Online Encyclopedia

SUMMUM BONUM (Lat. for " highest good ")

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 81 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SUMMUM BONUM (Lat. for " highest good "), in ethics, the ideal of human attainment. The significance of the term depends upon the character of the ethical system in which it occurs. It may be viewed as a perfect moral state: as pleasure or happiness (see HEDONISM; - EUDAEM0NISM); as physical perfection; as wealth, and so forth. If, however, we abandon intuitional ethics, it is reasonable to argue that the term summum bonum ceases to have any real significance inasmuch as actions are not intrinsically good or bad, while the complete sceptic strives after no systematic ideal.
End of Article: SUMMUM BONUM (Lat. for " highest good ")
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CHARLES SUMNER (1811--1874)

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