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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

'ethics' is to be used as the name for a science," Westermarck says, "the 

object of that science can only be to study the moral consciousness as a 

fact."[263] 

 

Lecky's _History of European Morals_ is a study in practical 

rather than in theoretical morals. Dr. Westermarck's great work, 

_The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, is a more modern 

example of the objectively scientific discussion of morals, 

although this is not perhaps clearly brought out by the title. It 

is essentially a description of the actual historical facts of 

what has been, and not of what "ought" to be. Mr. L.T. Hobhouse's 

_Morals in Evolution_, published almost at the same time, is 

similarly a work which, while professedly dealing with ideas, 

i.e., with rules and regulations, and indeed disclaiming the task 

of being "the history of conduct," yet limits itself to those 

rules which are "in fact, the normal conduct of the average man" 

(vol. i, p. 26). In other words, it is essentially a history of 

practical morality, and not of theoretical morality. One of the 

most subtle and suggestive of living thinkers, M. Jules de 

Gaultier, in several of his books, and notably in _La Dependance 

de la Morale et l'Independance des Moeurs_ (1907), has analyzed 

the conception of morals in a somewhat similar sense. "Phenomena 

relative to conduct," as he puts it (op. cit., p. 58), "are given 

in experience like other phenomena, so that morality, or the 

totality of the laws which at any given moment of historic 

evolution are applied to human practice, is dependent on 

customs." I may also refer to the masterly exposition of this 

aspect of morality in Levy-Bruhl's _La Morale et la Science des 

Moeurs_ (there is an English translation). 

 

Practical morality is thus the solid natural fact which forms the 

biological basis of theoretical morality, whether traditional or ideal. 

The excessive fear, so widespread among us, lest we should injure morality 

is misplaced. We cannot hurt morals though we can hurt ourselves. Morals 

is based on nature and can at the most only be modified. As Crawley 

rightly insists,[264] even the categorical imperatives of our moral 

traditions, so far from being, as is often popularly supposed, attempts to 

suppress Nature, arise in the desire to assist Nature; they are simply an 

attempt at the rigid formulation of natural impulses. The evil of them 

only lies in the fact that, like all things that become rigid and dead, 

they tend to persist beyond the period when they were a beneficial vital 

reaction to the environment. They thus provoke new forms of ideal 

morality; and practical morals develops new structures, in accordance with 

new vital relationships, to replace older and desiccated traditions. 

 

There is clearly an intimate relationship between theoretical morals and 

practical morals or morality proper. For not only is theoretical morality 

the outcome in consciousness of realized practices embodied in the 

general life of the community, but, having thus become conscious, it 

reacts on those practices and tends to support them or, by its own 

spontaneous growth, to modify them. This action is diverse, according as 

we are dealing with one or the other of the strongly marked divisions of 

theoretical morality: traditional and posterior morality, retarding the 

vital growth of moral practice, or ideal and anterior morality, 

stimulating the vital growth of moral practice. Practical morality, or 

morals proper, may be said to stand between these two divisions of 

theoretical morality. Practice is perpetually following after anterior 


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