origin, and isdeveloped and employed for the specific and sole purpose of freeing and reinforcing actsof judgment that apply to unique and individual cases. In other words, I shall try to showthat there is no question of eliminating the distinctive quality of ethical judgments byassimilating them to a different logical type, found in so-called scientific judgments;precisely because the logical type found in recognized scientific judgments is one whichalready takes due account of individualization and activity. I shall, then, secondly,endeavor to show that individualized ethical judgments require for their control genericpropositions, which state a connection of relevant conditions in universal (or objective)form; and that it is possible to direct inquiry so as to arrive at such universals. Andfinally, I shall briefly set forth the three typical lines along which the construction ofsuch generic scientific propositions must proceed, if there is to be a scientifictreatment of ethics.

3. Nature of Scientific Judgments

The proposition that scientific judgments are hypothetic because they are universal isalmost commonplace in recent logical theory. There is no doubt that there is a sense inwhich this proposition states an unquestioned truth. The aim of science is law. A law isadequate in the degree in which it takes the form, if not of an equation,

(119) at least of formulation of constancy, of relationship, or order. It is clear thatany law, whether stated as formulation of order or as an equation, conveys, in and ofitself, not an individualized reality, but a certain connection of conditions. Up to thispoint there is no dispute. When, however, it is argued that this direct and obviousconcern of science with generic statements exhausts the logical significance of scientificmethod, certain fundamental presuppositions and certain fundamental bearings are ignored;and the, logical question at issue is begged. The real question is not whether scienceaims at statements which take the form of universals, or formula of connection ofconditions., but how it comes to do so, and what it does with the universalstatements after they have been secured.

In other words, we have, first, to ask for the logical import of generic judgments.Accordingly, not questioning the importance of general formulae as the objective contentof the sciences, this section will endeavor to show that such importance lies in thedevelopment of "sciences" or bodies of generic formulae as instrumentalities andmethods of controlling individualized judgments.

1. The boast and pride of modern science is its distinctly empirical and experimentalcharacter. The term "empirical" refers to origin and development of scientificstatements out of concrete experiences; the term "experimental" refers to thetesting and checking of the so-called laws and universals by reference to theirapplication in further concrete experience. If this notion of science be correct, itshows, without further argument, that generic propositions occupy a purely intermediateposition. They are neither initial nor final. They are the bridges by which we pass overfrom one particular experience to another; they are individual experiences put into suchshape as to be available in regulating other experiences. Otherwise scientific laws wouldbe only intellectual abstractions tested on the basis of their own reciprocalconsistencies; and the trait which is supposed to demarcate science from mediaevalspeculation would at once fade away.

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Moreover, if the generic character of propositions of physical and biological scienceswere ultimate, such propositions would be entirely useless from a practical point of view;they would be quite incapable of practical application because they would be isolated fromintellectual continuity with the particular cases to which application is sought. Noamount of purely deductive manipulation of abstractions brings a resulting conclusion anynearer a concrete fact than were the original premises. Deduction introduces in regularsequence new ideas, and thus complicates the universal content. But to suppose that bycomplicating the content of a universal we get nearer the individual of experience is thefallacy at once of mediaeval realism and of the ontological argument for the existence ofGod. No range of synthesis of universal propositions in chemistry, physics, and biologywould (if such propositions were logically self-sufficing) assist us in building a bridgeor in locating the source of an epidemic of typhoid fever. If, however, universalpropositions and their deductive synthesis are to be interpreted in the sense of themanufacturing and employing of intellectual tools

(120) for the express purpose of facilitating our individual experiences, the outcomeis quite other.

The empirical origin, the experimental test, and the practical use of the statements ofscience are enough of themselves to indicate the impossibility of holding to any fixedlogical division of judgments into universal as scientific, and individual as practical.It suggests that what we term science is just the forging and arranging ofinstrumentalities for dealing with individual cases of experience -- cases which, ifindividual, are just as unique and irreplaceable as are those of moral life. We might evensay that the very fact which leads us upon a superficial view into believing in thelogical separation of the generic judgment from the individual, viz., the existence of alarge and self-contained body of universal propositions, is proof that as to someindividual experiences we have already worked out methods of regulating our reflectivetransactions with them, while for another phase of experience this work remains to bedone; i. e., is the problem of current ethical science.

The consideration of the technique by which the desired end of control is accomplisheddoes not belong here. It suffices to note that the hypothetic judgment is a most potentinstrumentality. If we inhibit the tendency to say, "This, A, is B."and can (1) find ground for saying, "Wherever there is mn there is B."and can (2) show that wherever there is op there is mn, and (3) have atechnique for discovering the presence of op in A, we shall have warrant foridentifying This, A, as B. even if all the outward and customary traits arelacking, and even if This, A, presents certain traits which, without the mediationof a generic proposition would have inevitably led us to identify it as C. Identification,in other words, is secure only when it can be made through (1) breaking up the analyzedThis of naïve judgment into determinate traits, (2) breaking up the predicate into asimilar combination of elements, and (3) establishing uniform connection between some ofthe elements in the subject and some in the predicate. All judgments of everyday life, andindeed all judgments in such sciences as geology, geography, history, zoölogy, and botany(all sciences that have to duo with historic narration or with description of spacecoexistences), come back ultimately to questions of identification. Even judgments inphysics and chemistry, in their ultimate and concrete form, are concerned with individualcases. Of all the sciences, mathematics alone [1] is concerned with pure generalpropositions -- hence the indispensable significance of mathematics as a tool forall judgments of technology and of the other sciences. It also is true in all the arts,whether commercial, professional, or artistic, that judgments reduce themselves to mattersof correct identification. Observation, diagnosis, interpretation, and expert skill alldisplay themselves in transactions with individual cases as such.

2. Thus far we have seen that the importance of generic statements in science is noground for assuming in their logic from that of a scientific treatment

(121) of conduct. Indeed, since we have found that generic propositions originate,develop, and find their test in control of individual cases, the presumption is ofsimilarity rather than of dissimilarity. Can we extend the parallelism farther ? Does itapply equally well to the other characteristic trait of ethical judgment, viz., itsreference to an act ?

Just as modern logic has seized upon the hypothetic and universal character ofscientific statements, their bearing upon individual judgments into the background (but intruth so relegating them only because that bearing is always taken for grassed), so modernlogic has emphasized the aspect of content in judgment at the expense of the act ofjudging. I shall now try to show, however, that this emphasis also occurs becausereference to act is so thoroughly taken for granted that it is possible to ignore it --that is, fail to give it explicit statement. I shall try to show that every judgment mustbe regarded as an act; that, indeed, the individual character of judgment proper, whichhas just been brought out, means, in final analysis, that the judgment is a unique act forwhich there is no substitute.

Our fundamental point is the control of the content or meaning which is asserted in anygiven judgment. How can such control be obtained ? So far we have spoken as if the contentof one judgment might be elaborated simply by reference to the content of another --particularly as if the content of an individual judgment, a judgment of identification,might be secured by reference to the content of a universal or hypothetic proposition. Intruth, there is no such thing as control of one content by, mere reference to anothercontent as such. To recognize this impossibility is to recognize that the control of theformation of the judgment is always through the medium of an act by which the respectivecontents of both the individual judgment and of the universal proposition are selected andbrought into relationship to each other. There is no road open from any generic formula toan individual judgment. The road leads through the habits and mental attitudes of the oneconcerned in judging. The universal gets logical force, as well as psychical reality, onlyin the acts by which it is invented and constructed as a tool and then is employed for thepurpose for which it was intended.

I shall accordingly try to show that activity shows itself at every critical point inthe ! formation of judgment: (a) that it shows itself in the genesis of the generic oruniversal employed; (b) that it shows itself in the selection of the particularsubject-matter which is judged; and (c) that it shows itself in the way in which thevalidity of the hypothesis is tested and verified, and the significance of the particularsubject-matter determined.

a) So far we have assumed the possibility of building up and selecting for use somegeneric principle which controls the identification reached in an individual case. Wecannot, that is to say, regulate judgments of the type, "This is typhoid," or,"That is Bela's comet," unless we have certain generic concepts, which aredefined as connection of particular conditions, and unless we know when and how to selectfrond the stock of such concepts at our disposal the particular one required. The entirescience considered as a body of formulae having coherent relations to one

(122) another is just a system of possible predicates -- that is, of possiblestandpoints or methods to be employed in qualifying some particular experience whosenature or meaning is not clear to us. It furnishes us with a set of tools from whichchoice has to be made. The choice, of course, depends upon the needs of the particularfacts which have to be discriminated and identified in the given case -- just as thecarpenter decides, on the basis of what he is going to do, whether he will a hammer, asaw, or a plane from his tool-chest. One might as well suppose that the existence ofpossible candidates for office, plus the mathematically possible combinations andpermutations of them, constitutes an election of one of them to office, as to suppose thata specific judgment follows from even an ideally exhaustive system of general principles.The logical process includes, as an organic part of itself, the selection and reference ofthat particular one of the system which is relevant to the particular case. Thisindividualized selection and adaptation is an integral portion of the logic of thesituation. And such selection and adjustment is clearly in the nature of an act.

Nor must we fail to make clear that we are concerned, not with selecting and adapting aready-made universal, but with the origin of the universal absolutely for the sakeof just such adaptation. If individual cases in experience never gave us any difficulty inidentification, if they never set any problem, universals would simply not exist, to saynothing of being used. The universal is precisely such a statement of experience as willfacilitate and guarantee the valuation of individualized experiences. It has no existence,as it has no check of validity, outside of such a function. In some case where science hasalready made considerable headway, we may, without error, speak as if universals werealready at hand, and as if the only question were which one of them to pick out andemploy. But such a way of speaking must not blind us to the fact that it was only becauseof the need of some more objective way of determining a given case that a universal everoriginated and took on form and character. Did not the universal develop as medium ofconciliation in just the same sort of situation of conflict as that in which it finds itsuse, such use would be absolutely arbitrary, and consequently without logical limit. Theactivity which selects and employs is logical, not extra-logical, just because the toolselected and employed has been invented and developed precisely for the sake of just suchfuture selection and use. [2]

b) The individualized act (or choice) in judgments of identification shows itself notonly in selection from a body of possibilities of the specific predicate required, but inthe determination of the "This," or subject, as well. Students of logic are

familiar with the distinction between the fact of particularity and the qualifications ordistinguishing traits of a particular -- a distinction which has been variously termed onebetween the " That" and the " What," or between "This" and"Thisness." [3] Thisness refers to a quality which, however sensuous itbe (such as hot, red, loud), may yet in its own meaning belong equally well to a largenumber of particulars. It is something a presentation has, rather than what it justis. Such a variety of applications its involved in the very notion of quality. It makesall qualities capable of consideration as degrees. It is responsible for the ease withwhich names of qualities transform themselves into abstract terms, blue into blueness,loud into loudness, hot into heat, etc.

The particularity, or better, singularity, of the judgment is constituted by theimmediate demonstrative reference of the " This." [4] This demonstrativecharacter means a preferential selection; it is a matter of action. Or, from thepsychological side, the sensory quality becomes specific only in motor response. Red,blue, hot, etc., as immediate experiences, always involve motor adjustments whichdetermine them. Change the kind of motor adjustment and the quality of the experiencechanges; diminish it and the quality relapses more and more into indefinite vagueness. Theselection of any particular "This" as the immediate subject of judgment is notarbitrary, however, but is dependent upon the end involved in the interest which isuppermost. Theoretically, any object within the range of perception, or any quality or an,clement of any one object, may function as the "This," or the subject-matter tobe determined in judgment. Purely objectively, there is no reason for choosing any one ofthe infinite possibilities rather than another. But the aim in view (which, of course,finds its expression in the predicate of the judgment) gives a basis for deciding whatobject or what element of any object is logically fit. The implication of selectiveactivity is thus an organic part of the logical operation, and not an arbitrary practicaladdition clapped on after the logical activity as such is complete. The I very sameinterest which leads to the building up and selection of the universal leads to theconstructive selection of the immediate data or material with reference to l which theuniversal is to be employed. [5]

c) The experimental character of all scientific identification is a commonplace. It isso commonplace that we are apt to overlook its tremendous import -- the unconditionalnecessity of overt activity to the integrity of the logical process as such. As we havejust seen, an act is involved in the determination of both the predicate, or theinterpreting meaning, and of the " This," or fact to be identified. Were notboth of

(124) these acts correlatives in a larger scheme of change of value in experience, theywould both be arbitrary; and their ultimate appropriateness or adaptation to each otherwould be a sheer miracle. If one arbitrary act of choice reached forth to lay hold of somepredicate from out the whole system of possible qualifications, while another act ofchoice, entirely independent in origin, reached out to seize a given area from the wholepossible region of sense-perceptions, it would be the sheerest accident if the twoselections thus made should fit into each other, should play into each other's hands.

But if one and the same end or interest operates in regulating both selections, thecase stands quite otherwise. In such case, the experimental activity of verification isthe carrying on of precisely the same purpose which found expression in the choice ofsubject and predicate respectively. It is in no sense a third process, but is the entireactivity which we have already considered in two partial but typical aspects. The choiceof meaning or predicate is always made with reference to the individual case to beinterpreted; and the constitution of the particular objective case is always coloredthroughout by the point of view or idea with reference to which it is to be utilized. Thisreciprocal reference is the check or test continuously employed; and any particular moreobvious experimental activity of verification means simply that conditions are such thatthe checking process is rendered overt.

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I have now endeavored to show that if we take scientific judgment in its only ultimateform, viz., that which identifies or discriminates an individualized portion ofexperience, judgment appears as an act of judging; the act showing itself both in theselection and determination of the subject and the predicate, and in the determination oftheir values with reference or in respect to each other, and hence in deciding as to truthand validity.

Since in the discussion I have used a terminology which is hardly self-explanatory, andhave introduced a variety of statements which to many will appear, in the present state orcondition of logical discussion, to need rather than to afford support, I may point outthat the force of the argument resides in matters capable of complete empiricalconfirmation. The truth or falsity of the conclusion reached depends upon these twonotions:

First, every judgment is in its concrete reality an act of attention, and, like allattention, involves the functioning of an interest or end and the deploying of habits andimpulsive tendencies (which ultimately involve motor adjustments) in the service of thatinterest. Hence it involves selection as regards both the object of attention and thestandpoint and mode of "apperceiving" or interpreting. Change the interest orend, and the selected material (the subject of the judgment) changes, and the point ofview from which it is regarded (and consequently the kind of predication) changes also.

Second, the abstract generalizing propositions of science have developed out of theneeds of such individualized judgments or acts of attention; they have assumed theirpresent form -- that is, developed their characteristic structures or contents -- asinstrumentalities for enabling an individual judgment to do its work most effectively;

that is to say, to accomplish most surely and economically the end for which it isundertaken. Consequently the value or validity of such concepts is constantly checkedthrough which, by its success and failure, passes upon the competency of generalprinciples, etc., to serve the regulative function for which they are instituted. [6]

So far as the scientific judgment is identified as an act, all a priori reasondisappears for- drawing a line between the logic of the material of the recognizedsciences and that of conduct. We are thus free to proceed, if we can find any positivebasis. The recognition that the activity of judging does not exist in general, but is ofsuch a nature as to require reference to an initial point of departure and to a terminalfulfilment, supplies exactly this positive ground. The act of judging is not merely anactive experience at large, but one which requires specific motivation. There must be somestimulus which moves to performing this particular sort of act rather than some other. Whyengage in that particular kind of activity that we call judging? Conceivably some otheractivity might be going on -- the sawing of wood, the painting of a picture, the corneringof the wheat market, the administering of reproof. There must be something outside themost complete and correct collection of intellectual propositions which induces to engagein the occupation of judging rather than in some other active pursuit. Science furnishesconditions which are to be used in the most effective execution of the judging activity, ifone means to judge at all. But it presupposes the If. No theoretical system can settlethat the individual shall at a given moment judge rather than do something else. Only thewhole scheme of conduct as focusing in the interests of an individual can afford thatdetermining stimulus.

Not only must a practical motive be found for the use of the organized scientificsystem, but a similar motive must be found for its correct and adequate use. The logicalvalue of any intellectual proposition, its distinctively logical significance as distinctfrom existence as mere ens rationis, depends upon practical, and ultimately uponmoral, considerations. The interest must be of a kind not only to move the individual tojudge, but to induce him to judge critically, bringing into use all necessary precautionsand all available resources which may insure the maximum probability of truth in theconclusion. The system of science (employing the term "science" to mean anorganized intellectual content) is absolutely dependent for logical worth upon a moralinterest: the sincere aim to judge truly. Remove such an interest, and the scientificsystem becomes a purely aesthetic object, which may awaken emotional response in virtue ofits internal harmony and symmetry, but which has no logical import. If we suppose, oncemore, that it is a case of identification of typhoid fever, it is the professional,social, and scientific interests of the physician which lead him to take the trouble andpains to get all the data that bear upon the

(126) forming of judgment, and to consider with sufficient deliberateness as to bringto bear the necessary instrumentalities of interpretation. The intellectual contents get alogical function only through a specific motive which is outside of them barely ascontents but which is absolutely bound up with them in logical function.

If the use made of scientific resources, of technique of observation and experiment, ofsystems of classification, etc., in directing the act of judging (and thereby fixing thecontent of the judgment) depends upon the interest and disposition of the judger, we haveonly to make such dependence explicit, and the so-called scientific judgment appearsdefinitely as a moral judgment. If the physician is careless and arbitrary because ofoveranxiety to get his work done, or if he lets his pecuniary needs influence his mannerof judgment, we may say that he has failed both logically and morally. Scientifically hehas not employed the methods at command for directing his act of judging so as to give itmaximum correctness. But the ground for such logical failure lies in his own motive ordisposition. The generic propositions or universals of science can take effect, in &word, only through the medium of the habits and impulsive tendencies of the one whojudges. They have no modus operandi of their own. [7]

The possibility of a distinctively moral quality attaching to an intellectual activityis due to the fact that there is no particular point at which one habit begs and othersleave oaf. If a given habit could become entirely isolated and detached, we might have anact of judging dependent upon a purely intellectual technique, Upon a habit of usingspecialized skill in dealing with certain matters, irrespective of any ethicalqualifications. But the principle of the continuum is absolute. Not only through habitdoes a given psychical attitude expand into a particular case, but every habit in its ownoperation may directly or indirectly call up any other habit. The term " character" denotes this complex continuum of interactions in- its office of influencing finaljudgment.

4. The Logical Character of Ethical Judgment

We now recur to our original proposition: Scientific treatment of any subject meanscommand of an apparatus which may be used to control the formation of judgments in allmatters appertaining to that subject. We have done away with the a priori objectionthat the subject-matter to which recognized scientific judgments apply is so unlike thatwith which moral judgments are concerned that there is no common denominator. We are nowfree to revert to the original question: What are the differentiating logical conditionsof a scientific treatment of conduct? Every sort of judgment has its own end to reach: andthe instrumentalities (the categories and

(127) methods used) must vary as the end varies. If in general we conceive the logicalnature of scientific technique, of formulae, universals, etc., to reside in theiradaptation to guaranteeing the act of judging in accomplishing a purpose, we are therebycommitted to the further proposition that the logical apparatus needed varies as the endsto be reached are diverse. If, then, there is anything typically distinctive in the endwhich the act of ethical judging has to subserve, there must be equally distinctivefeatures in the logic of its scientific treatment.

The question thus recurs to the characteristic differential features of the ethicaljudgment as such. These features readily present themselves if we return to those cases ofscientific identification in which ethical considerations become explicit. There arecases, we saw, in which the nature of the identification -- and its consequent truth orfalsity -- is consciously dependent upon the attitude or disposition of the judger.The term "consciously" differentiates a peculiar type of judgment. In all casesof individual judgment there is an act; and in- all cases the act is an expression ofmotive, and thus of habit, and finally of the whole body of habit or character. But inmany cases this implication of character remains a presupposition. It is not necessary totake notice of it. It is part of the practical conditions of making- a judgment; but is nopart of the logical conditions, and hence is not called upon to enter into a content -- aconscious objectification in the judgment. To regard it as a practical instead of alogical condition means that while it is necessary to any judgment, the one act ofjudgment in question requires it no more than any other. It affects all alike; and thisvery impartiality of reference is equivalent to no reference at ad as regards the truth orfalsity of the particular judgment. Judging in such cases is controlled by reference toconditions of another quality than those of character; its presented data are judged interms of objects of the same order or quality as themselves. Not only is there noconscious inclusion of motive and disposition within the content judged, but there isexpress holding off, inhibition, of all elements proceeding from the judger. From thestandpoint of judgments of this type, such elements are regarded as logically merelysubjective, and hence as disturbing factors with respect to the attainment of truth. It isno paradox to say that the activity of the agent in the act of judging expresses itself ineffort to prevent its activity from having any influence upon the material judged.Accordingly through such judgments " external" objects are determined, theactivity of the judger being kept absolutely neutral or indifferent as to its reference.The same idea is expressed by saying that the operation of motive and character may bepresupposed, and hence left out of account, when they are so uniform in their exercisethat they make no difference with respect to the particular object or contentjudged.

But whenever the implication of character, the operation of habit and motive, isrecognized as a factor affecting the quality of the specific object judged, the logicalaim makes it necessary to take notice of this fact by making the relationship an explicitelement of content in the subject-matter undergoing judgment. When character is

not an indifferent or neutral factor, when it qualitatively colors the meaning of thesituation which the judger presents to himself, a characteristic feature is introducedinto the very object judged; one which is not a mere refinement, homogeneous in kind withfacts already given, but one which transforms their significance, because introducing intothe very content judged the standard of valuation. In other words, character as apractical condition becomes logical when its influence is preferential in effect --when instead of being a uniform and impartial condition of any judgment it is, if leftto-itself (or unstated), a determinant of this content-value of judgment ratherthan that. Put from the other side, in the "intellectual" judgment, it makes no differenceto character what object is judged, so be it the one judged is judgedaccurately; while in the moral judgment the nub of the matter is the difference which thedetermination of the content as this or that effects in character as a necessary conditionof judging qua judging.

The conscious reference to disposition makes the object an active object, viz., aprocess defined by certain limits -- given facts on one side and the same facts astransformed by agency of a given type on the other. The object judged is active, not'external," because it requires an act of judging, not merely as antecedent, but as anecessary element in its own structure. In judgments of the distinctively intellectualtype, the assumption is that such activity as is necessary to effect certain combinationsand distinctions will keep itself outside the material judged, retiring as soon as it hasdone its work in bringing together the elements that belong together and removing thosethat have no business. But in the ethical judgment the assumption is in the contrarysense; viz., that the situation is made what it is through the attitude which findsexpression in the very act of judging. From the strictly logical standpoint (withoutreference, that is, to overtly moral considerations) the ethical judgment thus has adistinctive aim of its own: it is engaged with judging a subject-matter, a definitiveelement in whose determination is the attitude or disposition which leads to the act ofjudging.

It follows immediately that the aim of the ethical judgment may be stated as follows:Its purpose is to construct the act of judgment as itself a complex objective content. Itgoes back of the judging act as that is employed in distinctively intellectual processes,and makes its quality and nature (as distinct from its form -- a question for psychology)an object of consideration. Just because character or disposition is involved in thematerial passed in review and organized in judgment, character is determined by thejudgment. This is a fact of tremendous ethical significance; but here its import is notethical, but logical. It shows that we are dealing, from the strictly logical point ofview, with a characteristic type of judgment -- that in which the conditions of judgingactivity are themselves to be objectively determined. The judger is engaged in judginghimself; and thereby in so far is fixing the conditions of all further judgments of anytype whatsoever. Put in more psychological terms, we may say the judgment realizes,through conscious deliberation and choice, a certain motive hitherto more or less vagueand impulsive; or it expresses a habit in such a way as not merely to strengthen itpractically, but as to bring to consciousness both

(129) its emotional worth and its significance in terms of certain kinds ofconsequences. But from the logical standpoint we say that the judger is consciouslyengaged in constructing as an object (and thereby giving objective form and reality to)the controlling condition of every exercise of judgment.

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5. The Categories of a Science of Ethics

The ethical judgment is one which effects an absolutely reciprocal determination of thesituation judged, and of the character or disposition which is expressed in the act ofjudging. Any particular moral judgment must necessarily reflect within itself all thecharacteristics which are essential to moral judgment überhaupt. No matter howstriking or how unique the material of any particular ethical experience, it is at leastan ethical experience; and as such its consideration or interpretation must conform to theconditions involved in the very act of judging. A judgment which institutes the reciprocaldetermination just described has its own characteristic structure or organization. Thework that it has to do gives it certain limiting or defining elements and properties.These constitute the ultimate Terms or Categories of all ethical science. Moreover, sincethese terms are reflected in every moral experience that is in course of judgment, they donot remain formal or barren, but are instruments of analysis of any concrete situationthat is subjected to scientific scrutiny.

The distinctively intellectual judgment, that of construing one object in terms ofother similar objects, has necessarily its own inherent structure which supplies theultimate categories of all physical science. Units of space, time, mass, energy, etc.,define to us the limiting conditions under which judgments of this type do their work.Now, a type of judgment which determines a situation in terms of character, which isconcerned with constructing what may be termed indifferently an active situation or aconsciously active agency, has a like logical title to the standpoints and methods; thetools, which are necessary to its task. Ethical discussion is full of such terms: thenatural and the spiritual, the sensuous and the ideal, the standard and the right,obligation and duty, freedom and responsibility, are samples. The discussion and use ofthese terms suffer, however, from a fundamental difficulty. The terms are generally takenas somehow given ready-made and hence as independent and isolated things. Then theoryconcerns itself, first, with debating as to whether the categories have validity or not;and, secondly, as to what their specific significance is. The discussion is arbitraryprecisely because the categories are not taken as limiting terms; as constituent elementsin a logical operation which, having its own task to perform, must have the means or toolsnecessary for its successful accomplishing. Consequently the primary condition of ascientific treatment of ethics is that the fundamental terms, the intellectual standpointsand instrumentalities, used, be discussed with reference to the position they occupy andthe part they play in a judgment of a peculiar type, viz., one which brings about thereciprocal objective determination of an active situation and a psychical disposition.

When the categories receive the fate which is meted out to them in current discussion,when they are taken up in accidental because isolated ways, there is no method ofcontrolling formation of judgment regarding them. Consequently other judgments whichdepend upon their use are in an increasing measure uncontrolled. The very tools which arenecessary in order that more specific judgments may work economically and effectively areonly vaguely known as to their own structure and modes of operation. Naturally they arebungled in employ. Because categories are discussed as if they had some ready-madeindependent meaning, each of its own, there is no check upon the meaning which is assignedto any one of them, and no recognized standard for judging the validity of any. Onlyreference to a situation within which the categories emerge and function can furnish thebasis for estimation of their value and import. Otherwise the definition of ultimateethical terms is left to argumentation based upon opinion, an opinion which snatches atsome of the snore obvious features of the situation (and thereby may always possess somemeasure of truth), and which, failing to grasp the situation as a whole, fails to graspthe exact significance of its characteristic terms. Discussion, for instance, about whatconstitutes the ethical standard -- whether conduciveness to happiness, or approximationto perfection of being -- must be relatively futile, until there is some method ofdetermining by reference to the logical necessity of the case what anything must beand mean in order to be a standard at all. We lack a definition of standard in terms ofthe essential conditions of the ethical judgment and situation. Such a definition ofstandard would mot indeed give us an off-hand view of the make-up of moral value such asmight be utilized for forming moral precepts, but it will set before us certain conditionswhich any candidate for the office of moral standard must be capable of fulfilling; andwill [thereby serve as an instrument in criticising the various claimants for the positionof standard, whether these offer themselves in generic theory or in the affairs ofconcrete conduct. Similarly, theorists have been attempting to tell what the ideal of manis, what is summum bonum, what is man's duty, what are his responsibilities, toprove that he is possessed or not possessed of freedom, without any regulated way ofdefining the content of the terms "ideal," "good," "duty,"etc. If these terms have any verifiable proper meaning of their own, it is as limitingtraits of that type of judgment which institutes the reciprocal identification ofpsychical attitude in judging and subject-matter judged. An analysis of the make-up ofjudgment of this type must reveal all the distinctions which have claim to the title offundamental ethical categories. Whatever element of meaning reveals itself as aconstituent part of such a judgment has all the claim to validity which moral experienceitself possesses; a term which is not exhibited within such an analysis has no title tovalidity. The differential meaning of any one of the terms is dependent upon theparticular part it plays in the development and termination of judgments of this sort.

(131) 6. Psychological Analysis as a Condition of Controlling Ethical Judgements

If it be true that a moral judgment is one in which the content finally affirmed isaffected at every point by the disposition of the judger (since he interprets thesituation that confronts him in terms of his own attitude), it follows at once that oneportion of the generic theory necessary for adequate control of individual moral judgmentswill consist in an objective analysis of disposition as affecting action through themedium of judgment. Everyone knows, as simple matter of fact, that a large part ofexisting treatises on morals are filled with discussions concerning desirable andundesirable traits of character C virtues and vices; with conscience as a function ofcharacter; with discussions of intention, motive, choice, as expressions of, and as waysof forming, character. Moreover, a concrete discussion of freedom, responsibility, etc.,is carried on as a problem of the relationship of character to the media of action. Thereciprocal determination, already set forth, of character and the content judged showsthat such discussions are not mere practical desiderata, nor yet a mere clearing up ofincidental points, but integral portions of any adequate ethical theory.

If character or disposition reflects itself at every point in the constitution of thecontent finally set forth in judgment, it is clear that control of such judgment dependsupon ability to state, in universalized form, the related elements constituting characteran objective facts Our particular judgments regarding physical things are controlled onlyin so far as we have, independent of and prior to any particular emergency in experience aknowledge of certain conditions to be observed in judging every physical object asphysical. It is through reference to such laws, or statements of connected conditions,that we get the impartiality or objectivity which enables us to judge in a particularcrisis unswerved by purely immediate considerations. We get away from the coerciveimmediacy of the experience, and into a position to look at it clearly and thoroughly.Since character is a feet entering into any moral judgment passed, ability of controldepends upon our power to state character in terms of generic relation of conditions,which conditions are detachable from the pressure of circumstance in the particular case.Psychological analysis is the instrument by which character is transformed from itsabsorption in the values of immediate experience into an objective, scientific, fact. Itis indeed, a statement of experience in terms of its modes of control of its own evolving.

Even popular consciousness is aware of many ways in which psychical dispositions modifyjudgment in a moral sense; and is accustomed to take advantage of its knowledge toregulate moral judgment in a moral sense; and is accustomed to take advantage of itsknowledge to regulate moral judgments. A score of proverbs could be collected expressingways in which psychological attitudes affect moral valuation. The ideas in

(132) such statements as the following, are commonplaces to the plain man: Habit, wont,and use lull the power of observation; passion blinds and confuses the power ofreflection; self-interest makes the judger alert to certain aspects of the situationjudged; impulse hurries the mind on uncritically to a conclusion; ends, ideals, arouse,when contemplated, emotions that tend to fill consciousness, and which, as they swell,first restrict and then eliminate power of judgment. Such statements, which might beindefinitely increased, are not only popularly known, but are commonly used in formationof a kind of hygiene of moral action.

Psychology proper differs from the aggregate of such statements through setting forth howvarious dispositions operate in bringing about the effects attributed to them. Justwhat are the various distinguishable psychical attitudes and tendencies? How do they hangtogether? How does one call forth or preclude another? We need an inventory of thedifferent characteristic dispositions; and an account of how each is connected, both inthe way of stimulation and inhibition, with every other. Psychological analysis answersthis need. While it can answer this need only through development of scientific constructswhich present themselves in experience only as results of the psychological examination,yet it is true that the typical attitudes and dispositions are familiar as functions ofevery-day experience. It is equally true that even the most atomic psychology employsgeneralized statements about the ways in which certain " states of consciousness" or elements (the constructs referred to) regularly introduce certain other "states." The theory of association is, indeed, just a generalization concerning anobjective sequence of elements which reflects to the psychologist the sequence ofattitudes or dispositions which are found in the immediate course of experience. Inparticular the sensationalists not only admit but claim that the association of otherstates of consciousness with states of pleasure and pain have uniform tendencies which maybe reduced to universal propositions; and which may be employed to formulate principlesexhibited in all conduct. If such is the case with psychological atomism, every steptoward recognition of a more organized, or inherently complex, mental structure multipliesthe number and range of possible propositions relating to connection of conditions amongpsychic states -- statements which, if true at all, have exactly the same logical validitythat is possessed by any "physical law." And in so far as these " states" are symbols of the attitudes and habits which operate in our immediate experience,every such proposition is at once translatable into one regarding the way in whichcharacter is constituted -- just the type of generic statement required by a scientificethics.

Psychology of course does not aim at reinstating the immediate experience of theindividual; nor does it aim at describing that experience in its immediate values, whetheraesthetic, social, or ethical. It reduces the immediate experience to a series ofdispositions, attitudes, or states which are taken as either conditions or signatures oflife-experience. It is not the full experience-of-seeing-a-tree it is concerned with, butthe experience reduced by abstraction to an attitude or state of perception; it is not theconcrete getting angry, with all its personal and social implications, but anger

(133) as one species of a generic psychic disposition known as emotion. It is notconcerned with a concrete judgment as such -- to say nothing of moral judgment. Butpsychological analysis finds in experience the typical attitudes it deals with, and onlyabstracts them so that they may be objectively stated.

Every statement of moral theory which purports to relate to our moral consciousnesssees forth relations whose truth must ultimately be tested through psychological analysis-- just as every judgment regarding a specific physical phenomenon must finally satisfycertain generic conditions of physical reality set forth in physical analysis.

Psychological analysis does not, for example, set before us an end or ideal actuallyexperienced, whether moral or otherwise. It does not purport to tell us what theend or ideal is. But psychological analysis shows us just what forming and entertaining anend means. Psychological analysis abstracts from the concrete make-up of an end, as thatis found as matter of direct experience, and because of (not in spite of) that abstractionsets before us having-an-end in terms of its conditions and its effects, that is, in termsof taking other characteristic attitudes which are present in other experiences.

Hence purely psychologic propositions are indispensable to any concrete moral theory.The logical analysis of the process of moral judgment, setting forth its inherentorganization or structure with reference to the peculiar logical function it has toaccomplish, furnishes the categories or limiting terms of ethical science, and suppliestheir formal meaning, their definition. But the logical category, say, of end or idealbecomes concrete only as some individual has actually experience of and with ends -- andthis involves the act or attitude of forming and entertaining them. So the category ofstandard becomes more than a possible intellectual tool only as some individual actuallyengages in an experience concerned with right and wrong, and which, when viewedobjectively, is regarded as a judgment. The entertaining of ends, the adjudging of values-- such acts are character-phenomena. Considered in abstraction from their immediatematter in experience, viz., just as acts, states, or dispositions, they arecharacter-phenomena as these present themselves to psychological analysis. Even toconsider any experience, or any phase of an experience, an ideal is to reflect upon thatexperience; it is to abstract and to classify. It involves passing judgment upon anexperience; something beyond the concrete experiencing. It is, as far as it goes,psychological analysis -- that is, it is a process of exactly the same order and implyingjust the same distinctions and terms as are found in psychological science. But thelatter, in making abstraction and classification conscious processes, enables us tocontrol them, instead of merely indulging in them.

Hence it is futile to insist that psychology cannot " give" the moral ideal,and that consequently there must be recourse to transcendental considerations -- tometaphysics. Metaphysics, in the sense of a logical analysis of that type of judgmentwhich determines the agent and the content of judgment in complete reciprocity to eachother, may

(134) " give" the ideal -- that is, it may show how the form or category ofideal is a constitutive element in this type of judgment, and hence has whatever ofvalidity attaches to this mode of judging. But such a logical analysis is far fromtranscendental metaphysics; and in any case we thus obtain only the category of ideal as astandpoint or terminus of a possible moral judgment. There is no question here ofideal as immediately experienced. Only living, not metaphysics any more than psychology,can "give" an ideal in this sense. But when ethical theory makes statementsregarding the importance of ideals for character and conduct, when it lays stress upon thesignificance of this, rather than that, kind of ideal, it is engaged in setting forthuniversal relations of conditions; and there is absolutely no way of testing the validityof such statements with respect to their claim of generality or objectivity save by ananalysis of psychic dispositions which shows what is meant by having-an-ideal in terms ofits antecedents and consequences. If any general statement whatsoever can be made aboutideals, it is because the psychic attitude corresponding to conceiving an ideal can beabstracted, and placed in a certain connection with attitudes which represent abstracts ofother experiences. To have an ideal, to form and entertain one, must be a fact, or elseideals are absolute non-existence and non-sense. To discuss what it is to have an ideal isto engage in psychological analysis. If the having-an-ideal can be stated in terms ofsequence with other similar attitudes, then we have a psychological generic statement (orlaw) which can be employed as a tool of analysis in reflecting upon concrete moralexperiences, just as the "law" of falling bodies is of use in controlling ourjudgment of pile-drivers, the trajectory of shells, etc. The possibility of generalizedpropositions regarding any character-phenomenon stands and falls with the possibilityof psychological analysis revealing regular association or co-ordination of certaintendencies, habits, or dispositions with one another. Hence the continued reiteration thatpsychology as a natural science deals only with facts, while ethics is concerned withvalues, norms, ideals which ought to be whether they exist or no, is either asidefrom the point, or else proves the impossibility of making any general statements,metaphysical as well as practical and scientific, about such matters.

7. Sociological Analysis As a Condition of Controlling Ethical Judgments

We revert once more to our fundamental consideration: the reciprocal determination inmoral judgment of the act of judging and the content judged. As we have just seen,adequate control of an act as determining a content involves the possibility of makingcharacter an object of scientific analysis -- of stating it as a system of relatedconditions or an object complete in itself -- a universal. We have now to recognize theconverse, viz., that we can control the judgment of the act, hence of character asexpressed in act, only as we have a method of analyzing the content in itself--that is. in abstraction from its bearings upon action.

(135) The ethical problem needs to be approached from the point of view of the act asmodifying the content, and of the content as modifying the act; so that, on one hand, werequire, prior to a particular moral crisis, a statement in universal terms of themechanism of the attitudes and dispositions which determine judgment about action; while,on the other hand, we need a similar prior analysis and classification of the situationswhich call forth such judgment. Which portion of the scientific apparatus we bring mostprominently into play in any given case depends upon the circumstances of that caste asinfluencing the probable source of error. If the situation or scene of action (by which wemean the conditions which provoke or stimulate the act of moral judging) is fairlyfamiliar, we may assume that the source of error in judgment lies in the disposition whichis back of the experience -- that if we can only secure the right motive on the part ofthe judger, the judgment itself will be correct. In other cases circumstances arereversed. We can fairly presuppose or take for granted a right attitude on the part of thejudger; the problematic factor has to do with the interpretation of the situation. In thiscase what is needed for right judgment is a satisfactory knowledge of the "facts ofthe case." Given that, the existing motive will take care of the rest. It is thislatter aspect of the matter that we now have to discuss.

The only way in which the agent can judge himself as an agent, and thereby control hisact -- that is, conceive of himself as the one who is to do a certain thing-- is byfinding out the situation which puts upon him the necessity of judging it in order that hemay decide upon a certain course of action. As soon as a conclusion is reached as to thenature of the scene of action, a conclusion is also reached as to what the agent is to do,and this decides in turn what sort of an agent he is to be. The merely intellectualjudgment may be marked off as one in which a content or object is fixed in terms of someother object or content, homogeneous in worth, and where accordingly it is a necessarypart of the procedure to suppress participation in judging of traits which proceed from,or refer to, the disposition of the judger. But judgments which are ethical (not merelyintellectual) make no such abstraction. They expressly and positively include theparticipation of the judger in the content judged, and of the object judged in thedetermination of the judger. In other words, the object judged or situation constructed inmoral judgment is not an external object, cold, remote, and indifferent, but is mostuniquely, intimately, and completely the agent's own object, or is the agent as object.

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Such being the case, what is required in order to form such a judgment of the scene orconditions of action as will facilitate the most adequate possible construing of theagent? I reply: A social science which will analyze a content as a combination of elementsin the same way that psychological analysis determines an act as a set of attitudes. It isassumed that the situation which calls forth distinctively moral judgment is a socialsituation, which accordingly can be adequately described only through methods ofsociological analysis. I am aware that (even admitting the neces-

(136)-sity of some sort of scientific interpretation of the scene of action) it issomething of a jump to say that such science must be sociological in character. Thelogical gap could be covered only by carrying the discussion of the categories of moraljudgment to the point where their social value would explicitly show itself. Such analysisis apart from my present purpose. Here I need only recur to the proposition of thereciprocal determination, in the ethical judgment, of the judger and the content judged,and suggest that this idea requires in its logical development the conclusion shalt, sincethe judger is personal, the content judged must ultimately be personal too -- so that themoral judgment really institutes a relationship between persons, relationship betweenpersons being what we mean by " social."

But in any case, some way of getting an objective statement of the situation, astatement in terms of connection of conditions, is necessary. Certain descriptive sciencesare necessary and in many cases no one would deny that elements of associated life enterinto the facts to be described. But even if it be admitted that the scene is social, thischaracterization does not exhaust the description. Any scene of action which is social is alsocosmic or physical. It is also biological. Hence the absolute impossibility of rulingout the physical and biological sciences from bearing upon ethical science. If ethicaltheory require, as one of its necessary conditions, ability to describe in terms of itselfthe situation which demands moral judgment, any proposition, whether of mechanics,chemistry, geography, physiology, or history, which facilitates and guarantees theadequacy and truth of the description, becomes in virtue of that fact an importantauxiliary of ethical science.

In other words, the postulate of moral science is the continuity of scientificjudgment. This proposition is denied by both the materialistic and transcendental schoolsof metaphysics. The transcendental school draws such a fixed line between the region of-moral and of cosmic values that by no possibility can propositions which refer to thelatter become auxiliary or instrumental with respect to the former. The fact that advanceof physical and biological science so profoundly modifies moral problems, and hence moraljudgments, and hence once more moral values, may serve as an argument againsttranscendental ethics -- since, according to the latter, such obvious facts would beimpossibilities. Materialism denies equally the principle of continuity of judgment; Itconfuses continuity of method, the possibility of using a general statement regarding oneobject as a tool in the determination of some other, with immediate identity ofsubject-matter. Instead of recognizing the continuity of ethical with other formsof experience, it wipes out ethical experience by assimilating it not simply withreference to logical method, but in its own ontological structure, to another form ofobjects defined in judgment -- that is, the physical form. If it is once recognized that allscientific judgments, physical as well as ethical, are ultimately concerned withgetting experience stated in objective (that is, universal) terms for the sake of thedirection of further experience, there will, on the one hand, be no hesitation in usingany sort of statement that can be of use in the formation of other judg-

(137)-ments, whatever be their topic or reference; and, on the other hand, there willbe no thought of trying to explain away the distinctive traits of any type ofexperience. Since conscious life is continuous, the possibility of using any one mode ofexperience to assist in the formation of any other is the ultimate postulate of all science-- nonethical and ethical alike. And this possibility of use, of application, ofinstrumental services makes it possible and necessary to employ materialistic science inthe construction of ethical theory, and also protects in this application ethical valuesfrom deterioration and dissolution.

In conclusion, it may avoid misapprehension if I say that the considerations set forthin this paper do not involve any pedantic assumption regarding the necessity of usingscience, or logical control, in any particular instance of moral experience. The largerpart, infinitely the larger part, of our concrete contact with physical nature takes placewithout conscious reference to the methods, or even the results, of physical science. Yetno one questions the fundamental importance of physical science. This importance discoversitself in two ways:

First, when we come to peculiarly difficult problems (whether of interpretation or ofinventive construction), physical science puts us in possession of tools of consciousanalysis and of synthesis. It enables us to economize our time and effort, and to proceedwith the maximum probability of success to solution of the problem which confronts us.This use is conscious and deliberate. It involves the critical application of thetechnique and already established conclusions of science to cases of such complexity andperplexity that they would remain unsolved and undealt with, were it not for scientificresources.

In the second place, physical science has a wide sphere of application which involvesno conscious reference whatsoever. Previous scientific methods and investigations havetaken effect in our own mental habits and in the material dealt with. Our unconscious waysof apprehending, of interpreting, of deliberating, are saturated with products of priorconscious critical science. We thus get the benefit, in our intellectual commerce withparticular situations, of scientific operations which we have forgotten, and even of thosewhich we individually have never performed. Science has become incarnate in our immediateattitude toward the world about us, and is embodied in that world itself. Every time thatwe solve a difficulty by sending a telegram, crossing a bridge, lighting the gas, boardinga railroad train, consulting a thermometer, we are controlling the formation of a judgmentby use of so much precipitated and condensed science. Science has pre-formed, in many ofits features, the situation with reference to which we have to judge; and it is thisobjective delimitation and structural reinforcement which, answering at every point to theconformation of habit, most assists intelligence in the details of its behavior.

There is every reason to suppose that the analogy holds with reference to a science ofconduct. Such a science can be built up only through reference to cases which at theoutset need conscious critical direction in judgment. We need to know the

(138) social situation is in which we find ourselves required to act, so that we mayknow what it is right to do. We need to know what is the effect of some psychicaldisposition upon our way of looking at life and thereby upon our conduct. Through clearingup the social situation, through making objective to ourselves our own motives-and theirconsequences, we build up generic propositions: statements of experience as a connectionof conditions, that is, in the form of objects. Such statements are used and applied indealing with further problems. Gradually their use becomes more and more habitual. The"theory" becomes a part of our psychical apparatus. The social situation takeson a certain form or organization. It is pre-classified as of a certain sort, as of acertain genus and even species of this sort; the only question which remains isdiscrimination of the particular variety. Again, we get into the habit of taking intoaccount certain sources of error in our own disposition as these affect our judgments ofbehavior, and thereby bring them sufficiently under control so that the need of consciousreference to their intellectual formulation diminishes. As physical science has broughtabout an organization of the physical world along with an organization of practical habitsof dealing with that world, so ethical science will effect an organization of the socialworld and a corresponding organization of the psychical habits through which theindividual relates himself to it. With this clearing up of the field and organs of moralaction, conscious recourse to theory will, as in physical cases, limit itself to problemsof unusual perplexity and to constructions of a large degree of novelty.


1. By "scientific", is meant methods of control of formation of judgments.

2. Such control is obtained only by ability to abstract certain elements in theexperience judged, and to state them as connections of conditions, i. e., as"objects," or universals.

3. Such statements constitute the bulk of the recognized sciences. They are genericpropositions, or laws, put, as a rule, in the hypothetic form if M then N. Butsuch generic propositions are the instruments of science, not science itself. Science hasits life in judgments of identification, and it is for their sake that genericpropositions (or universals, or laws) are constructed and tested or verified.

4. Such judgments of concrete identification are individualized, and are also acts. Thepresence of action as a logical element appears indirectly in (a) the selection of thesubject, (I) the determination of the predicate, and (c) most directly in the copula --the entire process of the reciprocal forming and testing of tentative subjects andpredicates.

5. Judgments are "intellectual" in logical type so far as this reference toactivity may be presupposed, and thereby not require to be consciously set forth orexposed. This happens whenever the action involved is impartial in its influence upon thequality of the content judged. Judgments are "moral" in logical type so far asthe presence of activity in affecting the content of judgment is seen consciously toaffect

(139) itself -- or whenever the reciprocal determination of activity and contentbecomes itself an object of judgment whose determination is a prerequisite for furthersuccessful judgments.

6. Control of moral judgment requires ability to constitute the reciprocaldetermination of activity and content into an object. This has three phases: First, astatement of the limiting forms of that type of judgment which is concerned withconstruing an activity and a content in terms of each other. The limiting terms of such atype of judgment constitute the characteristic features, or categories, of the object ofethical science, just as the limiting terms of the judgment which construes one object interms of another object constitute the categories of physical science, discussion of moraljudgment from this point of view may be termed "The Logic of Conduct." Second,an abstraction of the activity, which views it as a system of attitudes or dispositionsinvolved in having experiences, and states it (since a system) as an object constituted bydefinite connections of diverse attitudes with the attitude of judging -- viz., thescience of psychology. Third, a similar abstraction of the "content," whichviews it as a system of social elements which form the scene or situation in which actionis to occur and with reference to which, therefore, the actor is to be formed -- viz.,sociological science.

7. The whole discussion implies that the determination of objects as objects, even wheninvolving no conscious reference whatever to conduct, is, after all, for the sake of thedevelopment of further experience. This further development is change, transformation ofexisting experience, and thus is active. So far as this development is intentionallydirected through the construction of objects as objects, there is not only activeexperience, but regulated activity, i. e., conduct, behavior, practice. Therefore,all determination of objects as objects (including the sciences which construct physicalobjects) has reference to change of experience, or experience as activity; and, when thisreference passes from abstraction to application (from negative to positive), hasreference to conscious control of the nature of the change (i. e., conscious change), andthereby gets ethical significance. This principle may be termed the postulate ofcontinuity of experience. This principle on the one hand protects the integrity of themoral judgment, revealing its supremacy and the corresponding instrumental or auxiliarycharacter of the intellectual judgment (whether physical, psychological, or social); and,upon the other, protects the moral judgment from isolation (i. e., fromtranscendentalism), bringing it into working relations of reciprocal assistance with alljudgments about the subject-matter of experience, even those of the most markedlymechanical and physiological sort.

(Video) How Human Factors Leave You Vulnerable? | (ISC)² Colombo Chapter


What is the scientific approach to the study of morality? ›

The science of morality may aim to discover the best ways to motivate and shape individuals. Methods to accomplish this include instilling explicit virtues, building character strengths, and forming mental associations. These generally require some level of practical reason.

What does Dewey say about morality? ›

Dewey believed that neither traditional moral norms nor traditional philosophical ethics were able to cope with the problems raised by these dramatic transformations. Traditional morality was adapted to conditions that no longer existed.

What is the relationship between science and morality? ›

Across four studies, both naturalistic measures of science exposure and experimental primes of science led to increased adherence to moral norms and more morally normative behaviors across domains.

Why is morality important in science? ›

Ethical Rules in Science

Ethics is an important consideration in science. Scientific investigations must be guided by what is right and what is wrong. That's where ethical rules come in. They help ensure that science is done safely and that scientific knowledge is reliable.

What is scientific approach in simple words? ›

The scientific method is the process of objectively establishing facts through testing and experimentation. The basic process involves making an observation, forming a hypothesis, making a prediction, conducting an experiment and finally analyzing the results.

What are the 3 approaches to morality? ›

The three schools are virtue ethics, consequentialist ethics, and deontological or duty-based ethics. Each approach provides a different way to understand ethics.

What is John Dewey's theory called? ›

John Dewey was born in Vermont in 1859. He was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer who has long been considered one of the founders of a theory he referred to as instrumentalism, also called pragmatism.

What did John Dewey believe? ›

Dewey believed that a philosopher should not only reflect but also act, both to improve society and to participate in “the living struggles and issues of his age.” His tools: reason, science, pragmatism. His goal: democracy, not only in politics and the economy but also as an ethical ideal, as a way of life.

What did Dewey argue? ›

Dewey argued that curriculum should be relevant to students' lives. He saw learning by doing and development of practical life skills as crucial to children's education. Some critics assumed that, under Dewey's system, students would fail to acquire basic academic skills and knowledge.

What is moral science answer? ›

Moral science teaches you the moral values. It teaches you certain ways and behavior that you have got to follow in order to mingle and get alone in society in order to keep up your relationship. Its mostly rules and procedures that shows justice towards the society.

Where is moral science used? ›

Moral science teaches ethics and values. It influences critical thinking and helps a student to differentiate the right from wrong. When a person chooses to be right it exhibits his moral value, and if his morality reflects the willingness to do so, then it is called ethics.

What does moral science mean? ›

moral science (countable and uncountable, plural moral sciences) The systematic, scientific study of human nature and relationships.

Can science answer questions about morality? ›

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.

What is morality and reason? ›

Moral reasoning applies critical analysis to specific events to determine what is right or wrong, and what people ought to do in a particular situation. Both philosophers and psychologists study moral reasoning.

What is an example of the scientific method? ›

Your toaster fails to toast the bread. The observation you make from this problem is that your toaster won't toast. The question, in this case, is, “Why isn't my toaster working?” The hypothesis should be a potential explanation or answer to the question.

What is the purpose of the scientific approach? ›

The Scientific Method helps you put together experiments, use data to find conclusions and interpret them.

What is scientific method and its importance? ›

What is the scientific method? In a nutshell, the scientific method teaches the brain to logically examine and process all the information it receives. It requires that one observes and tests before making a statement of fact. This is the main method scientists use when asking and answering questions.

What are the types of morality? ›

There are two types of moral principles: absolute and relative. 1Absolute principles are unchanging and universal. Relative moral principles change depending on the situation.

What is the theory of morality? ›

There are a number of moral theories: utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue theory, the four principles approach and casuistry. Utilitarians think that the point of morality is to maximize the amount of happiness that we produce from every action.

What is the best theory of morality? ›

Moral Philosophy: Consequentialism

According to 'act consequentialism,' decisions and actions which bring about the most desirable consequences are the most moral (right) and those that bring about undesirable consequences are immoral (wrong).

What is John Dewey best known for? ›

John Dewey was an American philosopher and educator who was a founder of the philosophical movement known as pragmatism, a pioneer in functional psychology, and a leader of the progressive movement in education in the United States.

What is John Dewey's definition of philosophy? ›

Dewey thinks. that philosophy should become "a method of locating and interpreting the more serious of the conflicts that occur in life, and a method of projecting ways for dealing with them: a method of moral and political diagnosis and prognosis" ("The Influence" 40).

When was Dewey's theory? ›

Dewey's educational theories were presented in My Pedagogic Creed (1897), The Primary-Education Fetich (1898), The School and Society (1900), The Child and the Curriculum (1902), Democracy and Education (1916), Schools of To-morrow (1915) with Evelyn Dewey, and Experience and Education (1938).

What is John Dewey theory of learning by doing? ›

Learning by doing refers to a theory of education. This theory has been expounded by American philosopher John Dewey and Latinamerican pedagogue Paulo Freire. It's a hands-on approach to learning, meaning students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn.

What were John Dewey's 4 main principles of progressive education? ›

Dewey's 4 Principles:
  • Learning by doing or experiential learning.
  • Discussion.
  • Interactive.
  • Interdisciplinary.
10 Feb 2021

What did Dewey criticize? ›

Dewey dismissed traditional civics education as a preoccupation with the “established mechanisms” of American government that approaches “idolatry of the Constitution.” He also rejected the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, writing that “self-evident truths have been weakened by historic and by ...

What did Dewey argue was the most important purpose of schooling? ›

Dewey believed it was vital for schools to encourage students to think for themselves. They would then be more likely to become active citizens who could help to shape a better society.

What is John Dewey's model of problem solving? ›

Created and developed by educator John Dewey, the strategy includes six steps to solving a problem one faces. In his book How We Think, Dewey notes this problem-solving technique is “a consecutive order in such a way that each determines the next as its proper outcome, while each in turn leans back on its predecessor

What did Dewey believe was the purpose of education? ›

According to Dewey, the purpose of education is not the communication of knowledge but the sharing of social experience so that children become integrated into the democratic community.

What is moral value short answer? ›

What are moral values? Moral values are the key components of a person's character. They are personality traits guiding people to make decisions and judgements according to their own sense of what is right and wrong, based on collective and individual experiences.

What is moral value answer? ›

A value that helps judge behavior based on what we think is good compared to what we think is wrong is a moral value.

What is moral means in ethics? ›

Moral refers to what societies sanction as right and acceptable. Most people tend to act morally and follow societal guidelines. Morality often requires that people sacrifice their own short-term interests for the benefit of society.

What is morality in real life? ›

Morality is the behavior and beliefs that a society deems acceptable.

Why are moral values important? ›

They are what makes us humane. They are standards that help an individual choose for himself between right and wrong or good and bad. This understanding of morals is absolutely necessary for anyone to make honest, credible, and fair decisions and relations in their daily lives.

What is the science or study of moral values? ›

Ethics itself deals with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the right and wrong of certain actions and to the good and bad of the motives and ends of such actions.

Can we use science to determine morality? ›

Science can tell us how and why we value what we do, but it cannot tell us what we should value. This goes back to a belief put forth by philosopher David Hume, who stated that you can't get an ought from an is—statements and facts about the world as it is don't give ground for saying what we ought to do about it.

Can morality be studied scientifically? ›

The scientific study of morals has been subject to a tremendous change throughout the past decades, eliciting various theoretical models, paradigms, and methodologies from disciplines as philosophy, social and developmental psychology, cognitive science, or anthropology.

Are there morals in science? ›

The findings of science are neither moral or immoral, according to Hume. Hume's distinction between “is” and “ought” is not a distinction between doing science and doing religion. It is a distinction between being and acting.

What is the main function of morality? ›

What is the function of morality? On this question, something approaching a consensus has recently emerged. Many philosophers now tell us that the function of morality is to reduce social tensions, and to thereby enable a society to smoothly and efficiently ensure the well-being of its members.

What does morality mean simple? ›

Morality is the belief that some behavior is right and acceptable and that other behavior is wrong. ... standards of morality and justice in society.

What are the two approaches to the study of morality? ›

The first is ethics, or the study of morality— what is good, bad, right, or wrong in a moral sense. The second is aesthetics, or the study of values in art or beauty—what is good, bad, right, or wrong in art and what constitutes the beautiful and the nonbeautiful in our lives.

What are two major approaches to the study of morality? ›

The two main moral theories of modern virtue ethics (or neo-Aristotelianism) are Kant's deontological ethics and utilitarianism.

What is scientific approach in philosophy? ›

"The" scientific method is, accordingly, the testing of universal statements offered as scientific laws by comparing deductive consequences of laws with statements of observational facts about the world. Karl Popper (1965) calls it the method of "conjectures and refutations."

What is the best approach to morality? ›

The Utilitarian Approach

Utilitarianism is one of the most common approaches to making ethical decisions, especially decisions with consequences that concern large groups of people, in part because it instructs us to weigh the different amounts of good and bad that will be produced by our action.

What is the main source of morality? ›

The origins of morality lie inside human beings. Morality is a product of our biological and cultural evolution. In exploring the origins of morality, we won't discover the answers to questions about how we should act, nor whether, or to whom, we have moral responsibilities (we'll address that later in the week).

What is the main meaning of morality? ›

Morality is the belief that some behaviour is right and acceptable and that other behaviour is wrong. ... standards of morality and justice in society.

What is the basic concept of morality? ›

Morality refers to the set of standards that enable people to live cooperatively in groups. It's what societies determine to be “right” and “acceptable.” Sometimes, acting in a moral manner means individuals must sacrifice their own short-term interests to benefit society.

What are the major approaches to the study of morality? ›

The different moral approaches are the principle, consequences, virtue/character, and moral sentiment approaches. Conflicts in decision making can become easier to resolve when decision makers first recognize they are using different moral approaches and then choose to negotiate within the same moral approach.

What are the 4 different elements of morality? ›

There are four elements of moral behavior.
These include:
  • moral sensitivity.
  • moral judgment.
  • moral motivation.
  • moral character.

What is scientific method example? ›

Scientific Method Examples

Construction of hypothesis: The hypothesis used is that the bean plant can grow anywhere if the scientific methods are used. Executing the hypothesis and collecting the data: Four bean plants are planted in identical pots using the same soil.

What was the first method in doing a scientific method? ›

The first step in the Scientific Method is to make objective observations. These observations are based on specific events that have already happened and can be verified by others as true or false. Step 2. Form a hypothesis.

What is the best approach to what morally right action is? ›

Utilitarianism offers a relatively simple method for deciding the morally right course of action for any particular situation. Over the years, the principle of utilitarianism has been refined and expanded in many variations.

What are the benefits of morality? ›

Importance of Moral Values in Children
  • It Builds Their Character. ...
  • It Helps Them Tell Right From Wrong. ...
  • It Changes Their Perception of the World. ...
  • It Determines Their Adult Behavior. ...
  • It Counters Bad Influence From Peers. ...
  • It Helps Them Cope With Difficult Situations. ...
  • It Boosts Self-Confidence.
22 Aug 2021

How morals affect decision making? ›

Moral values, rules, and virtues provide standards for morally acceptable decisions, without prescribing how we should reach them. However, moral theories do assume that we are, at least in principle, capable of making the right decisions.


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