Practical Philosophy (Dabney)

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Sprinkle Publications

The Philosophy of the Feelings, of the Will, and of the Conscience, with the Ascertainment of Particular Rights and Duties

First, we cordially welcome the republication of Robert L. Dabney’s The Practical Philosophy because of the greatness of its author, and secondly, we rejoice in its reappearance because of the intrinsic value of this unusual book itself. By "practical philosophy" Dabney essentially means first, a survey of what composes the human personality and how it works, and secondly, he sets forth just how a balanced, Christlike personality is to behave in every department of life and activity.

Throughout the pages of these chapters husband and wife, mother, father, businessman and teacher will find much to make them dissatisfied with low attainments and speed them on to seek to be what God calls them and enables them to be and to do. The preacher who takes time to read these chapters will find hard places of Scripture illumined, and plain places burning with holy fire.

May God bless and make a blessing all who prayerfully read these pages. – Douglas F. Kelly, From the Preface


Table of Contents:

Book 1: Psychology of the Feelings

1. The Feelings Defined

2. Classification of the Feelings

3. Pleasure of Existence with Its Counterpart Desire and Aversion

4. The Rational Aesthetic Sensibilities

5. Love of Applause

6. Love of Power – Ambition – Avarice

7. The Social Affections

8. The Moral Feelings

9. Sinful Self-Will

10. Conclusion

Book 2: The Will

1. The Faculty Described

2. Theories Concerning the Freedom of the Will

3. The Arguments Which Support the Preferred Theory of Volitions

Book 3: Theories of the Ethical Sentiments

1. The Ethical Functions Described

2. The Selfish System of Morals

3. The Utilitarian, The Hedonistic and the Benevolence Theory of Morals

4. Sentimental Theories of Ethics

5. Rationalistic Theories of the Nature of Morality

6. The Rational Theory of Morals

7. The Extent of Moral Obligation

Book 4: Applied Ethics

1. First Principles of Social Ethics

2. Duties of Charity

3. Duties of the Family

4. Civic Ethics

5. The Morals of Individuals in Their Civic Actions

6. Duties Touching Life

7. Duties and Rights Concerning Property

8. Duties of Veracity

9. Religion, or Duties Relating to God



Robert L. Dabney (March 5, 1820 – January 3, 1898) was an American Christian theologian, a Southern Presbyterian pastor, and Confederate Army chaplain.