Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Victor Marshall




The question raised in this thesis is the mutuality of human social being and ethical conduct. A display of the literature reveals that the social -- both traditionally and in modern usage -- has a constraining effect upon people's lives.

However, to some theorists, the social is an intermediate ground wherein people realize the fundamental purposes of their labour. At the heart of this, there is a presuppositions of some good for which people labour. The realization of this is an experience of freedom rather than enslavement. However this realization does not become complete until it is fully understood. This understanding consists of a transformation (of this realization) from a purely abstract intellectual realm to an experiential realm wherein the insight becomes practicable. The practice of insight lies within the ethical sphere because it is a form of conduct which aims at the good.

Value judgements are those speeches wherein sociologists finally confront ethical problems. Value judgements can not be analyzed alone; an understanding of them is impossible without an understanding of the facts which they (value judgements) presuppose. Facts and value judgements are the peculiar language of modern science; however they need not be the only speeches in which a person can exercise the ability to speak. This thesis displays that the ethical sphere originates elsewhere (that from the language of modern science).

McMaster University Library

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