This historian, philosopher, and literary scholar penned numerous works spanning three centuries and covering a vast array of subjects, as attested to by his numerous works. See the list of his other works in this database, including "The English Utilitarians," "The History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century," "Hours in a Library," "An Agnostic's Apology," and "The Science of Ethics."
After reading Darwin's works on evolution he began to seriously re-thinkhis views on ethics in terms of evolution. And, he writes "Gradually, however, I came to think that a deeper change would be necessary, and I believe that this conviction came to me from a study of some of Mr. Herbert Spencer's works. It became stronger during a subsequent attempt at a brief historical examination of the English moralists of the eighteenth century. Whilst I was finishing that task, I read Mr. Henry Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics, then just published. As I differ upon many points from Mr. Sidgwick, and especially upon the critical point of the relation of evolution to ethics, I am the more bound to express my sincere admiration for his book. It set me thinking when it failed to make me think with him. The result of my thinking was a resolution to set down as systematically as I could a statement of the ethical theory which had commended itself to me. I resolved to begin at the beginning as well as I could, and trudge steadily through the alternate platitudes and subtleties into which every moralist must plunge. My views were, of course, more or less modified in the process, and though they have not substantially changed, I hope that they have gained in consistency and clearness. At any rate, my labours are embodied in the following pages, which may be briefly described as an attempt to lay down an ethical doctrine in harmony with the doctrine of evolution so widely accepted by modern men of science." Qutoes from the author's "Preface."
Joseph McCabe writes about this author that he "was one of the most outspoken of the prominent literary men of the last generation." The author writes that this book "may be briefly described as an attempt to lay down an ethical doctrine in harmony with the doctrine of evolution so widely accepted by modern men of science." Pages xxviii + 462.