Ernest Belfort Bax

Problems of Mind
and Morals


The series of essays comprised in the present volume includes some pieces not before published, together with others that have already appeared in substance in periodical or journalistic form. These latter, however, have all been either rewritten in the main, or, where this seemed unnecessary, have at least been carefully revised and brought up to date.

In the first chapter, which deals with the problem of Ethical Evolution, I have endeavoured once more to state succinctly and clearly what (apart from my own previous writings) I take to be an entirely new view of the development of the moral consciousness, and one which I hold will not prove unfruitful in results when worked out in detail.

The second chapter treats of the application to history of certain philosophical principles arrived at in a previous work of mine, The Roots of Reality. Originally designed as the introduction to a volume on the Philosophy of History, the project of which I have for the time being abandoned, it is now presented to the public in an independent form.

The essay forming Chapter III is an exception to most of the others in the volume in its being strictly educational in character, i.e. not only is it non-controversial, but it does not even lay claim to any specially new point of view. It took its origin from the suggestion made to me as to the possibility of giving a reasonably intelligent sketch of the history of philosophy in the compass of a couple of magazine or review articles. Its merit, if any, consists in such success as may have been achieved in the work of condensation.

The remaining chapters of the book treat of various problems of a practical and speculative character, but all of them, I take it, possessing more or less of actual interest. As such they will speak for themselves.

I may remark, however, that a certain overlapping, and here and there repetition, in the chapters specially dealing with Socialism in its several aspects, which are due to the original conditions of their publication, I have allowed to remain – the more so inasmuch as they are, I believe, all concerned with points, or arguments, of special importance. For this reason, if for no other, I ask the reader’s indulgence for any breach of the etiquette of literary form that may strike him in connection with them.




Last updated on 15.10.2004