Society and the Individual

  • Philip T. Grier
Part of the Sovietica book series (SOVA, volume 40)


When the recent Soviet discussions of ethics are examined from the perspective of the history of ethical theory as a whole, one of their more interesting general characteristics can be easily discerned: the framework and terms of these discussions, the problems posed, and the approaches taken toward their solution are remarkably similar to those of the ‘social utilitarian’ doctrines of the eighteenth century French Enlightenment. This is not so surprising when one remembers that Marx himself frequently drew attention to the doctrines of the ‘French materialists’, and more particularly, that Plekhanov wrote extensively on the eighteenth century French materialists. Russians who learned their Marxism through Plekhanov could scarcely fail to be highly conscious of these writers, even forgetting the special fascination which the Philosophes held for the nineteenth century Russian ‘intelligenty’. One of the earliest Soviet works on the history of ethical theory was an article on the‘ social ethics’ of Morelly and Mably, by a student of Deborin.1


Personal Interest Individual Person Moral Duty Social Interest Personal Happiness 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip T. Grier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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