"It is the purpose of this book to show, how from the needs of animal life as they rose and developed, there sprang, at first with inexpressible slowness, but imperceptibly quickening as it advanced, that moral instinct which, with its concomitant intelligence, forms the noblest feature as yet visible on this ancient earth of ours. The inquiry thus to be undertaken will, as I hope, be wholly without prejudice to those grander and deeper questions of philosophy that lie beneath it and beyond it--questions which, though ever near at hand, pressing on the heart even of the child if he be of thoughtful mood, yet preserving to the ripest years a sense of wistful fascination, must none the less be answered always in a manner more or less uncertain and speculative. For to finite sense the infinite must stand apart, and these wider speculations therefore lie outside the purposed scope of my investigations, wherein appears alone the growth of our moral instincts from their humble source among the lower animals. With absolutely unbroken continuity that development will be traced through lowliest savage to the noblest of men, always as a biologic process; nor shall I make the least attempt to correlate it with any possible scheme of the universe. How these ethical conceptions may shape as fragments of an all-embracing thought may offer a field for discussion vaster and more sublime, but one that is absolutely and necessarily remote from the range of this inquiry"--Book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).