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II. Profit-sharing, coöperation, consumers' leagues?
PROBLEMS OF CONDUCT
What is the field of ethics?
To know what exists, in its stark reality, is the concern of natural science and natural philosophy; to know what matters, is the field of moral philosophy, or ethics. The one group of studies deals with facts simply as facts, the other with their values. Human life is checkered with the sunshine and shadow of good and evil, joy and pain; it is these qualitative differences that make it something more than a meaningless eddy in the cosmic whirl. Natural philosophy (including the physical and psychological sciences), drawing its impartial map of existence, is interesting and important; it informs us about our environment and ourselves, shows us our resources and our powers, what we can do and how to do it. Moral philosophy asks the deeper and more significant question, What shall we do? For the momentous fact about life is that it has differences in value, and, more than that, that we can make differences in value. Caught as we are by the irresistible flux of existence, we find ourselves able so to steer our lives as to change the proportion of light and shade, to give greater value to a life that might have had less. This possibility makes our moral problem. What shall we choose and from what refrain? To what aims shall we give our allegiance? What shall we fight for and what against?
For the savage practically all of his activity is determined by his imperative needs, so that there is little opportunity