- Series: Oxford Paperbacks
- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Clarendon Press; 2 edition (September 8, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198810393
- ISBN-13: 978-0198810391
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ethical Studies (Oxford Paperbacks) 2nd Edition
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However, his work is probably more positive than he gave it credit for. While it is undoubtedly not a full moral philosophy, he at least sketches the outlines of an ethic of self-fulfillment that does not collapse into either amorality or tautology.
Utilitarianism has moved on since Bradley's time and its arguments and doctrines have not stood altogether still. But Bradley's critiques of hedonism and its inability to provide a rule of life are still trenchant; his dissection of "duty for duty's sake" should still have the power to make Kantians squirm a bit; and his essay on "My Station and Its Duties" is surely a classic of British moral philosophy.
The meat of Bradley's own positive case, though, is presented in the final two chapters, on "Ideal Morality" and "Selfishness and Self-Sacrifice." It would be a mistake to regard "My Station and Its Duties" as Bradley's final word on ethics, for he did not thus regard it himself. On the contrary, in his closing chapters he sketches a view of the moral life as a life in which one's "good self" is fulfilled by overcoming one's "bad self" -- the former answering to our "true being" and the latter incapable of being desired for its own sake. And this "good self" is not simply or fully exhausted in our practical obligations.
Bradley did not allow the book to be republished for many years after it had gone out of print, but in later life he did begin to make notes toward a reissue. This reissue was published in 1927, some three years after Bradley's death, with the help of H.H. Joachim; this edition, which is the one here made available, incorporates Bradley's rough notes as bracketed additions.