The Journal of Human Relations
Online ISSN : 2433-1961
Print ISSN : 1340-8186
A Study of <<Moral Sense>> and its origin
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1996 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 25-33


After the corruption of Catholicism of Middle Ages, people searched for a new view of man. First of all, Hobbes regards 'egoism' as man's most natural nature. Then Shaftesbury criticizes that same 'egoism' and claimed that 'altruism' is much more natural to man. Shaftesbury also asserted that man has 'Moral Sense,' which is regarded as a sort of sense organ, just like the sense of sight or smell. Firstly, 'Moral Sense' judges an act based upon the feelings of an individual; secondly, it judges that act through reason. Thus, it should be investigated by reason. However, we should note the aforementioned feelings and reason proposed by Shaftesbury included the world of Hobbes so that 'altruism' does not deny 'egoism' completely, but instead it absorbed it, while at the same time criticizing it. Therefore, I consider 'Moral Sense' to be the beginnings of man's primitive mind, and I feel that the feelings toward classical art are similar. I regard both situation as man's feelings of directing his own mind and I suggest that they have universal validity. I have here tried to elucidate the nature of 'Moral Sense' and its origins as being parallel, in my view, to the feelings for classical art.

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© 1996 The Japan Association of Human Relations
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