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Perfectionism and the Common GoodThemes in the Philosophy of T. H. Green$
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David O. Brink

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266409.001.0001

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Perfectionism and the Common Good

David O. Brink (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the relation between Green and Sidgwick. Both Green and Sidgwick were schoolmates at Rugby. Their friendship lapsed during their undergraduate studies, but was renewed during a vacation together in Switzerland in 1862. Although they seemed to have had intellectual respect for each other, this was insufficient to enable them to form a just assessment of each other's views. Most of Sidgwick's criticisms focus on some genuine obscurity or ambiguity in Green' s argument; he has a good eye for philosophical extravagance; and some of his criticisms pose significant worries. It is argued that Sidgwick never manages to engage Green's perfectionism sympathetically, which prevents him from recognizing its strengths and from seeing potential weaknesses in his own hedonism.

Keywords:   T. H. Green, Sidgwick, Rugby, Methods of Ethics, perfectionism, hedonism

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