Tag Archives: dualism of practical reason

Henry Sidgwick

[T]he inhuman severity of the paradox that ‘pleasure and pain are indifferent to the wise man,’ never failed to have a repellent effect; and the imaginary rack on which an imaginary sage had to be maintained in perfect happiness, was at any rate a dangerous instrument of dialectical torment or the actual philosopher.

Christianity extricated the moral consciousness from this dilemma between base subserviency and inhuman indifference to the feelings of the moral agent. It compromised the long conflict between Virtue and Pleasure, by transferring to another world the fullest realisation of both; thus enabling orthodox morality to assert itself, as reasonable and natural, without denying the concurrent reasonableness and naturalness of the individual’s desire or bliss without allow.

Henry Sidgwick, ‘Hedonism and Ultimate Good’, Mind, vol. 2, no. 5 (January, 1877), p. 30