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of the ethic, explains the fortune enjoyed now Critique of and formerly by the utilitarian theory of Ethic. and the reform It is in fact easy to discover and to show Economic.
a utilitarian side in every moral action; as it is easy to show an æsthetic side of every logical proposition. The criticism of ethical utilitarianism cannot escape by denying this truth and seeking out absurd and inexistent examples of useless moral actions. It must admit the utilitarian side and explain it as the concrete form of morality, which consists of what is within this form. Utilitarians do not see this within. This is not the place for a more ample development of such ideas. Ethic and Economic cannot but be gainers, as we have said of Logic and Esthetic, by a more exact determination of the relations that exist between them. Economic science is now rising to the animating concept of the useful, as it strives to pass beyond the mathematical phase, in which it is still entangled ; a phase which, when it superseded historicism, was in its turn a progress, destroying a series of arbitrary distinctions and false theories of Economic, implied in the confusion of the theoretical with the historical. With this conception, it will be easy on the one hand to absorb and to verify the semi-philosophical
of Ethic and of
in practical activity.
theories of so-called pure economy, and on the other, by the introduction of successive complications and additions, and by passing from the philosophical to the empirical or naturalistic method, to include the particular theories of the political or national economy of the schools.
As æsthetic intuition knows the phenomenon or nature, and philosophic intuition the noumenon or spirit; so economic activity wills the phenomenon or nature, and moral activity the noumenon or spirit. The spirit which desires itself, its true self, the universal which is in the empirical and finite spirit: that is the formula which perhaps defines the essence of morality with the least impropriety. This will for the
true self is absolute liberty.
EXCLUSION OF OTHER SPIRITUAL FORMS
In this summary sketch that we have given, of The system of the spirit. the entire philosophy of the spirit in its fundamental moments, the spirit is conceived as consisting of four moments or grades, disposed in such a way that the theoretical activity is to the practical as is the first theoretical grade to the second theoretical, and the first practical grade to to the second practical. The four moments imply one another regressively by their concretion. The concept cannot be without expression, the useful without the one and the other, and morality without the three preceding grades. If the æsthetic fact is alone independent, and the others more or less dependent, then the logical is the least so and the moral will the most. Moral intention operates on given theoretic bases, which cannot be dispensed with, save by that absurd practice, the jesuitical direction of intention. Here people
The forms of genius.
of a fifth form of activity.
pretend to themselves not to know what at bottom they know perfectly well.
If the forms of human activity are four, four also are the forms of genius. Geniuses in art, in science, in moral will or heroes, have certainly always been recognized. But the genius of pure Economic has met with opposition. It is not altogether without reason that a category of bad geniuses or of geniuses of evil has been created. The practical, merely economic genius, which is not directed to a rational end, cannot but excite an admiration mingled with alarm. It would be a mere question of words, were we to discuss whether the word "genius" should be applied only to creators of æsthetic expression, or also to men of scientific research and of action. To observe, on the other hand, that genius, of whatever kind it be, is always a quantitative conception and an empirical distinction, would be to repeat what has already been explained as regards artistic genius.
Non-existence - A fifth form of spiritual activity does not exist. It would be easy to demonstrate how all the other forms, either do not possess the character of activity, or are verbal variants of the activities already examined, or are complex and derived facts, in which the various activities are mingled,
or are filled with special contents and contingent data.
The judicial fact, for example, considered as what is called objective law, is derived both from the economic and from the logical activities. Law is a rule, a formula (whether oral or written matters little here) in which is contained an economic relation willed by an individual or by a collectivity. This economic side at once unites it with and distinguishes it from moral activity. Take another example. Sociology (among the many meanings the word bears in our times) is sometimes conceived as the study of an original element, which is called sociality. Now what is it that distinguishes sociality, or the relations which are developed in a meeting of men, not of subhuman beings, if it be not just the various spiritual activities which exist among the former and which are supposed not to exist, or to exist only in a rudimentary degree, among the latter? Sociality, then, far from being an original, simple, irreducible conception, is very complex and complicated. This could be proved by the impossibility, generally recognized, of enunciating a single sociological law, properly so-called. Those that are improperly called by that name are revealed as either empirical