Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/206

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

clude one another, we are prepared for framing a true conception of justice.

In other fields of thought it has fallen to my lot to show that the right view is obtained by co-ordinating the antagonist wrong views. Thus, the association-theory of intellect is harmonized with the transcendental theory on perceiving that when, to the effects of individual experiences are added the inherited effects of experiences received by all ancestors, the two views become one. So, too, when the molding of feelings into harmony with requirements, generation after generation, is recognized as causing an adapted moral nature, there results a reconciliation of the expediency-theory of morals with the intuitional theory. And here we see that the like occurs with this more special component of ethics now before us.

For if each of these opposite conceptions of justice is accepted as true in part, and then supplemented by the other, there results that conception of justice which arises on contemplating the laws of life as carried on in the social state. The equality concerns the mutually-limited spheres of action which must be maintained if associated men are to co-operate harmoniously. The inequality concerns the results which each may achieve by carrying on his actions within the implied limits. No incongruity exists when the ideas of equality and inequality are applied the one to the bounds and the other to the benefits. Contrariwise, the two may be, and must be, simultaneously asserted.

Other injunctions which ethics has to utter do not here concern us. There are the self-imposed requirements and limitations of private conduct, forming that large division of ethics treated of in Part III; and there are the demands and restraints included under Negative and Positive Beneficence, to be hereafter treated of, which are at once self-imposed and in a measure imposed by public opinion. But here we have to do only with those claims and those limits which have to be maintained as conditions to harmonious co-operation, and which alone are to be enforced by the society in its corporate capacity.

 

Any considerable acceptance of so definite an idea of justice is not to be expected. It is an idea appropriate to an ultimate state, and can be but partially recognized during transitional states; for the prevailing ideas must, on the average, be congruous with existing institutions and activities.

The two essentially-different types of social organization, militant and industrial, based respectively on status and on contract, have, as we have above seen, feelings and beliefs severally adjusted to them; and the mixed feelings and beliefs appropriate to intermediate types, have continually to change according to the