Greek Morality: In Relation to Institutions an Essay (Classic Reprint)by William Henry Samuel Jones
Greek ethics has been studied by generations of scholars, and the broad outlines are by this time familiar ground. Perhaps it is only in details that our knowledge will be increased or corrected. The case is somewhat different with Greek morality. Many writers on the subject practically confine
Excerpt from Greek Morality: In Relation to Institutions an Essay
Greek ethics has been studied by generations of scholars, and the broad outlines are by this time familiar ground. Perhaps it is only in details that our knowledge will be increased or corrected. The case is somewhat different with Greek morality. Many writers on the subject practically confine their attention to the works of philosophers. But this method of procedure will not always give the accepted ideals of a nation. Hints of the average moral level may be gleaned from philosophic works, but they need supplementing by a careful study of non-philosophic literature. This has been done with splendid diligence by L. Schmidt. In an introductory chapter he discusses with great acuteness the testimony of Greek writers to Greek morality, and the suppositions which must be granted before an inquiry into that morality becomes possible. I would add one word of warning. It is extremely difficult to form a correct idea of a people's morality from its literature. A writer presupposes in his reader certain knowledge, sympathies, and modes of thought and feeling. How easy it is to be deceived on these points is familiar to every visitor to the Continent. Moreover, we have now descriptions of foreigners by authors of different nationalities.
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