Istota oceny etycznej

Tadeusz Kotarbiński


An ethical evaluation is an evaluation according to values having as their extremes, respectability, and infamy. It is probable they originated in different communities in face of situations demanding defence of the weaker by the stronger from impending danger, in circumstances difficult and dangerous to the defender. The voice of that evaluation, the voice of the conscience, is thus always basically the same. Wherein ethical evaluations do differ in different societies, at different times and different places, the difference is in the prevalence of accents laid on the different component claims of the voice of the conscience – the latter invariably calling for courage, kindness of heart, righteousness, resistance to hardships, all adding up to a picture of trustworthy reliability. The personal model here is the defender who can be trusted and relied on: a dependable protector. This sort of attitude, evolved on the ground of narrow loyalties, shows evidence of a tendency to universal applicability. In view of the diverging needs of the different beings in need of protection, the voice of the conscience frequently fails to provide a definite directive of preference. That is where the didactic directive may come in, to function as substitute for ethical directive – acting in such a manner as to cause in the environment under our influence, the originating, stabilizing, and domination, of motivations corresponding to that model of dependable protection.