Given such a point of view, ethics must be fitted into our world picture, though we cannot yet see how in full detail. I t is clear that ethical practices and ideas have a history, both in the development of communities and of individuals. Marxists have stressed the former process, Freudians the latter. This fact does not mean that ethics are arbitrary or baseless. England is real enough though it was once under
43 the sea; vision is real though human embryos have no eyes. It does mean that we cannot act as rightly as possible without a study of contemporary history, which shows us what is alive and growing and what is vestigial in current ethical systems. Perhaps the careful attempts to isolate university staffs from the impact of history, if they have been advantageous to abstract speculation, have disqualified them from valid judgments on the highly concrete problems of right and wrong. The technique of modern warfare, which has broken down this isolation, may lead them to more realistic thinking on ethics.