Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals

Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals


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Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals by Aldous Huxley

Contemporary intellectuals still struggle over the relationship of ends to means, especially in political discourse. Pacifism is still an important topic today, as terrorism and dictatorial states abound. Many will find solace in Ends and Means, while others will find the book only a case study of the relationship of ethics to politics.

Aldous Huxley examines common issues in a unique fashion. How can the regression in charity through which we are living, and for which each one of us is in some measure responsible, be halted and reversed? How can existing society be transformed into the ideal society described by the prophets? How can the average sensual man and the exceptional (and more dangerous) ambitious man be transformed into a non-attached being, one who can create a society significantly better than our own?

Huxley discusses the relationship between the theories and the practices of reformers and the nature of the universe. He argues that our beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality help us formulate conceptions of right and wrong, not only in our private life, but also in the sphere of politics and economics. Far from being irrelevant, our philosophical beliefs are the final determining factor in our actions. This provocative classic volume, now available in paperback, will continue to stimulate discussion and thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412847445
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 04/30/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 412
Sales rank: 665,814
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was an English writer and editor of Oxford Poetry. He interests included parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, and he is known in many academic circles as a leader of modern thought. He is the recipient of both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. His many works include Brave New World, Themes and Variations, and The Genius and the Goddess.

Howard G. Schneiderman is professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Lafayette College.

Table of Contents

Introduction to The Transaction Edition Howard Schneiderman vii

I Goals, Roads and Contemporary Starting Point 1

II The Nature of Explanation 12

III Efficacy And Limitations of Large-Scale Social Reform 17

IV Social Reform and Violence 28

V The Planned Society 35

VI Nature of The Modern State 63

VII Centralization and Decentralization 68

VIII Decentralization and Self-Government 78

IX War 100

X Individual Work for Reform 144

XI Inequality 185

XII Education 204

XIII Religious Practices 260

XIV Beliefs 291

XV Ethics 351

Index 383

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