An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue  

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"Many of our sensitive perceptions are pleasant and many painful immediately, and that without any knowledge of the cause of this pleasure or pain, or how the objects excite it, or are the occasions of it ; or without seeing to what farther advantage or detriment the use of such objects might tend : nor would the most accurate knowledge of these things vary either the pleasure or pain of the perception, however it might give a rational pleasure distinct from the sensible; or might raise a distinct joy, from a prospect of farther advantage in the object, or aversion, from an apprehension of evil."--An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725) by Francis Hutcheson

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"An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue" (1725)is a text by Francis Hutcheson

Full text "An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue"[1]



Knud Haakonssen

General Editor

Francis Hutcheson


An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue in Two Treatises

Francis Hutcheson

Edited and with an Introduction by Wolfgang Leidhold

The Collected Works and Correspondence of Francis Hutcheson



This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation established to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motif for our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” ( amagi ), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 b.c. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

© 2004 Liberty Fund, Inc.

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

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Frontispiece: Detail of a portrait of Francis Hutcheson by Allan Ramsay (ca. 1740-45), oil on canvas, reproduced courtesy of the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hutcheson, Francis, 1694-1746.

An inquiry into the original of our ideas of beauty and virtue: in two treatises / Francis Hutcheson; edited and with an introduction by Wolfgang Leidhold. p. cm. — (The collected works of Francis Hutcheson)

(Natural law and enlightenment classics)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-86597-428-4 (alk. paper) — ISBN 0-86597-429-2 (paper: alk. paper) 1. Ethics, Modern — 18th century. 2. Aesthetics — Early works to 1800.

I. Leidhold, Wolfgang, 1950- II. Title. III. Series. BJ1005.H88 2004

I7i'.2 — dc22 2003065286


8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1684


Introduction ix

References and Further Reading xix

Note on the Text xxiii

Acknowledgments xxvii


Treatise I

An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, &c. 17

Treatise II

An Inquiry Concerning the Original of Our Ideas of Virtue or Moral Good 83

Textual Notes 199

Index 249


Liberty and Happiness

The political dimension of liberty is at least twofold: civil liberties and independence. The former is a matter of the political order of a country; the latter, of freedom from foreign domination. Liberty and happiness can be related to each other as they were in the third section of the “Vir- ginia Bill of Rights,” from 6 June 1776:

That government is or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

The preceding section puts forward a short argument: The right to reform, alter, or abolish government is founded on the judgment of whether such government is adequate or contrary to its main purpose, namely the greatest degree of happiness and safety of the community. The argument has a philosophical background. The criterion of “pro- ducing the greatest degree of happiness” is part of the principal maxim of utilitarian ethics. The right of resistance against inadequate govern- ment, on the other hand, is part of the liberal creed. In the eighteenth century the Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), in his Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (London,




1725), linked the two sides of the argument for the first time. 1 There he even coined the phrase, “That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers.” 2

Hutcheson’s philosophy became part of the ideas that formed the American polity. In the eighteenth century his books were imported to America and his philosophy was well known through his students and learned visitors to Scotland — among them was Benjamin Franklin in 1759. Hutcheson’s ideas even became part of the colonial curriculum. 3 The Inquiry, which is published here in a new edition, was the book that established Hutcheson’s reputation as a philosopher.

The Argument of the Inquiry

Already in this early work, Hutcheson detailed some of his political ideas. 4 However, his main task was examining the foundations of his aesthetic, moral, and political philosophy. This was done in two treatises, one dealing with the principles of aesthetics, 5 the other with those of ethics and, to some extent, their political consequences. 6 In both treatises

1. For Hutcheson’s biography, see W. R. Scott, Francis Hutcheson, His Life, Teach- ing and Position in the History ofPhilosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900; reprint, New York: A. M. Kelley, 1966). Also see the brief overview of Hutch- eson’s early life and writings in the editor’s introduction to Hutcheson, An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), edited by Aaron Garrett (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).

2. The formula was first used by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in a critical remark on Samuel Cocceji’s thesis De Principio Juris Natural is Unico, Vero, et Adaequato (Frankfurt: Schrey/Hartmann, 1699); see Joachim Hruschka, pp. 166—69.

3. For the impact of Hutcheson’s philosophy in Europe and America, see the in- troduction to Hutcheson, Uberden Ursprungunserer Ideen von Schonheitund Tugend, edited by Wolfgang Leidhold (Hamburg: Meiner, 1986), pp. xi-xiv.

4. Especially in the second and the third editions, 1726 and 1729, respectively.

5. On Hutcheson’s aesthetic philosophy, see the works and articles of Peter Kivy, Caroline Korsmeyer, E. Michael, and M. Strasser, listed in “References and Further Reading” (p. xix of this volume).

6. For discussion of Hutcheson’s central ideas, see “References and Further Read- ing” (p. xix of this volume), especially the works and articles of Giovanni de Cres- cenzo, William K. Frankena, Knud Haakonssen, Peter Kivy, Wolfgang Leidhold, David Fate Norton, D. D. Raphael, Jane Rendall, and William Robert Scott; still



the structure of the argument is similar: (i) Our ideas have their origin in our perceptions and are received by senses. (2) For different percep- tions we have different senses. (3) Perceptions are founded in certain qualities of the objects perceived. (4) These qualities we can describe in a maxim or formula. Hutcheson’s theory in both treatises therefore is a complex of three related components: a subjective sense, an objective foundation, and an analytical formula. Hutcheson presents the outline of his theory of perception in the first treatise.

The First Treatise

Hutcheson’s theory of perception starts with the ideas of John Locke. * * 7 For Locke all materials of reason and knowledge come “from experience” and our senses are “the first step and degree towards knowledge, and the inlet of all the materials of it.” 8 Hutcheson accordingly defines different senses as the powers “of receiving . . . different Perceptions” (I. I. §§ I, II) and maintains that we also acquire the material for our aesthetic and ethical knowledge by some sort of perception. However, what is the spe- cific quality we perceive in aesthetic perceptions? Here Hutcheson relies on Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury’s analysis of aesthetic perception is based on the Platonic concept of form ( forma is the Latin version of the Greek Platonic term idea) . Beauty then is the “outward form” of things, re- flecting the “inward form” of some “forming power.” 9 Accordingly Hutcheson defines beauty as a “form” or as “Figures ... in which there is Uniformity amidst Variety” (I. II. § III).

Hutcheson implies that form and uniformity cannot be perceived by the normal senses but by a special sense only. Therefore he expands the notion of experience beyond the confines of the ordinary five senses.

valuable as a basic bibliography is T. E. Jessop. For a wider British context, see Isabel


7. Locke is mentioned in the Inquiry: I. I. § VII. Here and in the following the Inquiry is quoted by treatise, section, and article; for example, “I. I. § VII” means first treatise, first section, article seven.

8. John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, II. I. § 2; see II. IX. § 15.

9. See J. V. Arregni and P. Arnau, “Shaftesbury: Father and Critic of Modern Aesthetics,” British Journal of Aesthetics 34 (1994): 350-62.



Form or uniformity then is the particular quality in objects which is the “Foundation or Occasion of the Ideas of Beauty among Men” (I. II. §§ I, II). Beauty is our perception or knowledge of this objective quality, and in accord with his definition of “sense” as the power of perceiving these objective qualities, he assumes a special sense of beauty. This sense is but one of a group of “internal senses” which include among others the “good Ear” or “sense of harmony” (I. VI. § IX). The formula by which the objective form in things themselves can be described is, as already noted, “uniformity amidst variety.” With these words Hutche- son paraphrases Shaftesbury’s concept of beauty. As in his analysis of moral actions, Hutcheson thinks that aesthetic phenomena are capable of a mathematical analysis, which he sketches in his study of “original or absolute beauty” (title of I. II.).

After delineating his theory of aesthetic knowledge, Hutcheson in the remaining chapters of the first treatise develops a general aesthetic theory. This theory of beauty is not limited to a theory of art but extends to a general, almost cosmological theory. This becomes clear when we look at his basic distinction of original or absolute beauty from comparative or relative beauty at the end of the first section. Absolute beauty we “per- ceive in Objects without comparison to any thing external, of which the Object is suppos’d an Imitation, or Picture” (I. I. § XVI). Examples of such beauty are the works of nature — like heaven and earth, plants and animals — the harmony of music; some works of art, when their beauty, as in architecture or gardening, is not an imitation of something else. Even theorems, such as those in mathematics, can in the absolute sense be beautiful. Relative beauty is “founded on a Conformity, or a kind of Unity between the Original and the Copy” (I. IV. § I). Instances here are poetry and painting, and the creation as a whole — since in the beauty of the effects it reflects the design and wisdom of its cause, which is God the Father as the Creator (I. V.).

It is the general theory of perception as developed in the first treatise that forms the basis of the similar argument in the second. We may as- sume that Hutcheson wanted first to establish the idea of additional senses in a field that was not as controversial as that of moral philosophy.



The Second Treatise

The moral controversy is found right in the title of the book. In the first edition we read that Hutcheson wants to defend Shaftesbury’s ideas against the author of the “Fable of the Bees,” that is, Mandeville. The two names reflect the clash between the “benevolent” and the “selfish” system. The first position argues that men have by nature moral prin- ciples, the second that these principles are but a political invention that is socially useful and based only on self-love or self-interest. Shaftesbury had taught that social affections were the foundation of morals and that a moral sense was the origin of our moral ideas . 10 Where Shaftesbury speaks of “social affections” as the foundation of morals, Hutcheson pre- fers the Christian concept of “love” as “benevolence. ” The logical struc- ture of the second treatise is similar to the first. Again we can discern three major components: an objective foundation, which here is benev- olence; a particular sense, which is the moral sense; and the analytical formula of “the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers.”


In the second treatise, Hutcheson wants to establish the notion of a moral sense as the “Original of our Ideas of . . . Virtue” and love or benevolence as the particular quality we perceive in virtue:

The Affections which are of most Importance in Morals, are Love and Hatred: All the rest seem but different Modifications of these two origi- nal affections. (II. II. § II)

Since Hutcheson wanted to follow Locke’s theory of knowledge (as in the first treatise), he had to analyze love or benevolence in accordance

io. See Anthony, Third Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opin- ions, Times, edited by Philip Ayres, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999), I, pp. 55-57, 62 ff. , 93-101, 196-274. Also see Stanley Grean. The term moral sense was first used by Thomas Burnet, a student of Ralph Cudworth, in his discussion of John Locke, cf. Ernest Tuveson.



with Locke’s ideas. According to Locke, all materials of experience con- sist either of simple ideas or of complex ideas, which are composed of simple ideas. Complex ideas can be real or they can be fictitious (being put together by the imagination or by reason). However, neither imag- ination nor reason can invent simple ideas. Therefore, only simple ideas necessarily represent something real. If Hutcheson thinks benevolence is the objective foundation of morals, he must show what simple ideas constitute it.

Locke had defined love by the simple ideas of pleasure and pain. 11 Love for him is the subj ective pleasure of something and is identical with self-love. This definition of love is compatible only with the selfish sys- tem. Hutcheson wants to avoid just that. Therefore he distinguishes two versions of “good” and “evil,” that is, natural and moral good or evil. A natural good is perceived only in inanimate beings. This perception is one of advantage or disadvantage, of pleasure or pain. A moral good is perceived in rational agents since “they study the interest, and desire the Happiness of other Beings.” Our moral relationship with rational agents then is twofold: (i) a moral perception and (2) a moral affection or desire. The moral perception is generally called “approbation” or “disappro- bation”; the desire is generally named “love” and “benevolence” or “dis- like” and “hate” (II. Introduction; II. I. § I; II.).

Hutcheson defines love by the “simple idea of desire.” In the first edition of the Inquiry the terminology is not yet quite consistent; re- finements are added later. 12 In the Essay he defines love as the “desire” for the happiness of others and addresses desire as a simple idea (Essay, p. 64). 13 In contrast to Locke, 14 Hutcheson considers desire to be an act of the will. This is consistent with the Christian idea of love. Love in the

11. See Locke, Essay, II. XX. § 4.

12. Here the reader is confronted with an irritating number of terms used to de- scribe love: affection, intention, sentiment, design, disposition, inclination, motive, determination, instinct, even passion, see Inquiry (first edition 1725), pp. 104, 107, 112, 119, 131, 137, 143; “passion”: pp. 132, 134, 141, 175 ff.

13. The same argument is added to the third and the fourth editions of the Inquiry (II. II. § IV and § V).

14. Locke, Essay, II. XXI. §§ 28 ff.



Christian sense of benevolence is not an emotion or a feeling, but an act of the will. 15 Otherwise, the words of the Sermon on the Mount — “Thou shah love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 19.19) — would be- come a very strange commandment: a feeling cannot be commanded. A contemporary Christian author, Richard Cumberland (1631-1718), knew this very well. 16


While benevolence is the foundation of the moral good, the moral sense is the source of moral ideas, of approbation and disapprobation. Hutch- eson concedes that the moral sense is a “secret sense” (II. Introduction; II. I. § III). That means the existence of such a sense is not immediately known and calls for an indirect proof. On the basis of his theory of per- ception he demonstrates that there are distinct moral perceptions and concludes that there must be a distinct sense:

since the Definition agrees to it, viz. a Determination of the Mind, to receive any Idea from the Presence of an Object which occurs to us, independent on our Will. (II. I. § I)

15. On the Christian idea of love see M. C. DArcy, The Mind and Heart of Love (London: Faber and Faber, 1944); J. Burnaby, Amor Dei: A Study of the Religion of St. Augustine (London: FFodder and Stoughton, 1947); V. Warnach, “Agape, Not Eros — or Caritas,” Anglican Theological Review, 37 (1955): 67-73; most comprehensive: Ces- laus Spicq, Agape dans le Nouveau Testament: Analyse de textes, 3 vols. (Paris: Gabalda, z 958 — 59) . A good introduction is C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 21st ed. (Glasgow: Collins, 1981).

16. See R. Cumberland, A Treatise of the Law of Nature (London: Phillips, Knap- ton, 1727; first edition in Latin, London 1672), 42. For Hutcheson the conceptual situation was rather complicated, and it took him a while to clarify it. Finally, in the fourth edition of the Lnquiry the definition of love is given the most precise wording. Here Hutcheson identifies the “Desire of the Good of Others” with the Aristotelian “orexis bouleutike,” translating it as a “settled Disposition of the Will, or a constant Determination, or desire to act . . . , or a fixed Affection toward a certain Manner of Conduct.” Since the foundation of morals sometimes had been called an “instinct,” he at the same time defines “instinct” as an “Essential or Natural Disposition of the Will, an Affectionate Determination” (p. 195).



For Hutcheson, the particular moral perception is approbation. We perceive a “moral good” when a person acts from benevolence, and this “(excites) . . . Approbation or Perception of moral Excellence.” The “nat- ural good,” on the other hand, raises the “Desire of Possession toward the good Object.” Hutcheson emphasizes that approbation should not be mixed up with the “Opinion of Advantage,” and later on throughout the first and the following chapters he strengthens his position with a number of instances. That the perception of approbation or moral ex- cellence is different from other perceptions is for Hutcheson a matter of evidence. 17 Evidence for him seems to be a proof from experience, which cannot be supported by other sufficient reasons (II. I. § I).


To be sure, the moral quality of actions is not the same in all cases. Some- times we approve one act more than another, or we may have to choose between different options. To clarify the difference, we have to analyze the object of perception, that is, the moral quality itself. In this case we would make a judgment about moral quality. This is what Hutcheson does with his maxim of the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. In the third section Hutcheson introduces the formula:

that Action is best, which procures the greatest Happiness for the great- est Numbers; and that, worst, which, in like manner, occasions Misery.

(II. III. § VIII).

The formula is based on the moral sense, the objective moral quality, and a rational procedure, namely a comparison of the varying moral qualities of actions. The subsequent judgment is based on the moral sense that still performs a leading role. In the earlier editions, the pre- sentation of the maxim was followed by a number of mathematical al- gorithms that, however, are omitted in the fourth edition. Hutcheson states in the preface to the latter that he had left out the mathematical

1 7. Hutcheson uses the word “evidence,” for example, in Inquiry II. I. § I.



expressions since they “appear’d useless, and were disagreeable to some Readers” (4th ed., Preface, p. xxi; see Preface note 28 of the present edi- tion). The term “happiness” is defined as a “natural good. ” To be sure, the greatest good turns out to be benevolence itself (II. III. § XV) or the “Possession of good moral Qualities” (II. VI. § I). The greatest happiness for Hutcheson cannot be found in wealth and external pleasures, but virtue is “the chief Happiness in the Judgment of all Mankind” (II. VI. §H).



Hutcheson’s moral philosophy has a political perspective. 18 This be- comes clear in phrases like the “common good” or “public interest” that he uses throughout the Inquiry. Especially in its final chapter he treats the basic questions of political order. His main subjects are the corrup- tion of human nature, prudence, rights, and the form of government. The political problem emerges right from the center of Hutcheson’s moral philosophy. Since virtue is the highest form of happiness, and vir- tue is based on benevolence and benevolence in turn on the free will, then only people who can exert their free will can be happy. Liberty there- fore becomes a central political idea. At the same time, liberty can pro- vide difficulties: it may happen that people do not follow the path of virtue.

What shall we do if the moral foundation is weak and if the moral ideas are insufficient? The argument is based on the insight that not all citizens may be virtuous all the time. Although the moral sense and all good reasons may point toward a virtuous life, human nature is open to corruption because men are free. Man is moved by two opposing prin- ciples, love and self-love, and is free to follow either. Therefore liberty and happiness sometimes counteract each other. It is difficult to deter- mine the prevailing motive, benevolence or self-love, particularly in pub-

18. See Wolfgang Leidhold, Etbik undPolitik bei Francis Hutcheson (Freiburg, Mu- nich: Alber, 1985), especially chapters 6-10.



lie life (II. III. § XII). The polity therefore can be based not on good intentions but on good results. Government can rest only on prudence, not on moral perceptions. The importance of prudence as opposed to moral reflections is typical for both the republican tradition of James Harrington and the Whig tradition, and Hutcheson was close to both. 19 Accordingly, the moral sense must be supplemented by an external mo- tive to “beneficent Actions ... for the publick Good ... to counter- ballance those apparent Motives of Interest.” This external motive is “a law with Sanctions” (II. VII. § I). For Hutcheson the transfer and re- striction of liberty therefore is the central question of political order and of the limits of government:

Men have [the Right] to constitute Civil Government, and to subject their alienable Rights to the Disposal of their Governours, under such Limitations as their Prudence suggests. And as far as the People have subjected their Rights, so far their Governours have an external Right at least, to dispose of them, as their Prudence shall direct, for attaining the Ends of their Institution; and no further. (II. VII. § VIII)

To be acceptable, liberty and its restriction must be in balance with happiness. If a government assumes all rights from its people and ne- glects the “publick Good of the State” altogether, it is called despotism. For Hutcheson a “Despotick Government” is directly inconsistent with his idea of a civil government (II. VII. §X). With despotism, liberty and happiness are at stake. In such cases, Hutcheson advocates a right of resistance (II. VII. § X). And later on he argued that this is “When it is that colonies may turn independent. ” 20

Wolfgang Leidhold

19. See Caroline Robbins and Charles Blitzer, An Immortal Commonwealth (New Haven: Yale University Press, i960), and J. G. A. Pocock, ed., The Political Works of James Harrington (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).

20. Hutcheson, A System of Moral Philosophy, 2 vols. (Glasgow: Foulis, 1755), II, p. 308.



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The Editions

During Hutcheson’s lifetime, four different editions of the Inquiry into the Original of Beauty and Virtue were published. These editions are chronologically referred to as A, B, C, and D. The texts of B, C, and D not only present corrections but also introduce substantial alterations and additions by the author. These changes can be helpful in under- standing Hutcheson’s ideas, and accordingly the present edition presents the variants in a text critical apparatus. It is based on the second edition (B) from 1726, since this is the first corrected text.

The first edition (A) was published in London in 1725, “Printed by J. Darby in Bartholomew Close, for Will, and John Smith on the Blind Key in Dublin; and sold by W. and J. Innys at the West End of St. Paul’s Churchyard, J. Osborn and T. Longman in Pater-Noster-Row, and S. Chandler in the Poultry.” This edition was reprinted as a facsimile in vol. 1 of Collected Works of Francis Hutcheson, edited by Bernard Fabian, Hildesheim 1969, 1971, 7 vols.

The second edition (B), “corrected and enlarg’d,” was published in London in 1726, “Printed for J. Darby, A. Bettesworth, F. Fayram, J. Pemberton, C. Rivington, J. Hooke, F. Clay,J. Batley, andE. Symon.” There was a facsimile reprint: New York, Garland Publishing, 1971.

The third edition (C) was published in London in 1729, “Printed for J. and J. Knapton, J. Darby, A. Bettesworth, F. Fayram, J. Pemberton, J. Osborne and T. Longman, C. Rivington, F. Clay, J. Batley, and A. Ward.”

Of the fourth edition three different issues were published in 1738 (Di, D2, D3). Di is a reprint of the 1729 edition (C). D2 and D3 contain




changes that were carried out when the printing was already in progress, a practice not uncommon in the eighteenth century. These two issues have identical title pages stating that they were published in London and “Printed for D. Midwinter, A. Bettesworth, and C. Hitch, J. andj. Pem- berton, R. Ware, C. Rivington, F. Clay, A. Ward, J. and P. Knapton, T. Longman, R. Hett, and J. Wood.” There was a facsimile reprint of D2: Farnborough, Hants., England, 1969. Part of the text of D2 (“Trea- tise I, Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design”) was edited by Pe- ter Kivy, The Hague, 1973.

If not otherwise indicated, all notes referring to “D” state variants from D2. The notes refer to the alterations in the text as well as to an appended list of corrigenda titled “Additions and Corrections &c.” Here Hutcheson remarks:

This edition having been inadvertently cast off, before the Author’s cor- rections were obtained, a few sheets have been cancelled where it was necessary, and some few additional paragraphs or notes are here sub- joined, with some few corrections of the Expressions referred to their proper pages and lines, where the reader may make a mark.

Since the list of corrigenda is not paginated, the pages here are counted consecutively, starting from the last numbered page of the text itself. Textual notes referring to these corrigenda give the page number in square brackets, for example, D [Corrigenda, p. 311]: or Curiosity.

D3 carries the same “Additions and Corrections &c.” as D2 and adds a few “Directions to the Bookbinder” (obviously directions that had not been carried out properly in D2): “In the Preface, Cancel from p. 15 to the End. In the Work, Cancel from p. 9 to 17. From 29 to 39. From 57 to 59. From 173 to 179. From 185 to 203. From 217 to 223. From 253 to 255. From 287 to 293.” (In D3 pages 179 and 180 are printed twice.)

Editorial Decisions

Editorial intervention in the main text has been minimal. The spelling of Hutcheson’s text has been preserved, as has his punctuation, however much it varies from present conventions. The typography has been stan- dardized and ignores Hutcheson’s, or his printers’, liberal use of italics



and small capitals. There are no other silent editorial deletions or ad- ditions. The page breaks of the second edition (B) of the Inquiry are indicated by square brackets [ ]; for example, the text of page 215 begins after [215].

The editor’s explanatory notes are marked by lowercase Roman nu- merals, textual notes by Arabic numerals. The textual notes state the differences between the text of B and the other editions, except for var- iations in spelling and punctuation. In all cases, the editions are cited in the order given above (A, B, C, D, D3), followed by the page and the text. For example, C (p. 2), D (p. 2): great means that in edition C, on page 2, and in edition D, on page 2, a word (or phrase) was changed to “great.” The corrections in the Errata list of B are likewise noted (in- cluding punctuation).

Where necessary for clarity, pairs of double vertical bars indicate the beginning and the end of a variant. For example, || 4 we enjoy the Delights of Virtue || means that beginning with || 4 and ending with || the words “we enjoy the Delights of Virtue” were altered as per footnote 4. In some cases there are changes within changes. Flere the Arabic numerals for footnotes are supplemented with letters to indicate the beginning and end of the respective variants. For example, amiable or disagreeable Ideas of Actions, when they \\ Ah shall h \\ occur to our Observation a || means that one variant starts after || 3a and ends at a ||, and that another variant concerns only the word “shall” between || 4b and b ||. Square brackets not indicating page breaks mark editorial notes or insertions.


For research assistance I thank Frank Limbrock, who typed the text; Steffan Mann for his help with the critical edition and its annotations; and Andreas Kamp, who reviewed the Latin and Greek quotes in the text. I am indebted to Luigi Turco for information about the complicated printing history of the fourth edition of the Inquiry. My special thanks go to Knud Haakonssen, who supported the work on this edition with great patience and professional advice.

W. L.



An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue;

In Two Treatises.

II * 1 1. Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design. II. Concerning Moral Good and Evil.||

The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarg’d.

Itaque eorum ipsorum quae aspectu sentiuntur, nullum aliud animal pulchritudinem, venustatem, convenientiam partium sentit. Quam similitudinem natura ratioque ab oculis ad animum transferens, multo etiam magis pulchritudinem, constantiam, ordinem in consiliis, factisque conservandum putat. Quibus ex rebus conflatur & efficitur id quod quaerimus honestum: Quod etiamsi nobilitatum non sit, tamen honestum sit: quodque etiamsi a nullo laudetur, natura est laudabile. Formam quidem ipsam & tanquam faciem honesti vides, quae si oculis cerneretur, mirabiles amores excitaret sapientiae.

— Cic. de Off lib. I. c. 4. 1

London: 1726.

i. Translation: “And so no other animal has a sense of beauty, loveliness, harmony in the visible world; and Nature and Reason, extending the analogy of this from the world of sense to the world of spirit, find that beauty, consistency, order are far more to be maintained in thought and deed. It is from these elements that is forged and fashioned that moral goodness which is the subject of this inquiry — something that, even though it be not generally ennobled, is still worthy of all honour; and by its own nature, it merits praise, even though it is praised by none. You see here the very


2 To His Excellency, John, Lord Carteret ," Lord Lieutenant ofLreland.

May it please your Excellency,

When I publish’d these Papers, I had so little Confidence of their Suc- cess, that I was unwilling to own them; and [iv] what I was unwilling myself to own, I durst not presume to inscribe to any great Name.

Your Excellency’s favourable Reception of them, soon put me out of all Fears about their Success with the wiser and better Part of the World; and since this has given me Assurance to own them, 1 humbly presume to inscribe them in this second Edition to your Excellency, that 1 may have at once an Opportunity of expressing the sincerest Gratitude for the Notice you were pleas’d to take of me, and have the Pleasure also of letting the [v] World know that this small Work has your Excellency’s Approbation.

The Praise bestow’d by Persons of real Merit and Discernment, is allow’d by all to give a noble and rational Pleasure. Your Excellency first made me feel this in the most lively manner; and it will be a Pleasure as lasting as it is great: ’twill ever be matter of the highest Joy and Satisfac- tion to me, that I am Author of a Book my Lord Carteret approves.

I know, my Lord, that much of your Commendation [vi] is to be attributed to your own Humanity: you can entirely approve the Works of those alone, who can think and speak on these Subjects as justly as

form and as it were the face of Moral Goodness; and if it could be seen with the physical eye, it would awaken a marvellous love of wisdom.” (Cicero, De Officiis, with an English translation by Walter Miller, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975, pp. 14-17-)

ii. John Carteret, First Earl Granville (1690-1763), English orator, diplomat, and statesman, member of the House of Lords since 1711, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1724-30.




your self; and that is what few, if any, even of those who spend their Lives in such Contemplations, are able to do. In the Conversation, with which your Excellency has been pleas’d to honour me, I could not, I own, with- out the utmost surprize, observe so intimate an Acquaintance with the most valuable Writings of contemplative Men, Antient, and Modern; so just a Taste of what is excellent in the ingenious Arts, [vii] in so young a man, amidst the Hurry of an active Life. Forgive me, my Lord, that I mention this part of your Character; ’tis so uncommon that it deserves the highest Admiration; and tis the only one which an obscure Philos- opher, who has receiv’d the greatest Obligations from your Excellency, can with any Propriety take notice of

Those other great Endowments which have enabled you, even in Youth, to discharge the most difficult Employments, with the highest Honour to your self and Advantage to your Country, I dare not presume to de-[viii]scribe. He who attempts to do Justice to so great and good a Character, ought himself to be one of uncommon Merit and Distinc- tion; and yet the ablest Panegyrist would find it difficult to add any thing to your Excellency’s Fame. The Voices of Nations proclaim your Worth. I am,

May it please your Excellency,

Your most obliged,

Most obedient, and

Most devoted humble Servant,


June 19.


Francis Hutcheson, [ix]


There is no part of Philosophy of more importance, than a just Knowl- edge of Human Nature, and its various Powers and Dispositions. Our late Inquirys have been very much employ’d about our Understanding, and the several Methods of obtaining Truth. We generally acknowledge, that the Importance of any Truth is nothing else than its Moment, or Efficacy to make Men happy, or to give them the greatest and most last- ing Pleasure; and Wisdom denotes only a Capacity of pursuing this End by the best Means. It must surely then be of the greatest importance, [x] to have distinct Conceptions of this End it self, as well as of the Means necessary to obtain it; that we may find out which are the greatest and most lasting Pleasures, and not employ our Reason, after all our labo- rious Improvements of it, in trifling Pursuits. It is to be fear’d indeed, that most of our Studys, without this Inquiry, will be of very little use to us; for they seem to have scarce any other tendency than to lead us into speculative Knowledge it self. Nor are we distinctly told how it is that Knowledge, or Truth is pleasant to us.

This Consideration || 3 put|| the Author of the following Papers || 4 upon|| inquiring into the various Pleasures which Human nature is capable of receiving. We shall generally find in our modern philosophick Writings, nothing further on this Head, than some bare Division of them into Sensible, and Rational, and some trite [xi] Common-place Argu- ments to prove the latter more valuable than the former. Our sensible Pleasures are slightly pass’d over, and explain’d only by some Instances in Tastes, Smells, Sounds, or such like, which Men of any tolerable Re- flection generally look upon as very trifling Satisfactions. Our rational Pleasures have had much the same kind of treatment. We are seldom taught any other Notion of rational Pleasure than that which we have




upon reflecting on our Possession, or Claim to those Objects, which may be Occasions of Pleasure. Such Objects we call advantageous; but Ad- vantage, or Interest, cannot be distinctly conceiv’d, till we know what those Pleasures are which advantageous Objects are apt to excite; and what Senses or Powers of Perception we have || 5 with respect to || such Objects. We may perhaps |] 6 find|| such an Inquiry of more importance in Morals, to prove what we call the Reality of Virtue, or [xii] that it is the surest Happiness of the Agent, than one would at first imagine.

In reflecting upon our external Senses, we plainly see, that our Per- ceptions of Pleasure, or Pain, do not depend directly on our Will. Ob- jects do not please us, according as we incline they should. The presence of some Objects necessarily pleases us, and the presence of others as nec- essarily displeases us. Nor can we by our Will, any otherwise procure Pleasure, or avoid Pain, than by procuring the former kind of Objects, and avoiding the latter. By the very Frame of our Nature the one is made the occasion of Delight, and the other of Dissatisfaction.

The same Observation will hold in all our other Pleasures and Pains. For there are many other sorts of Objects, which please, or displease us as necessarily, as material Objects [xiii] do when they operate upon our Organs of Sense. There || 7 is scarcely any Object which our Minds are employ’d about, which is || not thus constituted the necessary occasion of some Pleasure or Pain. Thus we || 8 find|| our selves pleas’d with a reg- ular Form, a piece of Architecture or Painting, a Composition ofNotes, a Theorem, an Action, an Affection, a Character. And we are conscious that this Pleasure necessarily arises from the Contemplation of the Idea, which is then present to our Minds, with all its Circumstances, although some of these Ideas have nothing of what we || 9 call|| sensible Perception in them; and in those which have, the Pleasure arises from some Uni- formity, Order, Arrangement, Imitation; and not from the simple Ideas of Colour, or Sound, or mode of Extension separately consider’d.

These Determinations to be pleas’d with || 10 any Forms, or Ideas [xiv] which occur to our Observation, || the Author chuses to call Senses; dis- tinguishing them from the Powers which commonly go by that Name, by calling our Power of perceiving the Beauty of Regularity, Order, Har- mony, an Internal Sense; and that Determination to || n be pleas’d with



the Contemplation of those || Affections, Actions, or Characters of ra- tional Agents, which we call virtuous, he marks by the name of a Moral Sense.

His principal Design is to shew, “That Human Nature was not left quite indifferent in the affair of Virtue, to form to it self Observations concerning the Advantage, or Disadvantage of Actions, and accordingly to regulate its Conduct.” The weakness of our Reason, and the avoca- tions arising from the || 12 Infirmity|| and Necessitys of our Nature, are so great, that very few || 13 Men could ever|| have form’d those [xv] long Deductions of Reason, which || 14 shew|| some Actions to be in the whole advantageous to the Agent, and their Contrarys pernicious. The Author of Nature has much better furnish’d us for a virtuous Conduct, than our Moralists seem to imagine, by almost as quick and powerful Instruc- tions, as we have for the preservation of our Bodys. || 15 He has made Virtue a lovely Form, to excite our pursuit of it; and has given us strong Affections to be the Springs of each virtuous Action. ||

This moral Sense of Beauty in Actions and Affections, may appear strange at first View. Some of our Moralists themselves are offended at it in my Lord Shaftesbury , 111 so much are they accustom’d to deduce every Approbation, or Aversion, from rational Views of || 16 Interest||, (except it be merely in the simple Ideas of the external Senses) and have such a Horror at innate Ideas, [xvi] which they imagine this borders upon. But this moral Sense has no relation to innate Ideas, as will appear in the second Treatise.

17 Our Gentlemen of good Taste can tell us of a great many Senses, Tastes, and Relishes for Beauty, Harmony, Imitation in Painting and Poetry; and may not we find too in Mankind a Relish for a Beauty in Characters, in Manners? || 18 I doubt we have made Philosophy, as well as Religion, by our foolish management of it, so austere and ungainly a

iii. Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), was educated under the supervision of John Locke but was not a follower of his philosophy. Hutch- eson used the collection of Shaftesbury’s works in Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, 3 vols., London, 1711. According to the subtitle of the first edition of the Inquiry (see footnote i on the title page), Hutcheson’s intention was to defend Shaftesbury’s views against Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees.



Form, that a Gentleman cannot easily bring himself to like it; and those who are Strangers to it, can scarcely bear to hear our Description of it. So much it is changed from what was once the delight of the finest Gen- tlemen among the Antients, and their Recreation after the Hurry of pub- lick Affairs! ||

In the first Treatise, the Author perhaps in some Instances has gone too far, in supposing a greater Agree- [xvii]ment of Mankind in their Sense of Beauty, than Experience || 19 will|| confirm; but all he is solicitous about is to shew, “That there is some Sense of Beauty natural to Men;

1 1 20 that we find 1 1 as great an Agreement of Men in their Relishes of Forms, as in their external Senses which all agree to be natural; and that Pleasure or Pain, Delight or Aversion, are naturally join’d to their Perceptions.” If the Reader be convinc’d of || 21 such Determinations of the Mind to be pleas’d with Forms, Proportions, Resemblances, Theorems, || it will be no difficult matter to apprehend another superior Sense, natural || 22 also|| to Men, determining them to be pleas’d with Actions, Char- acters, Affections. This is the moral Sense, which makes the Subject of the second Treatise.

The proper Occasions of Perception by the external Senses, occur to us as soon as we come into the [xviii] World; || 23 whence|| perhaps we easily look upon these Senses to be natural: but the Objects of the su- perior Senses of Beauty and Virtue generally do not. It is probably some little time before Children || 24 reflect ||, or at least let us know that they reflect upon Proportion and Similitude; upon Affections, Characters, Tempers; or come to know the external Actions which are Evidences of them. || 25 Hence|| we imagine that their Sense of Beauty, and their moral Sentiments of Actions, must be entirely owing to Instruction, and Edu- cation; whereas it is as easy to conceive, how a Character, a Temper, as soon as they are observ’d, may be constituted by Nature the necessary occasion of Pleasure, or an Object of Approbation, as a Taste or a Sound; || 26 tho it be sometime before these Objects present themselves to our [xix]

|| 27 The first Impression of these Papers was so well receiv’d, that the Author hopes it will be no offence to any who are concern’d in the Mem-



ory of the late Lord Viscount Molesworth, lv if he lets his Readers know that he was the Noble Person mention’d in the Preface to the first Edi- tion, and that their being published was owing to his Approbation of them. It was from him he had that shreud Objection, which the Reader may find in the first Treatise;* besides many other Remarks in the fre- quent Conversations with which he honour’d the Author; by which that Treatise was very much improved beyond what it was in the Draught presented to him. The Author retains the most grateful Sense of his sin- gular Civilitys, and of the Pleasure and Improvement he received in his Conver-[xx]sation; and is still fond of expressing his grateful Remem- brance of him: but,

Id cinerem, & Manes credas curare sepultos/

To be concern’d in this Book can be no honour to a Person so justly celebrated for the most generous Sentiments ofVirtue and Religion, de- liver’d with the most manly Eloquence: yet it would not be just toward the World, should the Author conceal his Obligations to the Reverend Mr. Edward Syng; vl not only for revising these Papers, when they stood in great need of an accurate Review, but for suggesting several just Amendments in the general Scheme of Morality. The Author was much

iv. Robert Molesworth, a wealthy Irish merchant, politician, diplomat, and author (1656-1725), with short interruptions a member of both the English and Irish Parlia- ments for about 30 years. He was one of the most prominent radical Whigs of his time. At the end of 1722 Molesworth retired to Dublin, where he founded a philo- sophical and literary circle. Hutcheson was a member of the group.

  • Sect. v. Art. 2. the last Paragraph.

v. Translation: “Thinkest thou that dust or buried shades give heed to that?” Virgil, Aeneid, book 4, 1 . 34 ( Eclogues , Georgies, Aeneidl—VI, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935 [revised edition]).

vi. Edward Synge (i692/94?-iy62) was successively bishop of Clonfert, Cloyne, Firns, and Elphin. He was a friend of Berkeley and probably a member of Moles- worth’s circle in Dublin, where a lasting friendship with Hutcheson developed. Hutcheson’s son dedicated his father’s posthumous A System of Moral Philosophy (London, 1755) to Bishop Synge. As Synge demonstrated in a sermon from 25 October 1725 (the anniversary of the Irish rebellion), later published as The Case of Toleration, he was a liberal and tolerant Anglican.



confirm’d in his Opinion of the Justness of these Thoughts, upon find- ing, that this Gentleman had fallen into the same way of thinking before him; and will ever look upon his Friendship [xxi] as one of the greatest Advantages and Pleasures of his Life.

To recommend the Lord Shaftesbury’s Writings to the World, is a very needless Attempt. They will be esteemed while any Reflection remains among Men. It is indeed to be wished, that he had abstained from mixing with such Noble Performances, some Prejudices he had receiv’d against Christianity; a Religion which gives us the truest Idea of Virtue, and recommends the Love of God, and of Mankind, as the Sum of all true Religion. Flow would it have moved the Indignation of that ingenious Nobleman, to have found a dissolute set of Men, who relish nothing in Life but the lowest and most sordid Pleasures, searching into his Writings for those Insinuations against Christianity, that they might be the less restrained from their Debaucherys; when at the same time their low Minds are [xxii] incapable of relishing those noble Sentiments ofVirtue and Honour, which he has placed in so lovely a Light! ||

Whatever Faults the Ingenious may find with this Performance, the Author hopes no body will find any thing in it contrary to Religion or good Manners: and he shall be well pleased if he gives the learned World an occasion of examining more thorowly these Subjects, which are, he presumes, of very considerable Importance. The chief Ground of his Assurance that his Opinions in the main are just, is this, That as he took the first Hints of them from some of the greatest Writers of Antiquity,"' so the more he has convers’d with them, he finds his Illustrations the more conformable to their Sentiments.

1 1 28 In the former Edition of this Book there were some Mistakes in one or two of the Instances borrowed [xxiii] from other Sciences, to a

vii. Hutcheson was familiar with Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and probably with Plotinus. See the quotation from Cicero on the title page (from De Officiis, book i, §§ 14, 15). Also see Plato on the perception of beauty in Phaedrusfa od) and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, II, 9 (1109b, 20-26) and III, 6 (1113a, 23-35) as well as Politics, I, 11 (1253a, 16-19). On this topic, see E. H. Olmsted, “The ‘Moral Sense’ Aspects of Aristotle’s Ethical Theory,” American Journal of Philology 69 (1948): 42-61. See Plo- tinus, On Beauty (Ennead I. 6).



perfect Knowledge of which the Author does not pretend; nor would he now undertake that this Edition is every way faultless. He hopes that those who are studious of the true measures of Life, may find his Ideas of Virtue and Happiness tolerably just; and that the profound Con- noisseurs will pardon a few Faults, in the Illustrations borrow’d from their Arts, upon which his Arguments do not depend. || [xxiv]



section i. Concerning some Powers of Perception distinct from what is generally understood by Sensation. 19

section 11. Of original or absolute Beauty. 28

section hi. Of the Beauty of Theorems. 36

section iv. Of 1 1 29 comparative or relative 1 1

Beauty. 42

section v. Concerning our Reasonings about Design and Wisdom in the Cause, from the Beauty or Regularity of Effects. 46

section vi. Concerning the Universality of our Sense of Beauty. 61

section vii. Concerning the Power of Custom, Education and Example, as to our internal Senses. 70

section viii. Of the Importance of the internal Senses in Life, and the final Causes of them, [xxv] 76



1 6



section i. Of the moral Sense by which we

perceive Virtue and Vice, and approve, or

disapprove them in others. 89

section 11. Concerning the immediate Motive to virtuous Actions. 101

section hi. The Sense of Virtue, and the various Opinions about it, reducible to one general Foundation. The manner of computing the Morality of Actions. 116

section iv. All Mankind agree in this general Foundation of their Approbation of moral Actions.

The Grounds of different Opinions about Morals. 135

section v. A further Confirmation that we have practical Dispositions to Virtue implanted in our Nature; with a further Explication of our Instinct to Benevolence in its various Degrees; with the additional Motives of Interest, viz. Flonour, Shame,

Pity. 147

section vi. Concerning the Importance of this

moral Sense to the present Flappiness of Mankind,

and its Influence on human Affairs, [xxvi] 162

section vii. A Deduction of some complex moral Ideas, viz. of Obligation, and Right, Perfect, Imperfect, and External; Alienable and Unalienable from this moral Sense.




An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, &c.[i]

An Inquiry ||‘ Concerning Beauty, Order, &c.||

ew section i ew

Concerning some Powers of Perception, distinct from what is generally understood by Sensation.

To make the following Observations understood, it may be necessary to premise some Definitions, and Observations, either universally acknowledg’d, or sufficiently prov’d by many Writers both ancient and modern, concerning our Perceptions called Sensations, and the Actions of the Mind consequent upon them.

Art. I. Those Ideas which are rais’d in the Mind upon the presence of external Ob-[2]jects, and their acting upon our Bodys, are call’d Sen- sations. We find that the Mind in such Cases is passive, and has not Power directly to prevent the Perception or Idea, or to vary it at its Re- ception, as long as we continue our Bodys in a state fit to be acted upon by the external Object.

II. When two Perceptions are entirely different from each other, or agree in nothing but the general Idea of Sensation, we call the Powers of re- ceiving those different Perceptions, different Senses. Thus Seeing and Hearing denote the different Powers of receiving the Ideas of Colours and Sounds. And altho Colours have || 2 vast|| Differences among them- selves, as also have Sounds; yet there is a greater Agreement among the most opposite Colours, than between any Colour and a Sound: Hence







The Mind how active.




Pleasure. Pain.

we call all Colours Perceptions of the same Sense. All the several Senses seem to have their distinct Organs, except Feeling, which is in some degree diffus’d over the whole Body.

III. The Mind has a Power of compounding Ideas || 3 , || which were re- ceiv’d separately; of comparing || 4 their|| Objects by means of the Ideas, and of observing their Relations and Proportions; of enlarging and di- minishing its Ideas at pleasure, or in any certain Ratio, or Degree; and of considering separately [3] each of the simple Ideas, which might per- haps have been impress’d jointly in the Sensation. This last Operation we commonly call Abstraction.

IV. The Ideas of || 5 Substances || are compounded of the various simple Ideas jointly impress’d, when they presented themselves to our Senses. We define Substances only by enumerating these sensible Ideas: And such Definitions may || 6 raise an Idea clear enough |] of the Substance in the Mind of one who never immediately perceiv’d the Substance; pro- vided he has separately receiv’d by his Senses all the simple Ideas which are in the Composition of the complex one of the Substance defin’d: But if || 7 there be any simple Ideas which he has not receiv’d, or if he wants any of the Senses necessary for the Perception of them, no Definition can raise any simple Idea which has not been before perceived by the Senses. ||

V. 8 Hence it follows, “That when Instruction, Education, or Prejudice of any kind, raise any Desire or Aversion toward an Object, this Desire or Aversion must be founded upon an Opinion of some Perfection, or of some Deficiency in those Qualitys, for Perception of which we have the proper Senses.” Thus if Beauty be desir’d by one who has not the Sense of Sight, the Desire must be rais’d by some [4] apprehended Reg- ularity of Figure, Sweetness of Voice, Smoothness, or Softness, or some other Quality perceivable by the other Senses, without relation to the Ideas of Colour.

VI. Many of our sensitive Perceptions are pleasant, and many painful, immediately, and that without any knowledge of the Cause of this Plea-



sure or Pain, or how the Objects excite it, or are the Occasions of it; or without seeing to what further Advantage or Detriment the Use of such Objects might tend: Nor would the most accurate Knowledge of these things vary either the Pleasure or Pain of the Perception, however it might give a rational Pleasure distinct from the sensible; or might raise a distinct Joy, from a prospect of further Advantage in the Object, or Aversion, from an apprehension of Evil.

VII. The || 9 simple|| Ideas rais’d in different Persons by the same Object, are probably || 10 some way|] different, when they disagree in their Ap- probation or Dislike; and in the same Person, when his Fancy at one time differs from what it was at another. This will appear from reflecting on those Objects, to which we have now an Aversion, tho they were formerly agreeable: And we shall generally find that there is some acci- dental Conjunction of a disagreeable Idea, [5] which always recurs with the Object; as in those Wines to which Men acquire an Aversion, after they have taken them in an Emetick Preparation: II 1 'In this case|| we are conscious that the Idea is alter’d from what it was when that Wine was agreeable, by the Conjunction of the Ideas of Loathing and Sickness of Stomach. The like Change of Idea may be insensibly made by the Change of our Bodys|| 12 ,|] as we advance in Years, || 13 or when we are accustomed to any Object, || which may occasion an Indifference toward Meats we were fond of in our Childhood; || 14 and may make some Ob- jects cease to raise the disagreeable Ideas, which they excited upon our first use of them. Many of our simple Perceptions are disagreeable only thro the too great Intenseness of the Quality: thus moderate Light is agreeable, very strong Light may be painful; moderate Bitter may be pleasant, a higher Degree may be offensive. A Change in our Organs will necessarily occasion a Change in the Intenseness of the Perception at least; nay sometimes will occasion a quite contrary Perception: Thus a warm Hand shall feel that Water cold, which a cold hand shall feel warm. 1 1

We shall not find it perhaps so easy to account for the Diversity of Fancy || 15a about more complex Ideas of Objects, || 16b in which we re- gard b 1 1 many Ideas of different Senses at [6] once; as || 17c in c || some Per- ceptions of those call’d primary Qualitys, and some secondary, as ex-





plain’d by Mr. Locke: 1 for instance, in the different Fancys about Architecture, Gardening, Dress. Of the two former we shall offer some- thing in Sect. VI. As to Dress, we may generally account for the Diversity of Fancys from a like Conjunction of Ideas: Thus a [|, if either from any thing in Nature, or from the Opinion of our Country or Acquaintance, the fancying of glaring Colours be look’d upon as an evidence of Levity, or of any other evil Quality of Mind; or if any Colour or Fashion be commonly us’d by Rusticks, or by Men of any disagreeable Profession, Employment, or Temper; these additional Ideas may recur constantly with that of the Colour or Fashion, and cause a constant Dislike to them in those who join the additional Ideas, altho the Colour or Form be no way disagreeable of themselves, and actually do please others who join no such Ideas to them. But there || 18 does not seem to be any|| Ground to believe such a Diversity in human Minds, as that the same || 19 simple|| Idea or Perception should give pleasure to one and pain to another, or to the same Person at different times; not to say that it seems a Contra- diction, that the same simple Idea should do so. [7]

Complex VIII. The only Pleasure ofSense, |] 20 which|| || 21 our || Philosophers seem Meas. t0 cons i c [ er) j s that which accompanys the simple Ideas of Sensation: But there are || 22 vastly || greater Pleasures in those complex Ideas of Objects, which obtain the Names of Beautiful, Regular, Fiarmonious. Thus every one acknowledges he is more delighted with a fine Face, a just Picture, than with the View of any one Colour, were it as strong and lively as possible; and more pleas’d with a Prospect of the Sun arising among settled Clouds, and colouring their Edges, with a starry Flemisphere, a fine Landskip, a regular Building, than with a clear blue Sky, a smooth Sea, or alarge open Plain, not diversify’d by Woods, Hills, Waters, Build- ings: And yet even these latter Appearances are not quite simple. So in Musick, the Pleasure of fine Composition is incomparably greater than that of any one Note, how sweet, full, or swelling soever.

i. John Locke (1632-1704) developed the theory of simple and complex ideas, and of primary and secondary qualities in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (London, 1690), book 2 “Of Ideas” and book 4 “Of Knowledge and Opinion.”



IX. Let it be observ’d, that in the following Papers, the Word Beauty is Beauty, taken for the Idea rais’d in us, and a Sense of Beauty for our Power of receiving this Idea. Harmony also denotes our pleasant Ideas arising Harmony, from Composition of Sounds, and a good Ear (as it is generally taken)

a Power of perceiving this Pleasure. In the following Sections, an At- tempt is made [8] to discover “what is the immediate Occasion of these pleasant Ideas, or what real Quality in the Objects ordinarily excites them.”

X. It is of no consequence whether we call these Ideas of Beauty and internal Sense. Harmony, Perceptions of the External Senses of Seeing and Hearing, or

not. I should rather chuse to call our Power of perceiving these Ideas, an Internal Sense, were it only for the Convenience of distinguishing them from other Sensations of Seeing and Hearing, which men may have without Perception of Beauty and Harmony. It is plain from Experience, that many Men have in the common meaning, the Sense of Seeing and Hearing perfect enough; they perceive all the simple Ideas separately, and have their Pleasures; they distinguish them from each other, such as one Colour from another, either quite different, or the stronger or fainter of the same Colour, || 23 when they are plac’d beside each other, altho they may often confound their Names, when they occur a-part from each other; as some do the Names of Green and Blue: || they can tell in separate Notes, the higher, lower, sharper or flatter, when separately sounded; in Figures they discern the Length, Breadth, Wideness of each Line, Sur- face, Angle; and may be as capable of hearing and seeing at great distances as any men [9] whatsoever: And yet perhaps they shall || 24 find|| no Plea- sure in Musical Compositions, in Painting, Architecture, natural Land- skip; or but a very weak one in comparison of what others enjoy from the same Objects. This greater Capacity of receiving such pleasant Ideas we commonly call a fine Genius or Taste: In Musick we seem universally to acknowledge something like a distinct Sense from the External one of Hearing, and call it a good Ear; and the like distinction we || 25 should|] probably acknowledge in other || 26 Objects||, had we also got distinct Names to denote these Powers of Perception by.

2 4


Different from External.

XI. 27 There will appear another Reason perhaps || 28 afterwards ||, for call- ing this Power of perceiving the Ideas of Beauty, an Internal Sense, from this, that in some other Affairs, where our External Senses are not much concern’d, we discern a sort of Beauty, very like, in many respects, to that observ’d in sensible Objects, and accompany’d with like Pleasure: Such is that Beauty perceiv’d in Theorems, or universal Truths, in gen- eral Causes, and in some extensive Principles of Action.

XII. Let || 29a every one here consider, how different we must suppose the Perception to be, with which a Poet is transported upon the Prospect of any of those Objects [io] of natural Beauty, which ravish us even in his Description; from that cold lifeless Conception which we imagine in a dull Critick, or one of the Virtuosi, without what we call a fine Taste. This latter Class of Men may have greater Perfection in that Knowledge, which is deriv’d from external Sensation; they can tell all the specifick Differences of Trees, Herbs, Minerals, Metals; they know the Form of every Leaf, Stalk, Root, Flower, and Seed of all the Species, about which the Poet is often very ignorant: And yet the Poet shall have a vastly more delightful Perception of the Whole; and not only the Poet but any man of a fine Taste. Our External || 30b Senses' 1 1| may by measuring teach us all the Proportions of Architecture to the Tenth of an Inch, and the Situ- ation of every Muscle in the human Body; and a good Memory may retain these: and yet there is still something further necessary, not only to make a man a compleat Master in Architecture, Painting or Statuary, but even a tolerable Judge in these Works; or [| 31c capable of receiving^ the highest Pleasure in contemplating them. a || Since then there are such different Powers of Perception, where what are commonly called the External Senses are the same; since the most accurate Knowledge ofwhat the External Senses discover, || 32 often does || not give the Pleasure of Beauty or Harmony, which yet one of a good Taste will en-[n]joy at once without much Knowledge; we may justly use another Name for these higher, and more delightful Perceptions of Beauty and Harmony, and call the Power of receiving such Impressions, an Internal Sense. The Dif- ference of the Perceptions seems sufficient to vindicate the Use of a dif-



ferent Name, || 33 especially when we are told in what meaning the Word is applied. 1 1

XIII. 34 This superior Power of Perception is justly called a Sense, because of its Affinity to the other Senses in this, that the Pleasure || 35 does not arise 1 1 from any Knowledge of Principles, Proportions, Causes, or of the Usefulness of the Object; || 36 but strikes us at first with the Idea of || Beauty: nor does the most accurate Knowledge increase this Pleasure of Beauty, however it 37 may super-add a distinct rational Pleasure from prospects of Advantage, or || 38 from|| the Increase of Knowledge.*

XIV. 39 And further, the Ideas of Beauty and Harmony, like other sensible Ideas, are necessarily pleasant to us, as well as immediately so; neither can any Resolution of our own, nor any Prospect of Advantage or Dis- advantage, vary the Beauty or Deformity of an Object: For as in the external Sensations, no View of Interest will [ 12 ] make an Object grate- ful, nor 1 1 40 View of 1 1 Detriment, distinct from immediate Pain in the Perception, make it disagreeable to the Sense; so propose the whole World as a Reward, or threaten the greatest Evil, to make us approve a deform’d Object, or disapprove a beautiful one; Dissimulation may be procur’d by Rewards or Threatnings, or we may in external Conduct abstain from any pursuit of the Beautiful, and pursue the Deform’d; but our Sentiments of the Forms, and our Perceptions, would continue in- variably the same.

XV. 41 Hence it plainly appears, “that some Objects are immediately the Occasions of this Pleasure of Beauty, and that we have Senses fitted for perceiving it; and that it is distinct from that Joy which arises || 42 from Self-love 1 1 upon Prospect of Advantage.” Nay, do not we often see Con- venience and Use neglected to obtain Beauty, without any other prospect of Advantage in the Beautiful Form, than the suggesting the pleasant Ideas of Beauty? Now this shews us, that however we may pursue beau-

Its Pleasures necessary and immediate.

This Sense antecedent to and distinct from prospects of interest.

See above, Art. 6 .

2 6


tiful Objects from Self-love, with a view to obtain the Pleasures of Beauty, as in Architecture, Gardening, and many other Affairs; yet there must be a Sense of Beauty, antecedent to Prospects even of this Advan- tage, without which Sense, these Objects would not be thus [13] Advan- tageous, nor excite in us this Pleasure which constitutes them advanta- geous. Our Sense of Beauty from Objects, by which they are constituted good to us, is very distinct from our Desire of them when they are thus constituted: Our Desire of Beauty may be counter-ballanc’d by Rewards or Threatnings, but never our Sense of it; even as Fear of Death, || 43 or Love of Life, || may make us || 44 chuse and|| desire a bitter Potion, or ne- glect those Meats which the Sense of Taste would recommend as pleas- ant; || 45 and yet no prospect of Advantage, or Fear of Evil, can|| make that Potion agreeable to the Sense, or Meat disagreeable to it, || 46 which was|| not so antecedently to this Prospect. || 47 Just in the same manner as to || the Sense of Beauty and Harmony; that the Pursuit of such Objects is frequently neglected, from prospects of Advantage, Aversion to La- bour, or any other Motive of || 48 Self-love ||, does not prove that we have no Sense of Beauty, but only that our Desire of it may be counter- ballanc’d by a stronger Desire: || 49 So Gold out-weighing Silver, is never adduc’d as a proof that the latter is void of Gravity.||

XVI. 50 Had we no such Sense of Beauty and Harmony; Houses, Gar- dens, Dress, Equipage, might have been recommended to us as conve- nient, fruitful, warm, easy; but never as beautiful: || 51 And in Faces I see no- [14] thing which could please us, but Liveliness of Colour, and Smoothness of Surface: || And yet nothing is more certain, than that all these Objects are recommended under quite different Views on many Occasions: || 52 And no Custom, Education, or Example could ever|| give us Perceptions distinct from those of the Senses which we had the use of before, or recommend Objects under another Conception than grate- ful to* them. But of the Influence of Custom, Education, Example, upon the Sense of Beauty, we shall treat below, f

  • See Art. 5.

t Sect. 7.



XVII. || 53 Beauty[| is either Original or Comparative; or, if any like the Terms better, Absolute, or Relative: Only let it be || 54 observ’d||, that by Absolute or Original Beauty, is not understood any Quality suppos’d to be in the Object, which should of itself be beautiful, without relation to any Mind which perceives it: For Beauty, like other Names of sensible Ideas, properly denotes the Perception of some Mind; so Cold, |] 55 Hot||, Sweet, Bitter, denote the Sensations in our Minds, to which perhaps there is no resemblance in the Objects, which excite these Ideas in us, however we generally imagine || 56 that there is something in the Object just like our Perception. || The Ideas of Beauty and [15] Harmony being excited upon our Perception of some primary Quality, and having re- lation to Figure and Time, may indeed have a nearer resemblance to Objects, than these Sensations, which seem not so much any Pictures of Objects, as Modifications of the perceiving Mind; and yet were there no Mind with a Sense of Beauty to contemplate Objects, I see not how they could be call’d beautiful. We therefore by* Absolute Beauty understand only that Beauty, which we perceive in Objects without comparison to any thing external, of which the Object is suppos’d an Imitation, or Pic- ture; such as that Beauty perceiv’d from the Works of Nature, artificial Forms, Figures, || 57 Theorems||. Comparative or Relative Beauty is that which we perceive in Objects, commonly considered as Imitations or Resemblances of something else. These two Kinds of Beauty employ the three following Sections. [16]

  • This division of Beauty is taken from the different Foundations of Pleasure to

our Sense of it, rather than from the Objects themselves: for most of the following Instances of relative Beauty have also absolute Beauty; and many of the Instances of absolute Beauty, have also relative Beauty in some respect or other. But we may dis- tinctly consider these two Fountains of Pleasure, Uniformity in the Object it self, and Resemblance to some Original.

Beauty, Original or Comparative.


Of Original or Absolute Beauty.

Sense of Men. I. Since it is certain that we have Ideas of Beauty and Harmony, let us examine what Quality in Objects excites these Ideas, or is the occasion of them. And let it be here observ’d, that our Inquiry is only about the Qualitys which are beautiful to Men; or about the Foundation of their Sense of Beauty: for, as was above hinted, Beauty has always relation to the Sense of some Mind; and when we afterwards shew how generally the Objects which occur to us, are beautiful, we mean 1 1 1 that such Ob- jects are 1 1 agreeable to the Sense of Men: |[ 2 for as there are not a few|| Objects, which seem no way beautiful to Men, || 3 so we see a variety of || other Animals || 4 who|| seem delighted with them; they may have Senses otherwise constituted than those of Men, and may have the Ideas of Beauty excited by Objects of a quite different Form. We see Animals fitted for every Place; and what to Men appears rude and shapeless, or loathsom, may be to them a Paradise.

II. That we may more distinctly discover the general Foundation or Oc- casion of [17] the Ideas of Beauty among Men, it will be necessary to consider it first in its simpler Kinds, such as occurs to us in regular Fig- ures; and we may perhaps find that the same Foundation extends to all the more complex Species of it.

Uniformity III. The Figures which excite in us the Ideas of Beauty, seem to be those with Variety. - n w ]-q c h q lcrc j s Uniformity amidst Variety. There are many Concep-




tions of Objects which are agreeable upon other accounts, such as Gran- deur, Novelty, Sanctity, and some others, || 5 which shall be mention’d hereafter. * 1 1 But what we call Beautiful in Obj ects, to speak in the Math- ematical Style, seems to be in a compound Ratio of Uniformity and Variety: so that where the Uniformity of Bodys is equal, the Beauty is as the Variety; and where the Variety is equal, the Beauty is as the Unifor- mity. This 1 1 6 will be plain from Examples. ||

First, the Variety increases the Beauty in equal Uniformity. The Variety. Beauty of an equilateral Triangle is less than that of the Square; which is less than that of a Pentagon; and this again is surpass’d by the Hexagon.

When indeed the Number of Sides is much increas’d, the Proportion of them to the Radius, or Diameter of the [18] Figure, || 7 or of the Circle to which regular Polygons have an obvious Relation, || is so much lost to our Observation, that the Beauty does not always increase with the Number of Sides; and the want of Parallelism in the Sides of Heptagons, and other Figures of odd Numbers, may also diminish their Beauty. So in Solids, the Eicosiedron surpasses the Dodecaedron, and this the Oc- taedron, which is still more beautiful than the Cube; and this again sur- passes the regular Pyramid: The obvious Ground of this, is greater Va- riety with equal Uniformity.

The greater Uniformity increases the Beauty amidst equal Variety, in Uniformity, these Instances: An Equilateral Triangle, or even an Isosceles, surpasses the Scalenum: A Square surpasses the Rhombus or Fozenge, and this again the Rhomboides, which is still more beautiful than the Trapezium, or any Figure with irregular curve Sides. So the regular Solids || s vastly|| surpass all other Solids of equal number of plain Surfaces: And the same is observable not only in the Five perfectly regular Solids, but in all those which have any considerable Uniformity, as Cylinders, Prisms, Pyra- mids, Obelisks; which please every Eye more than any rude Figures, where there is no Unity or Resemblance among the Parts. [19]

Instances of the compound Ratio we have in comparing Circles or Compound Spheres, with Ellipses or Spheroids not very eccentric; and in comparing Ratl °' the compound Solids, the Exoctaedron, and Eicosidodecaedron, with

See Sect. vi. Art. 11, 12, 13.



Beauty of Nature.

the perfectly regular ones of which they are compounded: and we shall find, that the Want of that most perfect Uniformity observable in the latter, is compensated by the greater Variety in the || 9 others||, so that the Beauty is nearly equal.

IV. These Observations would probably hold true for the most part, and might be confirm’d by the Judgment of Children in the simpler Figures, where the Variety is not too great for their Comprehension. And however uncertain some of the particular aforesaid Instances may seem, yet this is perpetually to be observ’d, that Children are fond of all regular Figures in their little Diversions, altho they be no more convenient, or useful for them, than the Figures of our common Pebbles: We see how early they discover a Taste or Sense of Beauty, in desiring to see Buildings, regular Gardens, or even Representations of them in Pictures of any kind.

V. || 10 It is 1 1 the same foundation || 11 which || we have for our Sense of Beauty in the Works of Nature. In every Part of the World [ 20 ] which we call Beautiful, there is a || I2 vast|| Uniformity amidst an almost infinite Variety. Many Parts of the Universe seem not at all design’d for the use of Man; nay, it is but a very small Spot with which we have any ac- quaintance. The Figures and Motions of the great Bodys are not obvious to our Senses, but found out by Reasoning and Reflection, upon many long Observations: and yet as far as we can by Sense discover, or by Rea- soning enlarge our Knowledg, and extend our Imagination, we generally find 1 1 1 3 their Structure, Order||, and Motion, agreeable to our Sense of Beauty. Every particular Object in Nature does not indeed appear beau- tiful to us; but there is a || 14 vast|| Profusion of Beauty over most of the Objects which occur either to our Senses, or Reasonings upon Obser- vation: For not to mention the apparent Situation of the heavenly Bodys in the Circumference of a great Sphere, which is wholly occasion’d by the Imperfection of our Sight in discerning distances; the Forms of all the great Bodys in the Universe are nearly Spherical; the Orbits of their Revolutions generally Elliptick, and without great Eccentricity, in those which continually occur to our Observation: || 15 now|| these are Figures of great Uniformity, and therefore pleasing to us. [ 21 ]



16 Further, to pass by the less obvious Uniformity in the Proportion of their Quantitys of Matter, Distances, Times of revolving, to each other; what can exhibit a greater Instance of Uniformity amidst Variety, than the constant Tenour of Revolutions in nearly equal Times, in each Planet, around its Axis, and the central Fire or Sun, thro all the Ages of which we have any Records, and in nearly the same Orbit? 1 1 1 7 by which 1 1 , after certain Periods, all the same Appearances are again renew’d; the alternate Successions of Light and Shade, or Day and Night, constantly pursuing each other around each Planet, with an agreeable and regular Diversity in the Times they possess the || 18 several|| Fiemispheres, in the Summer, Fiarvest, Winter and Spring; and the various Phases, Aspects, and Situations, of the Planets to each other, their Conjunctions and Op- positions, in which they suddenly darken each other with their Conick Shades in Eclipses, are repeated to us at their fixed Periods with invariable Constancy: These are the Beautys which charm the Astronomer, and make his tedious Calculations pleasant.

Molliter austerum studio fallente laborem.* 1 [ 22 ]

VI. Again, as to the dry Part of the Surface of our Globe, a great Part of which is cover’d with a very pleasant inoffensive Colour, how beautifully is it diversify’d with various Degrees of Light and Shade, according to the different Situations of the Parts of its Surface, in Mountains, Valleys, Hills, and open Plains, which are variously inclin’d toward the great Lu- minary!

VII. If we descend to the minuter Works of Nature, what || 19 vast|| Uni- formity among all the Species of Plants and Vegetables in the manner of their Growth and Propagation! || 20 what exact || Resemblance among all the Plants of the same Species, whose Numbers surpass our Imagination! And this Uniformity is not only observable in the Form in gross; || 21 nay,

  • Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. 2 v. 12.

i. Translation: “Where the excitement pleasantly beguiles the hard toil.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, and Ars Poetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fair- clough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, p. 136.)





in this it is not so very exact in all Instances||, but in the Structure of their || 22 minutest Parts, || which no Eye unassisted with Glasses can dis- cern. In the almost infinite Multitude of Leaves, Fruit, Seed, Flowers of any one Species, we || 23 often || see || 24 an exact || Uniformity in the Struc- ture and Situation of the smallest Fibres. This is the Beauty which charms an ingenious Botanist. Nay, what || 25 vast|| Uniformity and Reg- ularity of Figure is found in each particular Plant, || 26 Leaf||, or Flower! In all Trees and || 27 most of the || smaller Plants, the Stalks or Trunks are either Cylinders nearly, or regular [23] Prisms; the Branches similar to their several Trunks, arising at nearly regular Distances, when no Acci- dents retard their natural Growth; In one Species the Branches arise in Pairs on the opposite Sides; the perpendicular Plain of Direction of the immediately superior Pair, intersecting the Plain of Direction of the in- ferior, nearly at right Angles: In another species, the Branches || 28 spring || singly, and alternately, all around in nearly equal Distances: And the Branches in other Species || 29 sprout|| all in Knots around the Trunk, one for each Year. And in || 30 every || Species, all the Branches in the first Shoots preserve the same Angles with their Trunk; and they again sprout out into smaller Branches exactly after the Manner of their Trunks. Nor ought we to pass over that great Unity of Colours || 31 which we often see 1 1 in all the Flowers of the same Plant or Tree, and often of a whole Species; and their exact Agreement in many shaded Transitions into op- posite Colours, in which all the Flowers of the same Plant generally agree, nay often all the Flowers of a Species.

Animals. VIII. Again, as to the Beauty of Animals, either in their inward Structure, which we come to the Knowledg of by Experiment and long Observa- tion, or their outward Form, we shall find |] 32 vast|| Uniformity among all the Species which are known to [24] us, in the Structure of those Parts, upon which Life depends more immediately. And how amazing is the Unity of Mechanism, when we shall find 1 1 33 an || almost infinite diversity of Motions, all their Actions in walking, running, flying, swimming; all their serious Efforts for Self-preservation, all their freakish Contortions when they are gay and sportful, in all their various Limbs, perform’d by one simple Contrivance of a contracting Muscle, apply’d with incon-



ceivable Diversitys to answer all these Ends! Various Engines might have obtain’d the same Ends; but then there had been less Uniformity, and the Beauty of our Animal Systems, and of particular Animals, had been much less, when this surprizing Unity of Mechanism had been remov’d from them.

IX. Among Animals of the same Species, the Unity is very obvious, and this Resemblance is the very Ground of our ranking them in such Classes or Species, notwithstanding the great Diversitys in Bulk, Colour, Shape, which are observ’d even in those call’d of the same Species. And then in each Individual, || 34 what vast Beauty || arises from the exact Resemblance of all the external double Members to each other, which seems the uni- versal Intention of Nature, when no Accident prevents it! We see the Want of this Resemblance never fails to pass for an [25] Imperfection, and Want of Beauty, tho no other Inconvenience ensues; as when the Eyes are not exactly like, or one Arm or Leg is a little shorter or smaller than its fellow.

|| 35a As to that most powerful Beauty in Countenances, Airs, Gestures, Motion, we shall shew in the second Treatise,* that it arises from some imagin’d Indication of morally good Dispositions of || 36b Mind. llb ||

X. There is a further Beauty in Animals, arising from a certain Propor- tion of the various Parts to each other, which still pleases the Sense of Spectators, tho they cannot calculate it with the Accuracy of a Statuary. The Statuary knows what Proportion of each Part of the Face to the whole Face is most agreeable, and can tell us the same of the Proportion of the Face to the Body, or any Parts of it; and between the Diameters and Lengths of each Limb; When this Proportion of the Head to the Body is remarkably alter’d, we shall have a Giant or a Dwarf. And hence it is, that either the one or the other may be represented to us even in Miniature, without Relation to any external Object, by observing how the Body surpasses the Proportion it should have to the Head in Giants, and falls [26] below it in Dwarfs. There is a further Beauty arising from


Sect. vi. Art. 3.



that Figure, which is a natural Indication of Strength; but this may be pass’d over, because probably it may be alleg’d, that our Approbation of this Shape flows from an opinion of Advantage, and not from the Form it self.

The Beauty arising from Mechanism, apparently adapted to the Ne- cessitys and Advantages of any Animal; which pleases us, even tho there be no Advantage to our selves ensuing from it; will be consider’d under the Head of Relative Beauty, or Design.*

Fowls. XI. The peculiar Beauty of Fowls can scarce be omitted, which arises from the 1 1 37 vast || Variety of Feathers, a curious Sort of Machines adapted to many admirable Uses, which retain a || 3S vast|| Resemblance in their Structure among all the Species, || 39 and|| a perfect Uniformity in those of the same Species in the corresponding Parts, and in the two Sides of each Individual; besides all the Beauty of lively Colours and gradual Shades, not only in the external Appearance of the Fowl, resulting from an artful Combination of shaded Feathers, but often visible even in one Feather separately. [27]

Fluids. XII. If our Reasonings about the Nature of Fluids be just, the vast Stores of Water will give us an Instance of Uniformity in Nature above Imag- ination, when we reflect upon the almost infinite Multitude of small, polish’d, smooth Spheres, which must be suppos’d form’d in all the parts of this Globe. The same Uniformity there is probably among the Parts of other Fluids as well as Water: and the like must be observ’d in several other natural Bodys, as Salts, Sulphurs, and such like; whose uniform Propertys do probably depend upon an Uniformity in the Figures of their Parts.

Harmony. XIII. Under Original Beauty we may include Harmony, or Beauty of Sound, if that Expression can be allow’d, because Harmony is not usually conceiv’d as an Imitation of any thing else. Harmony often raises Plea-

See Sect. iv. Art. 7.



sure in those who know not what is the Occasion of it: And yet the Foundation of this Pleasure is known to be a sort of Uniformity. When the several Vibrations of one Note regularly coincide with the Vibrations of another, they make an agreeable Composition; and such Notes are call’d || 40 Concords||. Thus the Vibrations of any one Note coincide in Time with || 41 two Vibrations|| of its Octave; and two Vibrations of any Note coincide with three of its Fifth; and so on in the rest of the || 42 Con- [28] cords. Now no Composition can be harmonious, in which the Notes are not, for the most part, dispos’d according to these natural Propor- tions. Besides which, a due Regard must be had to the Key, which gov- erns the whole, and to the Time and Humour, in which the Composition is begun: a frequent and inartificial Change of any of which will produce the greatest, and most unnatural Discord. This will appear, by observing the Dissonance which would arise from tacking Parts of different Tunes together as one, altho both were separately agreeable. A like || Uniformity is also observable among the Bases, Tenors, Trebles of the same Tune.

|| 43 There is indeed observable, in the best Compositions, a mysterious Effect of Discords: They often give as great Pleasure as continu’d Har- mony; whether by refreshing the Ear with Variety, or by awakening the Attention, and enlivening the Relish for the succeeding Harmony of Concords, as Shades enliven and beautify Pictures, or by some other means not yet known: Certain it is however that they have their place, and some good Effect in our best Compositions. || Some other Powers of Musick may be consider’d || 44 hereafter||.* [29]

XIV. But in all these Instances of 45 Beauty let it be observ’d, That the Pleasure is communicated to those who never reflected on this general Foundation; and that all here alledg’d is this, “That the pleasant Sen- sation arises only from Objects, in which there is Uniformity amidst Variety:” We may have the Sensation without knowing what is the Oc- casion of it; as a Man’s Taste may suggest Ideas of Sweets, Acids, Bitters, tho he be ignorant of the Forms of the small Bodys, or their Motions, which excite these Perceptions in him. [30]

See Sect. vi. Art. 12.


Of the Beauty of Theorems.

Theorems. I. The Beauty of Theorems, or universal Truths demonstrated, deserves a distinct Consideration, 1 1 1 being 1 1 of a N ature pretty different from the former kinds of Beauty; and yet there is none in which we shall see such an amazing Variety with Uniformity: and hence arises a very great Plea- sure distinct from Prospects of any further Advantage.

II. For in one Theorem we may find included, with the most exact Agree- ment, an infinite Multitude of particular Truths; nay, often || 2 an In- finity || of Infinites: so that altho the Necessity of forming abstract Ideas, and universal Theorems, arises perhaps from the Limitation of our Minds, which cannot admit an infinite Multitude of singular Ideas or Judgments at once, yet this Power gives us an Evidence of the Largeness of the human Capacity above our Imagination. Thus for instance, the 47 th Proposition of the first Book of Euclid’s Elements contains an in- finite Multitude of Truths, concerning the infinite possible Sizes of right- angled Triangles, as you make the Area greater [ 31 ] or less; and in each of these Sizes you may find an infinite Multitude of dissimilar Triangles, as you vary the Proportion of the Base to the Perpendicular; all which || 3 Infinitys of || Infinites agree in the general Theorem. || 4a In Algebraick, and Fluxional Calculations, we shall || 5b still find a greater b || Variety of particular Truths included in general Theorems; not only in general Equations applicable to all Kinds of Quantity, but in more particular Investigations of Areas and Tangents: In which one Manner of Opera-




tion shall discover Theorems applicable to || 6c infinite 0 1 | Orders or Species of Curves, to the infinite Sizes of each Species, and to the infinite Points of the || 7 d infinite d || Individuals of each Size. a ||

III. That we may the better discern this Agreement, or Unity of an In- finity of Objects, in the general Theorem, to be the Foundation of the Beauty or Pleasure attending their Discovery, let us compare our Satis- faction in such Discoverys, with the uneasy state of Mind |[ 8 in which we are||, when we can only measure Lines, or Surfaces, by a Scale, or are making Experiments which we can reduce to no general Canon, but || 9 only|| heaping up a Multitude of particular incoherent Observations. Now each of these Trials discovers a new Truth, but with no Pleasure or Beauty, notwithstand-[32]ing the Variety, till we can discover some sort of Unity, or reduce them to some general Canon.

IV. Again, let us take a Metaphysical Axiom, such as this, Every Whole is greater than its Part; and we shall find no Beauty in the Contemplation. || 10 For tho 1 1 this Proposition || 11 contains || many Infinitys of particular Truths; yet the Unity is inconsiderable, since they all agree only in a vague, undetermin’d Conception of Whole and Part, and in an indefi- nite Excess of the former above the latter, which is sometimes great and sometimes small. So, should we hear that the Cylinder is greater than the inscrib’d Sphere, and this again greater than the Cone of the same Altitude and Diameter with the Base, we shall find no pleasure in this Knowledge of a general Relation of greater and less, without any precise Difference or Proportion. But when we see the universal exact Agree- ment of all possible Sizes of such Systems of Solids, that they preserve to each other the constant Ratio of 3, 2, 1; how beautiful is the Theorem, and how are we ravish’d with its first Discovery!

1 1 12a We may likewise observe, that easy or obvious Propositions, even where the Unity is sufficiently distinct, and determinate, do not please us so much as those, which [33] being less obvious, give us some Surprize in the Discovery: Thus we find little Pleasure in discovering that a Line bisecting the vertical Angle of an Isosceles Triangle, bisects the Base, or the

Foundation of their Beauty.

Little Beauty in Axioms.





Reverse; or, that Equilateral Triangles are Equiangular. These Truths we almost know Intuitively, without Demonstration: They are like com- mon Goods, or those which Men have long possessed, which do not give such sensible Joys as much smaller new Additions may give us. But let none hence imagine, that the sole Pleasure of Theorems is from Surprize; for the same Novelty of a single Experiment does not please us much: nor ought we to conclude from the greater Pleasure accompanying a new, or unexpected Advantage, that Surprize, or Novelty is the only Pleasure of Life, or the only ground of Delight in || 13b Truth. ab ||

Corolkrys. V. There is another Beauty in Propositions, || 14 which cannot beomitted;

which is |[, When one Theorem || 15 contains || a || 16 vast|| Multitude of Corollarys easily deducible from it. Thus || I7 that Theorem which gives us the Equation of a Curve, whence perhaps most of its Propertys may be deduc’d, does some way please and satisfy our Mind above any other Proposition ||: Such a Theorem also is the 35th of the 1st Book of Euclid, from which the whole Art of measuring right-lin’d Areas is deduc’d, by [34] Resolution into Triangles, which are the halfs of so many Parallel- ograms; and these are each respectively equal to so many Rectangles of the Base into the perpendicular Altitude: The 47th of the 1st Book is another of like Beauty, and so are many || 18 others||.

19 In the search of Nature there is the like Beauty in the Knowledge of some great Principles, or universal Forces, from which innumerable Effects do flow. Such is Gravitation, in Sir Isaac Newton’s Scheme; || 20 such also is the Knowledge of the Original of Rights, perfect and im- perfect, and external; alienable and unalienable, with their manner of Translations; from whence the greatest Part of moral Dutys may be de- duc’d in the various Relations of human Life.|]

It is easy to see how Men are charm’d with the Beauty of such Knowl- edge, besides its Usefulness; and how this sets them upon deducing the Propertys of each Figure from one Genesis, and demonstrating the me- chanick Forces from one Theorem of the Composition of Motion; even after they have sufficient Knowledge and Certainty in all these Truths from distinct independent Demonstrations. And this Pleasure we enjoy even when we have no Prospect of obtaining any other || 21 Advantage ||



from such [ 35 ] Manner of Deduction, || 22 than || the immediate Pleasure of contemplating the Beauty: nor could Love of Fame excite us to such regular Methods of Deduction, were we not conscious that Mankind are pleas’d with them immediately, by this internal Sense of their Beauty.

It is no less easy to see into what absurd || 23 Attempts |[ Men have been led by this Sense of Beauty, and || 24 a silly Affectation || of obtaining it in the other Sciences as well as the Mathematicks. ’Twas this probably which set Descartes 1 on that hopeful Project of deducing all human Knowledge from one Proposition, viz. Cogito, ergo sum; while others || 25 with as little Sense contended||, that Impossible est idem simul esse & non esse, had much fairer Pretensions to the Style and Title of Principium humanae Cognitionis absolute primum. Mr. Leibnitz ' 1 had an equal Af- fection for his favourite Principle of a sufficient Reason for every thing in N ature, and 1 1 26 brags to Dr. Clarke" 1 1 1 of the Wonders he had wrought in the intellectual World by its Assistance; || 27 but his learned Antagonist seems to think he had not sufficient Reason for his Boasting.* || If we look into particular Sciences, we || 28 may see in the Systems learned Men have given us of them,|| [ 36 ] the Inconveniences of this Love of Unifor- mity. || 29 How|| aukardly || 30 is Puffendorf forc’d to || deduce the several Dutys of Men to God, themselves, and their Neighbours, from his single fundamental Principle of Sociableness to the whole Race of Mankind ? 31 This Observation || 32 might easily be extended farther, were it necessary;

i. Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French philosopher and mathematician, published the cogito-ergo-sum principle first in his Discours de la methode (1637) an< I i n Us Meditationes de prima philosophia (1641), meditations 2 and 3.

ii. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646— 1716), German philosopher, mathema- tician, historian, and jurist, discovered differential and integral calculus, and devel- oped the first binary arithmetic. Of his numerous writings and extensive correspon- dence, little was published during his lifetime. The principle of sufficient reason is central to his metaphysics and logic; see his Monadologie (1720). In an exchange of letters with Samuel Clarke (see note iii below), he discussed the philosophical prin- ciples of Newton’s physics, especially space and time ( The Leibniz-Clarke Correspon- dence, ed. by H. G. Alexander, New York: Manchester University Press, 1998).

iii. Samuel Clarke (1675-1729), English theologian and philosopher, was a friend of Newton whose philosophical doctrine he defended against Leibniz (see note ii above).

  • See the Letters which pass’d between Dr. Clarke and Mr. Leibnitz, Pag. 23.





and 1 1 is a strong Proof that Men || 33 have a Sense of Beauty in || Unifor- mity in the Sciences, || 34 even from the Contortions of common Sense they are led into by pursuing it||.

VI. This Delight which accompanys Sciences, or universal Theorems, may really be call’d a kind of Sensation; since it necessarily accompanys the Discovery of any Proposition, and is distinct from bare Knowledge it self 35 , being most violent at first, whereas the Knowledge is uniformly the same. And however Knowledge enlarges the Mind, and makes us more capable of comprehensive Views and Projects in some kinds of Business, whence Advantage may also arise to us; yet we may leave it in the Breast of every Student to determine, whether he has not often felt this Pleasure without any such prospect of Advantage from the Discov- ery ofhis Theorem. All || 36 which|| can thence be infer’d is only this, that as in our external Senses, so in our internal ones, the pleasant Sensations generally arise from those Objects which calm Reason [37] would have recommended, had we understood their Use, and which might have en- gag’d our pursuits from Self-interest.

VII. 37 If any alledge, “that this Pleasure in Theorems arises only at first, upon the Novelty of the Discovery, which occasions Surprize:” It must be own’d indeed that* Novelty is generally very agreeable, and heightens the Pleasure in the Contemplation of Beauty; but then the Novelty of a particular Truth, found out by measuring, as above mention’d, gives no considerable Pleasure, nor Surprize. That then which is pleasant and surprizing, is the first Observation of this Unity amidst such a great Va- riety. There is indeed another kind of Surprize, which adds to the Beauty of some Propositions less universal, and may make them equally pleasant with more universal ones; as when we discover a general Truth which seem’d before, upon some confus’d Opinion, to be a Falshood: as that Assymptotes always approaching should never meet the Curve. This is like that Joy, which may be very strong and violent, upon the unexpected Arrival of a small Advantage, from that Occasion from which we ap-

See Sect. vi. Art. 13. and the Spectator there referr’d to.



prehended great Evil; but still this Unity of many Particulars in the gen- eral Theo-[38]rem, is necessary to make it pleasant, in any case.

VIII. 38 As to the Works of Art, were we to run thro the various artificial Works of Art. Contrivances or Structures, we should constantly find the Foundation of the Beauty which appears in them, || 39 to be|| some kind of Unifor- mity, or Unity of Proportion among the Parts, and of each Part to the Whole. As there is a || 40 vast|| Diversity of Proportions possible, and dif- ferent Kinds of Uniformity, so there is room enough for that Diversity of Fancys observable in Architecture, Gardening, and such like Arts in different Nations; they all may have Uniformity, tho the Parts in one may differ from those in another. The Chinese or Persian Buildings are not like the Grecian and Roman, and yet the former has its Uniformity of the various Parts to each other, and to the Whole, as well as the latter.

In that kind of Architecture which the Europeans call Regular, the Uni- formity of Parts is very obvious, the several Parts are regular Figures, and either equal or similar at least in the same Range; the Pedestals are Par- allelopipedons or square Prisms; the Pillars, Cylinders nearly; the Arches Circular, and all those in the same Row equal; there is the same Pro- portion every where observ’d in the same Range between the Diameters of Pillars and their Heights, their Capitals, the Dia-[39]meters ofArches, the Heights of the Pedestals, the Projections of the Cornice, and all 1 1 4 The 1 1 Ornaments in each of our five Orders. And tho other Countrys do not follow the Grecian or Roman Proportions; yet there is even among them a Proportion retain’d, a Uniformity, and Resemblance of corresponding Figures; and every Deviation in one part from || 42 that||

Proportion which is observ’d in the rest of the Building, is displeasing to every Eye, and destroys or diminishes at least the Beauty of the Whole.

43 IX. The same might be observ’d thro all other Works of Art, even to the meanest Utensil; the Beauty of every one of which we shall always find to have the same Foundation of Uniformity amidst Variety, without which they || 44 appear || mean, irregular and deform’d. [40]




Description in Poetry.

Of Relative or Comparative Beauty.

I. If the preceding Thoughts concerning the Foundation of absolute Beauty be just, we may easily understand wherein relative Beauty con- sists. All Beauty is relative to the Sense of some Mind perceiving it; but what we call relative is that which is apprehended in any Object, com- monly consider’d as an Imitation of some Original: And this Beauty is founded on a Conformity, or a kind of Unity between the Original and the Copy. The Original may be either some Object in Nature, or some establish’d Idea; for if there be any known Idea as a Standard, and Rules to fix this Image or Idea by, we may make a beautiful Imitation. Thus a Statuary, Painter, or Poet, may please us with an Hercules, if his Piece retains that Grandeur, and those marks of Strength, and Courage, which we imagine in that Hero.

1 And farther, to obtain comparative Beauty alone, it is not necessary that there be any Beauty in the Original; the Imitation of absolute Beauty may indeed in the whole make a more lovely Piece, and yet [41] an exact Imitation shall still be beautiful, tho the Original were intirely void of it: Thus the Deformitys of old Age in a Picture, the rudest Rocks or Mountains in a Landskip, if well represented, shall have abundant Beauty, tho perhaps not so great as if the Original were absolutely beau- tiful, and as well || 2 represented.||

II. The same Observation holds true in the Descriptions of the Poets either of natural Objects or Persons; and this relative Beauty is what they




should principally endeavour to obtain, as the peculiar Beauty of their Works. By the Moratae Fabulae, or the tfdr) of Aristotle, we are not to understand virtuous Manners || 3 in a moral Sense||, but a just Represen- tation of Manners or Characters as they are in Nature; and that the Ac- tions and Sentiments be suited to the Characters of the Persons to whom they are ascrib’d in Epick and Dramatick Poetry. Perhaps very good Rea- sons may be suggested from the Nature of our Passions, to prove that a Poet should || 4 not|| draw || 5 his Characters perfectly Virtuous||; these Characters indeed abstractly consider’d might give more Pleasure, and have more Beauty than the imperfect ones which occur in Life with a mixture of Good and Evil: But it may suffice at present to suggest against this Choice, that we have more lively Ideas of imperfect Men with all their Passions, [42] than of morally perfect Heroes, such as really never occur to our Observation; and of || 6 which || consequently we cannot judg exactly as to their Agreement with the Copy. And further, thro Con- sciousness of our own State, we are more nearly touch’d and affected by the imperfect Characters; since in them we see represented, in the Per- sons of others, the Contrasts of Inclinations, and the Struggles between the Passions of Self-Love and those of Honour and Virtue, which we often feel in our own Breasts. This is the Perfection of Beauty for which Homer is justly admir’d, as well as for the Variety of his Characters.

III. Many other Beautys of Poetry may be reduc’d under this Class of relative Beauty: The Probability is absolutely necessary to make us imag- ine Resemblance; it is by Resemblance that the Similitudes, Metaphors and Allegorys are made beautiful, whether either the Subject or the Thing compar’d to it have Beauty or not; the Beauty indeed is greater, when both have some original Beauty or Dignity as well as Resemblance: and this is the foundation of the Rule of studying Decency in Metaphors and Similys as well as Likeness. The Measures and Cadence are instances of Harmony, and come under the head of absolute Beauty. [43]

IV. We may here observe a strange Proneness in our Minds to make perpetual Comparisons of all things which occur to our Observation, even [| 7 those which would seem very remote||. There are certain Resem-




Proneness to compare.



blances in the Motions of all Animals upon like Passions, which easily found a Comparison; but this does not serve to entertain our Fancy: Inanimate Objects have often such Positions as resemble those of the human Body in various Circumstances; these Airs or Gestures of the Body are Indications of 1 1 8 certain 1 1 Dispositions in the Mind, so that our very Passions and Affections as well as other Circumstances obtain a Resemblance to natural inanimate Objects. Thus a Tempest at Sea is often an Emblem of Wrath; a Plant or Tree drooping under the Rain, of a Person in Sorrow; a Poppy bending its Stalk, or a Flower withering when cut by the Plow, resembles the Death of a blooming Hero; an aged Oak in the Mountains shall represent an old Empire, a Flame seizing a Wood shall represent a War. In short, every thing in Nature, by our strange inclination to Resemblance, shall be brought to represent other things, even the most remote, especially the Passions and Circumstances of human Nature in which we are more nearly concern’d; and to confirm this, and furnish Instances of it, one [44] need only look into Homer or Virgil. A fruitful Fancy would find in a Grove, or a Wood, an Emblem || 9 for || every Character in a Commonwealth, and every turn ofTemper, or Station in Life.

intention. V. Concerning that kind of comparative Beauty which has a necessary relation to some establish’d Idea, we may observe, that some Works of Art acquire a distinct Beauty by their Correspondence to some univer- sally suppos’d Intention in the || 10 Artificer||, or the Persons who em- ploy’d II 11 him ||: And to obtain this Beauty, sometimes they do notform their Works so as to attain the highest Perfection of original Beauty sep- arately consider’d; because a Composition of this relative Beauty, along with some degree of the original Kind, may give more Pleasure, than a more perfect original Beauty separately. Thus we see, that strict Regu- larity in laying out of Gardens in Parterres, Vista’s, parallel Walks, is often neglected, to obtain an Imitation of Nature even in some of its Wild- nesses. And we are more pleas’d with this Imitation, especially when the Scene is large and spacious, than with the more confin’d Exactness of regular || 12 Works||. So likewise in the Monuments erected in honour of deceased Heroes, although a Cylinder, or Prism, or regular Solid, may have more original Beauty than a very acute Pyramid or Obelisk, [45]



yet the latter pleases more, by answering better the suppos’d Intentions of Stability, and being conspicuous. For the same reason Cubes, or square Prisms, are generally chosen for the Pedestals of Statues, and not any of the more beautiful Solids, which do not seem so secure from roll- ing. This may be the reason too, why Columns or Pillars look best when made a little taper from the middle, or a third from the bottom, that they may not seem top-heavy and in danger of falling.

VI. The like reason may influence Artists, in many other Instances, to depart from the Rules of original Beauty, as above laid down. And yet this is no Argument against our Sense of Beauty being founded, as was above explain’d, on Uniformity amidst Variety, but only an Evidence that our Sense of Beauty of the Original Kind may be vary’d and over- ballanc’d by another kind of Beauty.

VII. This Beauty arising from Correspondence to Intention, would open to curious Observers a new Scene of Beauty in the Works of Nature, by considering how the Mechanism of the various Parts known to us, seems adapted to the Perfection of that Part, and yet in Subordination to the Good of some System or Whole. We generally suppose the Good of [46] the greatest Whole, or of all Beings, to have been the Intention of the Author of Nature; and cannot avoid being pleas’d when we see any part of this Design executed in the Systems we are acquainted with. The Ob- servations already made on this Subject are in every one’s hand, in the Treatises of our late Improvers of mechanical Philosophy. || 13 We shall only observe here, that every one has a certain Pleasure in || seeing any Design well executed by curious Mechanism, even when his own Ad- vantage is no way concern’d; || 14 and also || in discovering the Design to which any complex Machine is adapted, when he has perhaps had a gen- eral Knowledge of the Machine before, without seeing its Correspon- dence or Aptness to execute any Design. 15

The Arguments by which we prove Reason and Design in any Cause from the Beauty of the Effects, are so frequently us’d in some of the highest Subjects, that it may be necessary to enquire a little more par- ticularly into them, to see how far they will hold, and with what degree of Evidence. [47]


Sense, Arbitrary in its Author.

Concerning our Reasonings about Design and Wisdom in the Cause, from the Beauty or Regularity of Effects.

I. There seems to be no necessary Connection of our pleasing Ideas of Beauty with the Uniformity or Regularity of the Objects, from the Na- ture of things, 1 1 1 antecedent 1 1 to some Constitution of the Author of our Nature, which has made such Forms pleasant to us. Other Minds || 2 may || be so fram’d as to receive no Pleasure from Uniformity; and we actually find that the same regular Forms || 3 seem not|| equally to please all the Animals known to us, as shall probably appear || 4 afterwards ||. Therefore let us make what is the most unfavourable Supposition to the present Argument|| 5 , viz. || That the Constitution of our Sense so as to approve Uniformity, is merely arbitrary in the Author of our Nature; and that there are an infinity of Tastes or Relishes of Beauty possible; so that it would be impossible to throw together fifty or a hundred Pebbles, which should not make an agreeable Fiabitation for some Animal or other, and appear beautiful to it. And then it is [ 48 ] plain, that from the Perception of Beauty in any one Effect, we should have no reason to conclude Design in the Cause: for a Sense might be so constituted as to be pleas’d with such Irregularity as may be the effect of an undirected Force.* But then, as there are an Infinity of Forms Impossible || into which

  • || 6a By undirected Force, or undesigning Force, is to be understood, That Force

with which an Agent may put Matter into Motion, without having any Design or




any System may be reduc’d, an Infinity of Places in which Animals may be situated, and an Infinity of Relishes or Senses |] 10 in these Animals || is suppos’d possible; that in the immense Spaces any one Animal should by Chance be plac’d in a System agreeable to its Taste, must be im- probable as infinite to one at least: And much more unreasonable is it to expect from Chance, that a multitude of Animals agreeing in their Sense of Beauty should obtain agreeable Places. [49]

II. || 11 There is also 1 1 the same Probability, that in any one System of Matter an Undirected Force || 12 will|| produce a regular Form, as anyone given irregular one, of the same degree of Complication: But still the irregular Forms into which any System may be rang’d, surpass in mul- titude the Regular, as Infinite does Unity; for what holds in one small System will hold in a Thousand, a Million, a Universe, with more Ad- vantage, viz. that the irregular Forms possible infinitely surpass the Reg- ular. For Instance, the Area of an Inch Square is capable of an Infinity of regular Forms, the Equilateral Triangle, the Square, the Pentagon, Hexagon, Heptagon, &c. but for each one regular Form, there are an Infinity of Irregular, as an Infinity of Scalena for the one equilateral Tri- angle, an Infinity of Trapezia for the one Square, of irregular Pentagons for the one Regular, and so on: and therefore supposing any one System agitated by undesigning Force, it || 13 is|| infinitely more probable that it || 14 will || resolve itself into an irregular Form, than a regular. Thus, that a System of six Parts upon Agitation shall not obtain the Form of a reg- ular Hexagon, is at least infinite to Unity; and the more complex we

Intention to produce any particular Form. || 7b This b || Conatus ad motum, without an actual Line of Direction, seems such a gross absurdity in the Cartesian Scheme, that it is || 8c below the Dignity of common Sense to vouchsafe to confute it c ||. But Men have so many confus’d Notions of some Nature, or Chance impressing Motions with- out any Design or Intention of producing any particular Effect, that it may be useful to shew, that even this very absurd Postulatum, tho it were granted them, is insuffi- cient to answer the appearances in the Regularity of the World; and this is what is attempted in the first fourteen Articles of this Section. These Arguments would really be useless, if all Men were persuaded of what to a Man of just Thought will appear pretty Obvious, that there can be no Thought-less Agent; and that Chance and Na- ture are mere empty Names, as they are us’d on this Occasion, relative only to our Ignorance. a ||





make the System, the greater is the hazard, from a very obvious Reason. [50]

15 We see this confirm’d by our constant Experience, that Regularity never arises from any undesign’d Force of ours; and from this we con- clude, that wherever there is any Regularity in the disposition of a System capable of many other || 16 Dispositions||, there must have been Design in the Cause; and the Force of this Evidence increases, according to the Multiplicity of Parts imploy’d.

But this Conclusion is too rash, unless some further Proof be in- troduc’d; and what leads us into it is this. Men, who have a Sense of Beauty in Regularity, are led generally in all their Arrangements ofBodys to study some kind of Regularity, and seldom ever design Irregularity; || 17 hence || we judge the same of other Beings too, || 18 viz.|| that they study Regularity, and presume upon Intention in the Cause wherever we see it, making Irregularity always a Presumption of Want of Design: || 19 Whereas if other Agents have different Senses of Beauty, || or if they have no Sense of it at all, Irregularity may as well be design’d as Regu- larity. And then let it be observ’d, that in this Case there is just the same reason to conclude Design in the Cause from any one irregular Effect, as from a regular one; for since there are an Infinity of other Forms pos- sible as well as this irre- [51] gular one produc’d, and since to such a Being* void of a Sense of Beauty, all Forms are as to its own Relish indifferent, and all agitated Matter meeting must make some Form or other, and all

  • There is a great Difference between such a Being as is here mention’d, and a

Being which has no Intention for any reason whatsoever to produce one Form more than another. This latter sort of Being, as to the present Argument, would be the same with Chance, but not the former. For tho a Being has no sense of Beauty, he may notwithstanding be capable of Design, and of Intention to produce regular Forms; and the observation of greater Regularity in any number of Effects, than could be expected from undirected Force, is a presumption of Design and Intention in the Cause, even where the Cause is suppos’d to have no sense of Beauty in such Forms, since perhaps he may have other Reasons moving him to chuse such Forms. Thus supposing the Deity || 20 no way necessarily|| pleas’d with Regularity, Uniformity, or Similarity in Bodys, yet there may be Reasons moving him to produce such Objects, such as the pleasing his Creatures, having given them a sense of Beauty founded on these Qualitys. See the two last Paragraphs of the last Section.



Forms, upon Supposition that the Force is apply’ d by an Agent void of a Sense of Beauty, would equally prove Design; it is plain that no one Form proves it more than another, or can prove it at all; except from a general metaphysical Consideration, || 21 too subtile to be certain ||, that there is no proper Agent without Design and Intention, and that every Effect flows from the Intention of some Cause.

III. This however follows from the above || 22 mention’d || Considerations, that supposing a Mass of Matter surpassing a cubick Inch, as [52] infinite of the first Power does Unity, and that this whole Mass were some way determin’d from its own Nature without any Design in a Cause (which perhaps is scarce possible) to resolve itself into 1 1 23 the solid Content of a cubick Inch||, and into a prismatick Form whose Base should always be 7 of a square Inch; suppose these Conditions determin’d, and all oth- ers left to undirected Force; all || 24 which|| we could expect from undi- rected Force in this Case would be one equilateral Prism, or two perhaps; because there are an Infinity of irregular Prisms possible of the same Base, and solid Content: and when we || 25 met|| with many such Prisms, we must probably conclude || 26 them produc’d by Design, || since they are more than could have been expected by the Laws of Flazard.

IV. But if || 27 this || infinite Mass was || 28 no way|| determin’d to a pris- matick Form, we could only expect from its casual Concourse one Prism of any Kind, since there || 29 is an Infinity of other Solids || into which the Mass might be resolv’d; and if we found any great number of Prisms, we should have || 30 reason to presume|| Design: so that in a Mass ofMat- ter as infinite of the first Power, we could not from any Concourse or Agitation expect with any good ground a Body of any given Dimensions or Size, and of any given [53] Form; since of any Dimension there are infinite Forms possible, and of any Form there are an Infinity of Di- mensions; and if we found several Bodys of the same Dimension and Form, we should have so much Presumption for Design.

V. There is one trifling Objection which may perhaps arise from the crystallizing of certain Bodys, when the Fluid is evaporated in which they

Similar Forms by Chance, impossible.



Combinations by Chance, impossible.

were swimming; for in this we frequently see regular Forms arising, tho there is nothing || 31 suppos’d in this Affair but an undirected Force of Attraction ||. But to remove this Objection, we need only consider, that we have good Reason to believe, that the smallest Particles of crystalliz’d Bodys have fix’d regular Forms given them in the Constitution of Na- ture; and then it is easy to conceive how their Attractions may produce regular Forms: but unless we suppose some preceding Regularity in the Figures of attracting Bodys, they || 32 can|| never form any regular Body at all. And hence we see how improbable it is, that the whole Mass of Matter, not only in this Globe, but in all the fixed Stars known to us by our Eyes or Glasses, were they a thousand times larger than our Astron- omers suppose, could in any Concourse have produc’d any Number of similar Bodys Regular or Irregular. [54]

VI. And let it be here observ’d, that there are many Compositions of Bodys which the smallest Degree of Design could easily effect, which yet we would in vain expect from all the Powers of Chance or undesign’d Force, || 33 after || an Infinity of Rencounters; even supposing a Dissolu- tion of every Form except the regular one, that the Parts might be pre- par’d for a new Agitation. Thus, supposing we could expect one equi- lateral Prism of any given Dimensions should be form’d from undirected Force, in an Infinity of Matter some way determin’d to resolve || 34 itself || into Bodys of a given solid Content, (which is all we could expect, since it is infinite to one after the solid Content is obtain’d, that the Body shall not be Prismatical; and allowing it Prismatical, it is infinite to one that it shall not be Equilateral:) And again, supposing another Infinity of Matter determin’d to resolve itself into Tubes, of Orifices exactly equal to the Bases of the former Prisms, it is again at least as the second Power of Infinite to Unity, that not one of these Tubes shall be both Prismatick and Equiangular; and then if the Tube were thus form’d, so as to be exactly capable of receiving one of the Prisms and no more, it is infinite to one that they shall never meet in infinite Space; and should [55] they meet, it is infinite to one that the Axes of the Prism and Tube shall never happen in the same strait Line; and supposing they did, it is again as infinite to three, that Angle shall not meet Angle, so as to enter. We see



then how infinitely improbable it is, “that all the Powers of Chance in infinite Matter, agitated thro infinite Ages, could ever effect this small Composition of a Prism entering a Prismatick Bore; and, that all our hazard for it would at most be but as three is to the third Power of In- finite.” And yet the smallest Design could easily effect it.

VII. May we not then justly count it altogether absurd, and next to an absolute strict Impossibility, “That all the Powers of undirected Force should ever effect such a complex Machine || 35 as|| the most imperfect Plant, or the meanest Animal, even in one Instance?” for the Improba- bility just increases, as the Complication of Mechanism in these natural Bodys surpasses that simple Combination above mention’d.

VIII. Let it be here observ’d, “That the preceding Reasoning from the Frequency of regular Bodys of one Form in the Universe, and from the Combinations of various Bodys, is intirely inde- [56] pendent on any Per- ception of Beauty; and would equally prove Design in the Cause, altho there were no Being which perceiv’d Beauty in any Form whatsoever;” for it is in short this, “That the recurring of any Effect oftner than the Laws of Hazard determine, gives Presumption of Design; and, That Combinations which no undesign’d Force could give us reason to ex- pect, must necessarily prove the same; and that with superior probability, as the multitude of Cases in which the contrary || 36 might|| happen, sur- pass all the Cases in which this could happen:” which appears to be in the simplest Cases at least as Infinite || 37 does|| Unity. And the frequency of similar irregular Forms, or exact Combinations of them, is an equal Argument of Design in the Cause, since the Similarity, or exact Com- binations of irregular Forms, are as little to be expected from all the Pow- ers of undirected Force, as any sort whatsoever.

IX. To bring this nearer to something like a Theorem, altho the Idea of Infinite be troublesome enough to manage in Reasoning. The Powers of Chance, with infinite Matter in infinite Ages, may answer Hazards as the fifth Power of Infinite and no more: thus the Quantity of Matter may be conceiv’d as the third Power of [57] Infinite and no more, the



various Degrees of Force may make another Power of Infinite, and the Number of Rencounters may make the fifth. But this last only holds on Supposition, that after every Rencounter there is no Cohesion, but all is dissolv’d again for a new Concourse, except in similar Forms or exact Combinations; which Supposition is entirely groundless, since we see dissimilar Bodys cohering as strongly as any, and rude Masses more than any Combinations. Now to produce any given Body, in a given Place or Situation, and of given Dimensions, or Shape, the Flazards of the con- trary are, one Power of Infinite at least to obtain the Place or Situation; when the Situation is obtain’d, the solid Content requires another Power of Infinite to obtain it; the Situation and Solidity obtain’d require, for accomplishing the simplest given Shape, at least the other three Powers of Infinite. For instance, let the Shape be a four-sided Prism or Paral- lelopiped; that the Surfaces should be Planes requires one Power; that they should be Parallel in this Case, or inclin’d in any given Angle in any other Case, requires another Power of Infinite; and that they should be in any given Ratio to each other, requires at least the third Power: for in each of these Pleads there || 38 is|| still an Infinity at least of other Cases possible beside the one given. So that all [58] the Powers of Chance could only produce perhaps one Body of every simpler Shape or Size at most, and this is all we could expect: we might expect one Pyramid, or Cube, or Prism perhaps; but when we increase the Conditions requir’d, the Prospect must grow more improbable, as in more complex Figures, and in all Combinations of Bodys, and in similar Species, which we never could reasonably hope from Chance; and therefore where we see them, we must certainly ascribe them to Design.

Combinations X. The Combinations of regular Forms, or of irregular ones exactly

of irregular ac J a p tec q t0 each other, require such vast Powers of Infinite to effect them,

Forms, equally

impossible, and the Flazards of the contrary Forms are so infinitely numerous, that all Probability or Possibility of their being accomplish’d by Chance seems quite to vanish. Let us apply the Cases in Art. vi. || 39 of|| this Sec- tion about the Prism and Tube, to our simplest Machines, such as a pair of Wheels of our ordinary Carriages; each Circular, Spokes equal in length, thickness, shape; the Wheels set Parallel, the Axle-tree fix’d in



the Nave of both, and secur’d from coming out at either End: Now the Cases in which the contrary might have happen’d from undirected Con- courses, were there no more requir’d than what is just now mention’d, must amount in Multitude to a Power of || 40 Infinite 1 1 [59] equal to every Circumstance requir’d. What shall we say then of a Plant, a Tree, an Animal, a Man, with such multitudes of adapted Vessels, such Articu- lations, Insertions of Muscles, Diffusion of Veins, Arterys, Nerves? The Improbability that such Machines || 41 should be the Effect of Chance, must be near the infinitesimal Power of Infinite to Unity. ||

XI. Further, were all the former Reasoning from Similarity of Forms and Combinations groundless, and could Chance give us ground to expect such Forms, with exact Combination, yet we could only promise 1 1 42 our- selves || one of these Forms among an Infinity of others. When we see then such a multitude of Individuals of a Species, similar to each other in a || 43 vast|| number of Parts; and when we see in each Individual, the corresponding Members so exactly || 44 like|| each other, what possible room is there left for questioning Design in the Universe? None but the barest Possibility against an inconceivably great Probability, surpassing every thing which is not strict Demonstration.

XII. This Argument, || 45 as|| has been already observ’d,* is quite ab- stracted from any Sense of Beauty in any particular Form; for the exact Similarity of a hundred or a [60] thousand Trapezia, proves Design as well as the Similarity of Squares, since both are equally above all the Powers of undirected Force or Chance||, 46 as the hundredth or thou- sandth Power of Infinite surpasses Unity; |[ and what is above the Powers of Chance, must give us proportionable Presumption for Design.

Thus, allowing that a Feg, or Arm, or Eye, might have been the Effect of Chance, (which was shewn to be most absurd, and next to absolutely impossible) that it |[ 47 would|| not have a corresponding Feg, Arm, Eye, exactly similar, must be a hazard of a Power of Infinite proportion’d to the Complication of Parts; for in Proportion to this is the multitude of

See above, Art. viii.



Gross Similarity by Chance, impossible.

Cases increas’d, in which it would not have a corresponding Member similar: so that allowing twenty or thirty Parts in such a Structure, it would be as the twentieth or thirtieth Power of Infinite to Unity, that the corresponding Part should not be similar. What shall we say then of the similar Forms of a whole Species?

48 XI 1 I. If it be objected, “That natural Bodys are not exactly similar, but only grosly so to our Senses; as that a Vein, an Artery, a Bone is not perhaps exactly similar to its Correspondent in the same Animal, tho it appears so to [61] our Senses, which judge only of the Bulk, and do not discern the small constituent Parts; and that in the several Individuals of a Species the Dissimilarity is always sensible, often in the internal Structure, and || 49 often, nay|| always in the external Appearance.” To remove this Objection it will be sufficient to shew, “That the multitude of Cases wherein sensible Dissimilitude cou’d have happen’d, are still infinitely more than all the Cases in which sensible Similitude || 50 might|[;” so that the same Reasoning holds from sensible Similarity, as from the mathematically exact: And again, “That the Cases of gross Dissimilarity do in the same manner surpass the Cases of gross Similarity possible, as infinite does one.”

51 XIV. To prove both these Assertions, let us consider a simple Instance. || 52 Suppose|| a Trapezium of a foot Square in Area || 53 should appear grosly 1 1 similar to another, while no one side differs, by To of an Inch; or no Angle in one surpasses the corresponding one in the other above ten || 54 Minutes||: now this tenth of an Inch is infinitely divisible, as are also the ten Minutes, so that the Cases of insensible Dissimilarity under ap- parent Similarity are really Infinite. But then it is also plain that there are an Infinity of different sensibly dissimilar Trapezia, even of the same Area, ac- [62] cording as we vary a Side by one Tenth, two Tenths, three Tenths, and so on, and || 55 vary|| the Angles and another Side so as to keep the Area equal. Now in each of these infinite Degrees of sensible Dissimilitude the several Tenths are infinitely divisible as well as in the first Case; so that the multitude of sensible Dissimilaritys are to the mul- titude of insensible Dissimilaritys under apparent Resemblance, still as



the second Power of Infinite to the first, or as Infinite to Unity. And then how vastly greater must the Multitude be, of all possible sensible Dis- similaritys in such complex Bodys as Legs, Arms, Eyes, Arterys, Veins, Skeletons?

56 XV. As to the Dissimilaritys of Animals of the same Species, it is in the same manner plain, that the possible Cases of gross Dissimilarity are Infinite; and then every Case of gross Dissimilarity contains also all the Cases of insensible Dissimilarity. Thus, if we would count all Animals of a Species grosly similar, while there was no Limb which in Length or Diameter did exceed the ordinary Shape by above a third of the Head; it is plain that there are an Infinity of || 57 gross|| Dissimilaritys possible, and then in each of these Cases of gross Dissimilarity, there are an Infinity of Cases of nicer Dissimilarity, since J of the Head may be infinitely divided. To take a low [63] but easy Instance; two Cockle-Shells which fitted each other naturally, may have an Infinity of insensible Differ- ences, but still there are an Infinity of possible sensible Differences; and then in any one of the sensibly different Forms, there may be the same Infinity of insensible Differences beside the sensible one: So that still the hazard for even gross Similarity from Chance is Infinite to one, and this always increases by a Power of Infinite for every distinct Member of the Animal, in which even gross Similarity is retain’d; since the Addition of every Member or Part to a complex Machine, makes a new Infinity of Cases, in which sensible Dissimilarity may happen; and this Infinity combin’d with the infinite Cases of the former Parts, raises the Hazard by a Power of Infinite.

Now this may sufficiently shew us the Absurdity of the Cartesian or Epicurean Hypothesis, even granting their Postulatum of undirected Force impress’d on infinite Matter; and seems almost a Demonstration of Design in the Universe.

58 XVI. One Objection more remains to be remov’d, viz. “That some imagine, this Argument may hold better a Priori than a Posteriori; that is, we have better Reason to believe, when we see a Cause about to act, without Knowledge, [64] that he will not attain any given, or desir’d



End; than we have on the other hand to believe, when we see the End actually attain’d, that he acted with Knowledge: Thus, say they, when a particular Person is about to draw a Ticket in a Lottery, where there is but one Prize to a thousand Blanks, it is highly probable that he shall draw a Blank; but suppose we have seen him actually draw for himself the Prize, we have no ground to conclude that he had Knowledge or Art to accomplish this End.” But the Answer is obvious: In such Con- trivances we generally have, from the very Circumstances of the Lot- tery, very strong moral Arguments, which almost demonstrate that Art can have no place; so that a Probability of a thousand to one, || 59 does|| not surmount those Arguments: But let the Probability be increas’d, and it will soon surmount all Arguments to the contrary. For instance, If we saw a Man ten times successively draw Prizes, in a Lottery where there were but ten Prizes to ten thousand Blanks, I fancy few would question whether he us’d Art or not: much less would we imagine it were Chance, if we saw a Man draw for his own Gain successively a hundred, or a thousand Prizes, from among a proportionably greater number of Blanks. Now in the Works of Nature the Case is entirely different: we have not the least [65] Argument against Art or Design. An intelligent Cause is surely at least as probable a Notion as Chance, general Force, Conatus ad Motum, or the Clinamen Principiorum, to account for any Effect whatsoever: And then all the Regularity, Combinations, Similar- itys of Species, are so many Demonstrations, that there was Design and Intelligence in the Cause of this Universe: Whereas in fair Lotterys, all Art in drawing is made, if not actually impossible, at least highly im- probable.

Irregularity does not prove want of Design.

60 XVII. Let it be here observ’d also, “That a rational Agent may be ca- pable of impressing Force || 61 without|| intending to produce any partic- ular Form, and of designedly producing irregular or dissimilar Forms, as well as regular and similar:” And hence it follows, “That altho all the Regularity, Combination and Similarity in the Universe, are Presump- tions of Design, yet Irregularity is no Presumption of the contrary; unless we suppose that the Agent is determin’d from a Sense of Beauty always to act regularly, and delight in Similarity; and that he can have no other



inconsistent Motive of Action:” Which last is plainly absurd. We do not want in the Universe many Effects which seem to have been left to the general Laws of Motion upon some great Impulse, and [66] have many Instances where Similarity has been || 62 plainly design’d || in some re- spects, and probably neglected in others; or even Dissimilarity design’d. Thus we see the general exact Resemblance between the two Eyes of most persons; and yet perhaps no other third Eye in the World is exactly like them. We see a gross Conformity of shape in all Persons in innumerable Parts, and yet no two Individuals of any Species are undistinguishable; which perhaps is intended for valuable Purposes to the whole Species.

63 XVII 1 . Elitherto the Proof amounts only to Design or Intention barely, in opposition to blind Force or Chance; and we see the Proof of this is independent on the arbitrary Constitution of our internal Sense of Beauty. Beauty is often suppos’d an Argument of more than Design, to wit, Wisdom and Prudence in the Cause. Let us enquire also into this.

Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best Ends by the best Means; and therefore before we can from any Effect prove the Cause to be wise, we must know what is best to the Cause or Agent. Among men who have pleasure in contemplating Uniformity, the Beauty of Effects is an Ar- gument of Wisdom, because this is Good to [67] them; but the same Argument would not hold as to a Being void of this Sense of Beauty. And therefore the Beauty apparent to us in Nature, will not of itselfprove Wisdom in the Cause, unless this Cause, or Author of Nature be sup- pos’d Benevolent; and then indeed the Happiness of Mankind is desir- able or Good to the Supreme Cause; and that Form which pleases us, is an Argument of his Wisdom. And the Strength of this Argument is in- creased always in proportion to the Degree of Beauty produc’d in Na- ture, and expos’d to the View of any rational 1 1 64 Agent ||; since upon sup- position of a benevolent Deity, all the apparent Beauty produc’d is an Evidence of the Execution of a Benevolent Design, to give || 65 him|| the Pleasures of Beauty.

66 But what more immediately proves Wisdom is this; when we see any Machine with a |] 67 vast|| Complication of Parts actually obtaining an End, we justly conclude, “That since this could not have been the





Effect of Chance, it must have been intended for that End, which is obtain’d by it;” and then the Ends or Intentions, being in part known, the Complication of Organs, and their nice Disposition adapted to this End, is an Evidence “of a comprehensive large Understanding in the Cause, according to the Multi- [68] plicity of Parts, and the Appositeness of their Structure, even when we do not know the Intention of the Whole.”

General 68 XIX. There is another kind of Beauty |] 69 also which is still pleasing to

Causes. our s ense) anc J|| f ro m which we conclude Wisdom in the Cause as well as Design, |] 70 and that is, || when we see many useful or beautiful Effects flowing from one general Cause. There is a very good Reason for this Conclusion among Men. Interest must lead Beings of limited Powers, who are uncapable of a great diversity of Operations, and distracted by them, to chuse this frugal Oeconomy of their Forces, and to look upon such Management as an Evidence of Wisdom in other Beings like them- selves. Nor is this speculative Reason all which influences them, for even beside this Consideration of Interest, they are determin’d by a Sense of Beauty where that Reason does not hold; as when we are judging of the Productions of other Agents about whose Oeconomy we are not sollici- tous. Thus, who does not approve of it as a Perfection in Clock-work, that three or four Motions of the Hour, Minute, and second Hands, and monthly Plate, should arise from one Spring or Weight, rather than from three, or four Springs, or Weights, in a very Compound Machine, which should perform the same Effects, and answer all [69] the same Purposes with equal exactness? Now the Foundation of this Beauty plainly appears to be || 71 Uniformity! | or Unity of Cause amidst Diversity of Effects.

General Laws. 72 XX. We || 73 shall* hereafter|| offer some Reasons, why the Author of Nature || 74 may|| chuse to operate in this manner by General Laws and Universal extensive Causes, altho the Reason just now mention’d does not hold with an Almighty Being. This is certain, That we have some

See the last Section.



of the most delightful Instances of Universal Causes in the Works of Nature, and that the most studious men in these Subjects are so delighted with the Observation of them, that they always look upon them as Ev- idences of Wisdom in the Administration of Nature, from a Sense of Beauty.

75 XXI. The wonderfully simple Mechanism which performs all Animal Motions, was mention’d* already; nor is that of the inanimate Parts of Nature less admirable. How innumerable are the Effects of that one Prin- ciple of Heat, deriv’d to us from the Sun, which is not only delightful to our Sight and Feeling, and the Means of discerning Objects, but is the Cause of Rains, Springs, Rivers, Winds, [70] and the universal Cause of Vegetation! The uniform Principle of Gravity preserves at once the Planets in their Orbits, gives Cohesion to the Parts of each Globe, and Stability to Mountains, Hills, and artificial Structures; it raises the Sea in Tides, and sinks them again, and restrains them in their Channels; it drains the Earth of its superfluous Moisture, by Rivers; it raises the Va- pours by its Influence on the Air, and brings them down again in Rains; it gives an uniform Pressure to our Atmosphere, necessary to our Bodys in general, and more especially to Inspiration in Breathing; and furnishes us with an universal Movement, capable of being apply’d in innumerable Engines. How incomparably more beautiful is this Structure, than if we suppos’d so many distinct Volitions in the Deity, producing every par- ticular Effect, and preventing some of the accidental Evils which casually flow from the general Law! || 76 We may rashly imagine that|| this latter manner of Operation might have been more useful to us; and it would have been no distraction to Omnipotence: But then the great Beauty had been lost, and there had been no more Pleasure in the Contempla- tion of this Scene, which is now so delightful. One would rather chuse to run the hazard of its casual Evils, than part with that harmonious Form which has been || 77 an|| [71] unexhausted Source of Delight to the successive Spectators in all Ages.

See above, Sect. ii. Art. 8.



Miracles. 78 XXII. Hence we see, “That however Miracles may prove the Super- intendency of a voluntary Agent, and that the Universe is not guided by Necessity or Fate, yet that Mind must be weak and inadvertent, which needs them to confirm the Belief of a Wise and Good Deity; since the deviation from general Laws, unless upon very extraordinary Occasions, must be a presumption of Inconstancy and Weakness, rather than of steddy Wisdom and Power, and must weaken the best Arguments we can have for the Sagacity and Power of the universal Mind.” [72]


Of the Universality of the Sense of Beauty among Men.

I. We before* insinuated, “That all Beauty has a relation to some per- ceiving Power;” and consequently since we know not ||‘how great a|| Variety of Senses || 2 there|[ may be among Animals, there is no Form in Nature concerning which we can pronounce, “That it has no Beauty;” for it may still please some perceiving Power. But our Inquiry is confin’d to Men; and before we examine the Universality of this Sense of Beauty, or their agreement in approving Uniformity, it may be proper to con- sider, “|| 3 whether||, as the other Senses which give us Pleasure do also give us Pain, so this Sense of Beauty does make some Objects disagree- able to us, and the occasion of Pain.”

4 That many Objects give no pleasure to our Sense is obvious, many are certainly void of Beauty: But then there is no Form which seems necessarily disagreeable of itself, when we dread no other Evil [73] from it, and compare it with nothing better of the Kind. Many Objects are naturally displeasing, and distasteful to our external Senses, as well as others pleasing and agreeable; as Smells, Tastes, and some separate Sounds: || 5 but as|[ to our Sense of Beauty, no Composition of Objects which give not unpleasant simple Ideas, seems positively unpleasant or painful of it self, had we never observ’d any thing better of the Kind. Deformity is only the absence of Beauty, or deficiency in the Beauty

  • See above Sect. i. Art. 17. Sect. iv. Art. 1.


Internal Sense not an immediate Source of Pain.



expected in any Species: Thus bad Musick pleases Rusticks who never heard any better, and the finest Ear is not offended with tuning of In- struments if it be not too tedious, where no Harmony is expected; and yet much smaller Dissonancy shall offend amidst the Performance, where Harmony is expected. A rude Heap of Stones is no way offensive to one who shall be displeas’d with Irregularity in Architecture, where Beauty was expected. And had there been a Species of that Form which we || 6 call now 1 1 ugly or deform’d, and had we never seen or expected greater Beauty, we should have receiv’d no disgust from it, altho the Plea- sure would not have been so great in this Form as in those we now ad- mire. Our Sense of Beauty seems design’d to give us positive Pleasure, but not || 7 positive || Pain or Disgust, any further than what arises from disappointment. [74]

Approbation and Dislike from Association of Ideas.

II. There are indeed many Faces which at first View are apt to raise Dis- like; but this is generally not from any || 8 positive|| Deformity which of it self is positively displeasing, but either from want of expected Beauty, or much more from their carrying some natural indications of morally bad Dispositions, which we all acquire a Faculty of discerning in Coun- tenances, Airs, and Gestures. That this is not occasion’d by any Form positively disgusting, will appear from this, That if upon long acquain- tance we are sure of finding sweetness of Temper, Humanity and Cheer- fulness, altho the bodily Form continues, it shall give us no Disgust or Displeasure; whereas || 9 if any thing was|| naturally disagreeable, or the occasion of Pain, or positive Distaste, it would always continue so, even although the Aversion we might have toward it were counterballanc’d by other Considerations. There are Horrors rais’d by some Objects, which are only the Effect of Fear for our selves, or Compassion toward others, when either Reason, or some foolish Association of Ideas, makes us apprehend Danger, and not the Effect of any thing in the Form it self: for we find that most of || 10 those|| Objects which excite Horror at first, when Experience or Reason has remov’d the Fear, may become the oc- casions of Pleasure; as || n ravenous || [75] Beasts, a tempestuous Sea, a craggy Precipice, a dark shady Valley.



III. We shall see* || 12 hereafter||, “That Associations of Ideas make Ob- jects pleasant, and delightful, which are not naturally apt to give any such Pleasures; and the same way, the casual Conjunctions of Ideas may give a Disgust, where there is nothing disagreeable in the Form it self.” And this is the occasion of many fan tastick Aversions to Figures of some Ani- mals, and to some other Forms: Thus Swines, Serpents of all Kinds, and some Insects really beautiful enough, are beheld with Aversion by many People, who have got some accidental Ideas associated to them. And for Distastes of this Kind, || 13 no|| other Account can be given.

IV. But as to the universal Agreement of Mankind in their Sense of Beauty from Uniformity amidst Variety, we must consult Experience: and as we allow all Men Reason, since all Men are capable of under- standing simple Arguments, tho few are capable of complex Demon- strations; so in this Case it must be sufficient to prove this Sense ofBeauty universal, “if all Men are better pleas’d with Uniformity in the [76] sim- pler Instances than the contrary, even when there is no Advantage ob- serv’d attending it; and likewise if all Men, according as their Capacity enlarges, so as to receive and compare more complex Ideas, || l4 have a greater|| Delight in Uniformity, and are pleas’d with its more complex Kinds, both Original and Relative.”

Now let us consider if ever any Person was void of this Sense in the simpler Instances. Few Trials have been made in the simplest Instances of Flarmony, because as soon as we find an Ear || 15 incapable || of relishing complex Compositions, such as our Tunes are, no further Pains are employ’d about such. But in Figures, did ever any Man make choice of a Trapezium, or any irregular Curve, for the Ichnography || 16 or Plan || of his House, without Necessity, or some great Motive of || 17 Conve- nience||? or to make the opposite Walls not parallel, or unequal in Height? Were ever Trapeziums, irregular Polygons or Curves chosen for the Forms of Doors or Windows, tho these Figures might have answer’d the Uses as well, and would have often sav’d a great part of the Time,


Universality of this Sense.

See below Art. n, 12. of this Section.



Labour and Expence to Workmen, which is now employ’d in suiting the Stones and Timber to the regular Forms? Among all the fantastick Modes of Dress, [ 77 ] none was ever quite void of Uniformity, if it were only in the resemblance of the two Sides of the same Robe, and in some general Aptitude to the human Form. The Pictish Painting had always relative Beauty by resemblance to other Objects, and often those Objects were originally beautiful: however justly we || ls might|| apply Horace’s Censure of impertinent Descriptions in Poetry.

Sed non erat his locus *'

But never were any so extravagant as to affect such Figures as are made by the casual spilling of liquid Colours. Who was ever pleas’d with an inequality of Heights in Windows of the same Range, or dissimilar Shapes of them? with unequal Legs or Arms, || 19 Eyes|| or Cheeks in a Mistress? It must however be acknowledg’d, “That Interest may often counterballance our Sense of Beauty in this Affair as well as in others, and superior good Qualitys may make us overlook such Imperfections.”

Real Beauty V. Nay further, it may perhaps appear, “That Regularity and Uniformity lone pleases. are so CO piously diffus’d thro the Universe, and we are so readily deter- min’d to [ 78 ] pursue this as the Foundation of Beauty in Works of Art, that there is scarcely any thing ever fancy’d as Beautiful, where there is not really something of this Uniformity and Regularity.” We are indeed often mistaken in imagining that there is the greatest possible Beauty, where it is but very imperfect; but still it is some degree of Beauty which pleases, altho there may be higher Degrees which we do not observe; and our Sense acts with full Regularity when we are pleas’d, altho we are kept by a false Prejudice from pursuing Objects which would please us more.

20 A Goth, for instance, is mistaken, when from Education he imag- ines the Architecture of his country to be the most perfect: and a Con- junction of 1 1 21 some 1 1 hostile Ideas, may make him have an Aversion to

  • Hor. de Arte Poet. v. 19.

i. Translation: But for such things there was no place.



Roman Buildings, and study to demolish them, as some of our Reform- ers did the Popish Buildings, not being able to separate the Ideas of the superstitious Worship, from the Forms of the Buildings where it was practised: and yet it is still real Beauty which pleases the Goth, founded upon Uniformity amidst Variety. For the Gothick Pillars are uniform to each other, not only in their Sections, which are Lozenge-form’ d; but also in their Fleights and Ornaments: Their Arches are not one uniform Curve, but yet [79] they are Segments of similar Curves, and generally equal in the same Ranges. The very Indian Buildings have some kind of Uniformity, and many of the Eastern nations, tho they differ much from us, yet have great || 22 Regularity || in their Manner, as well as the Romans in theirs. Our Indian Screens, which wonderfully supply || 23 the regular Imaginations of our Ladys 1 1 with Ideas of Deformity, in which Nature is very churlish and sparing, do want indeed all the Beauty arising from Proportion of Parts, and Conformity to Nature; and yet they cannot divest themselves of all Beauty and Uniformity in the separate Parts: And this diversifying the human Body into various Contortions, may give some wild Pleasure from Variety, since some Uniformity to the human Shape is still retain’d.

VI. There is one sort of Beauty which might perhaps have been better mention’d before, but will not be impertinent here, because the Taste or Relish of it is universal in all Nations, and with the Young as well as the Old, and that is the Beauty of Flistory. Every one knows how dull a Study it is to read over a Collection of Gazettes, which shall perhaps relate all the same Events with the Flistorian: The superior Pleasure then of Flistory must arise, like that of Poetry, from the [80] Manners; || 24 as || when we see a Character well drawn, wherein we find the secret Causes of a great Diversity of seemingly inconsistent Actions; or an Interest of State laid open, or an artful View nicely unfolded, the Execution of which influences very different and opposite Actions, as the Circum- stances may alter. Now this reduces the whole to an Unity of Design at least: And this may be observ’d in the very Fables which entertain Chil- dren, otherwise we cannot make them relish them.

History pleases in like manner.



Diversity of Judgments concerning our Senses.

The Reason of it.

VII. What has been said will probably be assented to, if we always re- member in our Inquirys into the Universality of the Sense of Beauty, “That there may be real Beauty, where there is not the greatest; and that there are an Infinity of different Forms which || 25 may|| all have some Unity, and yet differ from each other.” So that Men may have different Fancys of Beauty, and yet Uniformity be the universal Foundation of our Approbation of any Form whatsoever as Beautiful. And we shall find that it is so in the Architecture, Gardening, Dress, Equipage, and Fur- niture of blouses, even among the most uncultivated Nations; where Uniformity still pleases, without any other Advantage than the Pleasure of the Contemplation of it. [81]

VIII. It will deserve our Consideration on this Subject, how, in like Cases, we form very different Judgments concerning the internal and external Senses. Nothing is more ordinary among those, who after Mr. Locke have || 26 shaken off the groundless Opinions about || innate Ideas, than to alledge, “That all our Relish for Beauty, and Order, is either from || 27 prospect of Advantage, || Custom, or Education,” for no other Reason but the Variety of Fancys in the World: and from this they conclude, “That our Fancys do not arise from any natural Power of Perception, or Sense.” And yet all allow our external Senses to be Natural, and that the Pleasures or Pains of their Sensations, however they may be increas’d, or diminish’d, by Custom, or Education, and counterballanc’d by In- terest, yet are really antecedent to Custom, Fiabit, Education, or Pros- pect of Interest. Now it is certain, “That there is at least as great a variety of Fancys about their Objects, as the Objects of Beauty:” Nay it is much more difficult, and perhaps impossible, to bring the Fancys or Relishes of the external Senses to any general Foundation at all, or to find any Rule for the agreeable or disagreeable: and yet we all allow “that these are natural Powers of Perception.” [82]

IX. The Reason of this different Judgment can be no other than this, That we have got distinct Names for the external Senses, and none, or very few, for the Internal; and by this are led, as in many other Cases, to look upon the former as some way more fix’d, and real and natural, than



the latter. The Sense of Harmony has got its Name, || 28 viz.|| a good Ear; and we are generally brought to acknowledge this a natural Power of Perception, or a Sense some way distinct from Hearing: now it is certain, “That there is as necessary a Perception of Beauty upon the presence of regular Objects, as of Harmony upon hearing certain Sounds.”

X. But let it be observ’d here once for all, “That an internal Sense no more presupposes an innate Idea, or Principle of Knowledge, than the external. ” Both are natural Powers of Perception, or Determinations of the Mind to receive necessarily certain Ideas from the presence of Ob- jects. The internal Sense is, a passive Power of receiving Ideas of Beauty from all Objects in which there is Uniformity amidst Variety. Nor does there seem any thing more difficult in this matter, than that the Mind should be always determin’d to receive the Idea of Sweet, when Particles of such a Form enter the Pores of [83] the Tongue; or to have the Idea of Sound upon any quick Undulation of the Air. The one seems to have as little Connection with its Idea, as the other: And the same Power could with equal ease constitute the former the occasion of Ideas as the latter.

XI. The Association of Ideas* above hinted at, is one great Cause of the apparent Diversity of Fancys in the Sense of Beauty, as well as in the external Senses; and often makes Men have an aversion to Objects of Beauty, and a liking to others void of it, but under different Conceptions than those of Beauty or Deformity. And here it may not be improper to give some Instances of some of these Associations. The Beauty of Trees, their cool Shades, and their Aptness to conceal from Observation, have made Groves and Woods the usual Retreat to those who love Solitude, especially to the Religious, the Pensive, the Melancholy, and the Amo- rous. And do not we find that we have so join’d the Ideas of these Dis- positions of Mind with those external Objects, that they always recur to us along with them? The Cunning of the Heathen Priests might make such obscure Places the Scene of the fictitious Appearances of their De- itys; andhencewejoinldeasofsomethingDivine [84] to them. We know

An internal Sense does not presuppose innate Ideas.

Associations Cause of Disagreement.

See above Art. 3. of this Section.



Musick, how it pleases differently.

the like Effect in the Ideas of our Churches, from the perpetual use of them only in religious Exercises. The faint Light in Gothick Buildings has had the same Association of a very foreign Idea, which our Poet shews in his Epithet,

A Dim religious Light.* 11

In like manner it is known, That often all the Circumstances of Ac- tions, or Places, or Dresses of Persons, or Voice, or Song, which have occur’d at any time together, when we were strongly affected by any Passion, will be so connected that any one of these will make all the rest recur. And this is often the occasion both of great Pleasure and Pain, Delight and Aversion to many Objects, which of themselves might have been perfectly indifferent to us: but these Approbations, or Distastes, are remote from the Ideas of Beauty, being plainly different Ideas.

XII. There is also another Charm in Musick to various Persons, which is distinct from the Harmony, and is occasion’d by its raising agreeable Passions. The human Voice is obviously vary’d by all the stronger Pas- sions; now when our Ear discerns [85] any resemblance between the Air of a Tune, whether sung or play’d upon an Instrument, either in its Time, or || 29 Modulation, || or any other Circumstance, to the sound of the hu- man Voice in any Passion, we shall be touch’d by it in a very sensible manner, and have Melancholy, Joy, Gravity, Thoughtfulness excited in us by a sort of Sympathy or Contagion. The same Connexion is ob- servable between the very Air of a Tune, and the Words expressing any Passion which we have heard it fitted to, so that they shall both recur to us together, tho but one of them affects our Senses.

30 Now in such a diversity of pleasing or displeasing Ideas which may

  • Milt. II Penseroso.

ii. John Milton (1608-74), English poet and author. His major poems are On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, L’Allegro, and II Penseroso (early works). Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (later works) . He wrote extensively on theological and political issues as well (for example, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, 1643; The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649; The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Common- wealth, 1660).



be || 31 join’d |[ with Forms of Bodys, or Tunes, when Men are of such different Dispositions, and prone to such a variety of Passions, it is no wonder “that they should often disagree in their Fancys of Objects, even altho their Sense of Beauty and Harmony were perfectly uniform;” be- cause many other Ideas may either please or displease, according to Per- sons Tempers, and past Circumstances. We know how agreeable a very wild Country may be to any Person who has spent the chearful Days of his Youth in it, and how disagreeable very beautiful Places may be, if they were the Scenes of his [86] Misery. And this may help us in many Cases to account for the Diversitys of Fancy, without denying the Uni- formity of our internal Sense of Beauty.

XIII. Grandeur and Novelty are two Ideas different from Beauty, which often recommend Objects to us. The Reason of this is foreign to the present Subject. See Spectator No. 412. [87]


Custom gives no new Sense.

Of the Power of Custom, Education, and Example, as to our internal Senses.

I. Custom, Education, and Example are so often alledg’d in this Affair, as the occasion of our Relish for beautiful Objects, and for our Appro- bation of, or Delight in a certain Conduct in Life, in a moral || 1 Sense ||, that it is necessary to examine these three particularly, to make it appear “that there is a natural Power of Perception, or Sense of Beauty in Ob- jects, antecedent to all Custom, Education, or Example.”

II. Custom, as distinct from the other two, operates in this manner. As to Actions, it only gives a disposition to the Mind or Body more easily to perform those Actions which have been frequently repeated, but never leads us to apprehend them under any other View than what we were capable of apprehending them under at first; nor gives us any new Power of Perception about them. We are naturally capable of Sentiments of Fear, and Dread of any powerful Presence; and [88] so Custom may con- nect the Ideas of religious Elorror to certain Buildings: but || 2 Custom could never || have made a Being naturally incapable of Fear, receive such Ideas. So had we no other Power of perceiving, or forming Ideas of Ac- tions, but as they were advantageous or disadvantageous, Custom could only have made us more ready at perceiving the Advantage or Disad- vantage of Actions. But this is not to our present Purpose.

As to our Approbation of, or Delight in external Objects. When the Blood or Spirits of which Anatomists talk are rouz’d, quicken’d, or fer-




mented as they call it, in any agreeable manner by Medicine or Nutri- ment; or any Glands frequently stimulated to Secretion; it is certain that to preserve the Body easy, we || 3 shall|] delight in Objects of Taste which of themselves are not immediately pleasant to || 4 it||, if they promote that agreeable State which the Body had been accustom’d to. Further, Cus- tom will so alter the State of the Body, that what at first rais’d uneasy Sensations will cease to do so, or perhaps raise another agreeable Idea of the same Sense; but Custom can never give us any Idea of || 5 a Sense different from those || we had antecedent to it: It will never make the Blind approve Objects as coloured, or those who have no Taste approve Meats as delicious, however they [89] might || 6 approve them as || Strengthning or Exhilarating. Were our Glands and the Parts about them void of Feeling, did we perceive no Pleasure from certain brisker Motions in the Blood, |[ 7 Custom could never || make stimulating or intoxicating Fluids or Medicines agreeable, when they were not so to the Taste: So by like Reasoning, had we no natural Sense of Beauty from Uniformity, Custom could never have made us imagine any Beauty in Objects; if we had had no Ear, Custom could never have given us the Pleasures of Har- mony. When we have these natural Senses antecedently, Custom may make us capable of extending our Views further, and of receiving more complex Ideas of Beauty in Bodys, or Harmony in Sounds, by increasing our Attention and quickness of Perception. But however Custom may increase our Power of receiving or comparing complex Ideas, yet it seems rather to weaken than strengthen the Ideas of Beauty, or the Impressions of Pleasure from regular Objects; else how || 8 is|| it possible that any Per- son could go into the open Air on a sunny Day, or clear Evening, without the most extravagant Raptures, such as Milton* represents our Ancestor in upon his first Creation? For such any Person would certainly fall into, upon the first Representation of such a Scene. [90]

Custom in like manner || 9 may|| make it easier for any Person to dis- cern the Use of a complex Machine, and approve it as advantageous; but he would never have imagin’d it Beautiful, had he no natural Sense of

See Paradise Lost, Book 8.

7 2




Beauty. Custom may make us quicker in apprehending the Truth of complex Theorems, but we all find the Pleasure or Beauty of Theorems as strong at first as ever. Custom makes us more capable of retaining and comparing complex Ideas, so as to discern more complicated Unifor- mity, which escapes the Observation of Novices in any Art; but all this presupposes a natural Sense of Beauty in Uniformity: for had there been nothing in Forms, which was constituted || 10 the necessary|| occasion of Pleasure to our Senses, no Repetition of indifferent Ideas as to Pleasure or Pain, Beauty or Deformity, could ever have made them grow pleasing or displeasing.

III. The Effect of Education is this, that thereby we receive many spec- ulative Opinions, || n which are || sometimes true and sometimes false; and are often led to believe that Objects may be naturally apt to give Pleasure or Pain to our external Senses, || 12 which in reality have || no such Qualitys. And further, by Education there are some strong Associations of Ideas without any Reason, by mere Accident sometimes, as well as [ 91 ] by Design, which it is very hard for us ever after to break asunder. Thus Aversions are rais’d to Darkness, and to many kinds of Meat, and to certain innocent Actions: Approbations without Ground are rais’d in like manner. But in all these Instances, Education never makes us ap- prehend any Qualitys in Objects, which we have not naturally Senses capable of perceiving. We know what Sickness of the Stomach is, and may without Ground believe that very healthful Meats will raise this; we by our Sight and Smell receive disagreeable Ideas of the Food of Swine, and their Styes, and perhaps cannot prevent the recurring of these Ideas at Table: but never were Men naturally Blind prejudic’d against Objects as of a disagreeable Colour, or in favour of others as of a beautiful Colour; they perhaps hear Men dispraise one Colour, || 13 and may|| imagine this Colour to be some quite different sensible Quality of the other Senses 1 1 14 , but that is all 1 1 : And the same way, a Man naturally void of Taste could by no Education receive the Ideas of Taste, or be prejudic’d in favour of Meats as delicious: So, had we no natural Sense of Beauty and Elarmony, we could never be prejudic’d in favour of Objects or Sounds as Beautiful



or Harmonious. Education may make an unattentive Goth imagine that his Countrymen have attain’d the Perfection of Archi-[92]tecture; and an Aversion to their Enemys the Romans, may have join’d some dis- agreeable Ideas to their very Buildings, and excited them to their Dem- olition; but he had never form’d these Prejudices, had he been void of a Sense of Beauty. Did ever blind Men debate whether Purple or Scarlet were the finer Colour? or could any Education prejudice them in favour of either as Colours?

Thus Education and Custom may influence our internal Senses, where they are antecedently, by enlarging the Capacity of our Minds to retain and compare the Parts of complex Compositions: And || 15 then|| if the finest Objects are presented to us, we grow conscious of a Pleasure far superior to what common Performances excite. But all this presup- poses our Sense of Beauty to be natural. Instruction in Anatomy, Ob- servation of Nature, and of those Airs of the Countenance and Attitudes of Body, which accompany any Sentiment, Action, or Passion, may en- able us to know where there is a just Imitation: but why should an exact Imitation please upon Observation, if we had not naturally a Sense of Beauty in it, more than the observing the Situation of fifty or a hundred Pebbles thrown at random? and should we || 16 observe|| them ever so often, we || 17 should|| never dream of their growing Beautiful. [93]

IV. There is something worth our Observation as to the manner of root- ing out the Prejudices of Education, not quite foreign to the present purpose. When the Prejudice arises from Associations of Ideas without any natural Connection, we must frequently force our selves to bear Rep- resentations of those Objects, or the Use of them when separated from the disagreeable Idea; and this may at last disjoin the unreasonable As- sociation, especially if we can join new agreeable Ideas to them: Thus Opinions of Superstition are best remov’d by pleasant Conversation of Persons we esteem for their Virtue, or || 18 by observing that they 1 1 despise such Opinions. But when the Prejudice arises from an Apprehension or Opinion of natural Evil, as the Attendant, or Consequent of any Object or Action; if the Evil be apprehended to be the constant and immediate

Prejudices how removed.



Example not the Cause of internal Sense.

Attendant, a few Trials without receiving any Damage will remove the Prejudice, as in that against Meats: But where the Evil is not represented as the perpetual Concomitant, but as what may possibly or probably at some time or other accompany the use of the Object, there must be frequent Reasoning with our selves, or a long Series of Trials without any Detriment, to remove the Prejudice; such is the Case of our Fear of Spir- its in the dark, and in Church-yards. And [94] when the Evil is repre- sented as the Consequence perhaps a long time after, or in a future State, it is then hardest of all to remove the Prejudice; and this is only to be effected by slow Processes of Reason, because in this Case there can be no Trials made: and this is the Case of superstitious Prejudices against Actions apprehended as offensive to the Deity; and hence it is that they are so hard to be rooted out.

V. Example seems to operate in this manner. We are conscious that we act very much for Pleasure, or private Good; and || 19 are thereby|| led to imagine that others do so too: hence we conclude there must be some Perfection in the Objects which we see others pursue, and Evil in those which we observe them constantly shunning. Or, the Example of others may serve to us as so many Trials to remove the Apprehension of Evil in Objects 1 1 20 to which we had an Aversion ||. But all this is done upon an Apprehension of Qualitys perceivable by the Senses which we have; for no Example will induce the Blind or Deaf to pursue Objects as Colour’d or Sonorous; nor could Example any more engage us to pursue Objects as Beautiful or Harmonious, had we no || 21 natural Sense of Beauty or Harmony||. [95]

Example may make us || 22 conclude without Examination, || that our Countrymen have obtain’d the Perfection of Beauty in their Works, or that there is less Beauty in the Orders of Architecture or Painting us’d in other Nations, and so content our selves with very imperfect Forms. || 23 And 1 1 Fear of Contempt as void of Taste or Genius, often makes us join in approving the Performances of the reputed Masters in our Coun- try, and restrains those who have naturally a fine Genius, or the internal Senses very acute, from studying to obtain the greatest Perfection; it makes also those of a bad Taste pretend to || 24 a|| Perception of 1 1 25 Beauty | [



|| 26 which in reality they have not||: But all this presupposes some natural Power of receiving Ideas of Beauty and Harmony Nor can Example ef- fect any thing further, unless it be to lead Men to pursue Objects by implicit Faith, for some Perfection which the Pursuer is conscious he does not know, or which perhaps is some very different Quality from the Idea perceiv’d by those of a good Taste in such Affairs. [96]


Importance of the internal Senses.

Of the Importance of the internal Senses in Life, and the final Causes of them.

I. The busy part of Mankind may look upon these things as airy Dreams of an inflam’d Imagination, which a wise Man should despise, who ra- tionally pursues more solid Possessions independent on Fancy: but a little Reflection will convince us, “That the Gratifications of our internal Senses are as natural, real, and satisfying Enjoyments as any sensible Plea- sure whatsoever; and that they are the chief Ends for which we com- monly pursue Wealth and Power.” For how is Wealth or Power advan- tageous? How do they make us happy, or prove good to us? No otherwise than as they supply Gratifications to our Senses or Facultys of perceiving Pleasure. Now, are these Senses or Facultys only the External ones? No: Every body sees, that a small portion of Wealth or Power will supply more Pleasures of the external Senses than we can enjoy; we know that Scarcity often heightens these Perceptions more than A-[97]bundance, which cloys that Appetite which is necessary to all Pleasure in Enjoy- ment: and hence the Poet’s Advice is perfectly just;

Tu pulmentaria quaere Sudando *'

  • Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. 2. v. 20.

i. Translation: “So earn your sauce with hard exercise.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, andArs Poetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, p. 138.)




In short, the only use of a great Fortune, above a very small one (except in good Offices and moral Pleasures) must be to supply us with the Plea- sures of Beauty, Order, and Harmony.

|| la It is true indeed, that || 2b the Enjoyment of b || the noblest Pleasures of the internal Senses, in the Contemplation of the Works of Nature, || 3c is c |] expos’d to every one without Expence; the Poor and the Low, may have as free a use of these Objects, in this way, as the Wealthy or Powerful. And even in Objects which may be appropriated, the Property is of little Consequence to the Enjoyment of their Beauty, which is often enjoy’d by others beside the Proprietor. But then there are other Objects of these internal Senses, which require Wealth, or Power to procure the use of them as frequently as we desire; as appears in Architecture, Mu- sick, Gardening, Painting, Dress, Equipage, Furniture; ofwhich we can- not [98] have the full Enjoyment without Property. And there are some confus’d Imaginations, which often lead us to pursue Property, even in Objects where it is not necessary to the true Enjoyment of them. These are the ultimate Motives of our pursuing the greater Degrees ofWealth, where there are no generous Intentions of virtuous Actions. a ||

This is confirm’d by the constant Practice of the very Enemys to these Senses. As soon as they think they are got above the World, or extricated from the Hurrys of Avarice and Ambition; banish’d Nature will return upon them, and set them upon Pursuits of Beauty and Order in their Houses, Gardens, Dress, Table, Equipage. They are never easy without some degree of this; and were their Hearts open to our View, we should see Regularity, Decency, Beauty, as what their Wishes terminate upon, either to themselves or their Posterity; and what their Imagination is always presenting to them as the possible Effects of their Labours. Nor without this, could they ever justify their Pursuits to themselves.

There may perhaps be some Instances of human Nature perverted into a thorow Miser, who loves nothing but Money, and whose Fancy arises no higher than the cold [99] dull Thought of Possession; but such 1 1 4 an Instance || in an Age, must not be made the Standard of Mankind against the whole Body.

If we examine the Pursuits of the Luxurious, who || 5 in the opinion of the World is 1 1 wholly devoted to his Belly; we shall generally find that



Final Cause of the internal Senses.

the far greater part of his Expence is employ’d to procure other Sensa- tions than those of Taste; such as fine Attendants, regular Apartments, Services of Plate, and the like. Besides, a large share of the Preparation must be suppos’d design’d for some sort of generous friendly Purposes, || 6 as|| to please Acquaintance, Strangers, Parasites. How few would be contented to enjoy the same Sensations alone, in a Cottage, or out of earthen Pitchers? To conclude this Point, however these internal Sen- sations may be overlook’d in our Philosophical Inquirys about the hu- man Facultys, we shall find in Fact, “That they employ us more, and are more efficacious in Fife, either to our Pleasure, or Uneasiness, than all our external Senses taken together.”

IF As to the final Causes of this internal Sense, we need not enquire, “whether, to an almighty and all-knowing Being, there be any real Ex- cellence in regular Forms, in acting by general Faws, in [ioo] knowing by Theorems?” We seem scarce capable of answering such Questions any way; nor need we enquire, “whether other Animals may not discern Uni- formity and Regularity in Objects which escape our Observation, and may not perhaps have their Senses constituted so as to perceive Beauty, from the same Foundation which we do, in Objects which our Senses are not || 7 fit|| to examine or compare?” We shall confine our selves to a Subj ect where we have some certain 1 1 8 Foundation 1 1 to go upon, and only enquire, “if we can find any Reasons worthy of the great Author of Na- ture, for making such a Connection between regular Objects, and the Pleasure which accompanys our Perceptions of them; or, what Reasons might possibly influence him to create the World, as it at present is, as far as we can observe, everywhere full of Regularity and Uniformity?”

9 Fet it be here observ’d, that as far as we know || 10 concerning|| any of the great Bodys of the Universe, we see Forms and Motions really Beautiful to our Senses; and if we were plac’d in any Planet, the apparent Courses would still be Regular and Uniform, and consequently Beautiful to || n our Sense|[. Now this gives us no small Ground to imagine, that if the Senses of their Inhabitants are in the same manner [ioi] adapted to their Habitations, and the Objects occurring to their View, as ours



are here, their Senses must be upon the same general Foundation with ours.

But to return to the Questions: What occurs to resolve them, may be contain’d in the following Propositions.

1. The manner of Knowledge by universal Theorems, and of Opera- tion by universal Causes, as far as we can attain || 12 it, || must be most convenient for Beings of limited Understanding and Power; since this prevents Distraction in their Understandings thro the Multiplicity of Propositions, and Toil and Weariness to their Powers of Action: and consequently their Reason, without any Sense of Beauty, must approve of such Methods when they reflect upon their apparent Advantage.

2. Those Objects of Contemplation in which there is Uniformity amidst Variety, are more distinctly and easily comprehended and re- tain’d, than irregular Objects; because the accurate Observation of one or two Parts often leads to the Knowledge of the Whole: Thus we can from a Pillar or two, with an intermediate Arch, and Cornice, form a distinct Idea of a whole regular Building, if we know of what Species it is, and have its Length and [102] Breadth: From a Side and solid Angle, we have the whole regular Solid; the measuring one Side, gives the whole Square; one Radius, the whole || 13 Circle||; two Diameters, an Oval; one Ordinate and Abscissa, the Parabola; || 14 and so on in more complexFig- ures which have any Regularity, which can be entirely determin’d and known in every Part|| from a few Data: Whereas it must be a long At- tention to a vast Multiplicity of Parts, which can ascertain or fix the Idea of any irregular Form, or give any distinct Idea of it, or make us capable of retaining it; as appears in the Forms of rude Rocks, and Pebbles, and confus’d Fleaps, even when the Multitude of sensible Parts is not so great as in the regular Forms: for such irregular Objects distract the Mind with Variety, since for every sensible Part we must have a quite different Idea.

3. From these two Propositions it follows, “That Beings of limited Understanding and Power, if they act rationally for their own Interest, must chuse to operate by the simplest Means, to invent general Theo- rems, and to study regular Objects, if they be 1 1 1 5 as useful as|[ irregular ones; that they may avoid the endless Toil of producing each Effect by



From the divine Goodness.

a separate Operation, of searching || 16 out|[ each different Truth by a dif- ferent [103] Inquiry, and of imprinting the endless Variety of dissimilar Ideas in irregular Objects.”

4. But then, beside this Consideration of Interest, there does not ap- pearto be any necessary Connection, || 17 antecedent|| to the Constitution of the Author of Nature, || 18 between|| regular Forms, Actions, Theo- rems, and that sudden sensible Pleasure excited in us upon observation of them, even when we do not reflect upon the Advantage mention’d in the former Proposition. And possibly, the Deity could have form’d us so as to have receiv’d || 19 no|| Pleasure from such Objects, or connected Pleasure to those of a quite contrary Nature. We have a tolerable Pre- sumption of this in the Beautys of various Animals; they give some small Pleasure indeed to every one who views them, but then every || 20 one|| seems 1 1 21 vastly || more delighted with 1 1 22 the peculiar Beautys of its own Species, than with those of a different one, || which seldom raise any de- sire || 23 but among Animals of the same Species with the one admir’d||. This makes it probable, that the Pleasure is not the necessary Result of the Form it self, otherwise it would equally affect all Apprehensions in what Species soever || 24 ; but depends upon a voluntary Constitution, || adapted to preserve the Regularity of the Universe, and is probably not the Effect of Necessity [104] but Choice in the Supreme Agent, who constituted our Senses.

5. Now from the whole we may conclude, “That supposing the Deity so kind as to connect sensible Pleasure with certain Actions or Contem- plations, beside the rational Advantage perceivable in them; there is a great moral Necessity, from his Goodness, that the internal Sense ofMen should be constituted as it is at present, so as to make Uniformity amidst Variety the Occasion of Pleasure.” For were it not so, but on the contrary, if irregular Objects, particular Truths, and Operations pleased us, beside the endless Toil this would involve us in, there must arise a perpetual Dissatisfaction in all rational Agents with themselves; since Reason and Interest would lead us to simple general Causes, while a contrary Sense of Beauty would make us disapprove them: Universal Theorems would appear to our Understanding the best Means of increasing our Knowl- edge of what might be useful; while a contrary Sense would set us on the



search after || 25 particular || Truths: Thought and Reflection would rec- ommend Objects with Uniformity amidst Variety, and yet this perverse Instinct would involve us in Labyrinths of Confusion and Dissimilitude. And hence we see “how suitable it is to the sagacious [105] Bounty which we suppose in the Deity, to constitute our internal Senses in the manner in which they are; by which Pleasure is join’d to the Contemplation of those Objects which a finite Mind can best imprint and retain the Ideas of with the least Distraction; to those Actions which are most efficacious, and fruitful in useful Effects; and to those Theorems which most enlarge our Minds.”

26 III. As to the other Question, “What Reason might influence the De- ity, whom no Diversity of Operation could distract or weary, to chuse to operate by simplest Means and general Laws, and to diffuse Unifor- mity, Proportion and Similitude thro all the Parts of Nature which we can observe?” Perhaps there may be some real Excellence in this Manner of Operation, and in these Forms, which we know not: but this we may probably say, that since the divine Goodness, for the Reasons above mention’d, has constituted our Sense of Beauty as it is at present, the same Goodness might || 27 determine || the Great Architect to adorn this || 28 vast|| Theatre in || 29 a manner|| agreeable to the Spectators, and that part which is expos’d to the Observation of Men, so as to be pleasant to them; especially if we suppose that he design’d to discover himself to them as Wise and Good, [106] as well as Powerful: for thus he has given them greater Evidences, thro the whole Earth, of his Art, Wisdom, De- sign, and Bounty, than they can possibly have for the Reason, Counsel, and Good-will of their fellow-Creatures, with whom they converse, with full Persuasion of || 30 these qualities in them, about|| their common Af- fairs.

As to the Operations of the Deity by general Laws, there is || 31 still a further Reason from a Sense|| superior to these already consider’d, even that of Virtue, or the Beauty of Action, which is the Foundation of our greatest Happiness. For were there no general Laws fix’d in the Course of Nature, there could be no Prudence or Design in Men, no rational Expectation of Effects from Causes, no Schemes of Action projected,

Reason of general Laws.



|| 32 or|| any regular Execution. If then, according to the Frame of our Nature, our greatest happiness must depend upon our Actions, as it may perhaps be made appear it does, “The Universe must be govern’d, not by particular Wills, but by general Laws, upon which we can found our Expectations, and project our Schemes of Action.” || 33 Nay further, tho general Laws did ordinarily obtain, yet if the Deity usually stopp’d their Ef-[io 7 ]fects whenever it was necessary to prevent any particular Evils; this would effectually, and justly supersede all human Prudence and Care about Actions; since a superior Mind did thus relieve Men from their Charge. 1 1

The End of the First Treatise.



An Inquiry Concerning the Original of our Ideas of Virtue or Moral Good.

Quod magis ad nos

Perdnet, & nescire malum est, agitamus: utrumne Divitiis homines, an sint Virtute bead: Quidve ad Amicidas, Usus, Rectumne, trahat nos Et quae sit natura Boni, summumque quid ejus. 1

— Hor. Sat. 6. Lib. 2. v. 7 2.|| [in]

i. Horace, Satires, 6. Lib. 2. w. 72-76. Translation: “We discuss matters which concern us more, and of which it is harmful to be in ignorance — whether wealth or virtue makes men happy, whether self-interest or uprightness leads us to friendship, what is the nature of the good and what is its highest form.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, andArs Poetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, p. 216.)

An Inquiry Concerning Moral Good and Evil


The Word Moral Goodness, in this Treatise, denotes our Idea of some Quality apprehended in Actions, which procures Approbation, || 2 and Love toward the Actor, from those who receive no Advantage by the Action. 1 1 Moral Evil, denotes our Idea of a contrary Quality, which ex- cites || 3 Aversion, and Dislike toward the Actor, even from Persons un- concern’d in its natural Tendency. || We must be contented with these imperfect Descriptions, until we discover || 4 whether we really have such Ideas, and what general Foundation there is in Nature for || this Dif- [mjference of Actions, as morally Good or Evil.

These Descriptions seem to contain an universally acknowledg’d Dif- ference of Moral Good and Evil, from Natural. All Men who speak of moral Good, acknowledge that it procures || 5 Love|| toward those we ap- prehend possess’d of it; whereas natural Good does not. In this matter Men must consult their own Breasts. How differently are they affected toward those they suppose possess’d of Honesty, Faith, Generosity, Kindness || 6 , even when they expect no Benefit from these admir’d Qual- itys ||; and those who are possess’d of the natural Goods, such as Houses, Lands, Gardens, Vineyards, Health, Strength, Sagacity? We shall find that we necessarily love and approve the Possessors of the former; but the Possession of the latter procures no || 7 Love|| at all toward the Pos- sessor, but often contrary Affections of Envy and Hatred. In the same manner, whatever Quality we apprehend to be morally Evil, raises our || 8 Hatred|| toward the Person in whom we observe it, such as Treachery, Cruelty, Ingratitude 1 1 9 , even when they are no way hurtful to our selves 1 1; whereas we heartily love, esteem and pity many who are expos’d to nat-

Moral Good and Evil.






Opinions about our Sense of moral Good and Evil.

ural Evils, such as Pain, Poverty, Hunger, Sickness, Death|| 10 , even when [113] we our selves suffer Inconveniencies, by these natural Evils of others ||.

Now the first Question on this Subject is, “Whence arise these dif- ferent Ideas of Actions.”

Because we shall afterwards frequently use the Words Interest, Ad- vantage, natural Good, it is necessary here to fix their Ideas. The Pleasure in our sensible Perceptions of any kind, gives us our first Idea of natural Good, or Happiness; and then all Objects which are apt to excite this Pleasure are call’d immediately Good. Those Objects which may procure others immediately pleasant, are call’d Advantageous: and we pursue both Kinds from a View of Interest, or from Self-Love.

Our Sense of Pleasure is antecedent to Advantage or Interest, and is the Foundation of it. We do not perceive Pleasure in Objects, because it is our Interest to do so; but Objects or Actions are Advantageous, and are pursu’d or undertaken from Interest, because we receive Pleasure from them. Our Perception of Pleasure is necessary, and nothing is Ad- vantageous or naturally Good to us, but what is apt to raise Pleasure mediately, or immediately. Such Objects as we know, either from Ex- perience or Sense, or Reason, to be immediately, [114] or mediately Ad- vantageous, or apt to minister Pleasure, we 1 1 1 1 are said to || pursue from Self-Interest, when our Intention is only to enjoy this Pleasure, which they have the Power of exciting. Thus Meats, Drink, Harmony, fine Prospects, Painting, Statues, are perceiv’d by our Senses to be immedi- ately Good; and our Reason shews Riches and Power to be mediately so, that is, apt to furnish us with Objects of immediate Pleasure: and both Kinds of these natural Goods are pursu’d from Interest, or Self- Love.

Now the greatest part of our latter Moralists 11 establish it as undeni- able, “That all moral Qualitys have necessarily some Relation to the Law of a Superior, of sufficient Power to make us Happy or Miserable;” and since all Laws operate only by Sanctions of Rewards, or Punishments, which determine us to Obedience by Motives of Self-Interest, they sup-

ii. Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, London, 1651, part 1, chapters 14, 15; John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London, 1690, book4, chap. 28;



pose, “that it is thus that Laws do constitute some Actions mediately Good, or Advantageous, and others the same way Disadvantageous.” They say indeed, “That a benevolent Legislator constitutes no Actions Advantageous to the Agent by Law, but such as in their own Nature tend to the natural Good of the Whole, or, at least, are not inconsistent with it; and that therefore we approve [115] the Virtue of others, because it has some small Tendency to our Happiness, either from its own Nature, or from this general Consideration, That Obedience to a benevolent Legislator, is in general Advantageous to the Whole, and to us in par- ticular; and that for the contrary Reasons alone, we disapprove the Vice of others, that is, the prohibited Action, as tending to our particular Detriment in some degree.” || I2 But|| then they maintain, “That we are determin’d to Obedience to Laws, or deterr’d from Disobedience, merely by Motives of Self-Interest, to obtain either the natural Good arising from the commanded Action, or the Rewards promised by the Sanction; or to avoid the natural evil Consequences of Disobedience, or at least the Penaltys of the Law.”

Some other Moralists 111 suppose “an immediate natural Good in the Actions call’d Virtuous; that is, That we are determin’d to perceive some Beauty in the Actions of others, and to love the Agent, even without reflecting upon any Advantage which can any way redound to us from the Action; that we have also a secret Sense of Pleasure || 13 accompany- ing|| such of our own Actions as we call Virtuous, even when we expect no other Advantage from them. ” But they [116] alledge at the same time, “That we are excited to perform these Actions, even as we pursue, or purchase Pictures, Statues, Landskips, from Self-Interest, to obtain this Pleasure which || 14 accompanys the very Action, and which we neces- sarily enjoy in doing it.||” The Design of the following Sections is to enquire into this matter; and perhaps the Reasons to be offer’d may prove,

similar views are in Calvin and Calvinist theology, see John Calvin, Commentaries on the Bible, vol. 13, part 2.

iii. Here Hutcheson probably thinks of Shaftesbury ( Inquiry Concerning Virtue, part 2, section 1).



I. “That some Actions have to Men an immediate Goodness; or, that by a superior Sense, which I call a Moral one, we || 15 perceive Pleasure in the Contemplation of such Actions in others, and are determin’d to love the Agent, (and much more do we perceive Pleasure in being con- scious of having done such Actions our selves) || without any View of further natural Advantage from them.”

II. It may perhaps also appear, “ || 16 That what excites us to these Ac- tions which we call Virtuous, is not an Intention to obtain even this sensible Pleasure ||; much less the future Rewards from Sanctions of Laws, or any other natural Good, which may be the Consequence of the vir- tuous Action; but an entirely different Principle of Action || I7 from In- terest or Self-Love. ||” [117]


Of the Moral Sense by which we perceive Virtue and Vice, and approve or disapprove them in others.

I. That the Perceptions of moral Good and Evil, are perfectly different from those of natural Good, or Advantage, every one must convince himself, by reflecting upon the different Manner in which he finds him- self affected when these Objects occur to him. Had we no Sense of Good distinct from the Advantage or Interest arising from the external Senses, and the Perceptions of Beauty and Harmony; ||'our Admiration and Love|| toward a fruitful Field, or commodious Habitation, would be much the same with what we have toward a generous Friend, or any noble Character; for both are, or may be advantageous to us: And we should no more admire any Action, or love any Person in a distant Coun- try, or Age, whose Influence could not extend to us, than we love the Mountains of Peru, while we are unconcern’d in the Spanish Trade. We should have the same Sentiments and Affections [118] toward inanimate Beings, which we have toward rational Agents; which yet every one knows to be false. Upon Comparison, we say, “Why should we || 2 admire or love with Esteem || inanimate Beings? They have no Intention of Good to 1 1 3 us ||; their Nature makes them fit for our Uses, which they neither know nor study to serve. But it is not so with rational Agents:

1 1 4 they study our Interest, and delight in our Happiness, and are Benev- olent toward us.N”

Different Ideas of Moral and Natural Good.




In Actions done to our selves.

Of Evil, Moral and Natural.

We are all then conscious of the Difference between that || 5 Love and Esteem ||, or Perception of moral Excellence, which Benevolence excites toward the Person in whom we observe it, and that Opinion of natural Goodness, which only raises Desire of Possession toward the good Ob- ject. Now “what should make this Difference, if all Approbation, or Sense of Good be from Prospect of Advantage? Do not inanimate Ob- jects promote our Advantage, as well as Benevolent Persons who do us Offices of Kindness, and Friendship? Should we not then have the same endearing || 6 Sentiments|| of both? or only the same cold Opinion of Ad- vantage in both?” The Reason why it is not so, must be this, “That we have a distinct Perception of Beauty, or Excellence in the kind Afifec- [ii9]tions of rational Agents; whence we are determin’d to admire and love such Characters and Persons.”

Suppose we reap the same Advantage from two Men, one of whom serves us || 7 from Delight in our Happiness, and Love toward us; || the other from Views of Self-Interest, or by Constraint: both are in this Case equally beneficial or advantageous to us, and yet we shall have quite dif- ferent Sentiments of them. We must then certainly have other Percep- tions of moral Actions than those of Advantage: And that Power of receiving these Perceptions may be call’d a Moral Sense, since the Def- inition agrees to it, viz. a Determination of the Mind, to receive any Idea from the Presence of an Object which occurs to us, || 8 independent || on our Will.*

This perhaps will be equally evident from our Ideas of Evil, done to us designedly by a rational Agent. Our Senses of natural Good and Evil would make us receive, with equal Serenity and Composure, an Assault, a Buffet, an Affront from a Neighbour, a Cheat from a Partner, or Trustee, as we would an equal Damage from the Fall of a Beam, a Tile, or a Tempest; and we should have the same Affections and Sentiments || 9 of both ||. Villany, Treachery, [120] Cruelty, would be as meekly re- sented as a Blast, or Mildew, or an overflowing Stream. But I fancy every one is very differently affected on these Occasions, tho there may be

See the Preface, Page 7.



equal natural Evil in both. Nay, Actions no way detrimental, may oc- casion the strongest Anger, and Indignation, if they evidence only im- potent Hatred, or Contempt. And, on the other hand, the Intervention of moral Ideas may prevent our || 10 Hatred|| of the Agent, or bad moral Apprehension of that Action, which causes to us the greatest natural Evil. Thus the Opinion of Justice in any Sentence, will prevent all Ideas of moral Evil in the Execution, or Hatred toward the Magistrate, who is the immediate Cause of our greatest Sufferings.

II. In our Sentiments of Actions which affect our selves, there is indeed a Mixture of the Ideas of natural and moral Good, which require some Attention to separate them. But when we reflect upon the Actions which affect other Persons only, we may observe the moral Ideas unmix’d with those of natural Good, or Evil. For let it be here observ’d, that those Senses by which we perceive Pleasure in natural Objects, whence they are constituted Advantageous, could never raise in us any Desire of pub- lick Good, but only of what was good to our selves [ 121 ] in particular. Nor could they ever make us approve an Action || 1 1 because|| of its pro- moting the Happiness of others. And yet as soon as any Action is rep- resented to us as flowing from Love, Humanity, Gratitude, Compassion, a Study of the good of others, and 1 1 12 a Delight in 1 1 their Happiness, altho it were in the most distant Part of the World, or in some past Age, we feel Joy within us, admire the lovely Action, and praise its Author. And on the contrary, every Action represented as flowing || 13 from Hatred, Delight in the Misery of others ||, or Ingratitude, raises Abhorrence and Aversion.

It is true indeed, that the Actions we approve in others, are generally imagin’d to tend to the natural Good ofMankind, or || l4 of|| some Parts of it. But whence this secret Chain between each Person and Mankind? How is my Interest connected with the most distant Parts of it? And yet I must admire || 15 Actions which are beneficial to them||, and love the Author. Whence this Love, Compassion, Indignation and Hatred to- ward even feign’d Characters, in the most distant Ages, and Nations, according as they appear Kind, Faithful, Compassionate, or of the op- posite Dispositions, toward their imaginary Contemporaries? If there is

In Actions toward others.



Moral Ideas not from Interest.

no moral Sense, || 16 which makes rational Actions appear Beautiful, [122] or Deform’d 1 1 ; if all Approbation be from the Interest of the Approver,

What’s Hecuba to us, or we to Hecuba?* 1

III. Some refin’d Explainers of Self-Love may tell us, “That we || 17 hate, or love 1 1 Characters, according as we apprehend we should have been supported, or injur’d by them, had we liv’d in their Days.” But how obvious is the Answer, if we only observe, that had we no Sense of moral Good in Humanity, Mercy, Faithfulness, why should not Self-Love, || ls and our Sense of natural Good|| engage us always to the victorious Side, and make us admire and love the successful Tyrant, or Traitor? Why do not we love Sinon, Pyrrhus, in the Aeneid ? for had we been Greeks, these two would have been very advantageous Characters. Why are we affected with the Fortunes of Priamus, Polites, Choroebus or Aeneas? 11 19 It is plain we have some secret Sense which determines our Appro- bation without regard to Self-Interest; otherwise we should always favour the fortunate Side without regard to Virtue || 20 , and suppose our selves engaged with that Party||. 21 [123]

Suppose any great Destruction occasion’d by mere Accident, without any Design, or Negligence of the Person who casually was the Author of it: This Action might have been as disadvantageous to us as design’d Cruelty, or Malice; but who will say he has the same Idea of both Actions, or Sentiments of the || 22 Agents? || “Whence then this Difference?”

And further, Let us make a Supposition, which perhaps is not far from

  • Tragedy of Hamlet.

i. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, act 2, scene 2, verse 562: “What’s Hec- uba to him, or he to Hecuba. . . ?”

ii. According to Virgil ( Aeneid 2, 57) Sinon used deceit to make the Trojans take the wooden horse into the City. Pyrrhos I, King of Epirus, 306— 302 and 297— 277 b.c., defeated the Romans in 280/279 but lost most of his own troops, hence the phrase Pyrrhic victory. Priam, King of Troy and grieving father of Hector, who was slain by Achilles in the Trojan War. Choroebos (Greek: Korroibos) liberated Argos from a disaster sent by Apollo; as punishment Choroebos had to carry a holy tripod and to found a city where he dropped it (see Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.17.4). Ac- cording to legend, Aeneas escaped the conquered Troy and, after a long odyssey, founded Rome.



Matter of Fact, to try if we cannot approve even disadvantageous Ac- tions, and perceive moral Good in them. A few ingenious Artisans, per- secuted in their own Country, flee to ours for Protection; they instruct us in Manufactures which support Millions of Poor, increase the Wealth of almost every Person in the State, and make us formidable to our Neighbours, in a Nation not far distant from us, some resolute Bur- gomasters, full of Love to their Country, and Compassion toward their Fellow-Citizens, opprest in Body and Soul by a Tyrant, and Inquisition, with indefatigable Diligence, public Spirit, and Courage, support a te- dious perilous War against the Tyrant and form an industrious Repub- lick, which rivals us in Trade, and almost in Power . 111 All the World sees whether the former or the latter have been more ad-[i24]vantageous to us: and yet let every Man consult his own Breast, which of the two Char- acters he has the most agreeable Idea of? whether of the useful Refugee, or the public-spirited Burgomaster, by whose Love to his own Country, we have often suffer’d in our Interests? And I am confident he will find some other Foundation of Esteem than Advantage, and will see a just Reason, why the Memory of our Artisans is so obscure among us, and yet that of our Rivals is immortal.

IV. Some Moralists, lv who will rather twist Self-Love into a thousand Shapes, than allow any other Principle of Approbation than Interest, may tell us, “That whatever profits one Part without detriment to an- other, profits the Whole, and then some small Share will redound to each Individual; that those Actions which tend to the Good of the Whole, if universally perform’d, would most effectually secure to each Individual his own Happiness; and that consequently, we may approve such Ac- tions, from the Opinion of their tending ultimately to our own Advan- tage.”

23 We need not trouble these Gentlemen to shew by their nice Train

iii. Hutcheson refers to the Dutch struggle for freedom from Spain.

iv. For example, Thomas Hobbes, De Cive, chapter i, and Bernard Mandeville, Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue (in the second edition of The Fable of the Bees of 1723).

Self-Love not the Ground of Approbation.



of Consequences, and Influences of Actions by way of Precedent in par- ticular Instances, that [125] we in this Age reap any Advantage from Ores- tes’s killing the treacherous Aegysthus, or from the Actions of Codrus or Decius. v vi. Allow their Reasonings to be perfectly good, they only prove, that after long Reflection, and Reasoning, we may find out some ground, 1 1 24 even from Views of Interest, to approve the same Actions || which every Man admires as soon as he hears of them; and that too under a quite different Conception.

25 Should any of our Travellers find some old Grecian Treasure, the Miser who hid it, certainly perform’d an Action more to the Traveller’s Advantage than Codrus or Orestes; for he must have but a small Share of Benefit from their Actions, whose Influence is so dispers’d, and lost in various Ages, and Nations: Surely then this Miser must appear to the Traveller a prodigious Hero in Virtue! For Self-Interest will || 26 make us only esteem Men|| according to the Good they do to our Selves, and not give us high Ideas of public Good, but in proportion to our Share of it. But must a Man have the Reflection of Cumberland, or Puffendorf, vl to admire Generosity, Faith, Humanity, Gratitude? Or reason so nicely to apprehend the Evil in Cruelty, Treachery, Ingratitude? Do not the former excite our Admiration, and Love, [126] and Study of Imitation, wherever we see them, almost at first View, without any such Reflection; and the latter, our || 27 Hatred||, Contempt and Abhorrence? Unhappy would it be for Mankind, if a Sense of Virtue was of as narrow an Extent, as a Capacity for such Metaphysicks.

v. Orestes, according to legend, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, killed his mother and her lover Aegisthus to avenge their assassination of Agamemnon (Aes- chylus, Oresteia, especially The Libation Bearers; Euripides, Electra; Sophocles, Elec- tro). Codrus, the last King of Athens, gave his life fighting against Sparta, in order to free Athens (Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, V, 6 2). Publius Decius Mus (Roman Consul, 340 b.c.) supposedly was killed in the war against the Latins (340- 338 b.c.) near Capua (see Cicero, De Finibus, II, 61; see note viii below).

vi. Richard Cumberland (1632-1718) criticized Hobbes in the work De Legibus Naturae Disquisitio Philosophica, London, 1672 (translation: A Treatise of the Law of Nature, London, 1727). Samuel Pufendorf (1632-94) was the leading author on nat- ural law in the Enlightenment, see De Jure Naturae et Gentium, Lund, 1672 (trans- lation: The Law of Nature and Nations, London, 1703) , and De officio hominis et civis, Lund, 1673 (translation: The Whole Duty of Man, London, 1691).



V. This moral Sense, either of our own Actions, or of those of others, has this in common with our other Senses, that however our Desire of Virtue may be counterballanc’d by Interest, our Sentiment or Perception of its Beauty cannot; as it certainly might be, if the only Ground of our Approbation were Views of Advantage. Let us consider this both as to our own Actions and those of others.

A Covetous Man shall dislike any Branch of Trade, how useful soever it may be to the Publick, if there is no Gain for himself in it; here is an Aversion from Interest. Propose a sufficient Premium, and he shall be the first who sets about it, with full Satisfaction in his own Conduct. Now is it the same way with our Sense of moral Actions? Should any one advise us to wrong a Minor, or Orphan, or to do an ungrateful Ac- tion toward a Benefactor; we at first View abhor it: Assure us that it will be very advantageous to us, propose even a Reward; [127] our Sense of the Action is not alter’d. It is true, these Motives may make us undertake it; but they have no more Influence upon us to make us approve it, than a Physician’s Advice has to make a nauseous Potion pleasant to the Taste, when we perhaps force our selves to take it for the Recovery of Health.

28 Had we no Notion of Actions, beside our Opinion of their Advan- tage, or Disadvantage, could we ever chuse an Action as Advantageous, which we are conscious is still Evil? as it too often happens in human Affairs. Where would be the need of such high Bribes to prevail with Men to abandon the Interests of a ruin’d Party, or of Tortures to force out the Secrets of their Friends? Is it so hard to convince Mens Under- standings, if that be the only Faculty we have to do with, that it is prob- ably more advantageous to secure present Gain, and avoid present Evils, by joining with the prevalent Party, than to wait for the remote Possi- bility of future Good, upon a Revolution often improbable, and some- times unexpected? And when Men are overpersuaded by Advantage, do they always approve their own Conduct? Nay, how often is their re- maining Life odious, and shameful, in their own Sense of it, as well as in that of others, to whom the base Action was profitable? [128]

If any one becomes satisfy’d with his own Conduct in such a Case, upon what Ground is it? How does he please himself, or vindicate his Actions to others? Never by reflecting upon his private Advantage, or

Our Moral Sense cannot be brib’d.

In judging of our own Actions.



Our Moral Sense not founded on Religion.

Our Moral Sense of the Actions of others, not to be brib’d.

alledging this to others as a Vindication; but by gradually warping into the moral Principles of his new Party; for no Party is without them. And thus Men become pleas’d with their Actions under some Appearance of moral Good, distinct from Advantage.

It may perhaps be alledg’d, “That in those Actions of our own which we call Good, there is this constant Advantage, superior to all others, which is the Ground of our Approbation, and the Motive to them from Self-love, viz. That we suppose the Deity will reward them.” This will be more fully consider’d* 1 1 29 afterwards ||; At present it is enough to ob- serve, that many have high Notions of Honour, Faith, Generosity, Justice, who have scarce || 30 any Opinions about the Deity, or any Thoughts of future Rewards ||; and abhor any thing which is Treacherous, Cruel, or Unjust, without any regard to future Punishments. [129]

31 But further, tho these Rewards, and Punishments, may make my own Actions appear advantageous to me, || 32 and make me approve them from Self-Love, || yet they would never make me approve, and love an- other Person for the like Actions, whose Merit would not be imputed to me. Those Actions are advantageous indeed to the Agent; but his Ad- vantage is not my Advantage: and Self-Love could never || 33 influence me to approve || Actions as advantageous to others, or || 34 to love|| theAuthors of them on that account.

This is the second thing to be consider’d, “Whether our Sense of the moral Good or Evil, in the Actions of others, can be over-ballanc’d, or brib’d by Views of Interest.” Now I may indeed easily be capable of wishing, that another would do an Action I abhor as morally Evil, if it were very Advantageous to me: Interest in that Case may overballance my Desire of Virtue in another. But no Interest || 35 to my self || will make me approve an Action as | | 36 morally 1 1 Good, which, without that Interest to my self, would have appear’d morally Evil || 37 ; if, upon computing its whole Effects, it appears to produce as great a Moment of Good in the Whole, when it is not beneficial to me, as it did before when it was. In our Sense of moral Good or [130] Evil, our own private Advantage or

See Sect. ii. Art. 7.



Loss is of no more moment, than the Advantage or Loss of a third Person, to make an Action appear Good or Evil. This Sense therefore cannot be over-ballanc’d by Interest.|| How ridiculous an Attempt wou’d it be, to engage a Man by Rewards, or || 38 to threaten him|[ into a good Opinion of an Action, which was contrary to his moral Notions? We may procure Dissimulation by such means, and that is all.

VI. A late witty Author* says, “That the Leaders of Mankind do not really admire such Actions as those of Regulus, or Decius, but only ob- serve, that Men of such Dispositions are very useful for the Defence of any State; and therefore by Panegyricks, and Statues, they encourage such Tempers in others, as the most tractable, and useful.”™ Here first let us consider, If a Traitor, who would sell his own Country to us, may not often be as advantageous to us, as a Hero who defends us: And yet we can love the Treason, and hate the Traitor. We can at the same time praise a gallant Enemy, who is very pernicious to us. Is there nothing in all this but an Opinion of Advantage? [131]

39 Again, upon this Scheme what could a Statue or Panegyrick ef- fect? — Men love Praise — They will do the Actions which they observe to be praised — Praise, with Men who have no other Idea of Good but Self-Interest, is the Opinion which a Nation or Party have of a Man as useful to them — Regulus, or Cato, or Decius, v '" had no Advantage by the Actions which profited their Country, and therefore they themselves could not admire them, however the Persons who reap’d the Advantage

  • See the Fable of the Bees, Page 34, 36. 3d Edition.

vii. Hutcheson used the third edition of Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, London, 1724 (ed. E B. Kaye, 2 vols., Oxford, 1924, vol. 2, p. 393); the text is not a quotation but a paraphrase of Mandeville.

viii. Marcus Atilius Regulus (consul 267 and 256 b.c.) was a prisoner of the Car- thagenians during the First Punic War and was later O249 b.c.) sent back to Rome in order to negotiate an exchange of prisoners; he advised against it, went back to Carthage, and was murdered cruelly. M. Porcius Cato Uticensis (94-45 b.c.) was an educated stoic and politician. As a republican he was a firm adversary of Caesar; he committed suicide after the battle near Thapsus in Utica (see Cicero’s Cato). Ac- cording to Livy (8, 6-11) P. Decius Mus sacrificed himself in the war against the Latins in 340 b.c. near Capua; see note v above.

Not occasion’d by Praise.



might praise such Actions. — Regulus or Cato could not possibly praise or love another Hero for a virtuous Action; for this would not gain them the Advantage of Honour; and their own Actions they must have look’d upon as the hard Terms on which Honour was to be purchas’d, without any thing amiable in them, which they could contemplate or reflect upon with || 40 Pleasure.|| — Now how unlike is this to what the least Obser- vation would teach a Man concerning such Characters?

But says* he, “These wondrous cunning Governours made Men be- lieve, by their Statues and Panegyricks, that there was publick Spirit, and that this was in [132] it self Excellent; and hence Men are led to admire it in others, and to imitate it in themselves, forgetting the Pursuit of their own Advantage.” So easy a matter it seems to him, to quit judging of others by what we feel in our selves! — for a Person who is wholly selfish, to imagine others to be publick-spirited! — for one who has no Ideas of Good but in his own Advantage, to be led, by the Persuasions of others, into a Conception of Goodness in what is avowedly detrimental to him- self, and profitable to others; nay so entirely, as not to approve the Action thorowly, but so far as he was conscious that it proceeded from a dis- interested Study of the Good of others! — Yet this it seems Statues and Panegyricks can accomplish!

Nil intra est oleam, nil extra est in nuce duri!t IX

It is an easy matter for Men to assert any thing in Words; but our own Hearts must decide the Matter, “Whether some moral Actions do not at first View appear amiable, even to those who are unconcern’d in their Influence? || 41a Whether we do not || 42b sincerely b || love a generous kind Friend, or Patriot, whose [133] Actions procure Honour to him only without any Advantage to our selves? -1 j|” It is true, that the Actions which we approve, are useful to Mankind; but not always to the Approver. It

  • See the same Author in the Same Place,

f Hor. Ep. 1. Lib. 2. v. 31.

ix. Translation: “The olive has no hardness within, the nut has none without.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, andArsPoetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, p. 398.) The correct location of the text is not Ep. 1. Lib. 2, but Ep. 2. Lib. 1. v. 31.



would perhaps be useful to the Whole, that all Men agreed in performing such Actions; and then every one would have his Share of the Advantage: But this only proves, that Reason and calm Reflection may recommend to us, from Self-Interest, those Actions, which at first View our moral Sense determines us to admire, without considering this Interest. Nay, our Sense shall operate even where the Advantage to our selves does not hold. We can approve the Justice of a Sentence against our selves: A condemn’d Traitor may approve the Vigilance of a Cicero in discovering conspiracies, tho it had been for the Traitor’s Advantage, that there never had been in the World any Men of such Sagacity. To say that he may still approve such Conduct as tending to the publick Good, is a J est from one whose only Idea of Good is Self-Interest. Such a Person has no || 43 Desire|| of publick Good further than it tends to his own Advantage, which it does not at all in the present Case.

VII. If what is said makes it appear, that we have some other amiable Idea of Actions than that of Advantageous to our selves, we may con- clude, “That this [134] Perception of moral Good is not deriv’d from Custom, Education, Example, or Study.” These give us no new Ideas: They might make us see || 44 Advantage to our selves || in Actions whose Usefulness did not at first appear; or give us Opinions of some Tendency of Actions to our Detriment, by some nice Deductions of Reason, or by a rash Prejudice, when upon the first View of the Action we should have observ’d no such thing: but they never could have made us apprehend Actions as amiable or odious, without any Consideration of our own Advantage.

VIII. It remains then, “That as the Author of Nature has determin’d us to receive, by our external Senses, pleasant or disagreeable Ideas of Ob- jects, according as they are useful or hurtful to our Bodys; and to receive from uniform Objects the Pleasures of Beauty and Harmony, to excite us to the Pursuit of Knowledge, and to reward us for it; or to be an Argument to us of his Goodness, as the Uniformity it self proves his Existence, whether we had a Sense of Beauty in Uniformity or not: in the same manner he has given us a Moral Sense, to direct our Actions,

Nor Custom,





This Moral Sense does not infer innate Ideas or Propositions.

and to give us still nobler Pleasures; so that while we are only intending the Good of others, we [135] undesignedly promote our own greatest private Good.”

We are not to imagine, that this moral Sense, more than the other Senses, supposes any innate Ideas, Knowledge, or practical Proposition: We mean by it only a Determination of our Minds to receive || 45a amiable or disagreeable Ideas of Actions, when || 46b they b || occur to our Obser- vation^, antecedent to any Opinions of Advantage or Loss to redound to our selves from them; even as we are pleas’d with a regular Form, or an harmonious Composition, without having any Knowledge ofMath- ematicks, or seeing any Advantage in that Form, or Composition, dif- ferent from the immediate || 47 Pleasure.|| [136]


Concerning the immediate Motive to virtuous Actions.

The Motives of human Actions, or their immediate Causes, would be best understood after considering the Passions and Affections; but here we shall only consider the Springs of the Actions which we call virtuous, as far as it is necessary to settle the general Foundation of the Moral Sense.

I. Every Action, which we apprehend as either morally good or evil, is always suppos’d to flow from some Affection toward || ! rational Agents ||; and whatever we call Virtue or Vice, is either some such Affection, or some Action consequent upon it. Or it may perhaps be enough to make an Action, or Omission, appear vitious, if it argues the Want of such Affection toward rational Agents, as we expect in Characters counted morally good. All the Actions counted religious in any Country, are sup- pos’d, by those who count them || 2 so||, to flow from some Affections toward the Deity; and whatever we call social Virtue, we still suppose to flow from [137] Affections toward our Fellow-Creatures: for in this all seem to agree, “That external Motions, when accompany’d with no Af- fections toward God or Man, or evidencing no Want of the expected Affections toward either, can have no moral Good or Evil in them.”

3 Ask, for instance, the most abstemious Hermit, if Temperance of it self would be morally good, supposing it shew’d no Obedience toward the Deity, made us no fitter for Devotion, or the Service of Mankind,

Affections, the Motives to Actions.






Love of Complacence, and Hatred of Displicence.

or the Search after Truth, than Luxury; and he will easily grant, that it would be no moral Good, tho still it might be naturally good or advan- tageous to Health: And mere Courage, or Contempt of Danger, if we conceive it to have no regard to the Defence of the Innocent, or repairing of Wrongs, || 4 or Self-Interest, || wou’d only entitle its Possessor to Bed- lam. When such sort of Courage is sometimes admir’d, it is upon some secret Apprehension of a good Intention in the use of it | [ 5 , or as a natural Ability capable of an useful Application ||. Prudence, if it || 6 was|| only employ’d in promoting private Interest, is never imagin’d to be a Virtue: and Justice, or observing a strict Equality, if it has no regard to the Good of Mankind, the Preservation of Rights, and securing Peace, is a Quality properer [138] for its ordinary Gestamen, a Beam and Scales, than for a rational Agent. So that these four Qualitys, commonly call’d Cardinal Virtues, obtain that Name, because they are Dispositions universally necessary to promote publick Good, and denote Affections toward ra- tional Agents; otherwise there would appear no Virtue in them.

II. Now if it can be made appear, that none of these Affections which we |[ 7 call virtuous, spring from|| Self-love, or Desire of private Interest; since all Virtue is either some such Affections, or Actions consequent upon them; it must necessarily follow, “|| 8 That Virtue is not pursued from the Interest or Self-love of the Pursuer, or any Motives of his own AdvantageJI”

The Affections which are of most Importance in Morals, 1 1 9 are Love and Hatred: All the rest seem but different Modifications of these two original Affections||. Now in discoursing of Love || 10 toward rational Agents ||, we need not be caution’d not to include that Love between the Sexes, which, when no other Affections accompany it, is only Desire of Pleasure, and is never counted a Virtue. Love toward rational Agents, is subdivided into Love of Complacence or Esteem, and Love of Be- [i39]nevolence: And Hatred is subdivided into Hatred of Displicence or Contempt, and Hatred of || 11 Malice. || Concerning each of these sepa- rately we shall consider, “Whether they can be influenc’d by Motives of Self-Interest.”



|| 12 Love of 1 1 Complacence, Esteem, or Good-liking, at first view ap- pears to be disinterested, and so || 13 the Hatred of || Displicence or Dis- like; and are entirely excited by some moral Qualitys, Good or Evil, ap- prehended to be in the Objects; which Qualitys the very Frame of our Nature determines us || 14 to love or hate,|| to approve or disapprove, ac- cording to the moral Sense* above explain’d. Propose to a Man all the Rewards in the World, or threaten all the Punishments, to engage him to || 15 love with || Esteem, and Complacence, || 16 a third || Person entirely unknown, or if known, apprehended to be cruel, treacherous, ungrate- ful; you may procure external Obsequiousness, or good Offices, or Dis- simulation || 17 of Love||; but real || 18 Love of || Esteem no Price can pur- chase. And the same is obvious as to || 19 Hatred of || Contempt, which no Motive of Advantage can prevent. On the contrary, represent a Char- acter as generous, kind, faithful, humane, tho in the most distant Parts of the World, and we cannot avoid || 20 loving it with 1 1 Es-[i4o]teem, and Complacence. A Bribe may || 21 possibly || make us attempt to ruin such a Man, or some strong Motive of Advantage may excite us to oppose his Interest; but it can never make us || 22 hate|| him, while we || 23 apprehend him as morally excellent ||. Nay, when we consult our own Hearts, we shall find, that we can scarce ever persuade our selves to attempt any Mischief against such Persons, from any Motive of Advantage, nor exe- cute it, without the strongest Reluctance, and Remorse, until we have blinded our selves into a || 24 bad Opinion of the Person in amoral Sense ||.

III. As to the Love of Benevolence, the very Name excludes Self-Interest. We never call that Man benevolent, who is in fact useful to others, but at the same time only intends his own Interest, without any || 25 desire of, or delight in, || the Good of others. If there be any || 26 Benevolence || at all, it must be disinterested; for the most useful Action imaginable, loses all appearance of Benevolence, as soon as we discern that it only flowed from Self-Love or Interest. Thus, never were any human Actions more advantageous, than the Inventions of Fire, and Iron; but if these were

Are entirely disinterested.

Benevolence and Malice, disinterested.

See Sect. i.



Self-Love join’d with Benevolence.

Cause of Benevolence.

casual, or if the Inventor only intended his own Interest in them, there is nothing which can be call’d Benevolent in them. Wherever then Be- nevolence is suppos’d, there it is [141] imagin’d disinterested, and de- sign’d for the Good of || 27 others.||

But it must be here observ’d, That as all Men have Self-Love, as well as Benevolence, these two Principles may jointly excite a Man to the same Action; and then they are to be consider’d as two Forces impelling the same Body to Motion; sometimes they conspire, sometimes are in- different to each other, and sometimes are in some degree opposite. Thus, if a Man have such strong Benevolence, as would have produc’d an Action without any Views of Self-Interest; that such a Man has also in View private Advantage, along with publick Good, as the Effect of his Action, does no way diminish the Benevolence of the Action. When he would not have produc’d so much publick Good, had it not been for Prospect of Self-Interest, then the Effect of Self-Love is to be deducted, and his Benevolence is proportion’d to the remainder of Good, which pure Benevolence would have produc’d. When a Man’s Benevolence is hurtful to himself, then Self-Love is opposite to Benevolence, and the Benevolence is proportion’d to the Sum of the Good produc’d, added to the Resistance of Self-Love surmounted by it. In most Cases it is im- possible for Men to know how far their Fellows are influenc’d by the one or other of these Principles; but yet the [142] general Truth is suf- ficiently certain, That this is the way in which the Benevolence of Actions is to be computed. || 28 Since then, no Love to rational Agents can proceed from Self-Interest, every Action must be disinterested, as far as it flows from Love to rational Agents. ||

|| 29 If any enquire, “Whence arises this Love of Esteem, or Benevo- lence, to good Men, or to Mankind in general, if not from some nice Views of Self-Interest? Or, how we can be mov’d to desire the Happiness of others, without any View to our own?” It may be answer’d, “That the same Cause which determines us to pursue Happiness for our selves, determines us both to Esteem and Benevolence on their proper Occa- sions; even the very Frame of our Nature, or a generous Instinct, which shall be afterwards explain’d.”



IV. Here we may observe, That as Love of Esteem and Complacence is always join’d with Benevolence, where there is no strong Opposition of Interest; so Benevolence seems to presuppose some small degree of Es- teem, not indeed of actual good Qualitys; for there may be strong Be- nevolence, where there is the Hatred of Contempt for actual Vices; as a Parent may have great Benevolence to a most abandon’d [143] Child, whose Manners he hates with the greatest Displicence: but Benevolence supposes a Being capable of Virtue. We judge of other rational Agents by our selves. The human Nature is a lovely Form; we are all conscious of some morally good Qualitys and Inclinations in our selves, how partial and imperfect soever they may be: we presume the same of every thing in human Form, nay almost of every living Creature: so that by this suppos’d remote Capacity of Virtue, there may be some small degree of Esteem along with our Benevolence, even when they incur our greatest Displeasure by their Conduct. ||

|| 30 As to Malice, || Human Nature seems scarce capable of malicious disinterested Hatred, or a sedate || 31 Delight in || the Misery of others, when we imagine them no way pernicious to us, or opposite to our In- terest: And for that Hatred which makes us oppose those whose Interests are opposite to ours, it is only the Effect of Self-Love, and not of dis- interested Malice. A sudden Passion may give us wrong Representations of our Fellow-Creatures, and for a little time represent them as absolutely Evil; and during this Imagination perhaps we may give some Evidences of disinterested Malice: but as soon as we reflect upon human Nature, and [144] form just Conceptions, this unnatural Passion is allay’d, and only Self-Love remains, which may make us, from Self-Interest, oppose our Adversarys.

Every one at present rejoices in the Destruction of our Pirates; and yet let us suppose a Band of such Villains cast in upon some desolate Island, and that we were assur’d some Fate would confine them there perpetually, so that they should disturb Mankind no more. Now let us calmly reflect that these Persons are capable of Knowledge and Counsel, may be happy, and joyful, or may be involv’d in Misery, Sorrow, and Pain; that they may return to a State of Love, Humanity, Kindness, and




Human Nature incapable of sedate Malice.






become Friends, Citizens, Husbands, Parents, with all the sweet Sen- timents which accompany these Relations: then let us ask our selves, when Self-Love or regard to the Safety of better Men, no longer makes us desire their Destruction, and when we cease to look upon them, under the Ideas suggested by fresh Resentment of Injurys done to us or our Friends, as utterly incapable of any good moral Quality; whether we would wish them the Fate of Cadmus’s Army, 1 by plunging their Swords in each others Breast, or a worse Fate by the most exquisite Tortures; or rather that they should recover the ordinary Affections of Men, [145] become Kind, Compassionate, and Friendly; contrive Laws, Constitu- tions, Governments, Propertys; and form an honest happy Society, with Marriages, and

Relations dear, and all the Charities

Of Father, Son, and Brother *

I fancy the latter would be the Wish of every Mortal, notwithstanding our present just Abhorrence of them from Self-Interest, or publick Love and Desire of promoting the Interest of our Friends who are expos’d to their Fury Now this plainly evidences, that we scarce ever have any sedate Malice against any Person, or || 32 delight in || his Misery. Our || 33 Hatred || is only from Opposition of Interest; or if we can entertain sedate Malice, it must be toward a Character apprehended necessarily and unalterably Evil in a moral Sense; such as a sudden Passion some- times represents our Enemies to us: and perhaps no such Being occurs to us among the Works of a good Deity.

V. || 34 Having|| offer’d what may perhaps prove, That [| 35 our Love either of Esteem, or Benevolence, is not founded on Self-Love||, or views of Interest; let us see “if some other Affections, in which Virtue may be plac’d, do arise from Self-[i46]Love;” such as Fear, or Reverence, arising

i. On Athene’s advice Cadmus sowed the teeth of a dragon he had killed. Out of these teeth grew an army, most of which killed each other (except for the five Spartoi, the progenitors of the Thebans).

  • Milt. Par. Lost. B. iv. v. 756.



from an Apprehension of Goodness, Power, and Jusdce. For no body apprehends any Virtue in base Dread and Servitude toward a powerful Evil Being: This is indeed the meanest Selfishness. Now the same Ar- guments which prove || 36 Love of || Esteem to be disinterested, will prove this honourable Reverence to be so too; for it plainly arises from an Ap- prehension of amiable Qualitys in the Person, and Love toward him, which raises an Abhorrence of offending him. Could we reverence a Be- ing because it was our Interest to do so, a third Person might bribe us into Reverence toward a Being neither Good, nor Powerful, which every one sees to be a Jest. And this we might shew to be common to all other Passions, which have || 37 rational Agents for their Objects |[.

38 VI. There is one Objection against disinterested || 39 Love||, which oc- curs from considering, “That nothing so effectually excites our Love to- ward rational Agents, as their Beneficence || 40 to us||; whence we are led to imagine, that our Love of Persons, as well as irrational Objects, flows intirely from Self-Interest.” But let us here examine our selves more nar- rowly. Do we only || 41 love|| the Beneficent, because it is our Interest to || 42 love them 1 1? Or do we chuse to love them, because our love is the [147] means of procuring their Bounty? If it be so, then we could indif- ferently love any Character, even to obtain the Bounty of a third Person; or we could be brib’d by a third Person to love the greatest Villain heart- ily, as we may be brib’d to external Offices: Now this is plainly impos- sible.

|| 43 But further||, is not our || 44 Love always|| the Consequent of Bounty, and not the Means of procuring it? External Shew, Obsequi- ousness, and Dissimulation may precede an Opinion of Beneficence; but real Love always presupposes it, and | ] 45 shall 1 1 necessarily arise even when we expect no more, from consideration of past Benefits. 46 Or can any one say he only loves the Beneficent, as he does a Lield or Garden, be- cause of its Advantage? His Love then must cease toward one who has ruin’d himself in kind Offices to him, when he can do him no more; as we cease to love an inanimate Object which ceases to be useful, unless a Poetical Prosopopoeia animate it, and raise an imaginary Gratitude, which is indeed pretty common. || 47 And then again, our Love would be




Objection from Religion.



the same towards the worst Characters that ’tis towards the best, if they were equally bountiful to us, which is also false. Beneficence then must raise our Love as it is an amiable moral Quality ||: and hence we love even those who are beneficent to others. [148]

|| 48 It may be further alledg’d, “That Bounty toward our selves is a stronger Incitement to Love, than equal Bounty toward others.” This is true for a Reason to be offer’d below:* but it does not prove, that in this Case our Love of Persons is from Views of Interest; since this Love is not prior to the Bounty, as the means to procure it, but subsequent upon it, even when we expect no more.|| In the Benefits which we receive our selves, we are more fully sensible of their Value, and of the Circumstances of the Action [ | 49 , 1 1 which are Evidences of a generous Temper in the Do- nor; and || 50 from|| the good Opinion we have of our selves, || 51 we are apt to|| look upon the Kindness as better employ’d, than when it is be- stow’d on others, of whom perhaps we have less favourable Sentiments. It is however sufficient to remove the Objection, that Bounty from a Donor apprehended as morally Evil, or extorted by Force, or conferr’d with some View of Self-Interest, will not procure real || 52 Love||; nay, it may raise Indignation, if we suspect Dissimulation of Love, or a Design to allure us into any thing Dishonourable: whereas wisely employ’d Bounty is always approv’d, and gains love to the Author from all who hear of it. [149]

If then no || 53 Love|| toward Persons be influenc’d by Self-Love, or Views of Interest, and all Virtue flows from || 54 Love|| toward Persons, or some other Affection equally disinterested; it remains, “That there must be some other 1 1 55 Motive || than Self-Love, or Interest, which excites us to the Actions we call Virtuous.”

1 1 56 VII. There may perhaps still remain another Suspicion of Self- Interest in our Prosecution of Virtue, arising from this, “That the whole Race of Mankind seems persuaded of the Existence of an Almighty Be- ing, who will certainly secure Happiness either now, or hereafter, to those

See Sect. v. Art. 2.



who are Virtuous, according to their several Notions of Virtue in various Places: and upon this Persuasion, Virtue may in all Cases be pursu’d from Views* of Interest.” Here again we might appeal to all Mankind, whether there be no Benevolence but what flows from a View of Reward from the Deity? Nay, do we not see a great deal of it among those who entertain few if any Thoughts of Devotion at all? Not to say that this Benevolence scarce deserves the Name, when we desire not, nor delight in the Good of others, further than it serves our own Ends.|| [150]

|| 58 But if we have no other Idea of Good, than Advantage to our selves||, we must imagine that every rational Being || 59 acts only || for its own Advantage; and however we may call a beneficent Being, a good Being, because it acts for our Advantage, yet upon this Scheme || 60 we should not be apt to think|| there is any beneficent Being in Nature, or a Being who acts for the Good of others. Particularly, if there is no Sense of Excellence in publick Love, and promoting the Happiness of others, whence should this Persuasion arise, “That the Deity will make the Vir- tuous happy?” Can we prove that it is for the Advantage of the Deity to do so? This I fancy will be look’d upon as very absurd, || 61 unless we suppose some beneficent Dispositions essential to the Deity, which de- termine him to consult the publick Good of his Creatures, and reward such as co-operate with his kind Intention ||. And if there be such Dis- positions in the Deity, where is the impossibility of some small degree of this publick Love in his Creatures? And why must they be suppos’d incapable of acting but from Self-Love?

62 In short, without acknowledging some other Principle of Action in rational Agents than Self-Love, I see no Loundation to expect Benefi- cence, or Rewards [151] from God, or Man, further than it is the Interest of the Benefactor; and all Expectation of Benefits from a Being whose Interests are independent on us, must be perfectly ridiculous. What should engage the Deity to reward Virtue? Virtue is commonly suppos’d, upon this Scheme, to be only a consulting our own Happiness in the most artful way, consistently with the Good of the Whole; and in Vice the same thing is foolishly pursu’d, in a manner which will not so prob-

  • See above Sect. i. Art. 5. Par. || 57 4||.






ably succeed, and which is contrary to the Good of the Whole. But how is the Deity concern’d in this Whole, if every Agent always acts from Self-Love? And what Ground have we, from the Idea of 1 1 63 a God it self 1 1, to believe the Deity is good in the Christian Sense, that is, studious of the Good of his Creatures? Perhaps the Misery of || 64 his|| Creatures may 1 1 65 give him as much|| Pleasure, as their Happiness: And who can find fault, or blame such a Being to study their Misery; for what else should we expect? A Manichean 11 Evil God, is a Notion which Men would as readily run into, as that of a Good one, if there is no Excellence in dis- interested Love, and no Being acts but for its own Advantage; unless we prov’d that the Happiness of Creatures was advantageous to the Deity.


|| 66a VIII. The last, and only remaining Objection against what has been said, is this, “That Virtue perhaps is pursu’d because of the concomitant Pleasure.” To which we may answer, first, by observing, that this plainly supposes a Sense ofVirtue antecedent to Ideas of Advantage, upon which this Advantage is founded; and that from the very Frame of our Nature we are determin’d to perceive Pleasure in the practice ofVirtue, and to approve it when practis’d by our selves, or others.

67b But further, may we not j ustly question, whether all Virtue is pleas- ant? Or, whether we are not determin’d to some amiable Actions in which we find no Pleasure? ’Tis true, all the Passions, and Affections justify themselves; or, we approve our being affected in a certain manner on certain Occasions, and condemn a Person who is otherwise affected. So the Sorrowful, the Angry, the Jealous, the Compassionate, think it reasonable they should be so upon the several Occasions which move

ii. Manicheanism, named after its Persian founder Mani (209—76?), was a religion of later antiquity, whose syncretic system contained Zoroastrian and Gnostic doc- trines. Hutcheson refers to the Manichean dualism: evil and the demons of matter (hyle) control the present material world and constantly struggle against the powers of light; the human soul, imprisoned in the body, is part of the good god. In Free Thoughts on Religion, the Church and National Fhappiness, 2nd edition, London, 1729 (1st edition 1720), pp. 103 ff., Mandeville gives a favorable description of Manichean-




these Passions; but we should not therefore say that Sorrow, Anger, Jeal- ousy, or Pity are pleasant, and that we chuse to be in these Passions be- cause of the concomitant Pleasure. The matter is plainly this. The Frame of our Nature, on such Occasions as move these Passions, determines us to be thus [153] affected, and to approve our being so: Nay, we dislike any Person who is not thus affected upon such occasions, notwithstand- ing the uneasiness of these Passions. || 68c This c || uneasiness determines us to endeavour an Alteration in the state of the Object; but not otherwise to remove the painful Affection, while the occasion is unalter’d: which shews that these || 69d Affections are neither chosen for their concomitant Pleasure, nor voluntarily brought upon our selves with a view to private Good d ||. The Actions which these Passions move us to, || 70e tend gener- ally e || to remove the uneasy Passion by altering the state of the Object; but the |[ 7U Removal of our Pain is seldom directly intended in the uneasy Benevolent Passions: nor is the Alteration intended in the State of the Objects by such Passions, imagin’d to be a private Good to the Agent, as it always is in the selfish Passions. If our sole Intention, in Compassion or Pity, was the Removal of our Pain, f || we should run away, shut our Eyes, divert our Thoughts from the miserable Object, to avoid the Pain of Compassion, which we seldom do: nay, we croud about such Objects, and voluntarily || 72s expose our selves to s |] Pain, unless Reason, and Re- flection upon our Inability to relieve the Miserable, countermand our Inclination; or some selfish Affection, as fear of Danger, overbalances

it- [154]

N ow there are several morally amiable Actions, which flow from these Passions which are so uneasy; such as Attempts of relieving the Dis- tress’d, of defending the Injur’d, of repairing of Wrongs done by our- selves. These Actions are often accompany’d with no Pleasure in the mean time, nor have they any subsequent Pleasure, except as they are successful; unless it be that which may arise from calm Reflection, when the Passion is over, upon our having been in a Disposition, which to our moral Sense appears lovely and good: but this Pleasure is never intended in the Fleat of Action, nor is it any Motive exciting to it.

Besides, In the pleasant Passions, we do not love, because it is pleasant to love; we do not chuse this State, because it is an advantageous, or



The true Spring of Virtue.



pleasant State: This Passion necessarily arises from seeing its proper Ob- ject, a morally good Character. And if we could love, whenever we see it would be our Interest to love, Love could be brib’d by a third Person; and we could never love Persons in Distress, for then our Love gives us Pain. The same Observation may be extended to all the other Affections from which Virtue is suppos’d to flow: And from the whole we may conclude, “That the virtuous Agent [155] is never apprehended by us as acting only from Views of his own Interest, but as principally influenc’d by some other Motive. ” a ||

73 IX. Having remov’d these false Springs of virtuous Actions, let us next establish the true one, viz. some Determination of our Nature to study the Good of others; or some Instinct, antecedent to all Reason from Interest, which influences us to the Love of others; even as the moral Sense,* above explain’d, determines us to approve the Actions which flow from this Love in our selves or others. This disinterested Affection, may appear strange to Men impress’d with Notions of Self-Love, as the sole || 74 Motive|| of Action, from the Pulpit, the Schools, the Systems, and Conversations regulated by them: but let us consider it in its stron- gest, and simplest Kinds; and when we see the Possibility of it in these Instances, we may easily discover its universal Extent.

An honest Farmer will tell you, that he studies the Preservation and Happiness of his Children, and loves them without any design of Good to himself. But say some of our Philosophers," 1 “The Happiness of [156] their Children gives Parents Pleasure, and their Misery gives them Pain; and therefore to obtain the former, and avoid the latter, they study, from Self-Love, the Good of their Children.” Suppose several Merchants join’d in Partnership of their whole Effects; one of them is employ’d abroad in managing the Stock of the Company; his Prosperity occasions Gain to all, and his Losses give them Pain || 75 from|| their Share in the Loss: is this then the same Kind of Affection with that of Parents to their Children? Is there the same tender, personal Regard? I fancy no Parent

  • See Sect. i.

iii. For example, Mandeville, Fable of the Bees, ed. Kaye, vol. 1, p. 75.



will say so. In this Case of Merchants there is a plain Conjunction of Interest; but whence the Conjunction of Interest between the Parent and Child? Do the Child’s Sensations give Pleasure or Pain to the Parent? Is the Parent hungry, thirsty, sick, when the Child is so? || 76 “No, but his Love to the Child makes him affected with his Pleasures or Pains. ” This Love|| then is antecedent to the Conjunction of Interest, and the Cause of it, not the Effect: || 77 this Love|| then must be disinterested. “No, || 78 says another Sophist||, Children are Parts of our selves, and in loving them we but love our selves in them.” A very good Answer! Let us carry it as far as it will go. How are they Parts of our selves? Not as a Leg or an Arm: We are not conscious of their Sensations. “But their [157] Bodys were form’d from Parts of ours.” So is a Fly, or a Maggot which may breed in any discharg’d Blood or Humour: Very dear Insects surely! There must be something else then which makes Children Parts of our selves; and what is this but that Affection which Nature determines us to have toward them? This Love makes them Parts of our selves, and therefore does not flow from their being so before. This is indeed a good Metaphor; and wherever we find a Determination among several ra- tional Agents to mutual Love, let each Individual be look’d upon as a Part of a great Whole, or System, and concern himself in the publick Good of 1 1 79 it. 1 1

80 But a later Author observes,*" “That natural Affection in Parents is weak, till the Children begin to give Evidences of Knowledge and Af- fections.” Mothers say they feel it strong from the very first: and yet I could wish for the Destruction of his Hypothesis, that what he alledges was true; as I fancy it is || 81 in some measure, tho we may find in some Parents an Affection toward Idiots ||. The observing of Understanding and Affections in Children, which make them appear moral Agents, can increase Love toward them without prospect of Interest; for I hope this [158] Increase of Love, is not from Prospect of Advantage from the Knowledge or Affections of Children, for whom Parents are still toiling, and never intend to be refunded their Expences, or recompens’d for their

  • See the Fable of the Bees, Page 68, 3d Ed.

iv. Mandeville, Fable of the Bees, ed. Kaye, vol. 1, p. 75.






Labour, but in Cases of extreme Necessity. If then the observing a moral Capacity can be the occasion of increasing Love without Self-Interest, even from the Frame of our Nature; pray, may not this be a Foundation of weaker degrees of Love where there is no preceding tie of Parentage, and extend it to all Mankind?

82 X. And that this is so in fact, will appear by considering some more distant Attachments. If we observe any Neighbours, from whom perhaps we have receiv’d no good Offices, form’d into Friendships, Familys, Partnerships, and with Fionesty and Kindness assisting each other; pray ask any Mortal if he would not || 83 be better pleas’d with|| their Pros- perity, when their Interests are no way inconsistent with his own, than with their Misery, and Ruin; and you shall find a Bond of Benevolence further extended than a Family and Children, altho the Ties are not so strong. Again, suppose a Person, for Trade, had left his native Country, and with all his Kindred had settled his Fortunes abroad, without any View of returning; and only [159] imagine he had receiv’d no Injurys from his Country: ask such a Man, || 84 would it give him no Pleasure to hear of the Prosperity of his Country||? Or could he, now that his In- terests are separated from that of his Nation, as || 85 gladly hear || that it was laid waste by Tyranny or a foreign Power? I fancy his Answer would shew us a Benevolence extended beyond Neighbourhoods or Acquain- tances. Let a Man of a compos’d Temper, out of the hurry of his private Affairs, only read of the Constitution of a foreign Country, even in the most distant parts of the Earth, and observe Art, Design, and a Study of publick Good in the Laws of this Association; and he shall find his Mind mov’d in their favour; he shall be contriving Rectifications and Amendments in their Constitution, and regret any unlucky part of it which may be pernicious to their Interest; he shall bewail any Disaster which befalls them, and accompany all their Fortunes with the Affec- tions of a Friend. Now this proves Benevolence to be in some degree extended to all Mankind, where there is no interfering Interest, which from Self-Love may obstruct it. And had we any Notions of rational Agents, capable of moral Affections, in the most distant Planets/ our

v. Travels to moons and planets were a popular literary subject during the sev- enteenth and eighteenth centuries. The most famous was Cyrano de Bergerac, His-



good Wishes would sail attend them, and we should || 86 delight in || their || 87 Happiness.|| [160]

88 XI. Here we may transiently remark the Foundation of what we call national Love, or Love of one’s native Country. Whatever place we have liv’d in for any considerable time, there we have most distinctly remark’d the various Affections of human Nature; we have known many lovely Characters; we remember the Associations, Friendships, Familys, nat- ural Affections, and other human Sentiments: our moral Sense deter- mines us to approve these lovely Dispositions where we have most dis- tinctly observ’d them; and our Benevolence concerns us in the Interests of the Persons possess’d of them. When we come to observe the like as distinctly in another Country, we begin to acquire a national Love to- ward it also; nor has our own Country any other preference in our Idea, unless it be by an Association of the pleasant Ideas of our Youth, with the Buildings, Fields, and Woods where we receiv’d them. This may let us see, how Tyranny, Faction, a Neglect of Justice, a Corruption ofMan- ners, || 89 and|| any thing which occasions the Misery of the Subjects, de- stroys this national Love, and the dear Idea of a Country.

We ought here to observe, That the only Reason of that apparent want of natural Affection among collateral Rela-[i6i]tions, is, that these nat- ural Inclinations, in many Cases, are overpower’d by Self-Love, where there happens any Opposition of Interests; but where this does not hap- pen, we shall find all Mankind under its Influence, [ | 90 tho 1 1 with different degrees of Strength, according to the nearer or more remote Relations they stand in to each other; and according as the natural Affection of Benevolence is join’d with and strengthen’d by Esteem, Gratitude, Compassion, or other kind Affections; or on the contrary, weaken’d by Displicence, Anger, or Envy. [162]

National Love.

The Reason why natural Affections do not always appear.

toire comique des etats et empires de la lune, Paris, 1657, translated as Selenarbia, or the Government of the World in the Moon, a Comical History, by Sir Thomas St. Serfe, London, 1659. Other examples include David Russen, Iter Lunare: or, a Voyage to the Moon, London, 1705, and Daniel Defoe, The Consolidator, or, Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon, London, 1705. Of major importance for scientific speculation was Bernard de Bouvier de Fontenelle, Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes, Paris, 1686; there were several contemporary English translations.


All Virtue Benevolent.

The Sense of Virtue, and the various Opinions about it, reducible to one general Foundation. The Manner of computing the Morality of Actions.

I. If we examine all the Actions which are counted amiable any where, and enquire into the Grounds upon which they are approv’d, we shall find, that in the Opinion of the Person who approves them, they H 1 al- ways || appear as Benevolent, or flowing from || 2 Love of others ||, and a Study of their Happiness, whether the Approver be one of the Persons belov’d, or profited, or not; so that all those kind Affections which in- cline us to make others happy, and all Actions suppos’d to flow from such Affections, appear morally Good, if while they are benevolent to- ward some Persons, they be not pernicious to others. Nor shall we find any thing amiable in any Action whatsoever, where there is no Benev- olence imagin’d; nor in any Disposition, or Capacity, which is not sup- pos’d applicable to, and design’d for benevolent Purposes. Nay, as was before observ’d,* [163] the Actions which in fact are exceedingly useful, shall appear void of moral Beauty, if we know they proceeded from no kind Intentions toward others; and yet an unsuccessful Attempt of Kind- ness, or of promoting publick Good, shall appear as amiable as the most successful, if it flow’d from as strong Benevolence.

  • See Sect. ii. Art. 3. Par. 1. Art. || 3 6. Par. z|||.



ii 7

II. Hence those Affections which would lead us to do good to our Ben- efactor, shall appear amiable, and the contrary Affections odious, even when our Actions cannot possibly be of any advantage or hurt to him. Thus a sincere Love and Gratitude toward our Benefactor, a chearful Readiness to do whatever he shall require, how burdensom soever, a hearty Inclination to comply with his Intentions, and Contentment with the State he has plac’d us in, are the strongest Evidences of Benevolence we can shew to such a Person; and therefore they must appear exceed- ingly amiable. And under these is included all the rational Devotion, or Religion toward a Deity apprehended as Good, which we can possibly perform.

4 We may here transiently observe one Circumstance in the Frame of our Nature, which is wonderfully adapted to promote Benevolence, viz. that as a Benefit conferr’d necessarily raises Gratitude in the [164] || 5 Per- son who receives it||, so the Expressions of this Gratitude, even from the meanest of Mankind, are wonderfully delightful to the Benefactor. Never were there any Mortals so poor, so inconsiderable, whose grateful Praise would not be some way delightful; and by whom we would not rather chuse to be || 6 lov’d||, than hated, if their Love no way evidenc’d us to be Partners in their Vices, or concern’d in their Meanness. And thus the most abject || 7 Person oblig’d || is capable, and inclin’d to make no small addition to our Happiness by his Love, and Gratitude, when he is utterly incapable of any other Return, and when we expect none from him: Thus,

A grateful Mind

By owing owes not, || s and|| still pays, at once Indebted and discharg’d *

As to external Performances of Religion, they are no doubt very vari- ous in different Nations, and Ages; and Education may give Men Opin- ions, that certain Actions are pleasing, and others displeasing to the De- ity: but then wherever any external Rite of Worship is approv’d, there also it is look’d upon to proceed from Love toward the Deity, or some



Par. Lost, B. iv. 1 . 55.



other Affec- [165] tion necessarily join’d with Love, as Reverence, Repen- tance, or Sorrow to have offended. So that the general Principle of Love, is the Foundation of all the apparent moral Excellence, even in the most fantastick Rites of Worship which were ever approv’d. For as to Rites design’d only to appease a furious Being, no Mortal, I fancy, apprehends there is any Virtue, or Excellence in them; but that they are chosen only as the dishonourable Means of avoiding a greater Evil. Now as there are various || 9 speculative|| Opinions about what is acceptable to the Deity, it necessarily follows, “That, accordingly, Practices, and Approbation, must be various; tho all the moral Goodness of Actions is still presum’d to flow from Love.”

Social Virtues. III. Again, that we may see how || 10 Love, or || Benevolence, is the Foun- dation of all apprehended Excellence in social Virtues, let us only ob- serve, That amidst the diversity of Sentiments on this Head among vari- ous Sects, this is still allow’d to be the way of deciding the Controversy about any disputed Practice, viz. to enquire whether this Conduct, or the contrary, will most effectually promote the publick Good. The Mo- rality is immediately adjusted, when the natural Tendency, or Influence of the Action upon the universal natural Good of Mankind is agreed upon. That which pro- [166] duces more Good than Evil in the Whole, is acknowledg’d Good; and what does not, is counted Evil. In this Case, we no other way regard the good of the Actor, or that of those who are thus enquiring, than as they make a Part of the great System.

In our late Debates about Passive Obedience, and the Right of Re- sistance in Defence of Privileges, 1 the Point disputed among Men of Sense was, “whether universal Submission would probably be attended with greater natural Evils, than temporary Insurrections, when Privileges are invaded; and not whether what tended in the Whole to the publick natural Good, was also morally Good?” And if a divine Command was alledg’d in favour of the Doctrine of Passive Obedience, this would, no

i. George Berkeley’s Passive Obedience (1712) was criticized by the Molesworth circle. See The Works of George Berkeley, edited by A. A. Luce and T. E.Jessop, London, 1:953, v °f 4 > PP- 17-46, and the editors’ introduction, pp. 3-11.

doubt, by its eternal Sanctions cast the ballance of natural Good to its own side, and determine our Election from Interest; and yet our Sense of the moral Good in Passive Obedience, would still be founded upon some Species of Benevolence, such as Gratitude toward the Deity, and Submission to his Will to whom we are so much oblig’d. But I fancy those, who believe the Deity to be Good, would not rashly alledge such a Command, unless they also asserted, that the thing commanded did tend more to the universal Good, than the contrary, either by prevent- [167] ing the external Evils of Civil War, or by enuring Men to Patience, or some other Quality which they apprehended necessary to their ever- lasting Happiness. And were it not so, Passive Obedience might be rec- ommended as an inglorious Method of escaping a greater Mischief, but could never have any thing morally amiable in it.

But let us quit the Disputes of the Learned, on whom, it may be al- ledg’d, Custom and Education have a powerful Influence; and consider upon what Grounds, in common Life, Actions are approv’d or con- demn’d, vindicated or excus’d. We are universally asham’d to say an Ac- tion is Just, because it tends to my Advantage, or to the Advantage of the Actor: And we as seldom condemn a beneficent kind Action, because it is not advantageous to us, or to the Actor. Blame, and Censure, are founded on a Tendency to publick Evil, or a Principle of private Malice in the Agent, or Neglect at least of the Good of others; on Inhumanity of Temper, or at least such strong Selfishness as makes the Agent careless of the Sufferings of others: and thus we blame and censure when the Action no way affects our selves. All the moving and persuasive Vindi- cations of Actions, which may, from some partial evil Tendency, appear evil, are taken from this, that they were necessary to some [168] greater Good which counterballanc’d the Evil: “Severity toward a few, is Com- passion toward multitudes. — Transitory Punishments are necessary for avoiding more durable Evils. — Did not some suffer on such Occasions, there would be no living for honest Men.” — and such like. And even when an Action cannot be entirely justify’d, yet how greatly is the Guilt extenuated, if we can alledge; “That it was only the Effect of Inadvertence without Malice, or of partial good Nature, Friendship, Compassion, natural Affection, or Love of a Party?” All these Considerations shew



Moral Evil not always Malice.

what is the universal Foundation of our Sense of moral Good, or Evil, viz. Benevolence toward others on || n one|| hand, and Malice, or even Indolence, and Unconcernedness about the || 12 apparent || publick Evil on the other. And let it be here observ’d, that we are so far from imagining all Men to act only from Self-Love, that we universally expect in others a Regard for the Publick; and do not look upon the want of this, as barely the absence of moral Good, or Virtue, but even as positively evil and hateful.

IV. Contrarys may illustrate each other; let us therefore observe the gen- eral Foundation of our Sense of moral Evil more particularly. Disinter- ested Malice, or || 13 Delight in 1 1 the Misery of others, is the [169] highest pitch of what we count vitious; and every Action appears evil, which is imagin’d to flow from any degree of this Affection. Perhaps a violent Passion may hurry Men into it for a few Moments, and our rash angry Sentiments of our Enemys, may represent them as having such odious Dispositions; but it is very probable, from the Reasons offer’d above,* that there is no such degree of Wickedness in human Nature, as in cold blood, to || I4 be pleas’d with 1 1 the Misery of others, when it is conceiv’d no way useful to our Interests.

|| 15 The Story of Nero and Paetus' 1 may be alledg’d against this, but perhaps unjustly, even allowing the Fact to be true. Nero was conscious he was hated by those whom the World call’d good Men, and that they were dangerous to him; he fancy’d his best Security lay in being terrible, and appearing such on all Occasions, by making others miserable when he pleas’d, to let his Enemys see, that they should have no Security from that Compassion which a Nero would imagine argu’d Weakness. This unfortunate Gentleman’s Happiness might by some foolish Courtier be so related, as to carry a Reproof of the Tyrant’s unnatural Pursuits, whereby his Passion might be excited to cut off the Per- [170] son admir’d,

  • See Sect. ii. Art. 4.

ii. Thrasea Paetus, a stoic of republican attitude, who had written a biography of Cato with a clear bias against Caesar, was accused of high treason by Nero and com- mitted suicide after his conviction a.d. 66.



and prefer’d before him. Any of these Motives of apparent Interest seem more probably to have influenc’d him, than that we should in him, and a few others, suppose || a Principle of calm Malice without Interest, of which the rest of Mankind seem entirely incapable.

The Temper of a Tyrant seems probably to be a continu’d state of Anger, Hatred, and Fear. To form our Judgment then of his Motives of Action, and those of Men of like Tempers in lower Stations, let us reflect upon the Apprehensions we form of Mankind, when we are under any of those Passions which to the Tyrant are habitual. When we are under the fresh Impressions of an Injury, we plainly find, that our Minds are wholly fill’d with Apprehensions of the Person who injur’d us, as if he was absolutely Evil, and delighted in doing Mischief: We overlook the Virtues, which, when calm, we could have observ’d in him: we forget || 16 that|| perhaps || 17 only Self-Love, and not Malice, was his Motive; or || it may be some generous or kind Intention toward others. These, prob- ably, are the Opinions which a Tyrant constantly forms concerning Man- kind; and having very much weaken’d all kind Affections in himself, however he may pretend to them, he judges of the Tempers of others by his own. And were [171] Men really such as he apprehends them, his Treatment of them would not be very unreasonable. We shall generally find our Passions arising suitably to the Apprehensions we form of oth- ers: if || 18 these be || rashly form’d upon some sudden slight Views, it is no wonder if we find Dispositions following upon them, very little suited to the real State of human Nature.

The ordinary || 19 Springs|| of Vice then among Men, must be a mis- taken Self-Love, made 1 1 20 so || violent || 21 , || as to overcome Benevolence; 22 or Affections arising from false, and rashly form’d Opinions ofMankind, which we run into thro the weakness of our Benevolence. When Men, who had good Opinions of each other, happen to have contrary Interests, they are apt to have their good Opinions of each other abated, by imag- ining a design’d Opposition from Malice; without this, they can scarcely hate one another. Thus two Candidates for the same Office wish each other dead, because that is an ordinary way by which Men make room for each other; but if there remains any Reflection on each other’s Virtue, as there sometimes may in benevolent Tempers, then their Opposition

Temper of a Tyrant.

Ordinary Springs of Vice.





Self-Love not excluded by Benevolence.

may be without Hatred; and if another better Post, where there is no Competition, were [172] bestow’d on one of them, the other shall rejoice at it.

V. The Actions which flow solely from Self-Love, and yet evidence no Want of Benevolence, having no hurtful Effects upon others, |] 23 seem perfectly indifferent in a moral Sense||, and neither raise the Love or Hatred of the Observer. Our Reason can indeed discover certain Bounds, within which we may not only act from Self-Love, consistently with the Good of the Whole, but every Mortal’s acting thus within these Bounds for his own Good, is absolutely necessary for the Good of the Whole; and the Want of such Self-Love would be universally pernicious. Hence, he who pursues his own private Good, with an Intention also to concur with that Constitution which tends to the Good of the Whole; and much more he who promotes his own Good, with a direct View of making himself more capable of serving God, or doing good to Man- kind; acts not only innocently, but also honourably, and virtuously: for in both these Cases, 1 1 24 a Motive of 1 1 Benevolence concurs with Self-Love to excite him to the Action. And thus a Neglect of our own Good, may be morally evil, and argue a Want of Benevolence toward the Whole. But when Self-Love breaks over the Bounds above-mention’d, and leads us into Actions detrimen- [173] tal to others, and to the whole; or makes us insensible of the generous kind Affections; then it appears vitious, and is disapprov’d. So also, when upon any small Injurys, or sudden Re- sentment, or any weak superstitious Suggestions, our Benevolence || 25 becomes|| so faint, as to let us entertain odious Conceptions ofMen, or any Part of them, without just Ground, as if they were wholly Evil, or Malicious, or as if they were a worse Sort of Beings than they really are; these Conceptions must lead us into malevolent Affections, or at least weaken our good ones, and make us really Vitious.

VI. 26 Here we must also observe, that every moral Agent justly considers himself as a Part of this rational System, which may be useful to the Whole; so that he may be, in part, an Object of his own Benevolence. Nay further, as was hinted above, he may see, that the Preservation of



the System requires every one to be innocently sollicitous about himself. Hence he may conclude, that an Action which brings greater Evil to the Agent, than Good to others, however it may evidence || 27 strongBenev- olence or 1 1 a virtuous Disposition in the Agent, yet it 1 1 28 must be founded upon a mistaken Opinion of its Tendency of publick Good, when it has no such Tendency: so that a|| Man who reason’d [174] justly, and con- sider’d the whole, would not be led into it, || 29 were his Benevolence ever so strong 1 1 ; nor would he recommend it to the Practice of others; however he might acknowledge, that the Detriment arising to the Agent from a kind Action, did evidence a || 30 strong Disposition to Virtue||. Nay fur- ther, if any Good was propos’d to the Pursuit of an Agent, and he had a Competitor in every respect only equal to himself; the highest Benev- olence possible would not lead a wise Man to prefer another to himself, were there no Ties of Gratitude, or some other external Circumstance to move him to yield to his Competitor. A Man surely of the strongest Benevolence, may just treat himself as he would do a third Person, who was a Competitor of equal Merit with the other; and as his preferring one to another, in such a Case, would argue no Weakness of Benevolence; so, no more would he evidence it by preferring himself to a Man of only equal Abilitys.

|| 3I '‘ Wherever a Regard to my self, tends as much to the good of the Whole, as Regard to another; or where the Evil to my self, is equal to the Good obtain’d for another; tho by acting, in such Cases, for the good of another, I really shew a very amiable Disposition; yet by acting in the contrary manner, from Regard to [175] my self, I evidence no evil Dis- position, nor any want of the most extensive Benevolence; since the Mo- ment of good to the Whole is, in both Cases, exactly equal. And let it be here observ’d, that this does not supersede the necessity of Liberality, or gratuitous Gifts, altho in such Actions the Giver loses || 32b as much as b || the other receives; since the Moment of Good to any Person, in any given Case, is in a compound || 33c Ratio c || of the Quantity of the Good it self, and the Indigence of the Person. Hence it appears, that a Gift may make a much greater Addition to the happiness of the Receiver, than the Diminution it occasions in the happiness of the Giver: And that the most useful and important Gifts are those from the Wealthy to the



Indigent. Gifts from Equals are not useless [| 34d neither d ||, since they often increase the Happiness of both, as they are strong Evidences of mutual Love: but Gifts from the Poor to the Wealthy are really foolish, unless they be only little Expressions of Gratitude, which are also fruitful of Joy on both Sides: for these Expressions of Gratitude are really delightful and acceptable to the Wealthy, if they have any Humanity; and their Acceptance of them is matter of Joy to the poor Giver.

In like manner, when an Action does more Harm to the Agent, than Good to [176] the Publick; the doing it evidences an amiable and truly virtuous Disposition in the Agent, tho ’tis plain he acts upon a mistaken View of his Duty. But if the private Evil to the Agent be so great, as to make him incapable at another time, of promoting a publick Good of greater moment than what is attain’d by this Action; the Action may really be Evil, so far as it evidences a prior Neglect of a greater attainable publick Good for a smaller one; tho at present this Action also flows from a virtuous Disposition. a ||

Benevolence, how affected by the Qualitys of its Object.

35 VII. The moral Beauty, or Deformity of Actions, is not alter’d by the moral Qualitys of the Objects, any further than the Qualitys of the Ob- jects increase or diminish the Benevolence of the Action, or the publick Good intended by it. Thus Benevolence toward the worst Characters, or the Study of their Good, may be as amiable as any whatsoever; yea often more so than that toward the Good, since it argues such a strong Degree of Benevolence as can surmount the greatest Obstacle, the moral Evil in the Object. Hence the Love of unjust Enemys, is counted among the highest Virtues. Yet when our Benevolence to the Evil, encourages them in their bad Intentions, or makes them more capable of Mischief; this diminishes or destroys the Beauty of the Action, or even makes [177] it evil, as it betrays a Neglect of the Good of others more valuable; Be- neficence toward whom, would have tended more to the publick Good, than that toward our 36 Favourites: But Benevolence toward evil Char- acters, which neither encourages them, nor enables them to do Mischief, nor diverts our Benevolence from Persons more useful, has as much moral Beauty as any whatsoever.



37 VIII. In comparing the moral Qualitys of Actions, in order to regulate our Election among various Actions propos’d, or to find which of them has the greatest moral Excellency, we are led by our moral Sense of Vir- tue to judge thus; that in equal Degrees of Happiness, expected to pro- ceed from the Action, the Virtue is in proportion to the Number of Persons to whom the Happiness shall extend; (and here the Dignity, or moral Importance of Persons, may compensate Numbers) and in equal Numbers, the Virtue is as the Quantity of the Happiness, or natural Good; or that the Virtue is in a compound Ratio of the Quantity of Good, and Number of Enjoyers. In the same manner, the moral Evil, or Vice, is as the Degree of Misery, and Number of Sufferers; so that, that Action is best, which procures the greatest Happiness for the great- est Numbers; and that, [178] worst, which, in like manner, occasions Misery."'

38 IX. Again, when the Consequences of Actions are of a mix’d Nature, partly Advantageous, and partly Pernicious; that Action is good, whose good Effects preponderate the evil, by being useful to many, and per- nicious to few; and that, evil, which is otherwise. Here also the moral Importance of Characters, or Dignity of Persons may compensate N um- bers; as may also the Degrees of Happiness or Misery; for to procure an inconsiderable Good to many, but an immense Evil to few, may be Evil; and an immense Good to few, may preponderate a small Evil to many.

|| 39a But the Consequences which affect the Morality of Actions, are not only the direct and natural Effects of the Actions themselves; but also all those Events which otherwise would not have happen’d. For many Actions which have no immediate or natural evil Effects, nay which actually produce good Effects, may be evil; if a man foresees that the evil Consequences, which will probably flow from the Folly of others,

iii. This maxim became the central phrase of utilitarianism. Also used by Cesare Beccaria (1738—94) in the introduction to his work Dei dilitti e delle pene (Livorno, 1764). Jeremy Bentham calls it the “principle of utility”; compare with the title of chapter 1 oIAn Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (London, 1789), edited by H. L. A. Hart (London: Athlone, 1970, p. n).

Qualitys determining our Election.

Consequences, how they affect the Morality of Actions.



upon his doing of such Actions, are so great as to overbalance all the Good produc’d by those Actions, or all the Evils which would flow from the Omission of them: And in such Cases the [179] Probability is to be computed on both sides. Thus if an Action of mine will probably, thro the || 40b Mistakes' 1 1 | or Corruption of others, be made a Precedent in un- like Cases, to very evil Actions; or when my Action, tho good in it self, will probably provoke Men to very evil Actions, upon some mistaken Notion of their Right; any of these Considerations foreseen by me, may make such an Action of mine evil, whenever the Evils which will prob- ably be occasion’d by the Action, are greater than the Evils occasion’d by the Omission.

And this is the Reason that many Laws prohibit Actions in general, even when some particular Instances of those Actions would be very useful; because an universal Allowance of them, considering the Mis- takes Men would probably fall into, would be more pernicious than an universal Prohibition; nor could there be any more special Boundarys fix’d between the right and wrong Cases. In such Cases, it is the Duty of Persons to comply with the generally useful Constitution; or if in some very important Instances, the Violation of the Law would be of less evil Consequence than Obedience to it, they must patiently resolve to un- dergo those Penalties, which the State has, for valuable Ends to the Whole, appointed: and this Disobedience will have nothing criminal in || 41c it. ac || [180]

Partial Benevolence, how virtuous.

X. From || 42 the two last|| Observations, we may see what Actions our moral Sense would most recommend to our Election, as the most per- fectly Virtuous: viz. such as appear to have the most universal unlimited Tendency to the greatest and most extensive Happiness of all the rational Agents, to whom our Influence can reach. All || 43 Benevolence ||, even toward a Part, is amiable, when not inconsistent with the Good of the Whole: But this is a smaller Degree of Virtue, unless our Beneficence be restrain’d by want of Power, and not want of Love to the Whole. All strict Attachments to Partys, Sects, Factions, have but an imperfect Spe- cies of Beauty, || 44 unless || when the Good of the Whole requires a stricter Attachment to a Part, as in natural Affection, or virtuous Friendships;



|| 45 or|[ when some Parts are so eminently useful to the Whole, that even universal Benevolence || 46 would|| determine us with special Care and Affection to study their Interests. Thus universal Benevolence would in- cline us to a more strong Concern for the Interests of great and generous Characters in a high Station, or make us more earnestly study the In- terests of any generous Society, whose whole Constitution was contriv’d to promote universal Good. Thus a good Fancy in Architecture, would lead a Man, who was not able to bear the Expence [181] of a compleatly regular Building, to chuse such a Degree of Ornament as he could keep uniformly thro the Whole, and not move him to make a vain unfinish’d Attempt in one Part, of what he foresaw he could not succeed in as to the Whole. And || 47 the most perfect Rules of Architecture condemn an excessive|| Profusion of Ornament on one Part, above the Proportion of the Whole, unless that Part be some eminent Place of the Edifice, such as the chief Front, or publick Entrance; the adorning of which, would beautify the Whole more than an equal Expence of Ornament on any other Part.

|| 48a This Increase of the moral Beauty of Actions, or Dispositions, ac- cording to the Number of Persons to whom the good Effects of them extend, may shew us the Reason why Actions which flow from the nearer Attachments of Nature, such as that between the Sexes, and the Love of our Offspring, are not so amiable, nor do they appear so virtuous as Actions of equal Moment of Good towards Persons less attach’d to us. The Reason is plainly this. These strong Instincts are by Nature limited to small Numbers of Mankind, such as our Wives or Children; whereas a Disposition, which would produce a like Moment of Good to others, upon no special Attachment, |] 49b ifitwas b || accompany ’d with [182] nat- ural Power to accomplish its Intention, would be incredibly more fruit- ful of great and good Effects to the Whole.'* |

50 From this primary Idea of moral Good in Actions, || 51 arises the Idea of || Good in those Dispositions, whether natural or acquir’d, which enable us to do good to others; or which are presum’d to be design’d, and acquir’d or cultivated for that purpose 52 . And hence those Abilitys, while nothing appears contrary to our Presumption, may increase our || 53 Love|| to the Possessor of them; but when they are imagin’d to be


Dispositions and Abilitys.



How we compute the Morality of Actions in our Sense of them.

intended for publick Mischief, they make us hate him the more: Such are a penetrating Judgment, a tenacious Memory, a quick Invention; Patience of Labour, Pain, Hunger, Watching; a Contempt of Wealth, Rumour, Death. These may be rather call’d natural Abilitys, than moral || 54 Qualitys. Now, a Veneration for these Qualitys, any further than they are employ’d for the publick Good, is foolish, and flows from our moral Sense, grounded upon a false Opinion; for if || we plainly see them ma- liciously employ’d, they make the Agent more detestable.

XI. To find a universal || 55 Canon|| to compute the Morality of any Ac- tions, with all their Circumstances, when we judge of the Actions done by our selves, or by others, [183] we must observe the following Propo- sitions, or Axioms.

1. || 56a The moral Importance of any Agent, or the Quantity of publick Good produc’d by him, is in a compound Ratio of his Benevolence and Abilitys: or (by substituting the initial Letters for the Words, as M = Moment of Good, and /x = Moment of Evil) M = B X A.

2. | [ 57h In like manner, the Moment of private Good, or Interest produc’d by any Person to himself, is in a compound Ratio of his Self- Love, and Abilitys: or (substituting the initial Letters) I = S X A. b ||

3. When in comparing the Virtue of two Actions, the Abilitys of the Agents are equal; the || 58c Moment of publick Good produc’d by them in like Circumstances, is as the Benevolence: or M = B X I c .||

4. When Benevolence in two Agents is equal, and other Circum- stances alike; the Moment of publick Good is as the Abilitys: or M = A X 1.

5. The Virtue then of Agents, or their Benevolence, is always directly as the Moment of Good produc’d in like Circumstances, and inversly as their Abilitys: or B = a. [184]

6. But as the natural Consequences of our Actions are various, some good to our selves, and evil to the Publick; and others evil to our selves, and good to the Publick; or either useful both to our selves and others, or pernicious to both; the entire || 59d Motive to d || good Actions is not always Benevolence alone; || 60e or Motive to Evil e ||, Malice alone; (nay, || 61f this last is seldom any Motive at all f ||) but in most Actions we must



look upon Self-Love as another Force, sometimes conspiring with Be- nevolence, and assisting it, when we are excited by Views of private In- terest, as well as publick Good; and sometimes opposing Benevolence, when the good Action is any way difficult or painful in the Performance, or detrimental in its Consequences to the Agent. In the former Case, M = (B + S) X A = BA + SA; and therefore BA = M — SA = M — I, and B — In the latter Case, M = (B — S) X A = BA — SA; therefore BA = M + SA = M + I, and B = ^‘H.

These selfish Motives shall be* || 62 hereafter|| more fully explain’d; here we may in general denote them by the Word In-[i85]terest: which when it concurs with Benevolence, in any Action capable of Increase, or Diminution, must produce a greater Quantity of Good, than Benevo- lence alone in the same Abilitys; and therefore when the Moment of Good, in an Action partly intended for the Good of the Agent, is but equal to the Moment of Good in the Action of another Agent, influenc’d only by Benevolence, the former is less virtuous; and in this Case the Interest must be deducted to find the true Effect of the Benevolence, or Virtue. In the same manner, when Interest is opposite to Benevo- lence, and yet is surmounted by it; this Interest must be added to the Moment, to increase the Virtue of the Action, or the Strength of the Benevolence 1 1 63 : Or thus, in advantageous Virtue, B = M a \ And in laborious, painful, dangerous or expensive Virtue, B = “ir||- By In- terest, in this last Case, is understood all the Advantage which the Agent might have obtain’d by omitting the Action, which is a negative Motive to it; and this, when subtracted, becomes positive.

But here we must observe, that no Advantage, not intended, altho casually, or naturally redounding to us from the Action, [186] does at all affect its Morality to make it less amiable; nor does any Difficulty or Evil unforeseen, or not resolved upon, 64 make a kind Action more virtuous; since in such Cases Self-Love neither assists nor opposes Benevolence. Nay, Self-Interest then only diminishes the Benevolence, when without this View of Interest the Action would not have been undertaken, or so much Good would not have been produc’d by the Agent; and it exten-

Intention, and Foresight, affect Actions.

Vide Sect. v.



Perfect Virtue.

Moral Evil, how computed.

uates the Vice of an evil Action, only when without this Interest the Action would not have been || 65 pleasing to || the Agent, or so much Evil have been produc’d by him.

The || 66 sixth|| Axiom only explains the external Marks by which Men must judge, who do not see into each others Hearts; for it may really happen in many Cases, that Men may have Benevolence sufficient to surmount any Difficulty, and yet they may meet with none at all: And in that Case, it is certain there is as much Virtue in the Agent, tho he does not give such Proof of it to his Fellow-Creatures, as if he had sur- mounted Difficultys in his kind Actions. And this too must be the Case with the Deity, to whom nothing is difficult. [187]

Since then || 67 Benevolence, or Virtue in any Agent, is as x, or as ^"x 1 , and no Being can act above his natural Ability ||; that must be the Per- fection of Virtue where || 68 M = A 1 1 , or when the Being acts to the utmost of his Power for the publick Good; and hence the Perfection of Virtue in this Case, || 69 or a, ]| is as Unity. And this may shew us the only Foun- dation for the boasting of the Stoicks, “That a Creature suppos’d In- nocent, by pursuing Virtue with his utmost Power, may in Virtue equal the Gods.” For in their Case, if || 70 [A] or || the Ability be Infinite, unless || 71 [M] or || the Good to be produc’d in the whole, be so too, the Virtue is not absolutely perfect; and the Quotient can never surmount Unity.

|| 72a XII. The same Axioms may be apply’d to compute the moral Evil in Actions; that is, calling the Disposition which leads us to Evil, Hatred, tho it is oftner only Self-Eove, with Inadvertence to its Consequences: then,

1st. The Moment of Evil produc’d by any Agent, is as the Product of his Hatred into his Ability, or p = H X A. And, [188]

2dly. In equal Abilitys, || 73b H = p, X I b ||.

3dly. When Hatred is equal; p. = A X I: And,

4thly. The Degree of moral Evil, or Vice, which is equal to the Hatred or Neglect of publick Good, is thus express’d, H = a.

5thly. The Motives of Interest may || 74c co-operate with Hatred, or oppose 0 1 1 it the same way as with Benevolence; and then according as



Self-Interest may partly excite to the Action, and so diminish the Evil; or dissuade from it, and so increase it, the Malice which surmounts it, or H = in like manner as in the Case of moral Good. a ||

But we must observe, that not only Innocence is expected from all Mortals, but they are presum’d from their Nature, in some measure in- clin’d to publick Good 75 ; so that a bare Absence of this Desire is enough to make an Agent be reputed Evil; Nor is a direct Intention of publick Evil necessary to make an Action evil, it is enough that it flows from Self- Love, with a plain Neglect of the Good of others|| 76 , or an Insensi- [189] bility of their Misery, which we either actually foresee, or have a probable Presumption of.

It is true indeed, that that publick Evil which I neither certainly fore- see, nor have actual Presumptions of, as the Consequence of my Action, does not make my present Action Criminal, or Odious; even altho I might have foreseen this Evil by a serious Examination of my own Ac- tions; because such Actions do not, at present, evidence either Malice, or want of Benevolence. But then it is also certain, that my prior Neg- ligence, in not examining the Tendency of my Actions, is a plain Evi- dence of the want of that Degree of good Affections which is necessary to a virtuous Character; and consequently the Guilt properly lies in this Neglect, rather than in an Action which really flows from a good Inten- tion. Human Laws however, which cannot examine the Intentions, or secret Knowledge of the Agent, must judge in gross of the Action itself; presupposing all that Knowledge as actually attain’d, which we are ob- lig’d to attain.

In like manner, no good Effect which I did not actually foresee and intend, makes my Action morally Good; however Human Laws or Gov- ernours, who cannot search into Mens Intentions, or know their [190] secret Designs, justly reward Actions which tend to the publick Good, altho the Agent was engag’d to those Actions only by selfish Views; and consequently had no virtuous Disposition influencing him to them.

The difference in degree of Guilt between Crimes of Ignorance, when the Ignorance is Vincible, and Faulty, as to the natural Tendency of the Action; and Crimes of Malice, or direct evil Intention, consists in this; that the former, by a prior Neglect, argues a want of the due degree of



I 3 2


Morality distinct from Interest.

Morality of Characters.

Benevolence, or right Affection; the latter, evidences direct evil Affec- tions, which are vastly more odious ||.

XIII. || 77 From Axiom the 5 th 1 1 , we may form almost a demonstrative Conclusion, “that we have a Sense of Goodness and moral Beauty in Actions, distinct from Advantage;” for had we no other Foundation of Approbation of Actions, but the Advantage which might arise to us from them, if they were done toward our selves, we |[ 78 should || make no Ac- count of the Abilitys of the Agent, but would barely esteem them ac- cording to their Moment. The Abilitys come in only to shew the Degree of Benevolence, which supposes Benevolence necessarily amiable. Who was ever the better pleas’d with a barren rocky [191] Farm, or an incon- venient Flouse, by being told that the poor Farm gave as great Increase as it could; or that the Flouse accommodated its Possessor as well as it could? And yet in our Sentiments of Actions, whose Moment is very inconsiderable, it shall wonderfully increase the Beauty to alledge, “That it was all the poor Agent could do for the Publick, or his Friend. ”

XIV. The moral Beauty of Characters arises from their Actions, or sincere Intentions of the publick Good, according to their Power. We form our Judgment of them according to what appears to be their fix’d Disposi- tion, and not according to any particular Sallys of unkind Passions; altho these abate the Beauty of good Characters, as the Motions of the kind Affections diminish the Deformity of the bad ones. What then properly constitutes a virtuous Character, is not some few accidental Motions of Compassion, natural Affection, or Gratitude; but such a fix’d Flumanity, or Desire of the publick Good of all, to whom our Influence can extend, as uniformly excites us to all Acts of || 79 Beneficence, according to our utmost Prudence and Knowledge of the Interests of others: and a strong Benevolence will not fail to make us || careful of informing our selves right, concerning the truest Methods [192] of serving 1 1 80 the Interests of Mankind 1 1 . Every Motion indeed of the kind Affections appears in some degree amiable; but we denominate the Character from the prevailing Principle.



XV. 1 1 8 1 1 Know not for what Reason some will not allow that to be Virtue, which flows from Instincts, or Passions; but how do they help them- selves? They say, “Virtue arises from Reason.” What is Reason but that Sagacity we have in prosecuting any End? The ultimate End propos’d by the common Moralists is the Happiness of the Agent himself, and this certainly he is determin’d to pursue from Instinct.|| Now may not another Instinct toward the Publick, or the Good of others, be as proper a Principle of Virtue, as the Instinct toward private Happiness? || 82 And is there not the same Occasion for the Exercise of our Reason in pursuing the former, as the latter? || This is certain, that whereas we behold the selfish Actions of others, with Indifference at best, we see something ami- able in every Action which flows from kind Affections or Passions toward others; if they be conducted by Prudence, so as any way to attain their || 83a End. Our passionate Actions, as we shew’d* above, are not || 84b al- ways b || Self-interested; since our In- [193] tendon is not to free our selves from the Uneasiness of the Passion, but to alter the State of the Object. 2 1 | 85 If it be said, “That Actions from Instinct, are not the Effect of Pru- dence and Choice;” this Objection holds full as strongly against the Ac- tions which flow from || 86 Self-Love; since the use of our Reason is as requisite, to find the proper Means of promoting publick Good, as pri- vate Good. And as it must be an Instinct, or a Determination previous to Reason, which makes us pursue private Good, as well as publick Good, as our End; there is the same occasion for Prudence and Choice, in the Election of proper Means for promoting of either. I see || no harm in supposing, “that Men are naturally dispos’d to Virtue, and not left merely indifferent, || 87 to be ingag’d in Actions only as they appear to tend to their own private Good.||” Surely, the Supposition of a benev- olent universal Instinct, would recommend human Nature, and its Au- thor, more to the Love of a good Man, and leave room enough for the Exercise of our Reason, in contriving and settling Rights, Laws, Con- stitutions; in inventing Arts, and practising them so as to gratify, in the most effectual manner, that generous Inclination. And if we must bring in Self-Love to make Virtue Rational, a [194] little Reflection will dis-

Instinct may be the spring of Virtue.

See Sect. ii. Art. 8.



Heroism, in all stations.

cover, as shall appear hereafter, that this Benevolence is our greatest Hap- piness; and thence we may resolve to cultivate, as much as possible, this sweet Disposition, and to despise every opposite Interest. Not that we can be truly Virtuous, if we intend only to obtain the Pleasure which

1 1 88 accompanies 1 1 Beneficence, without the Love of others: Nay, this very Pleasure is founded on our being conscious of disinterested Love to oth- ers, as the Spring of our Actions. But Self-Interest may be our Motive,

1 1 89 in chusing to || continue in this agreeable State, tho it cannot be the sole, or principal Motive of any Action, which to our moral Sense ap- pears Virtuous 90 .

|| 91 The applying a mathematical Calculation to moral Subjects, will appear perhaps at first extravagant and wild; but some Corollarys, which are easily and certainly deduc’d below,* may shew the Conveniency of this Attempt, if it could be further pursu’d. At present, we shall only draw this one||, which seems the most joyful imaginable, even to the lowest rank of Mankind, viz. “That no external Circumstances of For- tune, no involuntary Disadvantages, can exclude any Mortal from the most heroick Virtue.” For how small soever the Moment of publick Good be, [195] which any one can accomplish, yet if his Abilitys are proportionably small, the || 92 Quotient, which expresses the Degree of || Virtue, may be as great as any whatsoever. Thus, not only the Prince, the Statesman, the General, are capable of true Heroism, tho these are the chief Characters, whose Fame is diffus’d thro various Nations and Ages; but when we find in an honest Trader, the kind Friend, the faithful prudent Adviser, the charitable and hospitable Neighbour, the tender Husband and affectionate Parent, the sedate yet chearful Companion, the generous Assistant of Merit, the cautious Allayer of Contention and Debate, the Promoter of Love and good Understanding among Ac- quaintances; if we consider, that these were all the good Offices which his Station in the World gave him an Opportunity of performing to Mankind, we must judge this Character really as amiable, as those, whose external Splendor dazzles an injudicious World into an Opinion, “that they are the only Heroes in Virtue.” [196]

See Sect. vii. Art. 8, 9.


All Mankind agree in this general Foundation of their Approbation of moral Actions. The Grounds of the different Opinions about Morals.

I. To H'shewll how far Mankind agree in that which we have made the universal Foundation of this moral Sense, viz. Benevolence, we have ob- serv’d already,* that when we are ask’d the Reason of our Approbation of any Action, we || 2 perpetually|| alledge its Usefulness to the Publick, and not to the Actor himself. If we are vindicating a censur’d Action, and maintaining it lawful, we || 3 always|| make this one Article of our Defence, “That it injur’d no body, or did more Good than Harm.” On the other hand, when we blame any piece of Conduct, we shew it to be prejudicial to others, besides the Actor; or to evidence at least a Neglect of their Interest, when it was in our power to serve them; or when Grat- itude, natural Affection, or some other disinterested Tye [197] should have rais’d in us a Study of their Interest. || 4a Ifwe sometimes blame fool- ish Conduct in others, without any reflection upon its Tendency to pub- lick Evil, it is || 5b still b || occasion’d by our Benevolence, which makes us concern’d for the Evils befalling || 6c the Agent, whom we must always look upon as a part of the System. ac || We all know how great an Exten- uation of Crimes it is, to alledge, “That the poor Man does harm to no

  • See above, Sect. iii. Art. 3. Par. 3.

This Moral






body but himself;” and how often this turns Hatred into Pity. And yet 1 1 7 if we examine the Matter well, || we shall find, that the greatest part of the Actions which are immediately prej udicial to our selves, and are often look’d upon as innocent toward others, do really tend to the publick Detriment, by making us incapable of performing the good Offices we could otherwise have done, and perhaps would have been inclin’d to do. This is the Case of Intemperance and extravagant Luxury.

Benevolence the sole ground of Approbation.



II. And further, we may observe, that no Action of any other Person was ever approv’d by us, but upon some Apprehension, well or ill grounded, of some really good moral Quality. If we observe the Sentiments of Men concerning Actions, we shall find, that it is always some really amiable and benevolent Appearance which engages their Approbation. We may perhaps commit Mistakes, in judging that Actions tend [198] to the pub- lick Good, which do not; or be so || 8 stupidly|| inadvertent, that while our Attention is fix’d on some partial good Effects, we may quite over- look many evil Consequences which counter-ballance the Good. Our Reason may be very deficient in its Office, by giving us partial Repre- sentations of the tendency of Actions; but it is still some apparent Species of Benevolence which commands our Approbation. And this Sense, like our other Senses, tho counter- acted || 9 from Motives of external Advan- tage, which are stronger than it ||, ceases not to operate, but || I0 has Strength enough to make|| us uneasy and dissatisfy’d with our selves; even as the Sense of Tasting makes us loath, and dislike the nauseous Potion which we may force our selves, from Interest, to swallow.

It is therefore to no purpose to alledge here, “That many Actions are really done, and approv’d, which tend to the universal Detriment.” For the same way, Actions are often perform’d, and in the mean time ap- prov’d, which tend to the Hurt of the Actor. But as we do not from the latter, infer the Actor to be void of Self-Love, or a Sense of Interest; no more should we infer from the former, that such Men are void of a Sense of Morals, or a desire of publick [199] Good. The matter is plainly this. Men are often mistaken in the Tendency of Actions either to publick, or private Good: Nay, sometimes violent Passions, while they last, will make them approve very bad Actions || n in a moral|| Sense, || 12 or|| very



pernicious ones to the Agent, || 13 as|| advantageous: But this proves only, “That sometimes there may be some more violent Motive to Action, than a Sense of moral Good; or that Men, by Passion, may become blind even to their own Interest.”

|| 14 But to prove that Men|| are void of a moral Sense, we should find some Instances of cruel, malicious Actions, done, || 15 and approv’d in others, when there is no Motive of Interest, real or apparent, save grat- ifying that very Desire of Mischief to others ||: We must find a Country where Murder in cold blood, Tortures, and every thing malicious, with- out any Advantage, is, if not approv’d, at least look’d upon with indif- ference, and raises no Aversion toward the Actors, in the unconcern’d Spectators: We must find Men with whom the Treacherous, Ungrateful, Cruel, are in the same account with the Generous, Friendly, Faithful, and Humane; and who approve the latter, no more than the former, in all Cases where they are not affected by the Influence of these Disposi- tions, or when the natural Good or Evil befals other [200] Persons. And it may be question’d, whether the Universe, tho large enough, and stor’d with no inconsiderable variety of Characters, will yield us any Instance, not only of a Nation, but even of a Club, or a single Person, who will think all Actions indifferent, but those which || I 6 regard|| his own Con- cerns.

III. From what has been said, we may easily account for the vast Diversity of moral Principles, in various Nations, and Ages; || 17 which is indeed a good Argument against innate Ideas, or Principles, but will not evidence Mankind to be void of a moral Sense to perceive Virtue or Vice in Ac- tions, when they occur to their Observation.

The 1 1 Grounds of this Diversity are principally these:

1st. Different Opinions of Happiness, or natural Good, and of the most effectual Means to advance it. Thus in one Country, where there prevails a courageous Disposition, where Liberty is counted a great Good, and War an inconsiderable Evil, all Insurrections in Defence of Privileges, will have the Appearance of moral Good to our Sense, because of their appearing benevolent; and yet the same Sense of moral Good in

Diversity of Manners accounted for.

From various Notions of Happiness.



Travellers accounts of barbarous Customs.

Benevolence, shall [201] in another Country, where the Spirits of Men are more abject and timorous, where Civil War appears the greatest nat- ural Evil, and Liberty no great Purchase, make the same Actions appear odious. So in Sparta, where, thro Contempt of Wealth, the Security of Possessions was not much regarded, but the thing chiefly desir’d, as nat- urally good to the State, was to abound in a hardy shifting Youth; Theft, if dexterously perform’d, was so little odious, that it receiv’d the Coun- tenance of a Law to give it Impunity.

18 But in these, and all other Instances of the like nature, the Appro- bation is founded on Benevolence, because of some real, or apparent Tendency to the publick Good, for we are not to imagine, that this Sense should give us, without Observation, Ideas of complex Actions, or of their natural Tendencys to Good or Evil: It only determines us to ap- prove Benevolence, whenever it appears in any Action, and to hate the contrary. So our Sense of Beauty does not, without Reflection, Instruc- tion, or Observation, give us Ideas of the regular Solids, Temples, Cirques, and Theatres; but determines us to approve and delight in Uni- formity amidst Variety, wherever we observe it. Let us read the Preambles of any Laws we count unjust, or the Vindications of any dispu-[202]ted Practice by the Moralists, and we shall find no doubt, that Men are often mistaken in computing the Excess of the natural Good, or evil Conse- quences of certain Actions; but the Ground on which any Action is ap- prov’d, is still some Tendency to the greater natural Good of others, apprehended by those who approve it.

The same Reason may remove also the Objections against the Uni- versality of this Sense, from some Storys of Travellers, concerningstrange Crueltys practis’d toward the Aged, or Children, in certain Countrys. If such Actions be done in || 19 sudden|| angry Passions, they only prove, that other Motives, or Springs of Action, may overpower Benevolence in its strongest Ties; and if they really be universally allow’d, look’d upon as innocent, and vindicated; it || 20 is certainly || under some Appearance of Benevolence; such as to secure them from Insults of Enemys, to avoid the Infirmitys of Age, which perhaps appear greater Evils than Death, or to free the vigorous and useful Citizens from the Charge of main-



taining them, or the Troubles of Attendance upon them. A love of Plea- sure and Ease, may, in the immediate Agents, be stronger in some In- stances, than Gratitude toward Parents, or natural Affection to Children. But that such Nations are continu’d, notwithstanding all the [203] Toil in educating their Young, is still a sufficient Proof of natural Affection: For I fancy we are not to imagine any nice Laws in such Places, com- pelling Parents to a proper Education of some certain number of their Offspring. We know very well that an Appearance of publick Good, was the Ground of Laws, equally barbarous, enacted by Lycurgus and Solon, of killing the deform’d, or weak, to prevent a burdensome Croud of useless Citizens. 1

|| 21a A late ingenious Author* has justly observ’d the Absurdity of the monstrous Taste, which has possess’d both the Readers and Writers of Travels. || 22b They scarce give us any Account b || of the natural Affections, the Familys, Associations, Friendships, Clans, of the Indians; and as || 23c rarely c || do they mention their Abhorrence of Treachery among themselves; their Proneness to mutual Aid, and to the Defence of their several States; their Contempt of Death in defence of their Country, or upon points of Honour. “These are but common Storys. — No need to travel to the Indies for what we see in Europe every Day.” The Enter- tainment therefore in these ingenious Studys consists chiefly in exciting Horror, and making Men Stare. The ordinary Employment of [204] the Bulk of the Indians in support of their Wives and Offspring, or Rela- tions, has nothing of the Prodigious. But a Human Sacrifice, a Feast upon Enemys Carcases, can raise an Horror and Admiration of the won- drous Barbarity of Indians, in Nations no strangers to the Massacre at Paris, the Irish Rebellion, or the Journals of the Inquisition. These they

i. Concerning Solon, Hutcheson refers to a passage in Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrho- neion Hypotyposeon, Book III, 211; in R. G. Bury (ed.), Sextus Empiricus, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961, vol. 1, p. 267, reporting that the father had been allowed to kill his son. Lycurgus ’s law on killing of the weak and malformed is mentioned in Plutarch’s Lives, ed. B. Perrin, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967, vol. 1, p. 255.

  • Ld. Shaftesbury, Vol. i. p. 346, 7, 8, 9, &c.



Use of Reason in Morals.

behold with religious Veneration; but the Indian Sacrifices, flowing from a like Perversion of Humanity by Superstition, raise the highest Abhor- rence and Amazement. What is most surprizing in these Studys, is the wondrous Credulity of some Gentlemen, of great Pretensions in other matters to Caution of Assent, for these marvellous Memoirs of Monks, Fryars, Sea-Captains, Pyrates; and for the Historys, Annals, Chronol- ogys, receiv’d by Oral Tradition, or Hieroglyphicks. a ||

Men have Reason given them, to || 24 judge of the Tendencys of their || Actions, that they may not stupidly follow the first Appearance of pub- lick Good; but it is still some Appearance of Good which they pursue. And it is strange, that Reason is universally allow’d to Men, notwith- standing all the stupid, ridiculous Opinions receiv’d in many Places, and yet absurd Practices, founded upon those very Opinions, shall seem an Argument against any moral Sense; [205] altho the bad Conduct is not || 25 owing to|| any Irregularity in the moral Sense, but || 26 to a wrong|| Judgment or Opinion. If putting the Aged to death, with all its Con- sequences, really tends to the publick Good, and 1 1 27 to 1 1 the lesser Misery of the Aged, it is no doubt justifiable; nay, perhaps the Aged chuse it, in hopes of a future State. If a deform’d, or weak Race, could never, by Ingenuity and Art, make themselves useful to Mankind, but should grow an absolutely unsupportable Burden, so as to involve a whole State in Misery, it is just to put them to death. This all allow to be just, in the Case of an over-loaded Boat in a Storm. And as for killing of their Chil- dren, when Parents are sufficiently stock’d, it is perhaps practis’d, and allow’d from Self-love; but I can scarce think it passes for a good Action any where. If Wood, or Stone, or Metal be || 28 a Deity ||, have Govern- ment, and Power, and have been the Authors of Benefits to us; it is mor- ally amiable to praise and worship them. Or if the true Deity be pleas’d with Worship before Statues, or any other Symbol of some more im- mediate Presence, or Influence; Image-Worship is virtuous. Ifhe delights in Sacrifices, Penances, Ceremonys, Cringings; they are all laudable. Our Sense of Virtue, generally leads us exactly enough according to our Opinions; and therefore the absurd [206] Practices which prevail in the World, are much better Arguments that Men have no Reason, than that they have no moral Sense of Beauty in Actions.



IV. The next Ground of Diversity in Sentiments, is the Diversity of Sys- tems, to which Men, from foolish Opinions, confine their Benevolence. We 1 1 29 insinuated 1 1 above,* that it is regular and beautiful to have stronger Benevolence, toward the morally good Parts of Mankind, who are useful to the Whole, than toward the useless or pernicious. Now if Men receive a low, or base Opinion of any Body, or Sect of Men; if they imagine them bent upon the Destruction of the more valuable Parts, or but useless Burdens of the Earth; Benevolence itself will lead || 30 them|| to neglect the Interests of such, and to suppress them. This is the Reason, why, among Nations who have high Notions of Virtue, every Action toward an Enemy may pass for just; why Romans, and Greeks, could approve of making those they call’d Barbarians, Slaves.

|| 31 A late ingenious Authorf justly observes, “That the various Sects, Partys, Factions, Cabals of Mankind in larger [207] Societys, are all in- fluenc’d by a publick Spirit: That some generous Notions of publick Good, some strong friendly Dispositions, raise them at first, and excite Men of the same Faction or Cabal to the most disinterested mutual Suc- cour and Aid: That all the Contentions of the different Factions, and even the fiercest Wars against each other, are influenc’d by a sociable publick Spirit in a limited System.” But certain it is, that Men are little oblig’d to those, who often artfully raise and foment this Party Spirit; or cantonize them into several Sects for the Defence of very trifling Causes. Associations for innocent Commerce, or Manufactures; Cabals for De- fence of Fiberty against a Tyrant; or even lower Clubs for Pleasantry, or Improvement by Conversation, are very amiable and good. But when Mens heads are filled with some trifling Opinions; when designing Men raise in their Minds some unaccountable notion of Sanctity, and Reli- gion, in Tenets or Practices, which neither increase our Fove to God, or our own Species; when the several Factions are taught to look upon each other as Odious, Contemptible, Profane, because of their different Ten- ets, or Opinions; even when these Tenets, whether true or false, are per- haps perfectly useless to the publick Good; when the keenest Passions

Narrow Systems pervert the moral Sense.


pernicious to Virtue.

  • See Sect. iii. Art. 10. Par. 1.

t Ld. Shaftesbury’s Essay on Wit and Humour, Part iii. Sect. ii. Vol. 1. p. no.



are rais’d about such Trifles, and [208] Men begin to hate each other for what, of it self, has no Evil in it; and to love the Zealots of their own Sect for what is no way valuable; nay, even for their Fury, Rage, and Malice against opposite Sects; (which is what all Partys commonly call Zeal) ’tis then no wonder if our moral Sense be much impair’d, and our natural Notions of Good and Evil almost lost; when our Admiration, and Love, or Contempt, and Hatred, are thus perverted from their nat- ural Objects.

If any Mortals are so happy as never to have heard of the Party-Tenets of most of our Sects; or if they have heard of them, have either never espous’d any Sect, or all equally; they bid fairest for a truly natural and good Disposition, because their Tempers have never been soured about vain Trifles; nor have they contracted any Sullenness, or Rancour against any Part of their own Kind. If any Opinions deserve to be contended for, they are those which give us lovely Ideas of the Deity, and of our Fellow-Creatures: If any Opinions deserve Opposition, they are such as raise Scruples in our Minds about the Goodness of Providence, or rep- resent our Fellow-Creatures as base and selfish, by instilling into us some ill-natur’d, cunning, shreud Insinuations, “that our most generous Ac- tions proceed wholly from [209] selfish Views.” This wise Philosophy of some Moderns, after Epicurus, must be fruitful of nothing but Discon- tent, Suspicion, and Jealousy; a State infinitely worse than any little tran- sitory Injurys to which we might be expos’d by a good-natur’d Credulity. But thanks be to the kind Author of our Nature, that, in spite of such Opinions, our Nature it self leads us into Friendship, Trust, and mutual Confidence.||

Were we freely conversant with Robbers, who shew a moral Sense in the equal or proportionable Division of their Prey, and in Faith to each other, we should find they have their own sublime moral Ideas of their Party, as Generous, Courageous, Trusty, nay Honest too; and that those we call Honest and Industrious, are imagin’d by them to be Mean- spirited, Selfish, Churlish, or Luxurious; on whom that Wealth is ill be- stow’d, which therefore they would apply to better Uses, to maintain gallanter Men, who have a Right to a Living as well as their Neighbours, who are their profess’d Enemys. Nay, if we observe the Discourse of our



profess’d Debauchees, our most dissolute Rakes, we shall find their Vices cloth’d, in their Imaginations, with some amiable Dress of Liberty, Gen- erosity, just Resentment against the Contrivers of artful Rules to [210] enslave Men, and rob them of their Pleasures.

32 Perhaps never any Men pursu’d || 33 Vice long with Peace of Mind ||, without some such deluding Imagination of moral Good,* while they may be still inadvertent to the barbarous and inhuman Consequences of their Actions. The Idea of an ill-natur’d Villain, is too frightful ever to become familiar to any Mortal. Hence we shall find, that the basest Actions are dress’d in some tolerable Mask. What others call Avarice, appears to the Agent a prudent Care of a Family, or Friends; Fraud, artful Conduct; Malice and Revenge, a just Sense of Honour, and a Vindi- cation of our Right in Possessions, or Fame; Fire and Sword, and Des- olation among Enemys, a just thorow Defence of our Country; Perse- cution, a Zeal for the Truth, and for the eternal Happiness ofMen, which Hereticks oppose. In all these Instances, Men generally act from a Sense of Virtue upon false Opinions, and mistaken Benevolence; upon wrong or partial Views of publick Good, and the means to promote it; or upon very narrow Systems form’d by like foolish Opinions. It is not a Delight in the Misery of others, or Malice, which occasions the horrid Crimes which fill our [211] Historys; but generally an injudicious unreasonable Enthusiasm for some kind of limited Virtue.

Insani sapiens nomen ferat, aequus iniqui,

Ultra, quam satis est, Virtutem si petat ipsam.t 11

V. The last Ground of Diversity which occurs, are the false Opinions of the Will or Laws of the Deity. To obey these we are determin’d from Gratitude, and a Sense of Right imagin’d in the Deity, to dispose at plea-

  • See below, Sect. vi. Art. 2. Par. 2.

f Hor. Ep. 6. Lib. 1. v. 15.

ii. Translation: “Let the wise bear the name of madman, the just of unjust, should he pursue Virtue herself beyond due bonds.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, andArsPoetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, pp. 286-87.)

False Opinions of the divine Laws.



Objection from Incest.

sure the Fortunes of his Creatures. This is so abundantly known to have produc’d Follys, Superstitions, Murders, Devastations of Kingdoms, from a Sense of Virtue and Duty, that it is needless to mention particular Instances. Only we may observe, “That all those Follys, or Barbaritys, rather confirm than destroy the Opinion of a moral Sense;” since the Deity is believ’d to have a Right to dispose of his Creatures; and Grat- itude to him, if he be conceiv’d good, must move us to Obedience to his Will: if he be not conceiv’d good, Self-love may overcome our moral Sense of the Action which we undertake to avoid his Fury. [212]

As for the Vices which commonly proceed from Love of Pleasure, or any violent Passion, since generally the Agent is soon sensible of their Evil, and that sometimes amidst the heat of the Action, they only prove, “That this moral Sense, and Benevolence, may be overcome by the more importunate Sollicitations of other Desires.”

VI. Before we leave this Subject, it is necessary to remove one of the strongest Objections against what has been said so often, viz. “That this Sense is natural, and independent on Custom and Education.” The Ob- jection is this, “That we shall find some Actions always attended with the strongest Abhorrence, even at first View, in some whole Nations, || 34 in which there appears nothing contrary to Benevolence ||; and that the same Actions shall in another Nation be counted innocent, or hon- ourable. 35 Thus Incest, among Christians, is abhorr’d at first appearance as much as Murder; || 36 even by those who do not know or reflect upon any necessary tendency of it to the detriment of Mankind. Now we gen- erally allow, that what is from Nature in one Nation, would be so in all. This 1 1 Abhorrence therefore cannot be from Nature, since in Greece, the [213] marrying half Sisters was counted honourable; and among the Per- sian Magi, 11 ' the marrying of Mothers. Say they then, may not all our Approbation or Dislike of Actions arise the same way from Custom and Education?”

iii. The Magi were the priestly caste of the ancient Persian Zoroastrian or Mazdean religion.



The Answer to this may be easily found from what is already said. Had we no moral Sense natural to us, we should only look upon Incest as hurtful to our selves, and shun it, and never |[ 37 hate|| other incestuous Persons, more than we do a broken Merchant; so that still this Abhor- rence supposes a Sense of moral Good. And further, it is true, that many who abhor Incest do not know, or reflect upon the natural tendency of some sorts of Incest to the publick Detriment; but wherever it is hated, it is apprehended as offensive to the Deity, and that it exposes the || 38 Per- son |[ concern’d to his just Vengeance. Nowit is universally acknowledg’d to be the grossest Ingratitude and Baseness, in any Creature, to coun- teract the Will of the Deity, to whom it is under such Obligations. This then is plainly a moral evil Quality apprehended in Incest, and reducible to the general Foundation of || 39 Malice, or rather Want ofBenevolence||. Nay further, where this Opinion, “that Incest is offensive to the Deity,” prevails, Incest must have another direct Contrariety to Benevolence; since [214] we must apprehend the Incestuous, as exposing an Associate, who should be dear to him by the Ties of Nature, to the lowest State of Misery, and Baseness, Infamy and Punishment. But in those Countrys where no such Opinion prevails of the Deity’s abhorring [| 40 or prohib- iting Incest; if no obvious natural Evils attend it||, it may be look’d upon as innocent. And further, as Men who have the Sense of Tasting, may, by Company and Education, have Prejudices against Meats they never tasted, as unsavoury; so may Men, who have a moral Sense, acquire an Opinion by implicit Faith, of the moral Evil of Actions, altho they do not themselves discern in them any tendency to natural Evil; imagining that others [| 41 do: or, by Education, they may have some Ideas associated, which raise an abhorrence without Reason. But|| without a moral Sense, we could receive no Prejudice against Actions, under any other View than as naturally disadvantageous to our selves.

VII. The Universality of this moral Sense, and that it is antecedent to Instruction, may appear from observing the Sentiments of Children, upon hearing the Storys with which they are commonly entertain’d as soon as they understand Language. They always passionately interest

Moral Sense not from Education.



themselves on that side where Kindness and Humanity are found; and detest the Cruel, the Covetous, [215] the Selfish, or the Treacherous. How strongly do we see their Passions of Joy, Sorrow, Love, and Indignation, mov’d by these moral Representations, even tho there has been no pains taken to give them Ideas of a Deity, of Laws, of a future State, or of the more intricate Tendency of the universal Good to that of each Individual! [216]


A further Confirmation that we have practical Dispositions to Virtue implanted in our Nature; with a further Explication IP of our Instinct to Benevolence in its various Degrees ||; with the additional Motives of Interest, viz. Honour, Shame and Pity.

I. We have already endeavour’d to prove, “That there is a universal De- termination to Benevolence in Mankind, even toward the most distant parts of the Species:” But we are not to imagine that || 2 this Benevolence is equal, or in the same degree toward all.|| There are || 3 some|| nearer and stronger Degrees of Benevolence, when the Objects stand in some nearer relations to our selves, which have obtain’d distinct Names; such as nat- ural Affection, || 4 and|| Gratitude, || 5a or when Benevolence is increas’d by greater || 6b Love of ab || Esteem.

One Species of natural Affection, viz. That in Parents towards their Children, has [217] been consider’d already;* we || 7 shall only observe further ||, That there is the same kind of Affection among collateral Re- lations, tho in a weaker degree; which is universally observable where no Opposition of Interest produces contrary Actions, or counterballances the Power of this natural Affection.

  • See above, Sect. ii. Art. 9. Par. 2, 3.

Degrees of Benevolence.






Not founded on Merit, or Acquaintance.


8 We may also observe, that as to the Affection of Parents, it cannot be entirely founded on Merit || 9 or|| Acquaintance; not only because it is antecedent to all Acquaintance, which might occasion the || 10 Love of || Esteem; but because it operates where Acquaintance would produce Hatred, even toward Children apprehended to be vitious. And this Af- fection is further confirm’d to be from Nature, because it is always ob- serv’d to descendll 11 , and not ascend || from Children to Parents mutu- ally. Nature, who seems sometimes frugal in her Operations, has strongly determin’d Parents to the Care of their Children, because they univer- sally stand in absolute need of Support from them; but has left it|| 12 || to Reflection, and a Sense of Gratitude, to produce Returns of Love in Chil- dren, toward such tender kind Benefactors, who very seldom stand in such absolute need of Support from their Posterity, as their Chil- [218] dren did from them. Now did Acquaintance, or Merit produce nat- ural Affection, we surely should find it strongest in Children, on whom all the Obligations are laid by a thousand good Offices; which yet is quite contrary to Observation. Nay, this Principle seems not confin’d to Man- kind, but extends to other Animals, where yet we scarcely ever suppose any Ideas of Merit; and is observ’d to continue in them no longer than the Necessitys of their Young require. Nor could it be of any service to the Young that it should, since when they are grown up, they can receive little Benefit from the Love of their Dams. But as it is otherwise with rational Agents, so their Affections are of longer continuance, even dur- ing their whole lives.

II. But nothing will give us a juster Idea of the wise Order in which human Nature is form’d for universal Love, and mutual good Offices, than considering that strong attraction of Benevolence, which we call Gratitude. Every one knows that Beneficence toward our selves makes a much deeper Impression upon us, and raises Gratitude, or a stronger Love toward the Benefactor, than equal Beneficence toward a third Per- son.* Now because of the || 13 vast|| Numbers of Mankind, their distant

See above. Sect. ii. Art. 6 . Par. 3 .



Habi-[ 2 i 9 ]tations, and the Incapacity of any one to be remarkably useful to || 14 vast|| Multitudes; that our Benevolence might not be quite dis- tracted with a multiplicity of Objects, whose equal Virtues would equally recommend them to our regard; or || 15a become useless, by being equally extended to Multitudes || 16b at vast distances' 3 1|, whose Interest we could not understand 3 1 1, nor be capable of promoting, having no Intercourse of Offices with them; Nature has || 17a more powerfully determin’d us to admire, and love the moral Qualitys of others which affect our selves, and has given us more powerful Impressions of Good-will toward those who are beneficent to our || 18b selves 3 1|. This we call Gratitude. And thus a Foundation is laid b || for joyful Associations in all kinds of Business, and virtuous Friendships.

By this Constitution also the Benefactor is more encourag’d in his Beneficence, and better secur’d of an increase of Flappiness by grateful Returns,* than if his Virtue were only to be honour’d by the colder gen- eral Sentiments of Persons unconcern’d, who could not know his Ne- cessitys, nor how to be profitable to him; especially, when they would all be equally determin’d to love innumerable Multitudes, whose equal Virtues would have the same Pretensions to their Love|| 19 , were there not [ 220 ] an increase of Love, according as the Object is more nearly attach’d to us, or our Friends, by good Offices which affect our selves, or them 1 1.

|| 20 This || universal Benevolence toward all Men, we may compare to that Principle of Gravitation, which perhaps extends to all Bodys in the Universe; but || 21 , like the Love of Benevolence, || increases as the Dis- tance is diminish’d, and is strongest when Bodys come to touch each other. Now this increase 1 1 22 of Attraction || upon nearer Approach, is as necessary || 23 to the Frame of the Universe, || as that there should be any Attraction at all. For a general Attraction, equal in all Distances, would by the Contrariety of such multitudes of equal Forces, put an end to all Regularity of Motion, and perhaps stop it || 24 altogether. ||

1 1 25 This increase of Love toward the Benevolent, || according to their nearer Approaches to our selves by their Benefits, is observable in the

See above, Sect. iii. Art. 2. Par. 2.



Love of Honour.

high degree of Love, which Heroes and Law-givers universally obtain in their own Countrys, above what they find abroad, even among those who are not insensible of their Virtues; and in all the strong Ties of Friendship, Acquaintance, Neighbourhood, Partnership; which are ex- ceedingly necessary to the Order and Happiness of human Society. [221]

III. From considering that || 26 strong Determination in our Nature to |j Gratitude, and Love toward our Benefactors, which was already shewn to be disinterested;* we are easily led to consider another Determination of our Minds, equally natural with the former, which is to || 27 delight || in the good Opinion and Love of others, even when we expect no other Advantage from them, except what flows from this Constitution, whereby Honour is made an immediate Good. This Desire of Honour I would call Ambition, had not Custom join’d some evil Ideas to that Word, making it denote such a violent desire of Honour, and of Power also, as will make us stop at no base Means to obtain them. On the other hand, we are by Nature subjected to a grievous Sensation ofMisery, from the unfavourable Opinions of others concerning us, even when we dread no other Evil from them. This we call Shame; which in the same manner || 28 is constituted an immediate Evil, as we said Honour was an imme- diate Good. ||

Now were there no moral Sense, or had we no other Idea of Actions but as advantageous or hurtful, I see no reason why we should be de- lighted with Honour, or sub-[222]jected to the uneasiness of Shame; or how it could ever happen, that a Man, who is secure from Punishment for any Action, should ever be uneasy at its being known to all the World. The World may have || 29 the worse Opinion of him for it; but what sub- jects my Ease to the Opinion of the World? Why, perhaps, we|| shall not be so much trusted henceforward in Business, and so suffer Loss. If this be the only reason of Shame, and it has no immediate Evil, or Pain in it, distinct from Fear of Loss; then wherever we expose our selves to Loss,

See above, Sect. ii. Art. 6.



we should be asham’d, and endeavour to conceal the Action: and yet it is quite otherwise.

A Merchant, for instance, || 30 lest it should impair his Credit||, con- ceals a Shipwrack, or a very bad Market, which he has sent his Goods to. But is this the same with the Passion of Shame? Has he that Anguish, that Dejection of Mind, and Self-condemnation, which one shall have whose Treachery is detected? N ay, how will Men sometimes glory in their Losses, when in a Cause imagin’d morally good, tho they really weaken their Credit in the Merchant’s Sense; that is, the Opinion of their Wealth, or fitness for Business? Was any Man ever asham’d of impov- erishing himself to serve his Country, or his Friend? [223]

IV. The Opinions of our Country are by some made the first Standard of Virtue. They alledge, “That by comparing Actions to them, we first distinguish between moral Good, and Evil: And then, say they, Ambi- tion, or the Love of Honour, is our chief Motive.” But what is Honour? It is not the being universally known, no matter how. A covetous Man is not honour’d by being universally known as covetous; nor a weak, selfish, or luxurious Man, when he is known to be so: Much less can a treacherous, cruel, or ungrateful Man, be said to be honour’d for his being known as such. A Posture-master, a Fire-eater, or Practiser of Leger-de-main, is not honour’d for these publick Shews, unless we con- sider him as a Person capable of giving the Pleasures of Admiration and Surprize to Multitudes. Honour then is the Opinion of others concern- ing our morally good Actions, or Abilitys presum’d to be apply’d that way; for Abilitys constantly apply’d to other Purposes, procure the great- est Infamy. Now, it is certain, that Ambition|| 31 , or Love of Honour is really selfish ||; but then this Determination to love Honour, presupposes a Sense of moral Virtue, both in the Persons who confer the Honour, and in him who pursues it. [224]

32 And let it be observ’d, that if we knew an Agent had no other Motive of Action || 33 than|| Ambition, we should apprehend no Virtue even in his most useful Actions, since they flow’d not from any Love to others, or Desire || 34 of|| their Happiness. When Honour is thus constituted by


Foundation of Morals not the Opinions of our Country.

I 5 2


Opinions flow from the Moral Sense.

Nature pleasant to us, it may be an additional Motive to Virtue, as we said above,* the Pleasure arising from Reflection on our Benevolence was: but the Person whom we imagine perfectly virtuous, acts imme- diately from the Love of others; however these refin’d Interests may be joint Motives to him to set about such a Course of Actions, or to cultivate every kind Inclination, and to despise every contrary Interest, as giving a smaller Happiness than Reflection on his own Virtue, and Conscious- ness of the Esteem of others.

Shame is in the same manner constituted an immediate Evil, and in- fluences us the same way to abstain from moral Evil; not that any Action or Omission would appear virtuous, where the sole Motive was Fear of Shame.

V. But to enquire further, how far the Opinions of our Company can raise a Sense of moral Good or Evil. If any Opinion [225] be universal in any Country, Men of little Reflection will probably embrace it. If an Action be believ’d to be advantageous to the Agent, we may be led to believe so too, and then Self-Love may make us undertake it; or may, the same way, make us shun an Action reputed pernicious to the Agent. If an Action pass for advantageous to the Publick, we may believe so too; and what next? If we have no disinterested Benevolence, what shall move us to undertake it? “Why, we love Honour; and to obtain this Pleasure, we will undertake the Action from Self-Interest.” Now, is Honour only the Opinion of our Country that an Action is advantageous to the Pub- lick? No: we see no Honour paid to the useful Treachery of an Enemy whom we have brib’d to our Side, to casual undesign’d Services, or to the most useful Effects of Compulsion on Cowards; and yet we see Hon- our paid to unsuccessful Attempts to serve the Publick from sincere Love to it. Honour then presupposes a Sense of something amiable besides Advantage, || 35 viz.|| a Sense of Excellence in a publick Spirit; and there- fore the first Sense of moral Good must be antecedent to Honour, for Honour is founded upon it. 36 The Company we keep may lead us, with-

See Sect. iii. Art. 15. Par. 2.



out examining, to believe that certain Actions tend to the publick Good; but that our Company honours such Actions, and loves the Agent, must flow from a Sense of some [226] Excellence in this Love of the Publick, and serving its Interests.

“We therefore, say they again, pretend to love the Publick, altho we only desire the Pleasure of Honour; and we will applaud all who seem to act in that manner, either that we may reap Advantage from their Actions, or that others may believe we really love the Publick.” But shall any Man ever || 37 really love the Publick, or study the Good of others in his heart, if Self-love be 1 1 the only spring of his Actions? No: that is im- possible. Or, shall we ever really love Men who appear to love the Pub- lick, without a moral Sense? || 38 No: we could form no Idea of such a Temper; and as for these Pretenders to publick Love, we should hate|| them as Hypocrites, and our Rivals in Lame. Now this is all which could be effected by the Opinions of our Country, even supposing they had a moral Sense, provided we had none our selves: They never could make us admire Virtue, or virtuous Characters in others; but could only give us Opinions of Advantage, or Disadvantage in Actions, according as they tended || 39 procure to || us the Pleasures ofHonour, or the Pain ofShame.

But if we suppose that Men have, by Nature, a moral Sense of Good- ness in [227] Actions, and that they are capable of disinterested Love; all is easy. The Opinions of our Company may make us rashly conclude, that certain Actions tend to the universal Detriment, and are morally Evil, when perhaps they are not so; and then our Sense may determine us to have an Aversion to them, and their Authors; or we may, the same way, be led into implicit Prejudices in favour of Actions as good; and then our desire ofHonour may co-operate with Benevolence, to move us to such Actions: but had we no Sense of moral Qualitys in Actions, nor any Conceptions of them, except as advantageous or hurtful, we never could have honour’d or lov’d Agents for publick Love, or had any regard to their Actions, further than they affected our selves in particular. We might have form’d the metaphysical Idea of publick Good, but we had never desir’d it, 40 further than it tended to our own private Interest, without a Principle of Benevolence; nor admir’d and lov’d those who || 41 were|| studious of it, without a moral Sense. So far is Virtue from



Moral Sense, not from Love of Honour.

being (in the Language of a late* 1 Author) the Offspring of Flattery, begot upon Pride; that Pride, in the bad meaning of that Word, is the spurious Brood of Ignorance by our moral Sense, and Flattery only an Engine, which the [228] Cunning may use to turn this moral Sense in others, to the Purposes of Self-love in the Flatterer.

VI. To explain what has been said of the Power of Flonour. Suppose a State or Prince, observing the Money which is drawn out of England by Italian Musicians, should decree Flonours, Statues, Titles, for great Mu- sicians: This would certainly excite all who had hopes of Success, to the Study of Musick; and || 42 Men of a good Ear would approve of || the good Performers as useful Subjects, as well as very entertaining. But would this give all Men a good Ear, or make them delight in Flarmony? Or could it ever make us really love a Musician, who study’d nothing but his own Gain, in the same manner we do a Patriot, or a generous Friend? I doubt not. And yet Friendship, without the Assistance of Statues, or Flonours, can make Persons appear exceedingly amiable.

Let us take another Instance. Suppose Statues, and triumphal Arches were decreed, as well as a large Sum of Money, to the Discoverer of the Longitude, or any other useful Invention in Mathematicks: This would raise a universal Desire of such Knowledge from Self-Love; but would Men therefore love a Mathematician as they do a virtuous Man? Would a Mathema-[229] tician love every Person who had attain’d Perfection in that Knowledge, wherever he observ’d it, altho he knew that it was not accompany’d with any Love to Mankind, or Study of their Good, but with Ill-nature, Pride, Covetousness? In short, let us honour other Qualitys by external Shew as much as we please, if we do not discern a benevolent Intention in the Application, or presume upon it; we may look upon these Qualitys as useful, enriching, or otherwise advantageous to any one who is possess’d of them; but they shall never meet with those endearing Sentiments of Esteem and Love, which our nature determines us to appropriate to Benevolence, or Virtue.

  • Author of the Fable of the Bees, Pag. 37. 3d Ed.

i. Mandeville, Fable of the Bees, ed. Kaye, vol. 1, p. 51.



Love of Honour, and Aversion to Shame, may often move us to do Actions for which others profess to honour us, even tho we see no Good in them our selves: And Compliance with the Inclinations of others, as it evidences Humanity, may procure some Love to the Agent, from Spec- tators who see no moral Good in the Action it self. But without some Sense of Good in the Actions, Men shall never be fond of such Actions in Solitude, nor ever love any one for Perfection in them, or for practising them in Solitude; and much less shall they be dissatisfy’ d with themselves when they act otherwise in Solitude. Now this is the case with us, as to Virtue; and therefore we must [230] have, by Nature, a moral Sense of it antecedent to Honour.

This will shew us with what Judgment a late* 11 Author compares the Original of our Ideas of Virtue, and Approbation of it, to the manner of regulating the Behaviour of aukard Children by Commendation. It shall appear || 43 afterward||,f that our Approbation ofsome Gestures, and what we call Decency in Motion, depends upon some moral Ideas in People of advanc’d Years. But before Children come to observe this Re- lation, it is only good Nature, an Inclination to please, and Love of Praise, which makes them endeavour to behave as they are desir’d; and not any Perception of Excellence in this Behaviour. Hence they are not sollicitous about Gestures when alone, unless with a View to please when they return to Company; || 44 nor do they ever|| love or approve others for 1 1 45 any 1 1 Perfection of this kind, but rather envy or hate them; till they either discern the Connexion between Gestures, and moral Qualitys; or reflect on the good Nature, which is evidenc’d by such a Compliance with the desire of the Company. [231]

VII. The considering Honour in the manner above explain’d, may shew us the reason, why Men are often asham’d for things which are not vi- tious, and honour’d for what is not virtuous. For, if any Action only appears vitious to any Persons or Company, altho it be not so, they will

False Honour.

  • See the Fable of the Bees, Page 38. 3d. Ed.

ii. Mandeville, Fable of the Bees, ed. Kaye, vol. 1, p. 52.

t See Sect. vi. Art. 4.



Moral Incapacity, matter of Shame.

have a bad Idea of the Agent; and then he may be asham’d, or suffer Uneasiness in being thought morally Evil. The same way, those who look upon an Action as morally good, will honour the Agent, and he may be pleas’d with the Honour, altho he does not himself perceive any moral Good in what has procur’d it.

Again, we shall be asham’d of every Evidence of moral Incapacity, or Want of Ability; and with good ground, when this Want is occasion’d by our own Negligence. Nay further, if any Circumstance be look’d upon as indecent in any Country, offensive to others, or deform’d; we shall, out of our || 46 Love to || the good Opinions of others, be asham’d to be found in such Circumstances, even when we are sensible that this Indecency or Offence is not founded on Nature, but is merely the Effect of Custom. Thus being observ’d in those Functions of Nature which are counted indecent and offensive, will make us uneasy, altho we are sen- sible that they really do [232] not argue any Vice or Weakness. But on the contrary, since moral Abilitys of any kind, upon the general Pre- sumption of a good Application, 47 procure the Esteem of others, we shall value our selves upon them, or grow proud of them, and be asham’d of any Discovery of our want of such Abilitys. This is the reason that Wealth and Power, the great Engines of Virtue, when presum’d to be intended for benevolent Purposes, either toward our Friends or our Country, pro- cure Honour from others, and are apt to beget Pride in the Possessor; which, as it is a general Passion which may be either good or evil, ac- cording as it is grounded, we may describe to be the Joy which arises from the real or imagin’d Possession of Honour, or Claim to it. || 48 The|| same are the Effects of Knowledge, Sagacity, Strength; and hence it is that Men are apt to boast of them.

But whenever it appears that Men have only their private Advantage in view, in the application of these Abilitys, or natural Advantages, the Honour ceases, and we study to conceal them, or at least are not fond of displaying them; and much more when there is any Suspicion of an ill-natur’d Application. Thus some Misers are asham’d of their Wealth, and study to conceal it; as the malicious or selfish do their Power: Nay, this is very often done where there is [233] no positive evil Intention; because the diminishing their Abilitys, increases the moral Good of any little kind Action, which they can find in their hearts to perform.



In short, we always see Actions which flow from publick Love, ac- company’d with generous Boldness and Openness; and not only mali- cious, but even selfish ones, the matter of Shame and Confusion; and that Men study to conceal them. The Love of private Pleasure is the ordinary occasion of Vice; and when Men have got any lively Notions of Virtue, they generally begin to be asham’d of every thing which be- trays Selfishness, even in Instances where it is innocent. We are apt to imagine, that others observing us in such Pursuits, form mean Opinions of us, as too much set on private Pleasure; and hence we shall find such Enjoyments, in most polite Nations, conceal’d from those who do not partake with us. Such are venereal Pleasures between Persons marry’d, and even eating and drinking alone, any nicer sorts of Meats or Drinks; whereas a hospitable Table is rather matter of boasting; and so are all other kind, generous Offices between marry’d Persons, where there is no Suspicion of Self-love in the Agent; but he is imagin’d as acting from Love to his Associate. This, || 49 I fancy, first introduc’d Ideas ofModesty in polite Nations, and Custom has strengthen’d [234] them wonder- fully||; so that we are now asham’d of many things, upon some confus’d implicit Opinions of moral Evil, tho we know not upon what account.

Here too we may see the reason, why we are not asham’d of any of the Methods of Grandeur, or high-Living. There is such a Mixture of moral Ideas, of Benevolence, of Abilitys kindly employ’d; so many De- pendants supported, so many Friends entertain’d, assisted, protected; such a Capacity imagin’d for great and amiable Actions, that we are never asham’d, but rather boast of such things: We never affect Obscurity or Concealment, but rather desire that our State and Magnificence should be known. Were it not for this Conjunction of moral Ideas, no Mortal could bear the Drudgery of State, or abstain from laughing at those who did. Could any Man be pleas’d with a Company of Statues surrounding his Table, so artfully contriv’d as to consume his various Courses, and inspir’d by some Servant, like so many Puppets, to give the usual trifling Returns in praise of their Fare? Or with so many Machines to perform the Cringes and Whispers of a Levee?

The Shame we suffer from the Meanness of Dress, Table, Equipage, is entirely owing to the same reason. This Meanness is often imagin’d to argue Avarice, Meanness [235] of Spirit, want of Capacity, or Conduct



Honour and Shame, often from some Associations of Ideas.

i 5 8


in Life, of Industry, or moral Abilitys of one kind or other. To confirm this, let us observe that Men will glory in the Meanness of their Fare, when it was occasion’d by a good Action. How many would be asham’d to be surpriz’d at a Dinner of cold Meat, who will boast of their having fed upon Dogs and Horses at the Siege of Derry?' 11 And they will all tell you that they were not, nor are asham’d of it.

This ordinary Connexion in our Imagination, between external Grandeur, Regularity in Dress, Equipage, Retinue, Badges of Honour, and some moral Abilitys greater than ordinary, is perhaps of more con- sequence in the World than some recluse Philosophers apprehend, who pique themselves upon despising these external Shews. This may pos- sibly be a great, if not the only Cause of what some count miraculous, viz. That Civil Governors of no greater Capacity than their Neighbours, by some inexpressible Awe, and Authority, quell the Spirits of the Vulgar, and keep them in subjection by such small Guards, as might easily be conquer’d by those Associations || 50 which might be rais’d among|| the Disaffected, or Factious of any State; who are daring enough among their Equals, and shew a sufficient Contempt of Death for undertaking such an Enterprize. [236]

|| 51 Hence also we may|| discover the reason, why the gratifying our superior Senses of Beauty and Harmony, or the Enjoyment of the || 52 Pleasures|| of Knowledge, never occasions any Shame or Confusion, tho our Enjoyment were known to all the World. The Objects which furnish this Pleasure, are of such a nature, as to afford the same Delights to multitudes; nor is there any thing in the Enjoyment of them by one, which excludes any Mortal from a like Enjoyment. So that altho we pursue these Enjoyments from Self-love, yet || 53 , since|[ our Enjoyment cannot be prejudicial to others, no Man is imagin’d any way inhumanly selfish, from the fullest Enjoyment of them which is possible. The same Regularity or Harmony which delights me, may at the same time delight multitudes; the same Theorem shall be equally fruitful of Pleasure, when it has entertain’d thousands. || 54 Men therefore are not|| asham’d of such

iii. Overcrowded with some thirty thousand Protestant refugees, Londonderry (or Derry) withstood a siege by the dethroned King James II from April to July 1689.



Pursuits, since they never, of themselves, seduce us into any thing ma- licious, envious, or ill-natur’d; nor does any one apprehend another too selfish, from his pursuing Objects of unexhausted universal Pleasure. 55

This View of Honour and Shame may also let us see the reason, why most Men are uneasy at being prais’d, when they themselves are present. Every one is delighted [237] with the Esteem of others, and must enjoy great Pleasure when he hears himself commended; but we are unwilling others should observe our Enjoyment of this Pleasure, which is really selfish; or that they should imagine us fond of it, or influenc’d by hopes of it in our good Actions: and therefore we chuse Secrecy for the Enjoy- ment of it, as we do with respect to other Pleasures, in which others do not share with us.

VIII. Let us next consider another Determination of our Mind, which strongly proves Benevolence to be natural to us, and that is Compassion; by which we are dispos’d to study the Interest of others, without any Views of private Advantage. This needs little Illustration. Every Mortal is made uneasy by any grievous Misery he sees another involv’d in, unless the Person be imagin’d || 56 evil|[, in a moral Sense: Nay, it is almost im- possible for us to be unmov’d, even in that Case. Advantage may make us do a cruel Action, or may overcome Pity; but it scarce ever extin- guishes it. A sudden Passion of Hatred or Anger may represent a Person as absolutely evil, and so extinguish Pity; but when the Passion is over, it often returns. Another disinterested View may even in cold blood over- come Pity; such as Love to our Country, or Zeal for Religion. Persecution is generally occasion’d by Love of Virtue, and [238] a Desire of the eter- nal Happiness of Mankind, altho our Folly makes us chuse absurd Means || 57 to promote it||; and is often accompany’d with Pity enough to make the Persecutor uneasy, in what, for prepollent Reasons, he chuses; unless his Opinion leads him to look upon the Heretick as ab- solutely and entirely evil.

We may here observe how wonderfully the Constitution of human Nature is adapted to move Compassion. Our Misery or Distress im- mediately appears in our Countenance, if we do not study to prevent it, and propagates some Pain to all Spectators; who from Observation, uni-

Compassion a motive to Virtue.



versally understand the meaning of those dismal Airs. We mechanically send forth Shrieks and Groans upon any surprizing Apprehension of Evil; so that no regard to Decency can sometimes restrain them|| 58 . This is the Voice of Nature, understood by all Nations, by which || all who are present are rous’d to our Assistance, and sometimes our injurious Enemy is made to relent.

We observ’d above,* that we are not immediately excited by Com- passion to desire the Removal of our own Pain: we think it just to be so affected upon the Occasion, and dislike those who are not so. But we [239] are excited directly to desire the Relief of the Miserable; || 59 without any imagination that this Relief is a private Good to our selves: And[| if we see this impossible, we may by Reflection discern it to be vain for us to indulge our Compassion any further; and then Self-love prompts us to retire from the Object which occasions our Pain, and to || 60 endeav- our|| to divert our Thoughts. But where there is no such Reflection, Peo- ple are hurry’d by a natural, kind Instinct, to see Objects of Compassion, and expose themselves to this Pain when they can give no reason for it; as in the Instance of publick Executions.

This same Principle leads men to Tragedys; only we are to observe, that another strong reason of this, is the moral Beauty of the Characters and Actions which we love to behold. Fori doubt, whether any Audience would be pleas’d to see fictitious Scenes of Misery, if they were kept strangers to the moral Qualitys of the Sufferers, or their Characters and Action. As in such a case, there would be no Beauty to raise Desire of seeing such Representations, I fancy we would not expose our selves to Pain alone, from Misery which we knew to be fictitious.

It was the same Cause which crouded the Roman Theatres to see Gladiators. There [240] the People had frequent Instances ofgreat Cour- age, and Contempt of Death, two great moral Abilitys, if not Virtues. Hence Cicero looks upon them as great Instructions in Fortitude. The Antagonist Gladiator bore all the blame of the Cruelty committed, among People of little Reflection; and the courageous and artful one,

See Sect. ii. Art. 8. Par. 2 .



really obtain’d a Reputation of Virtue, and Favour among the Specta- tors, and was vindicated by the Necessity of Self-defence. In the mean time they were inadvertent to this, that their crouding to such Sights, and favouring the Persons who presented them with such Spectacles of Courage, and with Opportunitys of following their natural Instinct to Compassion, was the true occasion of all the real Distress, or Assaults which they were sorry for.

What Sentiments can we imagine a Candidate would have rais’d of himself, had he presented his Countrymen only with Scenes of Misery; had he drain’d Hospitals and Infirmarys of all their pityable Inhabitants, or had he bound so many Slaves, and without 61 any Resistance, butcher’d them with his own Hands? I should very much question the Success of his Election, (however Compassion 62 might cause his Shews still to be frequented) if his Antagonist chose a Diversion apparently [241] more virtuous, or with a Mixture of Scenes of Virtue.

How independent this Disposition to Compassion is on Custom, Education, or Instruction, will appear from the Prevalence of it in Women and Children, who are less influenc’d by these. That Children delight in some Actions which are cruel and tormenting to Animals which they have in their Power, flows not from Malice, or want of Com- passion, but from their Ignorance of those signs of Pain which many Creatures make; together with a Curiosity to see the various Contortions of their Bodys. For when they are more acquainted with these Creatures, or come by any means to know their Sufferings, their Compassion often becomes too strong for their Reason; as it generally does in beholding Executions, where as soon as they observe the evidences of Distress, or Pain in the Malefactor, they are apt to condemn this necessary Method of Self-defence in the || 63 State.|| [242]




Importance of the Moral Sense.

Concerning the Importance of this moral Sense to the present Happiness of Mankind, and its Influence on human Affairs.

I. It may now probably appear, that notwithstanding the Corruption of Manners so justly complain’d of every where, this moral Sense has a greater Influence on Mankind than is generally imagin’d, altho it is often directed by very partial imperfect Views of publick Good, and often overcome by Self-love. But we shall offer some further Considerations, to prove, “That it gives us more Pleasure and Pain than all our other Facultys.” And to prevent Repetitions, let us observe, “That ||' where- ever|| any morally good Quality gives Pleasure from Reflection, or from Honour, the contrary evil one will give proportionable Pain, from Re- morse and Shame.” Now we shall consider the moral Pleasures, not only separately, but as they are the most delightful Ingredient in the ordinary Pleasures of Life. [243]

All || 2 Men|| seem persuaded of some Excellency in the Possession of good moral Qualitys, which is superior to all other Enjoyments; and on the contrary, look upon a State of moral Evil, as worse and more wretched than any other whatsoever. We must not form our Judgment in this matter from the Actions of Men; for however they may be influ- enc’d by moral Sentiments, yet it is certain, that Self-interested Passions frequently overcome them, and partial Views of the Tendency of Ac- tions, make us do what is really morally evil, apprehending it to be good.




But let us examine the Sentiments which Men universally form of the State of others, when they are no way immediately concern’d; for in these Sentiments human Nature is calm and undisturb’d, and shews its true Face.

Now should we imagine a rational Creature in a sufficiently happy State, || 3 tho his|| Mind was, without Interruption, wholly occupy’d with pleasant Sensations of Smell, Taste, Touch, & c. if at the same time all other Ideas were excluded? Should we not think the State low, mean and sordid, if there were no Society, no Love or Friendship, no good Offices? What then must that State be wherein there are no Pleasures but those of the external Senses, with such long Intervals as human Nature at pres- ent [244] must have? Do these short Fits of Pleasure make the Luxurious happy? Flow insipid and joyless are the Reflections on past Pleasure? And how poor a Recompence is the Return of the transient Sensation, for the nauseous Satietys, and Languors in the Intervals? This Frame of our Na- ture, so incapable of long Enjoyments of the external Senses, points out to us, “That there must be some other more durable Pleasure, without such tedious Interruptions, and nauseous Reflections.”

Let us even join with the Pleasures of the external Senses, the Percep- tions of Beauty, Order, Fiarmony. These are no doubt more noble Plea- sures, and seem to inlarge the Mind; and yet how cold and joyless are they, if there be no moral Pleasures of Friendship, Love and Beneficence? Now if the bare Absence of moral Good, makes, in our Judgment, the State of a rational Agent contemptible; the Presence of contrary Dis- positions is always imagin’d by us to sink him into a degree of Misery, from which no other Pleasures can relieve him. Would we ever wish to be in the same Condition with a wrathful, malicious, revengeful, or en- vious Being, tho we were at the same time to enjoy all || 4 the Pleasures of the external and internal Senses? The internal Pleasures of Beauty and Fiarmony, contribute greatly indeed toward soothing|| the [245] Mind into a forgetfulness of Wrath, Malice or Revenge; and they must do so, before we can have any tolerable Delight or Enjoyment: for while these Affections possess the Mind, there is nothing but Torment and Misery.

What Castle-builder, who forms to himself imaginary Scenes of Life, in which he thinks he || 5 should|| be happy, ever made acknowledg’d

Castle-builders prove it.



Virtue own’d superior to all Pleasure.

Treachery, Cruelty, or Ingratitude, the Steps by which he mounted to his wish’d for Elevation, or Parts of his Character, when he had attain’d it? We always conduct our selves in such Resveries, according to the Dic- tates of Honour, Faith, Generosity, Courage; and the lowest we can sink, is hoping we may be enrich’d by some innocent Accident.

O si urnam Argenti Fors qua mihi monstret! *'

But Labour, Hunger, Thirst, Poverty, Pain, Danger, have nothing so de- testable in them, that our Self-love cannot allow us to be often expos’d to them. 1 1 6 On the contrary ||, the Virtues which these give us occasions of displaying, are so amiable and excellent, that scarce ever is any imagi- nary Hero in Romance, or Epic, brought to his high- [246] est Pitch of Happiness, without going thro them all. Where there is no Virtue, there is nothing worth Desire or Contemplation; the Romance, or Epos must end. Nay, the Difficulty, f or natural Evil, does so much increase the Virtue of the good Action which it accompanys, that we cannot easily sustain these Works after the Distress is over; and if we continue the Work, it must be by presenting a new Scene of Benevolence in a pros- perous Fortune. A Scene of external Prosperity or natural Good, without any thing moral or virtuous, cannot entertain a Person of the dullest Imagination, had he ever so much interested himself in the Fortunes of his Hero; for where Virtue ceases, there remains nothing worth wishing to our Favourite, or which we can be delighted to view his Possession of, when we are most studious of his Happiness.

Let us take a particular Instance, to try how much we prefer the Pos- session of Virtue to all other Enjoyments, and how we look upon Vice as worse than any other Misery. Who could ever read the History of Regulus, 117 without concerning himself in the Fortunes of that gallant Man, sorrowing at his Sufferings, and wishing him a better Fate? But

  • Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. 6. v. 10.

i. Translation: “O, that some lucky strike would disclose to me a pot of money. . . .” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, andArsPoetica, with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, p. 210.)

t Sect. iii. Art. 11. Axiom 6.

ii. See editor’s note viii to Treatise II, Sect. I.



how || 8 a better|| Fate? Should [247] he have comply’d with the Terms of the Carthaginians, and preserv’d himself from the intended Tortures, tho to the detriment of his Country? Or should he have violated his plighted Faith and Promise of returning? Will any Man say, that either of these is the better Fate he wishes his Favourite? FI ad he acted thus, that Virtue would have been gone, which interests every one in his For- tunes. — “Let him take his Fate like other common Mortals.” — What else do we wish then, but that the Carthaginians had relented of their Cruelty, or that Providence, by some unexpected Event, had rescued him out of their hands.

9 Now may not this teach us, that we are indeed determin’d to judge Virtue with Peace and Safety, preferable to Virtue with Distress; but that at the same time we look upon the State of the Virtuous, the Publick- spirited, even in the utmost natural Distress, as preferable to all affluence of other Enjoyments? For this is what we chuse to have our Favourite Hero in, notwithstanding all its Pains and natural Evils. We || 10 should|| never have imagin’d him happier, had he acted otherwise; or thought him in a more eligible State, with Liberty and Safety, at the expence of his Virtue. We secretly judge the Purchase too dear; and therefore we never imagine he acted foolishly in secu- [248] ring his Virtue, his Hon- our, at the expence of his Ease, his Pleasure, his Life. Nor can we think these latter Enjoyments worth the keeping, when the former are entirely lost.

II. Let us in the same manner examine our Sentiments of the Happiness of others in common Life. Wealth and External Pleasures bear no small bulk in our Imaginations; but does there not always accompany this Opinion of Happiness in Wealth, some suppos’d beneficent Intention of doing good Offices to Persons dear to us, at least to our Familys, or Kinsmen? And in our imagin’d Happiness from external Pleasure, are not some Ideas always included of some moral Enjoyments of Society, some Communication of Pleasure, something of Love, of Friendship, of Esteem, of Gratitude? Who ever pretended to a Taste of || 1 1 these || Plea- sures without Society? Or if any seem violent in pursuit of || 12 them||, how base and contemptible do they appear to all Persons, even to those

Necessary in



1 66


The Charm in Beauty.

who could have no expectation of Advantage from their having a more generous Notion of Pleasure?

13 Now were there no moral Sense, no Happiness in Benevolence, and did we act from no other Principle than Self-love; sure there is no Plea- sure of the external Sen-[249]ses, which we could not || 14 enjoy alone||, with less trouble and expence than in Society. But a Mixture of the moral Pleasures is what gives the alluring Relish; ’tis some Appearance of Friendship, of Love, of communicating Pleasure to others, which pre- serves the Pleasures of the Luxurious from being nauseous and insipid. And this partial Imagination of some good moral Qualitys, some Be- nevolence, in Actions which have many cruel, inhuman, and destructive Consequences toward others, is what has kept Vice more in countenance than any other Consideration.*

But to convince us further wherein the Happiness of Wealth, and external Pleasure lies; let us but suppose Malice, Wrath, Revenge; or only Solitude, Absence of Friendship, of Love, of Society, of Esteem, join’d with the Possession of them; and all the Happiness vanishes like a Dream. And yet Love, Friendship, Society, Humanity, tho accompany’d with Poverty and Toil, nay even with smaller degrees of Pain, such as do not wholly occupy the Mind, are not only the Object of Love from oth- ers, but even of a sort of Emulation: which plainly shews, “That Virtue is the chief Happiness in the Judgment of all Mankind.” [250]

III. There is further Consideration which must not be pass’d over, con- cerning the External Beauty of Persons, which all allow to have a great Power over human Minds. Now it is some apprehended Morality, some natural or imagin’d Indication of concomitant Virtue, which gives it this powerful Charm above all other kinds of Beauty. Let us consider the Characters of Beauty, which are commonly admir’d in Countenances, and we shall find them to be Sweetness, Mildness, Majesty, Dignity, Vi- vacity, Humility, Tenderness, Good-nature; that is, that certain Airs, Proportions, ne seal quoy’s, are natural Indications of such Virtues, or of Abilitys or Dispositions toward them. As we observ’d above f ofMis-

  • See above. Sect. iv. Art. 4. Par. 4, 5.

t See Sect. v. Art. 8. Par. 2 .



ery, or Distress appearing in Countenances; so it is certain, almost all habitual Dispositions of Mind, form the countenance in such a manner, as to give some Indications of them to the Spectator. Our violent Pas- sions are obvious at first view in the Countenance; so that sometimes no Art can conceal them: and smaller degrees of them give some less obvious Turns to the Face, which an accurate Eye will observe. Now when the natural Air of a Face approaches to that which any Passion would form it unto, we make a [251] conjecture from this concerning the leading Disposition of the Person’s Mind.

As to those Fancys which prevail in certain Countrys toward large Lips, little Noses, narrow Eyes; unless we knew from themselves under what Idea || 15 such Features|| are admir’d, whether as naturally beautiful in Form, or Proportion to the rest of the Face; or as presum’d Indications of some moral Qualitys; we may more probably conclude that it is the latter; since this is so much the Ground of Approbation, or Aversion towards Faces among our selves. And as to those Features which we count naturally disagreeable as to Form, we know the Aversion on this account is so weak, that moral Qualitys shall procure a liking, even to the Face, in Persons who are sensible of the Irregularity, or want of that Regularity which is common in others. With us certain Features are im- agin’d to denote Dulness; as hollow Eyes, large Lips; a Colour of Flair, Wantonness: and may we not conclude the like Association of Ideas, || 16 perhaps in both Cases without Foundation in Nature, || to be the Ground of those Approbations which appear unaccountable to us?

In the same manner, when there is nothing grosly disproportion^ in any Face, what is it we dispraise? || 17 It is || Pride, FIaugh-[252]tiness, Sourness, Ill-nature, Discontent, Folly, Levity, Wantonness; which some Countenances discover in the manner above hinted at? And these Airs, when brought by Custom upon the most regular Set of Features, have often made them very disagreeable; as the contrary Airs have given the strongest Charms to Countenances, which were far from Perfection in external Beauty.

|| 18 One cannot but observe the Judgment of Flomer, in his Character of Flelen. Flad he ever so much rais’d our Idea of her external Beauty, || it would have been ridiculous to have engag’d his Countrymen in a War



for such a Helen as Virgil has drawn her. He therefore still retains some- thing || 19 amiable in a moral Sense, || amidst all her Weakness, and often suggests to his Reader,

'EAevijs opp-rpjLard re owayas tc * 111

The Cause of different Fancys of Beauty.

as the Spring of his Countrymens Indignation and Revenge.

This Consideration may shew us one Reason, among many others, for Mens different Fancys, or Relishes of Beauty. The Mind of Man, however generally dispos’d to esteem Benevolence and Virtue, yet by more particular Attention to some [253] kinds of it than others, may gain a stronger Admiration of some moral Dispositions than others. Military Men, may admire Courage more than other Virtues; Persons of smaller Courage, may admire Sweetness of Temper; Men of Thought and Re- flection, who have more extensive Views, will admire the like Qualitys in others; Men of keen Passions, expect equal Returns of all the kind Affections, and are wonderfully charm’d by Compliance: the Proud, may like those of higher Spirit, as more suitable to their Dignity; tho Pride, join’d with Reflection and good Sense, will recommend to them Humility in the Person belov’d. Now as the various Tempers of Men make various Tempers of others agreeable to them, so they must differ in their Relishes of Beauty, according as it denotes the several Qualitys most agreeable to themselves.

This may also shew us, how in virtuous Love there may be the greatest Beauty, without the least Charm to engage a Rival. Love it self gives a Beauty to the Lover, in the Eyes of the Person belov’d, which no other Mortal is much affected with. And this perhaps is the strongest Charm possible, and that which will have the greatest Power, where there is not some very great Counter-ballance from worldly Interest, Vice, or gross Deformity. [254]

Air, Motion, Gestures.

IV. This same Consideration may be extended to the whole Air and Mo- tion of any Person. Every thing we count agreeable, some way denotes

  • See Homer, Iliad 2. v. 356, 590.

iii. Translation: “Helen’s fear and lonesome sighs.



Chearfulness, Ease, a Condescension, and Readiness to oblige, a Love of Company, with a Freedom and Boldness which always accompanys an honest, undesigning Heart. On the contrary, what is shocking in Air, or Motion, is Roughness, Ill-nature, a Disregard to others, or a foolish Shame-facedness, which evidences a Person to be unexperienc’d in So- ciety, or Offices of Humanity.

With relation to these Airs, Motions, Gestures, we may observe, that considering the different Ceremonys, and Modes of shewing respect, which are practis’d in different Nations, we may indeed probably con- clude that there is no natural Connexion between any of these Gestures, or Motions, and the Affections of Mind which they are by Custom made to express. But when Custom has made any of them pass for Expressions of such Affections, by a constant Association of Ideas, some shall become agreeable and lovely, and others extremely offensive, altho they were both, in their own Nature, perfectly indifferent. [255]

V. Here we may remark the manner in which Nature leads Mankind to the Continuance of their Race, and by its strongest Power engages them to what occasions the greatest Toil and Anxiety of Life; and yet supports them under it with an inexpressible delight. We might have been excited to the Propagation of our Species, by such an uneasy Sensation as would have effectually determin’d us to it, without any great prospect of Hap- piness; as we see Hunger and Thirst determine us to preserve our Bodys, tho few look upon eating and drinking as any considerable Happiness. The Sexes might have been engag’d to Concurrence, as we imagine the Brutes are, by Desire only, or by a Love of sensual Pleasure. But how dull and insipid had Life been, were there no more in Marriage? Who would have had Resolution enough to bear all the Cares of a Family, and Education of Children? Or who, from the general Motive of Benevo- lence alone, would have chosen to subject himself to natural Affection toward an Offspring, when he could || 20 so easily foresee what|| Troubles it might occasion?

2 'This Inclination therefore of the Sexes, is founded on something stronger, and more efficacious and joyful, than the Sollicitations of Un- easiness, or the bare desire of [256] sensible Pleasure. 22 Beauty gives a

The Spring of Love between the Sexes.



Society, Friendships, from our Moral Sense.

favourable Presumption of good moral Dispositions, and Acquaintance confirms this into a real Love of Esteem, or begets it, where there is little Beauty. This raises an expectation of the greatest moral Pleasures along with the sensible, and a thousand tender Sentiments of Humanity and Generosity; and makes us impatient for a Society which we imagine big with unspeakable moral Pleasures: where nothing is indifferent, and every trifling Service, being an Evidence of this strong Love 1 1 23 of 1 1 Es- teem, is mutually receiv’d with the Rapture and Gratitude of the greatest Benefit, and of the most substantial Obligation. And where Prudence and Good-nature influence both sides, this Society may answer all their Expectations.

Nay, let us examine those of looser Conduct with relation to the fair Sex, and we shall find, that Love of sensible Pleasure is not the chief Motive of Debauchery, or false Gallantry. Were it so, the meanest Pros- titutes would please as much as any. But we know sufficiently, that || 24 Men|| are fond of Good-nature, Faith, Pleasantry of Temper, Wit, and many other moral Qualitys, even in a Mistress. And this may furnish us with a Reason for what appears pretty unaccountable, viz. “That Chastity it self has a powerful Charm in [257] the Eyes of the Dissolute, even when they are attempting to destroy it.”

This powerful Determination even to a limited Benevolence, and other moral Sentiments, is observ’d to give a strong biass to our Minds toward a universal Goodness, Tenderness, Humanity, Generosity, and contempt of private Good in our whole Conduct; besides the obvious Improvement it occasions in our external Deportment, and in our relish of Beauty, Order, and Harmony. As soon as a Heart, before hard and obdurate, is soften’d in this Flame, we shall observe, arising along with it, a Love of Poetry, Musick, the Beauty of Nature in rural Scenes, a Contempt of other selfish Pleasures of the external Senses, a neat Dress, a humane Deportment, a Delight in and Emulation of every thing which is gallant, generous and friendly.

In the same manner we are determin’d to common Friendships and Acquaintances, not by the sullen Apprehensions of our Necessitys, or Prospects of Interest; but by an incredible variety of little agreeable, en-



gaging Evidences of Love, Good-nature, and other morally amiable Qualitys in those we converse with. || 25 And || among the rest, none of the least considerable is an Inclination to Chearfulness, a Delight to raise Mirth in others, which procures a secret [258] Approbation and Grati- tude toward the Person who puts us in such an agreeable, innocent, good-natur’d, and easy state of Mind, as we are conscious of while we enjoy pleasant Conversation, enliven’d by moderate Laughter.

VI. Upon this moral Sense is founded all the Power of the Orator. The various figures of Speech, are the several Manners which a lively Genius, warm’d with Passions suitable to the Occasion, naturally runs into, only a little diversify’d by Custom: and they only move the Hearers, by giving a lively Representation of the Passions of the Speaker; which are com- municated to the Hearers, as we* observ’d above of one Passion, viz. Pity.

Now the Passions which the Orator attempts to raise, are all founded on moral Qualitys. All the bold Metaphors, or Descriptions, all the ar- tificial Manners of Expostulation, Arguing, and addressing the Audi- ence, all the Appeals to Mankind, are but more lively Methods of giving the Audience a stronger impression of the moral Qualitys of the Person accus’d, or defended; of the Action advis’d, or dissuaded: And all the Antitheses, or Witticisms; all the Cadences of sonorous Periods, what- ever [259] inferior kind of Beauty they may have separately, are of no consequence to persuade, if we neglect moving the Passions by some Species of Morality. They may perhaps raise a little Admiration of the Speaker, among those who already favour his Party, but they oftner raise Contempt in his Adversarys. But when you display the Beneficence of any Action, the good Effect it shall have on the Publick in promoting the Welfare of the Innocent, and relieving the unjustly distressed; if you prove your Allegations, you make every Mortal approve the undertaking it. When any Person is to be recommended, display his Humanity, Gen- erosity, Study of the publick Good, and Capacity to promote it, his Con-

The Power of Oratory founded on it.

See Sect. v. Art. 8. Par. 2 .



tempt of Dangers, and private Pleasures; and you are sure to procure him Love and Esteem. If at the same time you shew his Distress, or the Injurys he has suffer’d, you raise Pity, and every tender Affection.

On the contrary, represent the Barbarity, or Cruelty of any Action, the Misery it shall procure to the Kind, the Faithful, the Generous, or only to the Innocent; and you raise an Abhorrence of it in the Breasts of the Audience, tho they were not the Persons who would have suffer’d by it. The same way, would you make a Person infamous, and despis’d and [260] hated, represent him as cruel, inhuman, or treacherous toward the most distant rational Agents; or shew him only to be selfish, and given to solitary Luxury, without regard to any Friend, or the Interest of others; and you have gain’d your Point as soon as you prove what you alledge. Nay, how does it stop our Admiration of any celebrated Action, to suggest, “That the Author of it was no Fool; he knew it would turn to his own Advantage?”

Now, are the Learned and Polite the only Persons who are mov’d by such Speeches? Must Men know the Schemes of the Moralists and Pol- iticians, or the Art of Rhetorick, to be capable of being persuaded? Must they be nicely conversant in all the Methods of promoting Self-Interest? Nay, do we not see on the contrary, the rude undisciplin’d Multitude most affected? Where had Oratory so much Power as in popular States, and that too before the Perfection of the Sciences? Reflection, and Study, may raise in Men a Suspicion of Design, and Caution of Assent, when they have some knowledge of the various Topicks of Argument, and find them employ’d upon themselves: but rude Nature is still open to every moral Impression, and carry’d furiously along without Caution, or Sus- pense. It was not the [261] Groves of the Academy, or the polish’d Stones of the Portico, or the manag’d Horses of Greece, which listen’d to the Harp of an Amphion, or an Orpheus; lv but the Trees, and Rocks, and

iv. “The Groves of the Academy” refers to the Academy in Athens, the school of philosophers founded by Plato; Zeno of Citium founded the school that derived its name from the stoa (“portico” or colonnade), the Stoic school, also in Athens. Ac- cording to legend, Amphion’s lyre moved the stones into place for the city wall of Thebes; Orpheus could charm wild beasts, plants, and stones with his lyre-playing.



Tygers of the Forest: which may shew us, “That there is some Sense of Morality antecedent to Instruction, or metaphysical Arguments proving the private Interest of the Person who is persuaded, to be connected with the publick Good.”

VII. We shall find this Sense to be the Foundation also of the chief Plea- sures of Poetry. We hinted, in the former Treatise, at the Foundation of Delight in the Numbers, Measures, Metaphors, Similitudes.* But as the Contemplation of moral Objects, either of Vice or Virtue, affects us more strongly, and moves our Passions in a quite different and || 26 more|] powerful manner, than natural Beauty, or (what we commonly call) De- formity; so the most moving Beautys bear a Relation to our moral Sense, and affect us more vehemently, than the 1 1 27 Represen tation|| of natural Objects in the liveliest Descriptions. Dramatic, and Epic Poetry, are en- tirely address’d to this Sense, and raise our Passions by the Fortunes of Characters, distinctly represented as morally good, or [262] evil; as might be seen more fully, were we to consider the Passions separately.

Where we are studying to raise any Desire, or Admiration of an Obj ect really beautiful, we are not content with a bare Narration, but endeavour, if we can, to present the Object it self, or the most lively Image of it. And hence the Epic Poem, or Tragedy, gives a 1 1 28 vastly || greater Pleasure than the Writings of Philosophers, tho both aim at recommending Virtue. The representing the Actions themselves, if the Representation be ju- dicious, natural, and lively, will make us admire the Good, and detest the Vitious, the Inhuman, the Treacherous and Cruel, by means of our moral Sense, without any Reflections of the Poet to guide our Senti- ments. It is for this Reason that Florace has justly made Knowledge in Morals so necessary to a good Poet:

Scribendi recte Sapere est & principium & fons.V

  • See Treatise!. Sect. ii. Art. 13. Sect. iv. Art. 3.

f Hor. de Arte Poet. v. 309.

v. Translation: “Of good writing the source and fount is wisdom.” (Horace, Satires, Epistles, and Ars Poetica, p. 476.)

Poetry pleases from this Moral Sense.



Imagery in Poetry founded on the Moral Sense.

And again:

Qui didicit Patriae quid debeat, & quid Amicis, [263]

Quo sit amore Parens, quo Frater amandus, & Hospes,

Quod sit Conscripti, quod Judicis officium, quae Partes in bellum missi Ducis; ille profecto Reddere Personae scit convenientia cuique.* vl

Upon this same Sense is founded the Power of that great Beauty in Poetry, the Prosopopoeia, by which every Affection is made a Person; every natural Event, Cause, Object, is animated by moral Epithets. For we join the Contemplation of moral Circumstances and Qualitys, along with natural Objects, to increase their Beauty or Deformity; and || 29 we|| affect the Hearer in a more lively manner with the Affections describ’d, by representing them as Persons. Thus a shady Wood must have its sol- emn venerable Genius, and proper rural Gods; every clear Fountain, its sacred chaste Nymph; and River, its bountiful God, with his Urn, and perhaps a Cornu-copia diffusing Plenty and Fruitfulness along its Banks. The Day-light is holy, benign, and powerful to banish the pernicious Spirits of the Night. The Morning is a kind, officious Goddess, tripping over the dewy Mountains, and ushering [264] in Fight to Gods and Men. War is an impetuous, cruel, undistinguishing Monster, whom no Virtue, no Circumstance of Compassion, can move from his bloody Purposes. The Steel is unrelenting; the Arrow and Spear are impatient to destroy, and carry Death on their Points. Our modern Engines of War are also frightful Personages, counterfeiting with their rude Throats the Thun- der of Jove. The moral Imagery of Death is everywhere known, viz. his Insensibility to Pity, his Inflexibility, and universal impartial Empire. Fortune is inimitably drawn by Horace, f with all her Retinue and Votaries, and with her rigid severe Minister, Necessity. The Qualitys

  • Hor. de Arte Poet. v. 312 &c.

vi. Translation: “He who has learned what he owes his country and his friends, what love is due a parent, a brother, and a guest, what is imposed on senator and judge, what is the function of a general sent to war, he surely knows to give each character his fitting part.” (Horace, ibid., p. 476.) t See Lib. 1. Od. 35.



of Mind too become Persons. Love becomes a Venus, or a Cupid; Cour- age, or Conduct, a Mars, or a Pallas protecting and assisting the Hero; before them march Terror and Dread, Flight and Pursuit, Shouts and Amazement. Nay, the most sacred Poets are often led into this Imagery, and represent Justice and Judgment as supporting the Almighty’s Throne, and Mercy and Truth going before his Face: They shew us Peace as springing up from the Earth, and Mercy looking down from Heaven. [265]

Every one perceives a greater Beauty in this manner of Representa- tion, this Imagery, this Conjunction of moral Ideas, than in the fullest Narration, or the most lively natural Description. When one reads the fourth Book of Homer, and is prepar’d, from the Council of the Gods, to imagine the bloody Sequel, and amidst the most beautiful Description which ever was imagin’d of shooting an Arrow, meets with its moral Epithet,

peAcuvawv epp oSvvaa iv*

The Source of blackest Woes;" 1

he will find himself more mov’d by this Circumstance, than by all the Profusion of natural Description which Man could imagine.

30 VIII. History derives its chief Excellence from the representing the Manners and Characters; the Contemplation of which in Nature being very affecting, they must necessarily give Pleasure when well related.

31 IX. It is well known too, that a Collection of the best Pieces of Face- painting is but a poor Entertainment, when compar’d with those Pieces which represent moral Actions, Passions, and Characters. 32 [266]

  • See Homer, Iliad 4. v. 117.

vii. That is, Agamemnon’s arrow shot at Menelaos.





A Deduction of some Complex moral Ideas, viz. of Obligation, and Right, Perfect, Imperfect, and External, Alienable, and Unalienable, from this moral Sense.

I. To conclude this Subject, we may, from what has been said, see the true Original of moral Ideas, viz. This moral Sense of Excellence in every Appearance, or Evidence of Benevolence H 1 . It remains to be explain’d, how we acquire more particular Ideas of Virtue and Vice, abstracting || from any Law, Human, or Divine.

If any one ask, Can we have any Sense of Obligation, abstracting from the Laws of a Superior? We must answer according to the various Senses of the word Obligation. If by Obligation we understand a Determina- tion, without regard to our own Interest, to approve Actions, and to perform them; which Determination shall also make us displeas’d with our selves, and uneasy upon having acted contrary to it; in this meaning of the word Obligation, [267] there is naturally an Obligation upon all Men to Benevolence; and they are still under its Influence, even when by false, or partial Opinions of the natural Tendency of their Actions, this moral Sense leads them to Evil; unless by long inveterate Habits it be exceedingly weaken’d. For it scarce seems possible wholly to extin- guish it. Or, which is to the same purpose, this internal Sense, and In- stinct 1 1 2 toward 1 1 Benevolence, will either influence our Actions, or else make us very uneasy and dissatisfy’d; and we shall be conscious that we




are in a base unhappy State, even without considering any Law what- soever, or any external Advantages lost, or Disadvantages impending from its Sanctions. And further, there are still such Indications given us of what is in the whole || 3 benevolent||, and what not; as may probably discover to us the true Tendency of every Action, and let us see, some time or other, the evil Tendency of what upon a partial View appear’d || 4 benevolent||: || 5 or if we have no Friends so faithful as to admonish us, the Persons injur’d will not fail to upbraid us.|| So that no Mortal can secure to himself a perpetual Serenity, Satisfaction, and Self- approbation, but by a serious Inquiry into the Tendency of his Actions, and a perpetual Study of universal Good|| 6 , according to thejustest No- tions of it ||. [268]

But if by Obligation, we understand a Motive from Self-interest, suf- ficient to determine all those who duly consider it, and pursue their own Advantage wisely, to a certain Course of Actions; we may have a Sense of such an Obligation, by reflecting on this Determination of our Nature to approve Virtue, to be pleas’d and happy when we reflect upon our having done virtuous Actions, and to be uneasy when we are conscious of having acted otherwise; and also by considering how much superior we esteem the Happiness of Virtue to any other Enjoyment.* We may likewise have a Sense of this sort of Obligation, by considering those Reasons which prove a constant Course of benevolent and social Actions, to be the most probable means of promoting the natural Good of every Individual; as Cumberland and Puffendorf have prov’d: And all this without Relation to a Law.

But further, if our moral Sense be suppos’d exceedingly weaken’d, and the selfish Passions grown strong, either thro some general Corrup- tion of Nature, or inveterate Habits; if our Understanding be weak, and we be often in danger of being hurry’d by our Passions into precipitate and rash [269] Judgments, that malicious Actions shall promote our Ad- vantage more than Beneficence; in such a Case, if it be inquir’d what is necessary to engage Men to beneficent Actions, or induce a steady Sense of an Obligation to act for the publick Good; then, no doubt, “A Law

See above, Sect. vi. Art. 1, 2.



How far Virtue can be taught.


with Sanctions, given by a superior Being, of sufficient Power to make us happy or miserable, must be necessary to counter-ballance those ap- parent Motives of Interest, to calm our Passions, and give room for the recovery of our moral Sense, or at least for a just View of our Interest.”

II. Now the principal Business of the moral Philosopher is to shew, from solid Reasons, “That universal Benevolence tends to the Happiness of the Benevolent, either from the Pleasures of Reflection, Honour, natural Tendency to engage the good Offices of Men, upon whose Aid we must depend for our Happiness in this World; or from the Sanctions of divine Laws discover’d to us by the Constitution of the Universe;” that so no apparent Views of Interest may counteract this natural Inclination: but not to attempt proving, “That Prospects of our own Advantage of any kind, can raise in us || 7 real Love to || others.” Let the Obstacles from Self- love be only remov’d, and Nature it self will incline us to Be- [270] nevolence. Let the Misery of excessive Selfishness, and all its Passions, be but once explain’d, that so Self-love may cease to counteract our nat- ural Propensity to Benevolence, and when this noble Disposition gets loose from these Bonds of Ignorance, and false Views of Interest, it shall be assisted even by Self-love, and grow strong enough to make a noble virtuous Character. Then he is to enquire, by Reflection upon human Affairs, what Course of Action does most effectually promote the uni- versal Good, what universal Rules or Maxims are to be observ’d, and in what Circumstances the Reason of them alters, so as to admit Excep- tions; that so our good Inclinations may be directed by Reason, and a just Knowledge of the Interests of Mankind. But Virtue it self, or good Dispositions of Mind, are not directly taught, or produc’d by Instruc- tion; || 8 they must be originally implanted in our Nature, by its great Author; and afterwards strengthen’d and confirm’d by our own Culti- vation. ||

|| 9a III. We are often told, “That there is no need of supposing such a Sense of Morality given to Men, since Reflection, and Instruction would recommend the same Actions from Arguments of Self-Interest, and en- gage us, from the acknowledg’d Principle of Self-love, [271] to the Prac- tice of them, without this unintelligible Determination to Benevolence, or the occult Quality of a moral Sense.”



It is perhaps true, that Reflection and Reason might lead us to approve the same Actions as advantageous. But would not the same Reflection and Reason likewise, generally recommend the same Meats to us which our Taste represents as pleasant? And shall we thence conclude that we have no Sense of Tasting? Or that such a Sense is useless? No: The use is plain in both Cases. Notwithstanding the mighty Reason we boast of above other Animals, its Processes are too slow, too full of doubt and hesitation, to serve us in every Exigency, either for our own Preservation, without the external Senses, or to || 10b direct b || our Actions for the Good of the Whole, without this moral Sense. Nor could we be so strongly determin’d at all times to what || llc is c || most conducive to either of these Ends, without these expeditious Monitors, and importunate Sollicitors; nor so nobly rewarded, when we act vigorously in pursuit of these Ends, by the calm dull Reflections of Self-Interest, as by those delightful Sen- sations.

This natural Determination to approve and admire, or hate and dis- like Actions, is no doubt an occult Quality. But [272] is it any way more mysterious that the Idea of an Action should raise Esteem, or Contempt, than that the motion, or tearing of Flesh should give Pleasure, or Pain; or the Act of Volition should move Flesh and Bones? In the latter Case, we have got the Brain, and elastic Fibres, and animal Spirits, and elastic Fluids, like the Indian’s Elephant, and Tortoise, to bear the Burden of the Difficulty: but go one step further, and you find the whole as difficult as at first, and equally a Mystery with this Determination to love and approve, or || 12d hate d || and despise Actions and Agents, without any Views of Interest, as they appear benevolent, or the || I3e contrary. c ||

When they offer it as a Presumption that there can be no such Sense, antecedent to all Prospect of Interest, “That these Actions for the most part are really advantageous, one way or other, to the Actor, the Ap- prover, or Mankind in general, by whose Happiness our own State may be some way made better;” may we not ask, supposing the Deity in- tended to impress such a Sense of something amiable in Actions, (which is no impossible Supposition) what sort of Actions would a good God determine || 14f us f || to approve? Must we deny the possibility of such a Determination, if it did not lead us to admire Actions of no Advantage

Moral Sense, not from Reflection.

Moral Sense judges of Laws.



to Man- [273] kind, or to love Agents for their being eminent Triflers? If then the Actions which a wise and good God must determine us to ap- prove, if he give us any such Sense at all, must be Actions useful to the Publick, this Advantage can never be a Reason against the Sense it self After the same manner, we should deny all Revelation which taught us good Sense, Humanity, Justice, and a rational Worship, because Reason and Interest confirm and recommend such Principles, and Services; and should greedily embrace every Contradiction, Foppery, and Pageantry, as a truly divine Institution, without any thing humane, or useful to Mankind.

IV. The Writers upon opposite Schemes, who deduce all Ideas of Good and Evil from the private Advantage of the Actor, or from Relation to a Law and its Sanctions, either known from Reason, or Revelation, are perpetually recurring to this moral Sense which they deny; not only in calling the Laws of the Deity just and good, and alledging Justice and Right in the Deity to govern us; but by using a set of Words which import something different from what they will allow to be their only meaning. Obligation, with them, is || 15s only s || such a Constitution, either of Na- ture, or some governing Power, as makes it advantageous for the Agent to [274] act in a certain manner. Let this Definition be substituted, wher- ever we meet with the words, ought, should, must, in a moral Sense, and many of their Sentences would seem very strange; as that the Deity must act rationally, must not, or ought not to punish the Innocent, mustmakc the state of the Virtuous better than that of the Wicked, must observe Promises; substituting the Definition of the Words, must, ought, should, would make these Sentences either ridiculous, or very disputable.* |]

16 V. But that our first Ideas of moral Good depend not on Laws, may plainly appear from our constant Inquirys into the Justice of Laws them- selves; and that not only of human Laws, but of the divine. What else can be the meaning of that universal Opinion, “That the Laws of God are just, and holy, and good?” Human Laws may be call’d good, because of their Conformity to the Divine. But to call the Laws of the supreme Deity good, or holy, or just, if all Goodness, Holiness, and Justice be



constituted by Laws, or the Will of a Superior any way reveal’d, must be an insignificant Tautology, amounting to no more than this, “That God wills what he wills.” 17

18 It must then first be suppos’d, that there is something in Actions which is apprehend- [275] ed absolutely good; and this is Benevolence, or || 19 a Tendency to || the publick natural happiness of rational Agents; and that our moral Sense perceives this Excellence. And then we call the Laws of the Deity good, when we imagine that they are contriv’d to promote the publick Good in the most effectual and impartial manner. And the Deity is call’d || 20 good||, in a moral Sense, when we apprehend that his whole Providence tends to the universal Happiness of his Creatures; whence we conclude his Benevolence, and || 21 Delight|| in their Happi- ness.

Some tell us, “That the Goodness of the divine Laws, consists in their Conformity to some essential Rectitude of his Nature.” 1 But they must excuse us from assenting to this, till they make us understand the mean- ing of this Metaphor, essential Rectitude, and till we discern whether any thing more is meant by it than a perfectly wise, uniform, impartial Benevolence.

Hence we may see the Difference between Constraint, and Obliga- tion. There is indeed no Difference between Constraint, and the second Sense of the word Obligation, viz. a Constitution which makes an Action eligible from Self-Interest, if we only mean external Interest, distinct from [276] the delightful Consciousness which arises from the moral Sense. The Reader need scarcely be told, that by Constraint, we do not understand an external Force moving our Limbs without our Consent, for in that Case we are not Agents at all; but that Constraint which arises from the threatening and presenting some Evil, in order to make us act in a certain manner. And yet there seems a universally acknowledg’d Difference between even this sort of Constraint, and Obligation. We never say we are oblig’d to do an Action which we count base, but we may be constrain’d to it; we never say that the divine Laws, by their






i. See Samuel Clarke, Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Nat- ural Religion (1706), chapter 1, §§ 3, 4, 6, in D. D. Raphael, British Moralists 1650- 1800, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969* pp. 199-214.

i 82


Sanctions, constrain us, but oblige us; nor do we call Obedience to the Deity Constraint, unless by a Metaphor, || 22 tho|| many own they are influenc’d by fear of Punishments. And yet supposing an almighty evil Being should require, under grievous Penaltys, Treachery, Cruelty, In- gratitude, we would call this Constraint. The difference is plainly this. When any Sanctions co-operate with our moral Sense, in exciting us to Actions which we count morally good, we say we are oblig’d; but when Sanctions of Rewards or Punishments oppose our moral Sense, then we say we are brib’d or constrain’d. In the former Case we call the Lawgiver good, as designing the publick Happiness; in the latter we call him evil, or unjust, for the suppos’d contrary [277] Intention. But were all our Ideas of moral Good or Evil, deriv’d solely from opinions of private Ad- vantage or Loss in Actions, I see no possible difference which could be made in the meaning of these words.

Rights. 23 VI. From this Sense too we derive our Ideas of Rights. Whenever it appears to us, that a Faculty of doing, demanding, or possessing any thing, universally allow’d in certain Circumstances, would in the whole tend to the general Good, we say that || 24 any Person || in such Circum- stances, has a Right to do, possess, or demand that Thing. And according as this Tendency to the publick Good is greater or less, the Right is greater or less.

Perfect Rights. The Rights call’d perfect, are of such necessity to the publick Good, that the universal Violation of them would make human Life intolerable; and it actually makes those miserable, whose Rights are thus violated. On the contrary, to fulfil these Rights in every Instance, tends to the publick Good, either directly, or by promoting the innocent Advantage of a Part. Hence it plainly follows, “That to allow a violent Defence, or Prosecution of such Rights, before Civil Government be constituted, cannot in any particular Case be more detrimental to the Publick, than the Violation of them with Impunity.” [278] And as to the general Con- sequences, the universal use of Force in a || 25 State of Nature||, in pur- suance of perfect Rights, seems exceedingly advantageous to the Whole, by making every one dread any Attempts against the perfect Rights of others.



26 This is the moral Effect which attends proper Injury, or a Violation of the perfect Rights of others, viz. A Right to War, and all Violence which is necessary to oblige the Injurious to repair the Damage, and give Security against such Offences for the future. || 27a This is the sole Foun- dation of the Rights of punishing Criminals, and of violent Prosecutions of our Rights, in a || 28b StateofNature b ||. And these Rights, || 29c belonging originally to the Persons injur’d, or their voluntary, or invited Assis- tants, 0 || according to the Judgment of indifferent Arbitrators, || 30d in a State of Nature, d || being by the Consent of the Persons injur’d, trans- ferr’d to the Magistrate in a Civil State, are the true Foundation of his Right of Punishment. 3 1 | Instances of perfect Rights are those to our Fives; to the Fruits of our Fabours; to demand Performance of Contracts upon valuable Considerations, from Men capable of performing them; to di- rect our own Actions either for publick, or innocent private Good, before we have submitted them to the Direction of others in any measure: and many others of like nature. [279]

Imperfect Rights are such as, when universally violated, would not necessarily make Men miserable. These Rights tend to the improvement and increase of positive Good in any Society, but are not absolutely necessary to prevent universal Misery. The Violation of them, only dis- appoints Men of the Happiness expected from the Humanity or Grat- itude of others; but does not deprive Men of any Good which they had before. From this Description it appears, “That a violent Prosecution of such Rights, would generally occasion greater Evil than the Violation of them.” Besides, the allowing of Force in such Cases, would deprive Men of the greatest Pleasure in Actions of Kindness, Humanity, Gratitude; which would cease to appear amiable, when Men could be constrain’d to perform them. Instances of imperfect Rights are those which the poor have to the Charity of the Wealthy; which all Men have to Offices of no trouble or expence to the Performer; which Benefactors have to returns of Gratitude, and such like.

3 'The Violation of imperfect Rights, only argues a Man to have such weak Benevolence, as not to study advancing the positive Good of oth- ers, when in the least opposite to his own: but the Violation of per- [28o]fect Rights, argues the injurious Person to be positively evil or cruel;

Right of War, and








What Rights, can be opposite.

or at least so immoderately selfish, as to be indifferent about the positive Misery and Ruin of others, when he imagines he can find his Interest in it. In violating the former, we shew a weak Desire of publick Happiness, which every small View of private Interest over-ballances; but in violat- ing the latter, we shew our selves so entirely negligent of the Misery of others, that Views of increasing our own Good, overcome all our Com- passion toward their Sufferings. Now as the absence of Good, is more easily born than the presence of Misery; so our good Wishes toward the positive Good of others, are weaker than our Compassion toward their Misery. He then who violates imperfect Rights, shews that his Self-love overcomes only the Desire of positive good to others; but he who violates perfect Rights, betrays such a selfish Desire of advancing his own positive Good, as overcomes all 1 1 32 Compassion || toward the Misery of others.

Beside these two sorts of Rights, there is a third call’d External; as when the doing, possessing, or demanding of any thing is really detri- mental to the Publick in any particular Instance, as being contrary to the imperfect Right of another; but yet the universally denying Men this Faculty [281] of doing, possessing, or demanding that Thing, or of using Force in pursuance of it, would do more mischief than all the Evils to be fear’d from the Use of this Faculty. And hence it appears, “That there can be no Right to use Force in opposition even to external Rights, since it tends to the universal Good to allow Force in pursuance of them.”

Civil Societys substitute Actions in Faw, instead of the Force allow’d in the State of Nature.

Instances of external Rights are these; that of a wealthy Miser to recal his Foan from the most industrious poor Tradesman at any time; that of demanding the Performance of a Covenant too burdensome on one side; the Right of a wealthy Heir to refuse Payment of any Debts which were contracted by him under Age, without Fraud in the Fender; the Right of taking advantage of a positive Faw, contrary to what was Equity antecedent to that Faw; as when a register’d Deed takes place of one not register’d, altho prior to it, and known to be so before the second Con- tract.

Now whereas no action, Demand, or Possession, can at once be either necessary to the publick Good, or conducive to it, and [282] at the same



time its contrary be either necessary or conducive to the same end; it follows, “That there can be no Opposition of perfect Rights among themselves, of imperfect among themselves, or between perfect and im- perfect Rights.” But it may often tend to the publick Good, to allow a Right of doing, possessing, or demanding, and of using Force in pur- suance of it, while perhaps it would have been more humane and kind in any Person to have acted otherwise, and not have claim’d his Right. But yet a violent Opposition to these Rights, would have been vastly more pernicious than all the Inhumanity in the use of them. And there- fore, tho external Rights cannot be opposite among themselves; yet they may be opposite to imperfect Rights, but imperfect Rights, tho violated, give no Right to Force. Fience it appears, “That there can never be a Right to Force on both Sides, or a || 33 just War on both Sides || at thesame time.”

34 VII. There is another important Difference of Rights, according as they are Alienable, or Unalienable. To determine what Rights are alien- able, and what not, we must take these two Marks:

1st. If the Alienation be within our natural Power, so that it be possible for us in [283] Fact to transfer our Right; and if it be so, then,

2dly. It must appear, that || 35 to transfer|| such Rights may serve some valuable Purpose.

By the first Mark it appears, “That the Right of private Judgment, or of our inward Sentiments, is unalienable;” since we cannot command ourselves to think what either we our selves, or any other Person pleases. So are also our internal Affections, which necessarily arise according to our Opinions of their Objects. By the second Mark it appears, “That our Right of serving God, in the manner which we think acceptable, is not alienable;” because it can never serve any valuable purpose, to make Men worship him in a way which seems to them displeasing to him. The same way, a direct Right over our Lives or Limbs, is not alienable to any Person; so that he might at Pleasure put us to death, or maim us. We have indeed a Right to hazard our Lives in any good Action which is of importance to the Publick; and it may often serve a most valuable end, to subject the direction of such perilous Actions to the Prudence of others


alienable, and unalienable.




Foundation of Property.

in pursuing a publick Good; as Soldiers do to their General, or to a Council of War: and so far this Right is alienable. These may serve as [284] Instances to shew the use of the two Marks of alienable Rights, which must both concur to make them so, and will explain the manner of applying them in other Cases.

36 VIII. That we may see the Foundation of some of the more important Rights of Mankind, let us observe, that probably nine Tenths, at least, of the things which are useful to Mankind, are owing to their Labour and Industry; and consequently, || 37 when once Men become so numer- ous, that the natural Product of the Earth is not sufficient for their Sup- port, or Ease, or innocent Pleasure; a necessity arises, for the support of the increasing System, that such a Tenour of Conduct be observ’d, as shall most effectually promote Industry; and that Men|| abstain from all Actions which would have the contrary effect. It is well known, that general Benevolence alone, is not a Motive strong enough to Industry, to bear Labour and Toil, and many other Difficultys which we are averse to from Self-love. For the strengthning therefore our Motives to In- dustry, we have the strongest Attractions of Blood, of Friendship, of Gratitude, and the additional Motives of Honour, and even of external Interest. Self-love is really as necessary to the Good of the Whole, as Benevolence; as that Attraction which causes the Cohesion of the Parts, is as necessary to the regular [285] State of the Whole, as Gravitation. Without these additional Motives, Self-love would generally oppose the Motions of Benevolence, and concur with Malice, or influence us to the same Actions which Malice would. “|| 38 That|| Tenour of Action then, which would take away the stronger Ties of Benevolence, or the addi- tional Motives of Honour and Advantage, from our Minds, and so hinder us from pursuing industriously that Course which really increases the Good of the Whole, is evil; and we are oblig’d to shun it.”

First then, the depriving any Person of the Fruits of his own innocent Labour, takes away all Motives || 39 to Industry from Self-love, or the nearer Ties; and leaves us no other Motive than general Benevolence: || nay, it exposes the Industrious as a constant Prey to the Slothful, and sets Self-love against Industry. This is the Ground of our Right of Do-


I8 7

minion and Property in the Fruits of our Labours; without which Right, we could scarce hope for any Industry, or any thing beyond the Product of uncultivated Nature. Industry will be confin’d to our present Ne- cessitys, and cease when they are provided for; at least it will only con- tinue from the weak Motive of general Benevolence, ifwe are not allow’d to store up beyond present Necessity, and to dispose of what is above our Necessitys, [286] either in Barter for other kinds of Necessarys, or for the Service of our Friends or Familys. And hence appears the Right which Men have to lay up for the future, the Goods which will not be spoil’d by it; of alienating them in Trade; of Donation to Friends, Children, Relations: otherwise we deprive Industry of all the Motives of Self-love, Friendship, Gratitude, || 40 and || natural Affection. The same Foundation there is for the Right of Disposition by Testament. The Pre- sumption of || 41 this || Disposition, is the Ground of the Right of Suc- cession to the Intestate.

The external Right of the Miser to his useless Floards, is founded also on this, that allowing Persons by Violence, or without Consent of the Acquirer, to take the Use of his Acquisitions, would discourage Industry, and take away all the Pleasures of Generosity, Honour, Charity, which cease when Men can be forc’d to these Actions. Besides, there is no de- termining in many Cases, who is a Miser, and who is not.

Marriage must be so constituted as to ascertain the Offspring; oth- erwise we take away from the Males one of the strongest Motives to publick Good, viz. natural Affection; and discourage Industry, as has been shewn above. [287]

The Labour of each Man cannot furnish him with all Necessarys, tho it may furnish him with a needless Plenty of one sort: Hence the Right of Commerce, and alienating our Goods; and also the Rights from Con- tracts and Promises, either to the Goods acquir’d by others, or to their Labours.

|| 42 The great Advantages which accrue to Mankind from unprejudic’d Arbitrators, impower’d to decide the Controversys which ordinarily arise, thro the partiality of Self-love, among Neighbours; as also from prudent Directors, who should not only instruct the Multitude in the best Methods of promoting the publick Good, and of defending

Right of Marriage.


Right of Civil Government.



themselves against mutual or foreign Injurys; but also be arm’d with Force sufficient to make their Decrees or Orders effectual at home, and the Society formidable abroad: these Advantages, I say, sufficiently shew the Right Men have to constitute Civil Government, and to subject their alienable Rights to the Disposal of their Governours, under such Lim- itations as their Prudence suggests. And as far as the People have sub- jected their Rights, so far their Governours have an external Right at least, to dispose of them, as their Prudence shall direct, for attaining the Ends of their Institution; and no further. || [288]

Corollarys for comparing the degrees of Virtue and Vice in Actions.

From Ability.


43 IX. These Instances may shew how our moral Sense, by a little Re- flection upon the tendencys of actions, may adjust the Rights of Man- kind. Let us now apply the general || 44 Canon[| laid down above,* for comparing the Degrees of Virtue and Vice in Actions, in a few Corollarys besides that one already deduc’d.!

1. The Disappointment, in whole or in part, of any Attempt, Good or Evil, if it be occasion’d only by external Force, or any unforeseen Accident, does notvary the moral Good, or Evil; for as in good Attempts, the Moment of Good, || 45 or [M] || is diminish’d, or vanishes in such a case, so does the Ability, || 46 or [A] || likewise: The Quotient then may still be the same. This holds equally in evil Attempts. So that Actions are not to be judg’d good or evil by the Events, any further than they might have been foreseen by the Agent in evil Attempts; or were actually in- tended, if they were good, in good Actions; for then only they argue either Love or Hatred in the Agent.

2. Secular rewards annex’d to Virtue, and actually influencing the Agent fur-[289]ther than his Benevolence would, diminish the moral Good 1 1 47 as far 1 1 as they were necessary to move the Agent to the action, or to make him do more Good than otherwise he would have done; for by increasing the Interest, || 48 or [I] positive, || to be subtracted, they di- minish the Benevolence. But additional Interests which were not nec- essary to have mov’d the Agent, such as the Rewards of a good Being for

  • See Sect. iii. Art. ii, 12.

t See Sect. iii. Art. 15. Par. 3.



Actions which he would have undertaken without a Reward, do not di- minish the Virtue. In this however no Mortal is capable of judging an- other. Nor do the Prospects of grateful Returns for Benefits which we would have conferr’d gratuitously, diminish the Generosity. This Cor- ollary may be apply’d to the Rewards of a future State, if any Person conceives them distinct from the Pleasures of virtue itself: If they be not conceiv’d as something distinct from those Pleasures, then the very De- sire of them is a strong Evidence of a virtuous Disposition.

3 . External Advantage exciting us to Actions of evil tendency to others, if without this Prospect of Advantage we would not have undertaken them, diminishes the Evil of the Action; such as the Prospects of great Rewards, of avoiding Tortures, or even the uneasy Sollicitations of vi- olent selfish Passions. This is com-[29o]monly call’d the greatness of Temptation. The reason of this is the same with that in the former Case|| 49 , since El = L ir ||. We may here also remember again, that we are more uneasy upon the presence of Pain, than upon the absence of Good; and hence Torture is a more extenuating Circumstance than Bribes, engaging us to Evil, because || 50 [I] is greater.||

4. The surmounting the uneasy Sollicitations of the selfish Passions, increases the Virtue of a benevolent Action, and much more worldly Losses, Toil, &c. for now the Interest becomes negative; the Subtraction of which increases the Quantity.

5. A malicious Action is made the more odious by all its foreseen Dis- advantages to the Agent, for the same reason: particularly,

6. The Knowledge of a Law prohibiting an evil Action, increases the Evil by increasing the negative Interest to be subtracted; for then the ill- natur’d Inclination must be so strong as to surmount all the || 51 Motives of Self-love, to avoid|| the Penaltys, and all the Motives of Gratitude toward the Law-giver. This is commonly call’d sinning against Con- science. [291]

7. Offices of no Toil or Expence, have little Virtue generally, because the ability is very great, and there is no contrary Interest surmounted.

8. But the refusing of them may be very vitious, as it argues an absence of good Affection, and often produces a great enough Moment of natural Evil. And,


Knowledge of Laws, how it affects Actions.



Degree of Right.

Strength of Ties.

What Offices to be prefer’d, when there appears any Opposition.

9. In general, the fulfilling the perfect Rights of others has little Virtue in it; for thereby || 52 no|| Moment of Good is produc’d || 53 more than there was before ||; and the Interest engaging to the Action is very great, even the avoiding all the Evils of War in a State of || 54 Nature.||

10. But the violating perfect, or even external Rights, is always ex- ceedingly evil, either in the immediate, or more remote Consequences of the Action; and the selfish Motives surmounted by this vitious Incli- nation, are the same with those in the former Case.

11. The truest Matter of Praise are those Actions or Offices which others claim from us by an imperfect Right; and generally, the stronger their Right is, there is the less Virtue in fulfilling it, but the greater Vice in violating it. [292]

|| 55 Lemma. The stronger Ties of Benevolence, in equal Abilitys, must produce a greater Moment of Good, in equally good Characters, than the weaker Ties. Thus, natural Affection, Gratitude, Friendship, have greater Effects than general Benevolence. Hence, ||

12. In equal Moments of Good produc’d by two Agents, when one acts from general 1 1 56 Benevolence 1 1 , and the other from a nearer Tie; there is greater Virtue in the Agent, who produces equal Good from the || 57 weaker|| Attachment, and less Virtue, where there is the ]| 58 stronger|| Attachment, which yet produces no || 59 more||.

13. But the Omission of the good Offices of the stronger Ties, or Ac- tions contrary to them, have greater Vice in them, than the like Omissions or Actions contrary to the weaker Ties; since our Selfishness or Malice must appear the greater, by the strength of the contrary At- tachment which it surmounts. Thus, in co-operating with Gratitude, natural Affection, or Friendship, we evidence less Virtue in any given Moment of Good produc’d, than in equally important Actions of gen- eral Benevolence: But Ingratitude to a Benefactor, Negligence of the In- terests of a Friend, or Relation; or Returns of evil Offices, are vastly more [293] odious, than equal negligence, or evil Offices toward Strangers.

14. When we cannot at once follow two different Inclinations of Be- nevolence, we are to prefer gratifying the stronger Inclination; according to the wise Order of N ature, [ | 60 who 1 1 has constituted these Attachments. Thus, we are rather to be Grateful than Liberal, rather serve a Friend,



or Kinsman, than a Stranger of only equal Virtue, when we cannot do both.

|| 61 15. Or more generally, since there can be no Right, Claim, or Ob- ligation to Impossibilitys; when two Actions to be done by any Agent, would both tend to the good of Mankind, but they cannot be perform’d both at once; that which occasions most Good is to be done, if the Omis- sion of the other occasions no prepollent Evil. If the omission of either, will occasion some new natural Evil, that is to be omitted, whose Omis- sion will occasion the least Evil. Thus, if two Persons of unequal Dignity be in Danger, we are to relieve the more valuable, when we cannot relieve both. Ingratitude, as it evidences a worse Temper than neglect of Be- neficence; so it raises worse Sentiments in the Benefactor, and greater Diffidence, and Suspicion of his [294] Fellow-Creatures, than an Omis- sion of an act of Beneficence: we ought therefore to be Grateful, rather than Beneficent, when we cannot (in any particular Case) evidence both Dispositions. If omitting of one Action will occasion new positive Evil, or continuance in a State of Pain, whereas the Omission of another would only prevent some new positive Good; since a State of Pain is a greater Evil, than the absence of Good, we are to follow Compassion, rather than Kindness; and relieve the Distressed, rather than increase the Pleasures of the Easy; when we cannot do both at once, and other Cir- cumstances of the Objects are equal. In such Cases, we should not sup- pose contrary Obligations, or Dutys; the more important Office is our present Duty, and the Omission of the less important inconsistent Office at present, is no moral Evil.||

|] 62a X. From Art. vii. it follows, “That all human Power, or Authority, must consist in a Right transferr’d to any Person or Council, to dispose of the alienable Rights of others; and that consequently, there can be no Government so absolute, as to have even an external Right to do or com- mand everything.” For wherever any Invasion is made upon unalienable Rights, there must arise either a perfect, or external Right to Resistance. [295] The only Restraints of a moral Kind upon Subjects in such cases, are, when they foresee that, thro their want of Force, they shall probably by Resistance occasion greater Evils to the Publick, than those they at-

The Original of








tempt to remove; or when they find that Governours, in the main very useful to the Publick, have by some unadvised Passion, done an Injury too small to overbalance the Advantages of their Administration, or the Evils which Resistance would in all likelihood occasion; especially when the Injury is of a private Nature, and not likely to be made a Precedent to the ruin of others. Unalienable Rights are essential Limitations in all Governments.

But by absolute Government, either in Prince, or Council, or in both jointly, we understand a Right to dispose of the natural Force, and Goods of a whole People, as far as they are naturally alienable, according to the Prudence of the Prince, Council, or of both jointly, for the publick Good of the State, or whole People; without any Reservation as to the Quantity of the Goods, manner of Levying, or the proportion of the Labours of the Subject, which they shall demand. But in all States this tacit Trust is presuppos’d, “that the Power conferr’d shall be employ’d according to the best Judgment of the Rulers for the publick Good. ” So that [296] whenever the Governours openly profess a Design of destroying the State, or act in such a manner as will necessarily do it; the essential Trust suppos’d in all conveyance of Civil Power, is violated, and the Grant thereby made void.

A Prince, or Council, or both jointly, may be variously Limited; either when the consent of the one may be necessary to the validity of the Acts of the other; or when, in the very Constitution of this supreme Power, certain Affairs are expresly exempted from the Jurisdiction of the Prince, or Council, or both jointly: as when several independent States uniting, form a general Council, from whose Cognizance they expresly reserve certain Privileges, in the very Formation of this Council; or when in the very Constitution of any State, a certain Method of Election of the Per- son of the Prince, or of the Members of the supreme Council is deter- min’d, and the Intention of their Assembling declar’d. In all such cases, it is not in the Power of such Prince, Council, or both jointly, to alter the very Form of Government, or to take away that Right which the People have to be govern’d in such a manner, by a Prince, or Council thus elected, without the universal Consent of the very People who have subjected themselves to this Form of [297] Government. So that there



may be a very regular State, where there is no universal absolute Power, lodg’d either in one Person, or Council, or in any other Assembly beside that of the whole People associated into that State. To say, that upon a Change attempted in the very Form of the Government, by the supreme Power, the People have no Remedy according to the Constitution itself, will not prove that the supreme Power has such a Right; unless we con- found all Ideas of Right with those of external Force. The only Remedy indeed in that Case, is an universal Insurrection against such perfidious Trustees.

Despotick Power, is that which Persons injur’d may acquire over those Criminals, whose Lives, consistently with the publick Safety, they may prolong, that by their Labours they may repair the Damages they have done; or over those who stand oblig’d to a greater Value, than all their Goods and Labours can possibly amount to. This Power itself, is limited to the Goods and Labours only of the Criminals or Debtors; and in- cludes no Right to Tortures, Prostitution, or any Rights of the Governed which are naturally Unalienable; or to any thing which is not of some Moment toward Repair of Damage, Payment of Debt, or Security against future Offences. The Characteristick of de-[298]spotick Power, is this, “that it is solely intended for the good of the Governours, without any tacit Trust of consulting the good of the Governed . ” Despotick Gov- ernment, in this Sense, is directly inconsistent with the Notion of Civil Government.

From the Idea of Right, as above explain’d, we must necessarily con- clude, “that there can be no Right, or Limitation of Right, inconsistent with, or opposite to the greatest publick Good.” And therefore in Cases of extreme Necessity, when the State cannot otherwise be preserv’d from Ruin, it must certainly be Just and Good in limited Governours, or in any other Persons who can do it, to use the Force of the State for its own preservation, beyond the Limits fix’d by the Constitution, in some tran- sitory acts, which are not to be made Precedents. And on the other hand, when an equal Necessity to avoid Ruin requires it, the Subjects may justly resume the Powers ordinarily lodg’d in their Governours, or may counteract them. This Privilege of flagrant Necessity, we all allow in de- fence of the most perfect private Rights: And if publick Rights are of

The nature of





Divine Government founded on Wisdom and Goodness.

more extensive Importance, so are also publick Necessitys. These Ne- cessitys must be very grievous and flagrant, otherwise they can never over-ballance the Evils ofvio-[299]lating a tolerable Constitution, by an arbitrary act of Power, on the one hand; or by an Insurrection, or Civil War, on the other. No Person, or State can be happy, where they do not think their important Rights are |] 63b secur’d b || from the Cruelty, Avarice, Ambition, or Caprice of their Governours. Nor can any Magistracy be safe, or effectual for the ends of its Institution, where there are frequent Terrors of Insurrections. Whatever temporary acts therefore may be al- low’d in extraordinary Cases; whatever may be lawful in the transitory act of a bold Legislator, who without previous Consent should rescue a slavish Nation, and place their Affairs so in the Hands of a Person, or Council, elected, or limited by themselves, that they should soon have confidence in their own Safety, and in the Wisdom of the Administra- tion; yet, as to the fixed State which should ordinarily obtain in all Com- munitys, since no || 64c Assumed || of Government, can so demonstrate his superior Wisdom or Goodness to the satisfaction and security of the Governed, as is necessary to their Happiness; this must follow, “That except when Men, for their own Interest, or out of || 65d publick Love d ||, have by Consent subjected their Actions, or their Goods within certain Limits to the Disposal of others; no Mortal can have a Right from his superior Wisdom, or [300] Goodness, or any other Quality, to give Laws to others without their Consent, express or tacit; or to dispose of the fruits of their Labours, or of any other Right whatsoever.” And there- fore superior Wisdom, or Goodness, gives no Right to Men to govern others. a ||

But then with relation to the Deity, suppos’d omniscient and benev- olent, and secure from Indigence, the ordinary Cause of Injurys toward others; it must be amiable in such a Being, to assume the Government of weak, inconstant Creatures, often misled by Selfishness; and to give them Laws. To these Laws every Mortal should submit from publick Love, as being contriv’d for the Good of the Whole, and for the greatest private Good consistent with it; and || 66 every one may be sure, that he shall be better directed how to attain these Ends by the Divine Laws, than by his own greatest Prudence and || Circumspection. Hence we



imagine, “That a good and wise God must have a perfect Right to govern the Universe; and that all Mortals are oblig’d to universal Obedience.”

The J ustice of the Deity is only a Conception of his universal impartial Benevolence, as it shall influence him, if he gives any Laws, to attemper them to the universal Good, and inforce them with the [301] most ef- fectual Sanctions of Rewards and Punishments.

67 XI. Some imagine that the Property the Creator has in all his Works, must be the true Foundation of his Right to govern." Among Men in- deed, we find it necessary for the publick Good, that none should ar- bitrarily dispose of the Goods, acquir’d by the Labour of another, which we call his Property; and hence we imagine that Creation is the only Foundation of God’s Dominion. But if the Reason* of establishing the Rights of Property does not hold against a perfectly wise and benevolent Being, 1 see no Reason why Property should be necessary to his Do- minion. Now the Reason does not hold: For an infinitely wise and good Being, could never || 68 employ his assumed Authority to || counteract the universal Good. The tie of Gratitude is stronger indeed than bare Be- nevolence; and therefore supposing two equally wise and good Beings, the one our Creator, and the other not, we should think our selves more oblig’d to obey our Creator. But supposing our Creator malicious, 69 and a good Being condescending to rescue us, or govern us better, with suf- ficient Power to accomplish his kind Intentions; his Right to govern would be perfectly good. But [302] this is rather matter of curious Specu- lation than Use; since both Titles of Benevolence and Property concur in the one only true Deity, as far as we can know, join’d with infinite Wisdom and Power.

70 XII. If it be here enquir’d, “Could not the Deity have given us a dif- ferent or contrary determination of Mind, viz. to approve Actions upon another Foundation than Benevolence?” || 71 It is certain, there is || noth-

ii. Compare John Locke’s criticism of Robert Filmer in Two Treatises of Govern- ment, Treatise i, chapter 3.

  • See Art. 10. Par. 6. of this Section.

Divine Justice what.

Creation not the Ground of God’s Dominion.

Our Moral Sense the Effect of the Divine Goodness.



Whence this universal Opinion of the Divine Goodness.

ing in this surpassing the natural Power of the Deity. But as in the first Treatise,* we resolv’d the Constitution of our present Sense of Beauty into the divine Goodness, so with much more obvious Reason may we ascribe the present Constitution of our moral Sense to his Goodness. For if the Deity be really benevolent, || 72 or delights in || the Happiness of others, he could not rationally act otherwise, or give us a moral Sense upon another Foundation, without counteracting his own benevolent Intentions. For, even upon the Supposition of a contrary Sense, every rational Being must still have been solicitous in some degree about his own external Happiness: Reflection on the Circumstances of Mankind in this World would have suggested, that universal Benevolence and a social Temper, or a || 73 certain Course of external || Actions, [303] would most effectually promote the external Good of every one, according to the Reasonings of Cumberland and Puffendorf; while at the same time this perverted Sense of Morality would have made us uneasy in such a Course, and inclin’d us to the quite contrary, viz. Barbarity, Cruelty, and Fraud; and universal War, according to Mr. Hobbs, 111 would really have been our natural State; so that in every Action we must have been dis- tracted by two contrary Principles, and perpetually miserable, and dis- satisfy’d when we follow’d the Directions of either.

74 XIII. It has often been taken for granted in these Papers, “That the Deity is morally good;” tho the Reasoning is not at all built upon this Supposition. If we enquire into the Reason of the great Agreement of Mankind in this Opinion, we shall perhaps find no demonstrative Ar- guments a priori, from the Idea of an Independent Being, to prove his Goodness. But there is abundant Probability, deduc’d from the whole Frame of Nature, which seems, as far as we know, plainly contriv’d for the Good of the Whole; and the casual Evils seem the necessary Con- comitants of some Mechanism design’d for || 75 vastly || prepollentGood. || 76 Nay||, this very moral Sense, implanted in rational Agents, to || 7 de- light in ||, and admire whatever Actions flow from a [304] Study of the

  • Sect. viii. Art. 2. Prop. 5.

iii. Hobbes, Leviathan, Part 1, chapters 13, 14, 15; Part 2, chapter 17.



Good of others, is one of the strongest Evidences of Goodness in the Author of Nature.

78 But these Reflections are || 79 no way|| so universal as the Opinion, nor are they often inculcated by any one. What then more probably leads Mankind into that Opinion, is this. The obvious Frame of the World gives us Ideas of boundless Wisdom and Power in its Author. Such a Being we cannot conceive indigent, and must conclude happy, and in the best State possible, since he can still gratify himself. The best State of rational Agents, and their greatest and most worthy Happiness, we are necessarily led to imagine must consist in universal efficacious Be- nevolence: and hence we conclude the Deity benevolent in the most universal impartial manner. Nor can we well imagine what else deserves the Name of Perfection || 80 but|| Benevolence, and those Capacitys or Abilitys which are necessary to make it effectual; such as Wisdom, and Power: at least we can have no || 81 other valuable || Conception of it.

FINIS. [304]


Title Page

1. A: In which the principles of the late Earl of Shaftesbury are Explain’d and Defended, against the Author of the Fable of the Bees: and the Ideas of Moral Good and Evil are establish’d, according to the Sentiments of the An- tient Moralists. With an Attempt to introduce a Mathematical Calculation in Subjects of Morality.


2. Dedication not in A.


3. A (p. iv): set

4. A (p. iv): about

5. A (p. iv): about

6. A (p. iv): see Reason to imagine

7. D (p. 309): are few Objects which are

8. A (p. v): shall find

9. C (p. xiii), D (p. xiii): commonly call

10. D [Corrigenda, p. 309]: certain complex Forms

11. C (p. xiii), D (p. xiii): approve

12. C (p. xiv), D (p. xiv): Infirmities

13. A (p. vii): of Mankind

14. A (p. vii): may shew

15. C (p. xiv), D (p. xiv): He has given us strong Affections to be the Springs of each virtuous Action; and made Virtue a lovely Form, that we




might easily distinguish it from its Contrary, and be made happy by the Pur- suit of it.

16. C (p. xv), D (p. xv): private Interest

17. New paragraph in C (p. xv) and D (p. xv).

18. C (p. xv), D (p. xv): It will perhaps be found, that the greater Part of the Ingenious Arts are calculated to please some Natural Powers, pretty dif- ferent either from what we commonly call Reason, or the External Senses.

19. A (p. vii): perhaps will

20. A (p. viii): And we find to the full

21. D (p. xvi): this

22. Not in A (p. viii).

23. A (p. ix): and thence

24. A (p. ix): do reflect

25. A (p. ix): And hence

26. C (p. xvii), D (p. xvii): tho’ these Objects present themselves to our Observation sooner than the other.

27. A (pp. ix— xi): Were not the Author diffident of his own Performance, as too inconsiderable to have any great Names mention’d in it, he would have publickly acknowledg’d his Obligations to a certain Lord (whose Name would have had no small Authority with the learned World) for admitting him into his Acquaintance, and giving him some Remarks in Conversation, which have very much improv’d these Papers beyond what they were at first. The Author might have found good Materials for a modern Dedication from the active parts of his Life, as well as from his Learning and Reflection; but he knows him to be one of that sort,

Cui male si palpere, recalcitrat undique tutus.*

And therefore, when they come to his Hands again, he only repeats to him the old Dedication with which he first presented them

Si quid ego adjuvero, curamve levasso.

Si quae te coquat, aut verset in pectore fixa,

Jam pretium tulerim.f

The same Consideration hinders the Author from Mentioning a Clergy- man, to whom he was much oblig’d for revising these Papers, and for some valuable Remarks. That Gentleman’s Character is further known for every Quality becoming his Office, than the Author can well presume his Papers



ever shall be; and therefore he thinks he can do him no honour by mentioning him.

  • Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. I. v. 20. [Translation: “Who, being flattered clumsily, kicks back,

protected from all sides.”]

tCicero de Senectute, in initio. [Editor’s note: The exact quotation does not exist in any known Cicero text. The original lines read as follows: “si quid ego adiuero curamve levasso quae nunc te coquit et versat in pectore fixa, ecquid erit praemi.” Translation: “should some aid of mine dispel / The cares that now within thy bosom dwell / And wring thy heart and torture thee with pain, / What then would be the measure of thy gain.” (Cicero, De Senectute, De Amicitia, De Divinatione, with an English translation by William Armistad Falconer, Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 8.)]

28. Not in A. C (p. xxi), D (p. xxi) [D variants noted in square brack- ets]: In ||this third Edition || [the later Editions], what Alterations are made, are partly owing to the Objections of some Gentlemen, who wrote very keenly against several Principles in this Book. The Author was convinc’d of some inaccurate Expressions, which are now alter’d; and some Arguments, he hopes, are now made clearer: but he has not yet seen Cause to renounce any of the Principles maintain’d in it. Nor is there any thing of Consequence added, except in Sect. II. of Treatise 2d; and the same Reasoning is found in Sect. I. of the Essay ||of|| [on] the Passions.

In this ||3rd|| [4th] Edition there are Additions interspersed, to prevent Objections which have been published against this Scheme by several Au- thors; and some Mathematical Expressions are left out, which upon second Thoughts, appear’d useless, and were disagreeable to some Readers.


29. D: relative or comparative

Treatise I, Section I

1. D (p. 1): An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. Treatise I. Of Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design.

2. C (p. 2), D (p. 2): great

3. Deleted in B [Errata].

4. Omitted in D (p. 2).

5. D [Corrigenda, p. 309]: Corporeal Substances

6. D [Corrigenda, p. 309]: raise a clear enough Idea



7. A (p. 3): he has not received any of these Ideas, or wants the Senses necessary for the Perception of them, no Definition can ever raise in him any Idea of that Sense in which he is deficient.

8. A (pp. 3-4): §§ V and VI are interchanged.

9. Not in A (p. 4).

10. Not in A (p. 4).

11. Omitted in D (p. 5).

12. Deleted in B [Errata] .

13. Not in A (p. 5).

14. Not in A (p. 5).

15. A (p. 5): in our Dress, and some other Affairs; and yet this may arise from a like accidental Conjunction of Ideas: as for instance,

16. D [Corrigenda, p. 309]: including

17. Deleted in B [Errata], D (p. 6).

18. D [Corrigenda, p. 309]: appears no

19. Not in A (p. 6).

20. A (p. 6): that

21. C (p. 6), D (p. 6): many

22. C (p. 6), D (p. 6): far

23. Not in A (p. 7).

24. A (p. 8): relish

25. A (p. 9): wou’d

26. A (p. 8): Affairs

27. New paragraph added in D (p. 9): We generally imagine the brute Animals endowed with the same sort of Powers of Perception as our External Senses, and having sometimes greater Acuteness in them: but we conceive few or none of them with any of these sublimer Powers of Perception here call’d Internal Senses; or at least if some of them have them, it is in a Degree much inferior to ours.

28. D (p. 9): hereafter

29. D (p. 10): Let one consider, first, That ’tis probable a Being may have the full Power of External Sensation, which we enjoy, so as to perceive each Colour, Line, Surface, as we do; yet, without the Power of comparing, or of discerning the Similitudes or Proportions: Again, It might discern these also, and yet have no Pleasure or Delight Accompanying these Perceptions. The bare Idea of the Form is something separable from Pleasure, as may appear from the different Tastes of men about the Beauty of Forms, where we don’t



imagine that they differ in any Ideas, either of the Primary or Secundary Qualities. Similitude, Proportion, Analogy, or Equality of Proportion, are Objects of the Understanding, and must be actually known before we know the natural Causes of our Pleasure. But Pleasure perhaps is not necessarily connected with the Perception of them: and may be felt where the Propor- tion is not known or attended to: and may not be felt where the Proportion is observed.

30. A (p. 9): Sense

31. A (p. 9): to receive

32. D (p. 10): may often

33. Not in A (p. 10).

34. D (p. n): not numbered.

35. D (p. 11): is different

36. D (p. 11): we are struck at the first with the

37. Footnote in A (p. 10): *See above, Art. 5.

38. D (p. 11): may bring along that peculiar kind of Pleasure, which at- tends

39. D (p. 11): numbered XIII.

40. Not in A (p. 10).

41. D (p. 12): numbered XIV.

42. Omitted in D (p. 12).

43. Omitted in C (p. 13), D (p. 13).

44. Omitted in C (p. 13), D (p. 13).

45. D (p. 13): but cannot

46. A (p. 12): that were

47. C (p. 13), D (p. 13): The same holds true of

48. C (p. 13), D (p. 13): Interest

49. Omitted in C (p. 13), D (p. 13).

50. D (p. 13): numbered XV.

51. Omitted in D (p. 13).

52. C (p. 13): and Custom, Education, or Example, could never

D (p. 13): ’Tis true, what chiefly pleases in the Countenance, are the Indications of Moral Dispositions; and yet were we by the longest Acquain- tance fully convinc’d of the best Moral Dispositions in any Person, with that Countenance we now think deform’d, this would never hinder our imme- diate Dislike of the Form, or our liking other Forms more: and Custom, Education, or Example, could never



53. D (p. 14): Beauty, in Corporeal Forms,

54. A (p. 13): noted

55. A (p. 13): Heat

56. C (p. 13), D (p. 14): otherwise

57. Omitted in D (p. 15).

Treatise I, Section II

1. Not in A (p. 15).

2. C (p. 16), D (p. 16): for there are many

3. C (p. 16), D (p. 16): and yet

4. Omitted in D (p. 16).

5. A (p. 16): that shall be touched at* afterwards. [Same footnote.]

6 . D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: mayseem probable, and hold pretty generally.

7. Not in A (p. 18).

8. Not in D (p. 18).

9. C (p. 19), D (p. 19): former

10. Omitted in D (p. 19).

11. Omitted in D (p. 19).

12. C (p. 19), D (p. 19): surprizing

13. A (pp. 18-19): the [19] Structure, and Order

14. C (p. 20), D (p. 20): great

15. A (p. 19): and

16. No new paragraph in A (p. 19).

17. C (p. 21), D (p. 21): Thus

18. A (p. 20): various

19. D (p. 22): great

20. C (p. 22), D (p. 22): how near the

21. D (p. 22): in brackets.

22. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: minuter Parts, even of those,

23. Not in A (p. 21).

24. D (p. 22): a very great

25. D (p. 22): great

26. A (p. 21): or Leaf

27. Not in A (p. 21).

28. A (p. 21): shall spring

29. A (p. 21): shall sprout

30. C (p. 23), D (p. 23): each



31. Not in A (p. 22).

32. C (p. 23), D (p. 23): surprizing

33. A (p. 22): that

34. C (p. 24), D (p. 24): how universal is that Beauty which

35. Not in A (p. 23).

36. C (p. 25), D (p. 25): Mind. In Motion there is also a natural Beauty, when at fixed Periods like Gestures and Steps are regularly repeated, suiting the Time and Air of Music, which is observed in regular Dancing.

37. C (p. 26), D (p. 26): great

38. C (p. 26), D (p. 26): considerable

39. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: and frequently

40. A (p. 25): Chords

41. A (p. 26): every second Vibration

42. A (p. 26): Chords. Now good Compositions, beside the Frequency of these Chords, must retain a general Unity of Key, an Uniformity among the Parts in Bars, Risings, Fallings, Closes. The Necessity of this will appear, by observing the Dissonance which would arise from tacking Parts of differ- ent Tunes together as one, altho both were separately agreeable. A greater

43. Not in A (p. 26), and no new paragraph.

44. A (p. 26): afterwards

45. New footnote in D (p. 29): *There is nothing singular in applying the Word Beauty to Sounds. The Antients observe the peculiar Dignity of the Senses of Seeing and Hearing, that in their Objects we discern the KaXov [beauty], which we don’t ascribe to the Objects of the other Senses.

Treatise I, Section III

1. A (p. 27): because

2. D (p. 30): Multitude

3. Omitted in D (p. 31).

4. A (p. 21): Thus also one Fluxional Calculation shall determine the Tangents of all Algebraick Curves; of these Curves there are infinite Orders and Species possible!,] of each Species infinite Sizes, or Magnitudes of Areas, of each Size infinite Individuals, of each Individual Curve an Infinity of Points, from which Tangents may be drawn. But all these Infinitys of Infinites are exactly comprehended in the general Theorem, which fixes the Lengths of the Subtangents, or their Proportion to the Abscissa.

5. D (p. 31): find a like

20 6


6 . D (p. 31): many

7. D (p. 31): innumerable

8. Omitted in D (p 31).

9. D (p. 31): are only

10. A (p. 29): Because however

11. A (p. 29): does contain

12. Paragraph not in A (p. 29).

13. C (p. 33), D (p. 33): Truth. Another kind of Surprize in certain The- orems increases our Pleasure above that we have in Theorems of greater Ex- tent; when we discover a general Truth, which upon some confused Notion we had reputed false: as that Asymptotes always approaching should never meet the Curve. This is like the Joy of unexpected Advantage where we dreaded Evil. But still the Unity of many Particulars in the general Theorem is nec- essary to give Pleasure in any Theorem.

14. A (p. 29): which cannot be omitted; which is this [Omitted in D (p- 33 )-]

15. A (p. 29): shall contain

16. D (p. 33): great

17. D (p. 33): there are some leading, or fundamental Propertys, upon which a long Series of theorems can be naturally built

18. D (p. 34): others in higher Parts of Geometry

19. No new paragraph in A (p. 30).

20. D (p. 34): What is the Aim of our ingenious Geometers? A continual Inlargement of theorems, or making them extensive, shewing how what was formerly known of one Figure extends to many others, to Figures very unlike the former in Appearance.

21. A (p. 31): Advantage in Life

22. A (p. 31): besides

23. A (p. 31): Whimsys

24. C (p. 35), D (p. 35): an Affectation

25. D (p. 35): pleaded

26. D (p. 35): boasts

27. Without footnote in A (p. 31). Omitted in D (p. 35).

28. D (p. 35): see

29. A (p. 32): Dr. Cumberland has taken a great deal of needless Pains to reduce the Laws of Nature to one general practical Proposition; and how

30. D (p. 35): does Puffendorf



31. A(p. 32): As ifthey had not been better drawn, each respectively, from their immediate Sources, viz. Religion, Self-Love, and Sociableness.

32. Omitted in D (p. 35).

33. C (p. 35), D (p. 35): perceive the Beauty of

34. A (p. 32): notwithstanding the Contortions of Common Sense they may be led into by pursuing it

D (p. 36): since they are led into unnatural Deductions by pursuing it too far

35. D (p. 36) adds note: * Aristotle {Ethic. Nicom. I. ro. c. 3. [NE, X 2, 1174a 4-8]) justly observes, that we have certain natural Propensitys to certain Actions, or to the Exercise of certain natural Powers, without a View to, or Intention of, obtaining those Pleasures which naturally accompany them. Tlegl ttoXXcl avov 8 rjv TTOirjoalyLed'a av, ko.i el lar/Se/jLlav emipegoi r) 8 ovr)v, oiov ogav, iLvrujLOveveiv, elSevai, ras ageras eyeiv el S’ e f ava-yier/s errovra 1 tov- tcus ri 8 oval, ovSev 8 laipeger eXol^ed'a yag av ravra, Kal el p/i) yevoir av a-n avTtov rjSovr). [Translation: “Also there are many things which we should be eager to possess even if they brought us no pleasure, for instance sight, mem- ory, knowledge, virtue. It may be the case that these things are necessarily attended by pleasure, but that makes no difference; for we should desire them even if no pleasure resulted from them.” (Aristotle, A ? icomache an Ethics, with an English translation by H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Uni- versity Press, 1975, p. 588.)]

36. A (p. 33): that

37. Paragraph not in A (p. 33), C (p. 35), D (p. 36).

38. A (p. 33): wrongly numbered VI. In C (p. 37), D (p. 37): numbered VII.

39. A (p. 33): to be constantly

40. C (p. 37), D (p. 37): great

41. Not in A (p. 34).

42. D (p. 38): the

43. A (p. 34): numbered VII.

44. A (p. 34): shall appear

Treatise I, Section IV

1. No new paragraph in A (p. 35).

2. C (p. 40), D (p. 40): represented.NayperhapstheNoveltymaymake us prefer the Representation of Irregularity.



3. Omitted in D [Corrigenda, p. 310].

4. A (p. 36): not out of choice

5. A (p. 36): the finest Characters possible for Virtue

6. B [Errata]: whom

7. B [Errata] : of those which seem very remote

C (p. 42), D (p. 42): of those which are very different from each other

8. Not in A (p. 38).

9. D (p. 43): of

10. B [Errata]: Artificers

11. B [Errata]: them

12. A (p. 39): Work

13. A(p. 41): We may only here observe the Pleasure which any one shall receive from

14. A (p. 41): as also that pleasant Sensation he shall have

15. New footnote in D [Corrigenda, pp. 305-6]: *’Tis surprising to see the ingenious Author of Alcipbrort alledging, that all Beauty observed issolely some Use perceived or imagined; for no other Reason than this, that the Ap- prehension of the Use intended, occurs continually, when we are judging of the Forms of Chairs, Doors, Tables, and some other Things of obvious Use; and that we like those Forms most, which are fittest for the Use. Whereas we see, that in these very Things Similitude of parts is regarded, where unlike Parts would be equally useful: thus the Feet of a Chair would be of the same Use, tho’ unlike, were they equally long; tho’ one were strait, and the other bended; or one bending outwards, and the other inwards: A Coffin-shape for a Door would bear a more manifest Aptitude to the human Shape, than that which Artists require. And then what is the Use of these Imitations of Nature, or of its Works, in Architecture? Why should a Pillar please which has some of the Human Proportions? Is the End or Use of a Pillar the same as of a Man? Why the Imitation of other natural or well-proportioned Things in the Entablature? Is there then a Sense of Imitation, relishing it where there is no other Use than this, that it naturally pleases? Again; Is no Man pleased with the Shapes of any Animals, but those which he expects Use from? The Shapes of the Horse or the Ox may promise [306] Use to the Owner; but is he the only Person who relishes the Beauty? And is there no Beauty discerned in Plants, in Flowers, in Animals, whose Use is to us unknown? But what is still more surprising, is his representing Aristotle as giving the hra iverov [laudable], for the Notion of the KaXov [beauty]: when he has so often told



us, “that the xaXov is prior to it; that we love Praise from others, as it gives Testimony to, and confirms our Opinion of, our being possessed of Virtue, or the KaXov; and that the superior Excellency of this, which we antecedently perceive, is the Reason why we love Praise.” See Ethic. Ad Nicom. Lib. i. c. 5. 11 and often elsewhere. ’Tis true that the kclXov is laudable, and, as Plato asserts, all-wise, rjSi>, ko. 1 dxpeXifxov [the pleasant and the profitable] at last; and so does every one maintain who asserts a Moral Sense, in that very As- sertion. And yet the Doctor has found out the Art of making this an Objec- tion to Moral Sense.

i. George Berkeley, Alciphron, or The Minute Philosopher in The Works of George Berkeley, eds. A. A. Luce andT. E. Jessop, vol. 3, London, 1950, Third Dialogue, §§ 4— 12, pp. 118-32.

ii. Hutcheson paraphrases Aristotle and Plato using another paraphrase in Berkeley’s Alciphron, p. 118. The passage indicated reads “men’s motive in pursuing honour seems to be to assure themselves of their own merit” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. and ed. H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1937, P- U); compare Plato, Alcibiades, II, 145c.

Treatise I, Section V

1. A (p. 42): antecedently

2. A (p. 42): may possibly

3. A (p. 42): do not seem

4. D (p. 46): hereafter

5. A (p. 42): possible,

6. A (p. 43): This Expression is taken from the Cartesian Scheme, in which the Author of Nature is supposed to have designedly impress’d a gen- eral Force or Conatus ad motum upon the Mass of Matter, without any Di- rection whatsoever. This nonsensical Notion did so much prevail, and men have so many confused Conceptions of Nature and Chance, as real Beings operating without Wisdom or Design, that it may be useful to shew that their very absurd Postulatum is wholly insufficient, tho it were granted them, to answer the Appearances in the Regularity of the World. And this is what is attempted in the first fourteen Articles of this Section.

7. B [Errata], D (p. 47): The

8. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: below our Notice

9. Deleted in B [Errata].

10. Not in A (p. 43).



11. A (p. 43)

12. A (p. 43)

13. A (p. 44)

14. A (p. 44)

It is also certain that there is

may shall be shall

15. No new paragraph in A (p. 44).

1 6. A (p. 44): Positions

17. A (p. 45): and hence

18. Not in A (p. 45).

19. A (p. 45): Whereas if different Senses of Beauty be in other Agents,

20. C (p. 50), D (p. 50): not immediately

21. Omitted in C (p. 50), D (p. 50).

22. A (p. 46): offered

23. A (p. 46): cubick Inches solid Content

D (p. 51): Parts whose solid Contents were each a cubick Inch.

24. A (p. 47): that

25. A (p. 47): meet

26. A (p. 47): Design as producing them,

27. A (p. 47): the

28. C (p. 51), D (p. 51): not

29. A(p.47): are an infinity ofother Forms possible, we could only expect from the casual Concourse of such a Mass as was suppos’d in the last Case, one Prism of any Kind, since there are an Infinity of other Solids possible

30. A (p. 47): Presumption for

A(p. 48): in this Affair but an undirected Force of Attraction suppos’d A (p. 48): shall A (p. 49): even after Not in A (p. 49).

A (p. 50): as is that of A (p. 51): might possibly D (p. 55): does to A (p. 52): are D (p. 57): in D (p. 57): infinites

D (p. 57): arising daily in such Numbers in all Parts of the Earth with such Similarity of Structure, should be the Effect of Chance, is beyond all Conception or Expression.

42. Not in A (p. 54).














43- C (p. 58), D (p. 58): great

44. A (p. 54): like to

45. A (p. 54): as it

46. Omitted in C (p. 58), D (p. 58).

47. A (p. 55), C (p. 58), D (p. 58): should

48. A (p. 55): wrongly numbered 12. The following paragraphs of this sec- tion wrongly numbered accordingly.

49. Omitted in D (p. 59).

50. C (p. 59), D (p. 59): might be retained

51. A (p. 56): numbered 13.

52. Not in A (p. 56).

53. A (p. 56): shall appear

54. A (p. 56): Minutes perhaps

55. A (p. 5 6): varying

56. A (p. 57): numbered 14.

57. C (p. 61), D (p. 61): sensibly different gross

58. Entire paragraph not in A (p. 58).

59. C (p. 63), D (p. 63): may

60. A (p. 58): numbered 15.

61. A (p. 58): when he is not

62. A (p. 59): designed plainly

63. A (p. 59): numbered 16.

64. D (p. 65): Agents

65. C (p. 65), D (p. 65): them

66. No new paragraph in A (p. 60).

67. D (p. 65): great

68. A (p. 61): numbered 17.

69. Omitted in C (p. 66), D (p. 66).

70. Omitted in D (p. 66).

71. D (p. 67): an Uniformity,

72. A (p. 62): numbered 18.

73. A (p. 62): may perhaps* afterwards. [Footnote identical.]

74. A (p. 62): may possibly

75. A (p. 62): numbered 19.

76. A (p. 63): And yet

77. A(p. 64): the

78. A (p. 64): numbered 20.



Treatise I, Section VI

1. A (p. 65): the

2. A (p. 65): which

3. A (p. 65): if

4. No new paragraph in A (p. 72).

5. A (p. 66): for

6. D (p. 71): now call

7. D (p. 71): a positive

8. Omitted in D (p. 72).

9. A (p. 67): what were

C (p. 72), D (p. 72): if any thing were

10. A (p. 67): these

11. A (p. 67): in ravenous

12. A (p. 68): afterwards

13. A (p. 68): there is no

14. A (p. 69): do further extend their

15. A (p. 69): not capable

16. Not in A (p. 69).

17. A (p. 69): Conveniency

18. C (p. 75), D (p. 75): might here

19. A (p. 70): or Eyes

20. No new paragraph in A (p. 71).

21. A (p. 71): some of the

22. A (p. 71): and Beauty

23. C (p. 76), D (p. 76): our Imaginations

24. Omitted in C (p. 77), D (p. 77).

25. A (p. 73): shall

26. C (p. 78), D (p. 78): rejected

27. A (p. 74): Advantage, or

28. Not in A (p. 75).

29. A (p. 77): Key,

30. No new paragraph in A (p. 78).

31. A (p. 78): conjoin’d

Treatise I, Section VII

1. C (p. 84), D (p. 84): Species

2. A (p. 80): no Custom could



3. A (p. 80): will

4. A (p. 80): the Taste

5. A (p. 80): different Sense from what

6. A (p. 80): like such as proved

7. A (p. 81): no Custom would

8. A (p. 81): were

9. A (p. 82): could

10. A (p. 82): necessarily the

11. Not in A (p. 82).

12. A (p. 82): when in reality the Object has

13. A (p. 83): they

14. Not in A (p. 83).

15. Not in A (p. 84).

16. A (p. 84): repeat our Attention to

17. A (p. 84): shall

18. A (p. 85): seeing them

19. A (p. 86): hence are

20. A (p. 86): which we had an Aversion to

21. A (p. 86): Sense of Beauty or Harmony naturally

22. A (p. 87): without Examination conclude,

23. A (p. 87): And often

24. D (p. 92): a livelier

25. A (p. 87): Ideas of Beauty

26. A (p. 87): when they do not perceive them D (p. 92): than in reality they have

Treatise I, Section VIII

1. Entire paragraph not in A (p. 89).

2. Omitted in C (p. 94), D (p. 94).

3. C (p. 94), D (p. 94): are

4. C (p. 96): Instances

5. C (p. 96), D (p. 96): is imagined

6. Omitted in C (p. 96), D (p. 96).

7. A (p. 91): fitted

8. A (p. 91): Foundations

9. No new paragraph in A (p. 91).

10. A (p. 91): of



11. D (p. 97): us

12. A (p. 92): to this Manner

13. A (p. 93): Circle pretty nearly

14. C (p. 99), D (p. 99): thus also other Figures, if they have any Regu- larity, are in every Point determined

15. A (p. 93): but equal in Use with

16. Not in A (p. 94).

17. A (p. 94): antecedently

18. A (p. 94): between the

19. D (p. 100): no immediate

20. A (p. 94): one in its own Species

21. D (p. 100): far

22. A (p. 94): their peculiar Beautys, than with the Beautys of a different Species

23. Omitted in C (p. 100), D (p. 100). In D [Corrigenda, p. 310] this footnote follows: *See Cic. de Nat. Deor. Lib. I. c. 27.

24. A (p. 94): . This present Constitution is much more

25. A (p. 95): singular

26. A (p. 96): not numbered.

27. C (p. 102), D (p. 102): have determined

28. C (p. 102), D (p. 102): stupendous

29. A (p. 96): that manner which should be

30. A (p. 97): this in

31. A (p. 97): a further Reason from a Sense still

32. A (p. 97): nor

33. Not in A (p. 97).

Treatise II, Introduction

1. Entire page omitted in D (p. 105).

2. C (p. 104), D (p. 105): attended with Desire ofthe Agent’s Happiness.

3. C (p. 104), D (p. 105): Condemnation or Dislike. Approbation and Condemnation are probably simple Ideas, which cannot be farther explained.

4. A (p. 101): some general Foundation of

5. C (p. 105), D (p. 106): Approbation and Good-will

6. Omitted in C (p. 105), D (p. 106).

7. C (p. 105), D (p. 106): Approbation and Good-will

8. C (p. 105), D (p. 106): Dislike



9. Omitted in C (p. 105), D (p. 106).

10. Omitted in C (p. 105), D (p. 106).

11. Not in A (p. 103).

12. C (p. 108), D (p. 109): And

13. C (p. 108), D (p. 109): arising from reflection upon

14. C (p. 108), D (p. 109): arises from Reflection upon the Action, or some other future advantage.

15. C (p. 109), D (p. no): approve the Actions of others, and perceive them to be their Perfection and Dignity, and are determin’d to love the Agent; a like Perception we have in reflecting on such Actions of our own

16. C (p. 109), D (p. no): That the Affection Desire, or Intention, which gains Approbation to the Actions flowing from it, is not an Intention to ob- tain even this sensible Pleasure [D (Corrigenda, p. 310) substitutes “pleasant Self-Approbation” for “sensible Pleasure”] .

17. C (p. 109), D (p. no): from Self-Love, or Desire of private Good.

Treatise II, Section I

1. C (p. no), D (p. iii): the Sensations and Affections

2. D (p. 112): approve or love

3. D (p. 112): us, or to any other Person

4. C (p. iii), D (p. 112): they study the Interest, and desire the Happiness of other Beings with whom they converse. [In A the text following this passage is not an independent paragraph.]

5. A (p. 108): Esteem

C (p. iii), D (p. 112): Approbation

6. C (p. iii), D (p. 112): Approbation

7. C (p. 112), D (p. 113): from an ultimate Desire of our Happiness, or Good-will toward us;

8. A (p. 109): independently

9. C (p. 112), D (p. 113): on both Occasions

10. D (p. 114): Condemnation

11. C (p. 113), D (p. 114): merely because

12. C (p. 114), D (p. 115): an ultimate Desire of

13. C (p. 114), D (p. 115): from Ill-will, Desire of the Misery of others without view to any prevalent Good to the Publick

14. A (p. iii): that of

15. A (p. in): beneficent Actions toward them

21 6


C (p. 114), D (p. 115): Actions which shew Good-will toward them

16. C (p. 114), D (p. 115): which makes benevolent Actions appear Beau- tiful

17. C (p. 115), D (p. 116): approve or condemn

18. Not in A (p. 112).

19. Inserted here in C (p. 115), D (p. 116): Would not the Parsimony of a Miser be as advantageous to his Heir, as the Generosity of a worthy Man is to his Friend? And cannot we as easily imagine ourselves Heirs to Misers, as the Favourites of Heroes? Why don’t we then approve both alike?

20. Not in A (p. 112).

21. D [Corrigenda, p. 306] adds: As Mr. Hobbes explains all the Sensa- tions of Pity by our Fear of the like Evils [Editor’s note: Leviathan, part 1, chapter 6], when by Imagination we place ourselves in the Case of the Suf- ferers; so others explain all Approbation and Condemnation of Actions in distant Ages or Nations, by a like Effort of Imagination: We place ourselves in the Case of others, and then discern an imaginary private Advantage or Disadvantage in these Actions. But as his Account of Pity will never explain how the Sensation increases, according to the apprehended Worth of the Suf- ferer, or according to the Affection we formerly had to him; since the Suf- ferings of any Stranger may suggest the same Possibility of our Suffering the like: So this Explication will ne[v]er account for our high Approbation of brave unsuccessful Attempts, which we see prove detr [i] mental both to the Agent, and to those for whose Service they were intended; here there is no private Advantage to be imagined. Nor will it account for our Abhorrence of such Injuries as we are incapable of suffering. Sure, when a Man abhors the Attempt of the young Tarquin, he does not imagine that he has chang’d his Sex like Caeneus. And then, when one corrects his Imagination, by re- membring his own Situation, and Circumstances, we find the moral Appro- bation and Condemnation continues as lively as it was before, tho’ the Imag- ination of Advantage is gone. [Editor’s note: According to legend, Sextus, son of Tarquinius Superbus, raped Lucretia, sparking off the popular uprising that ended the Roman monarchy and ushered in the Roman republic. Cae- neus, a mythical figure, was originally a woman and given a change of sex by Poseidon.]

22. C (p. 116), D (p. 117): Agents? Thus also an easy, indolent Simplicity, which exposes a Man of Wealth as a prey to others, may be as advantageous a Disposition as the most prudent Generosity, to those he converses with; and yet our Sentiments of this latter Temper are far nobler than of the former.



23. No new paragraph in A (p. 114).

24. C (p. 118), D (p. 119): to judge certain Actions advantageous to us

25. No new paragraph in A (p. 115).

26. D3 (p. 119): recommend Men to us only

27. Omitted in C (p. 119), D (p. 120).

28. No new paragraph in A (p. 116).

29. C (p. 121), D (p. 122): hereafter

30. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: any Dispositions of Piety, or Thoughts of future Rewards

31. No new paragraph in A (p. 118).

32. Omitted in C (p. 122), D (p. 123).

33. C (p. 122), D (p. 123): recommend to me

34. C (p. 122), D (p. 123): make me like

35. Not in A (p. 119).

36. Not in A (p. 119).

37. A (p. 119): The Sense of the moral Good, or Evil, cannot be over- ballanced by Interest.

38. C (p. 123), D (p. 124): Threatnings

39. No new paragraph in A (p. 120).

40. C (p. 124), D (p. 125): Pleasure. Nay, what should excite a Cato or a Decius to desire Praise, if it is only the cold Opinion of others that they were useful to the State, without any Perception of Excellence in such Conduct?

41. Not in A (p. 122).

42. C (p. 126), D (p. 127): sincerely approve and

43. C (p. 126), D (p. 127): Approbation of publick Spirit, nor Desire

44. C (p. 127), D (p. 128): private advantage

45. C (p. 128), D (p. 129): the simple Ideas of Approbation or Condem- nation, from Actions observed

46. A (p. 124): they shall

47. C (pp. 128-30), D (pp. 129-31): Pleasure. That we may discern more distinctly the Difference between moral Perceptions and others, let us con- sider, when we taste a pleasant Fruit, we are conscious of Pleasure; when an- other tastes it, we only conclude or form an Opinion that he enjoys Pleasure; and, abstracting from some previous Good-Will or Anger, his enjoying this Pleasure is to us a matter wholly indifferent, raising no new Sentiment or Affection. But when we are under the Influence of a virtuous Temper, and thereby engaged in [129] virtuous Actions, we are not always conscious of any



Pleasure, nor are we only pursuing private Pleasures, as will appear hereafter: ’tis only by reflex Acts upon our Temper and Conduct that we enjoy the Delights of Virtue [D (Corrigenda, p. 310): “that Virtue never fails to give Pleasure” substitutes for “that we enjoy the Delights of Virtue”]. When also we judge the Temper of another to be virtuous, we do not necessarily imagine him then to enjoy Pleasure, tho’ we know Reflection will give it to him: And farther, our Apprehension of his virtuous Temper raises Sentiments of Ap- probation, Esteem or Admiration, and the Affection of Good-will toward him. The Quality approved by our moral Sense is conceived to reside in the Person approved, and to be a Perfection and Dignity in him: Approbation of another’s Virtue is not conceived as making the Approver happy, or vir- tuous, or worthy, tho’ ’tis attended with some small Pleasure. Virtue is then called Amiable or Lovely, from its raising Good-will or Love in Spectators toward the Agent; and not from the Agent’s perceiving the virtuous Temper to be advantageous to him, or desiring to obtain it under that View. A virtuous Temper is called Good or Beatifick, not that it is always attended with Plea- sure in the Agent; much less that some small Pleasure attends the Contem- plation of it in the Approver: but from this, that every Spectator is persuaded that the reflex Acts of the virtuous Agent upon his own Temper will give him the highest Pleasures. The admired Qua-[i3o]lity is conceived as the Perfec- tion of the Agent, and such a one as is distinct from the Pleasure either in the Agent or the Approver; tho’ ’tis a sure source of Pleasure to the Agent. The Perception of the Approver, tho’ attended with Pleasure, plainly represents something quite distinct from this Pleasure; even as the Perception of external Forms is attended with Pleasure, and yet represents something distinct from this Pleasure. This may prevent many Cavils upon this Subject.

Treatise II, Section II

1. C (p. 131), D (p. 132): sensitive Natures

2. A (p. 125): religious

3. No new paragraph in A (p. 126).

4. Not in A (p. 126).

5. Not in A (p. 126).

6. A (p. 126): were

7. A (p. 127): call virtuous, do spring from

C (p. 133), D (p. 134): approve as virtuous, are either

8. C (p. 133), D (p. 134): That Virtue springs from some other Affection



than Self-Love, or Desire of private Advantage. And where Self-Interest ex- cites to the same Action, the Approbation is given only to the disinterested Principle.

9. C (p. 133), D (p. 134): are commonly included under the Names Love and Hatred

10. Omitted in C (p. 133), D (p. 134).

11. C (p. 134), D (p. 135): Malice. Complacence denotes Approbation of any Person by our Moral Sense; and is rather a Perception than an Affection; tho’ the Affection of Good-will is ordinarily subsequent to it. Benevolence is the Desire of the Happiness of another. Their Opposites are called Dislike and Malice.

12. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

13. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

14. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

15. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

16. C (p. 134), D (p. 135): toward a

17. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

18. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

19. Omitted in C (p. 134), D (p. 135).

20. Omitted in C (p. 135), D (p. 136).

21. Deleted in B [Errata].

22. C (p. 135), D (p. 136): disapprove

23. C (p. 135), D (p. 136): retain the same Opinion of his Temper and Intentions

24. C (p. 135), D (p. 136): false Opinion about his Temper

25. C (p. 135), D (p. 136): ultimate Desire of

26. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: real Good-will or Kindness

27. C (p. 136), D (p. 137): others. To raise Benevolence, no more is re- quired than calmly to consider any sensitive Nature not pernicious to others. Gratitude arises from Benefits conferred from Good-will on ourselves, or those we love; Complacence is a Perception of the moral Sense. Gratitude includes some Complacence, and Complacence still raises a stronger Good- will than that we have toward indifferent Characters, where there is no op- position of Interests.

28. Not in A (p. 130), C (p. 137), D (p. 138).

29. The following two paragraphs are not in C (p. 138) and D (p. 138); instead, fourteen new pages are added: [Marginal heading: Benevolence is



disinterested.] IV. There are two ways in which some may deduce Benevo- lence from Self-Love, the one supposing that “we voluntarily bring this Af- fection upon ourselves, whenever we have an Opinion that it will be for our Interest to have this Affection, either as it may be immediately pleasant, or may afford pleasant Reflection afterwards by our Moral Sense, or as it may tend to procure some external Reward from God or Man.” The other Scheme alledges no such Power in us of raising Desire or Affection of any kind by our Choice or Volition; but “supposes our Minds determined by the Frame of their Nature to desire whatever is apprehended [139] as the Means of any private Happiness; and that the Observation of the Happiness of other Per- sons, in many Cases is made the necessary Occasion of Pleasure to the Ob- server, as their Misery is the Occasion of his Uneasiness: and in Consequence of this Connexion, as soon as we have observed it, we begin to desire the Happiness of others as the Means of obtaining this Happiness to ourselves, which we expect from the Contemplation of others in a happy State. They alledge it to be impossible to desire either the Happiness of another, or any Event whatsoever, without conceiving it as the Means of some Happiness or Pleasure to ourselves; but own at the same time, that Desire is not raised in us directly by any Volition, but arises necessarily upon our apprehending any Object or Event to be conducive to our Happiness.

[Marginal heading: The first contrary Opinion confuted.] That the for- mer Scheme is not just, may appear from this general Consideration, that “neither Benevolence nor any other Affection or Desire can be directly raised by Volition.” If they could, then we could be bribed into any Affection what- soever toward any Object, even the most improper: we might raise Jealousy, Fear, Anger, Love, toward any sort of Persons indifferently by an Hire, even as we engage Men to external Actions, or to the [140] Dissimulation of Pas- sions; but this every Person will by his own Reflection find to be impossible. The Prospect of any Advantage to arise to us from having any Affection, may indeed turn our Attention to those Qualitys in the Object, which are naturally constituted the necessary Causes or Occasions of the advantageous Affection; and if we find such Qualitys in the Object, the Affection will certainly arise. Thus indirectly the Prospect of Advantage may tend to raise any Affection; but if these Qualitys be not found or apprehended in the Object, no Volition of ours, nor Desire, will ever raise any Affection in us.

But more particularly, that Desire of the Good of others, which we approve as virtuous, cannot be alledged to be voluntarily raised from the Prospect of



any Pleasure accompanying the Affection itself: for ’tis plain that our Benev- olence is not always accompanied with Pleasure; nay, ’tis often attended with Pain, when the Object is in Distress. Desire in general is rather uneasy than pleasant. ’Tis true, indeed, all the Passions and Affections justify themselves; while they continue, (as Malebranch expresses it) we generally approve our being thus affected on this Occasion, as an innocent Disposition, or a just one, and condemn a Person who would be otherwise affected on the like Occasion. So the Sorrowful, the Angry, the [141] Jealous, the Compassionate, approve their several Passions on the apprehended Occasion; but we should not therefore conclude, that Sorrow, Anger, Jealousy or Pity are pleasant, or chosen for their concomitant Pleasure. The Case is plainly thus: The Frame of our Nature on the Occasions which move these Passions, determines us to be thus affected, and to approve our Affection at least as innocent. Un- easiness generally attends our Desires of any kind; and this Sensation tends to fix our Attention, and to continue the Desire. But the Desire does not terminate upon the Removal of the Pain accompanying the Desire, but upon some other Event: the concomitant Pain is what we seldom reflect upon, unless when it is very violent. Nor does any Desire or Affection terminate upon the Pleasure which may accompany the Affection; much less is it raised by an Act of our Will, with a View to obtain this Pleasure.

The same Reflection will shew, that we do not by an Act of our Will raise in ourselves that Benevolence which we approve as virtuous, with a View to obtain future Pleasures of Self-Approbation by our Moral Sense. Could we raise Affections in this manner, we should be engaged to any Affection by the Prospect of an Interest [142] equivalent to this of Self-Approbation, such as Wealth or sensual Pleasure, which with many Tempers are more powerful; and yet we universally own, that that Disposition to do good Offices to others, which is raised by these Motives, is not virtuous: how can we then imagine, that the virtuous Benevolence is brought upon us by a Motive equally selfish?

But what will most effectually convince us of the Truth on this Point, is Reflection upon our own Hearts, whether we have not a Desire of the Good of others, generally without any Consideration or Intention of obtaining these pleasant Reflections on our own Virtue: nay, often this Desire is stron- gest where we least imagine Virtue, in natural Affection toward Offspring, and in Gratitude to a great Benefactor; the Absence of which is indeed the greatest Vice, but the Affections themselves are not esteemed in any consid- erable degree virtuous. The same Reflection will also convince us, that these



Desires or Affections are not produced by Choice, with a View to obtain this private Good.

In like manner, if no Volition of ours can directly raise Affections from the former Prospects of Interest, no more can any Volition raise them from Pros- pects of eternal Rewards, or to avoid eternal Punishments. The former Mo- tives differ from these only [143] as smaller from greater, shorter from more durable. If Affections could be directly raised by Volition, the same Consid- eration would make us angry at the most innocent or virtuous Character, and jealous of the most faithful and affectionate, or sorrowful for the Prosperity of a Friend; which we all find to be impossible. The Prospect of a future State, may, no doubt, have a greater indirect Influence, by turning our Attention to the Qualitys in the Objects naturally apt to raise the required Affection, than any other Consideration.* [144]

’Tis indeed probably true in Fact, that those who are engaged by Prospect of future Rewards to do good Offices to Mankind, have generally the virtuous Benevolence jointly exciting them to Action; because, as it may appear here- after, Benevolence is natural to Mankind, and still operates where there is no Opposition of apparent Interest, or where any contrary apparent Interest is overbalanced by a greater Interest. Men, conscious of this, do generally ap- prove good Offices, to which Motives of a future State partly excited the Agent. But that the Approbation is founded upon the Apprehension of a disinterested Desire partly exciting the Agent, is plain from this, that not only Obedience to an evil Deity in doing Mischief, or even in performing trifling Ceremonies, only from Hope of Reward, or Prospect of avoiding Punish- ment, but even Obedience to a good Deity only from the same Motives, without any Love or Gratitude towards him, and with a perfect Indifference about the Happiness or Misery of Mankind, abstracting from this private Interest, would meet with no Approbation. We plainly see that [145] a Change of external Circumstances of Interest under an evil Deity, without any Change in the Disposition of the Agent, would lead him into every Cruelty and Inhumanity.

Gratitude toward the Deity is indeed disinterested, as it will appear here- after. This Affection therefore may obtain our Approbation, where it excites to Action, tho’ there were no other Benevolence exciting the Agent. But this Case scarce occurs among Men. But where the Sanction of the Law is the only Motive of Action, we could expect no more Benevolence, nor no other Affection, than those in one forced by the Law to be Curator to a Person for



whom he has not the least Regard. The Agent would so manage as to save himself harmless if he could, but would be under no Concern about the Suc- cess of his Attempts, or the Happiness of the Person whom he served, pro- vided he performed the Task required by Law; nor would any Spectator ap- prove this Conduct.

[Marginal heading: The second Opinion confuted.] V. The other Scheme is more plausible: That Benevolence is not raised by any Volition upon Pros- pect of Advantage; but that we desire the Happiness of others, as conceiving it necessary to procure some pleasant Sensations which we expect to feel [146] upon seeing others happy; and that for like Reason we have Aversion to their Misery. This Connection between the Happiness of others and our Pleasure, say they, is chiefly felt among Friends, Parents and Children, and eminently virtuous Characters. But this Benevolence flows as directly from Self-Love as any other Desire.

To shew that this Scheme is not true in Fact, let us consider, that if in our Benevolence we only desired the Happiness of others as the Means of this Pleasure to ourselves, whence is it that no Man approves the Desire of the Happiness of others as a means of procuring Wealth or sensual Pleasure to ourselves? If a Person had wagered concerning the future Happiness of a Man of such Veracity, that he would sincerely confess whether he were happy or not; would this Wagerer’s Desire of the Happiness of another, in order to win the Wager, be approved as virtuous? If not, wherein does this Desire differ from the former? except that in one case there is one pleasant Sensation ex- pected, and in the other case other sensations: For by increasing or dimin- ishing the Sum wagered, the Interest in this case may be made either greater or less than that in the other.

Reflecting on our own Minds again will best discover the Truth. Many have never thought upon this Connection: nor do [147] we ordinarily intend the obtaining of any such Pleasure. When we do generous Offices, we all often feel Delight upon seeing others happy, but during our Pursuit of their Hap- piness we have no Intention of obtaining this delight. We often feel the Pain of Compassion; but were our sole ultimate Intention or Desire the freeing ourselves from this Pain, would the Deity offer to us either wholly to blot out all Memory of the Person in Distress, to take away this Connection, so that we should be easy during the Misery of our Friend on the one hand, or on the other would relieve him from his Misery, we should be as ready to choose the former way as the latter; since either of them would free us from



our Pain, which upon this Scheme is the sole End proposed by the compas- sionate Person — Don’t we find in ourselves that our Desire does not ter- minate upon the Removal of our own Pain? Were this our sole Intention, we would run away, shut our Eyes, or divert our Thoughts from the miserable Object, as the readiest way of removing our Pain: This we seldom do, nay, we croud about such Objects, and voluntarily expose ourselves to this Pain, unless calm Reflection upon our Inability to relieve the Miserable, counter- mand our Inclination, or some selfish Affection, as Fear of Danger, over- power it. [148]

To make this yet clearer, suppose that the Deity should declare to a good Man that he should be suddenly annihilated, but at the Instant of his Exit it should be left to his Choice whether his Friend, his Children, or his Country should be made happy or miserable for the Future, when he himself could have no Sense of either Pleasure or Pain from their State. Pray would he be any more indifferent about their State now, that he neither hoped nor feared any thing to himself from it, than he was in any prior Period of his Life?** Nay, is it not a pretty common Opinion among us, that after our Decease we know nothing of what befalls those who survive us? Flow comes it then that we do not lose, at the Approach of Death, all Concern for our Families, Friends, or Country? Can there be any Instance given of our desiring any Thing only as the Means of private Good, as violently when we know that we shall not enjoy this Good many Minutes, as if we expected the Possession of this good for many Years? Is this the way we compute the Value of An- nuities?

Flow the disinterested Desire of the Good of others should seem incon- ceivable, ’tis hard to account: perhaps ’tis owing to the Attempts of some great Men to give Definitions of simple Ideas. — Desire, say they, is Uneasiness, or uneasy Sensation upon the Absence [149] of any Good. — Whereas Desire is as distinct from Uneasiness, as Volition is from Sensation. Don’t they them- selves often speak of our desiring to remove Uneasiness? Desire then is dif- ferent from Uneasiness, however a Sense of Uneasiness accompanies it, as Extension does the Idea of Colour, which yet is a very distinct Idea. Now wherein lies the Impossibility of desiring the FFappiness of another without conceiving it as the Means of obtaining any thing farther, even as we desire our own Happiness without farther View? If any alledge, that we desire our own Happiness as the Means of removing the Uneasiness we feel in the Ab- sence of Happiness, then at least the Desire of removing our own Uneasiness is an ultimate Desire: and why may we not have other ultimate Desires?



“But can any Being be concerned about the Absence of an Event which gives it no Uneasiness?” Perhaps superior Natures desire without uneasy Sen- sation. But what if we cannot? We may be uneasy while a desired Event is in Suspence, and yet not desire this Event only as the Means of removing this Uneasiness: Nay, if we did not desire the Event without View to this Uneas- iness, we should never have brought the Uneasiness upon ourselves by de- siring it. So likewise we may feel Delight upon the Existence of a desired Event, when yet we did not desire the Event only as the Means of obtaining this [150] Delight; even as we often receive Delight from Events which we had an Aversion to.

VI. If any one should ask, since none of these Motives of Self-Interest excite our Benevolence, but we are in virtuous Actions intending solely the Good of others, to what Purpose serves our moral Sense, our Sense of Pleasure from the Happiness of others? To what Purpose serves the wise Order of Nature, by which Virtue is even made generally advantageous in this Life? To what End are eternal Rewards appointed and revealed? The Answer to these Ques- tions was given partly already: all these Motives may make us desire to have benevolent Affections, and consequently turn our Attention to those Qual- ities in Objects which excite them; they may overbalance all apparent con- trary Motives, and all Temptations to Vice. But farther, I hope it will be still thought an End worthy of the Deity, to make the Virtuous happy, by a wise Constitution of Nature, whether the Virtues [D (Corrigenda, p. 310) substi- tutes “Virtuous” for “Virtues”] were in every Action intending to obtain this Happiness or not. Beneficent Actions tend to the publickGood; it is therefore good and kind to give all possible additional Motives to them; and to excite Men, who have some weak Degrees of good Affection, to promote the pub- lick Good more vigorously by Motives of Self-Interest; or even to excite those who have no Virtue at all to external Acts [151] of Beneficence, and to restrain them from Vice.***

From the Whole it may appear, that there is in human Nature a disinter- ested ultimate Desire of the Happiness of others; and that our moral Sense determines us to approve [D (Corrigenda, p. 310) adds: only such] Actions as virtuous, which are apprehended to proceed partly at least from such De- sire.

  • These several Motives of Interest, which, some alledge, do excite us to Benevo-

lence, operate upon us in a very different Manner. Prospect of external Advantage of any kind in this Life from our Fellows, is only a Motive to the Volition of external



Actions immediately, and not to raise Desire of the Happiness of others. Now being willing to do external Actions which we know do in Fact promote the Happiness of others, without any Desire of their Happiness, is not approved as virtuous: Otherwise it were Virtue to do a beneficent Action for a Bribe of Money.

The Prospect of Rewards from the Deity, of future Pleasures from the Self- Approbation of our Moral Sense, or of any Pleasure attending an Affection itself, are only Motives to us to desire or wish to have the Affection of Benevolence in our Hearts; and consequently, if our Volition could raise Affections in us, these Motives would make us will or choose to raise benevolent Affections: But these Prospects cannot be Motives to us from Self-Love, to desire the Happiness of others; for, from Self-Love we only desire what we apprehend to be the Means of private Good. Now the having those Affections is the Means of obtaining these private Goods, and not the actual Happiness of others; for the Pleasure of Self- Approbation, and Divine Re- [i44]wards, are not obtained or lost according as others are happy or miserable, but according to the Goodness of our Affections. If therefore Affections are not directly raised by Volition or Choice, Prospects of future Rewards, or of Self-Approbation, cannot directly raise them.

    • [Note added in D (Corrigenda, p. 307)]: Cic. de Finib. lib. ii. c. 31. [today: II,

99] Ista commendatio puerorum, memoria et caritas amicitiae, summorum offi- ciorum in extremo spiritu conservatio, indicat innatam esse homini probitatem gra- tuitam, non invitatam voluptatibus, nec praemiorum mercedibus evocatam, &c. [Translation: “That provision for the care of children, that loyalty to friendship and affection, that observance of these solemn duties with his latest breath, prove that there was innate in the man a disinterested uprightness, not evoked by pleasure nor elicited by prizes and rewards.” (Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, with an English translation by H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967, p. 190.)]

      • Let it be also remembered, that every Consideration suggested in the Gospel,

as an additional Motive to beneficent Actions, is not immediately to be looked upon as the proper Motive to Virtue, or what would engage our Approbation of Actions flowing from it alone. We have the Promises of this Life as well as of the next, and yet the former alone was never thought a virtuous Principle. Some Texts are also brought to confute this Scheme of disinterested Affections as the only truly virtuous Principle, such as i Corinth. Ch. XV. ver. 32. which imports no more than this, “That if there were no resurrection, and consequently Christ had not risen, and therefore his Religion only an Imposture, it had been the greatest Folly in the Apostle to have exposed himself to Persecution:” Not that the Prospect of a future Reward was the only Motive to Virtue, or that the only Affection of Mind which made the Apostle bear Persecution was, Hope of Reward.

Another Text insisted on is, Heb. XI. ver. 6. But this only means, either “that no Man can perform religious Acts acceptably to God, who does not believe his Existence and Goodness,” which is self-evident: Or it is to be understood of embracing the true Religion, and adhering to it under the most severe Persecutions, which we may allow no Man could do without Hopes of future Reward.” Now this does not prove either that our sole, or our strongest Incitement to virtuous Actions is a Prospect of Interest, nor even that any Action is approved, because it springs from Hope of Reward.



Heb. XII. ver. 2. is chiefly urged, but with least Ground: if we have it well trans- lated, it only asserts, “That the Hope of future Joy was one Incitement to our Saviour in enduring Sufferings,” not that this was the principal Spring of his beneficent Ac- tions, or that they were made amiable by arising from it. Nay, this Joy may be un- derstood metonymically, for its Object, viz. the Salvation of Mankind. Not to men- tion another Translation long ago known to Criticks; some of whom insist that dhri is seldom used for the final Cause; but means instead of, in this Place, as well as in Texts debated with the Socinians: And then this Verse may be thus translated; [152] “Who instead of that Joy which was ready at hand, or in his Power to have enjoyed, as he had from the Beginning, he submitted to the Cross.” Nor is there any thing to confute this Translation; save that some Antithesis between our suffering from Faith in a Reward, and his suffering in like manner, is not kept up so well; as if it were a necessary Perfection in the Scriptures to abound in such Antitheses. For in this Trans- lation there is good Reasoning, in shewing how our Saviour’s sufferings are enhanced by his exchanging a State of Joy for them, parallel to Philip. II. ver. 6, 7.

Whoever would appeal to the general Strain of the Christian Exhortations, will find disinterested Love more inculcated, and Motives of Gratitude more frequently suggested, than any others.

30. Not in A (p. 132), no new paragraph. In C (p. 151), D (p. 152): num- bered VII.

31. C (p. 151), D (p. 152): ultimate Desire of

32. C (p. 153), D (p. 154): ultimate Desire of

33. C (p. 153), D (p. 154): calm Ill-will

34. A (p. 134): Now having

C (p. 153), D (p. 154): numbered VIII.

35. C (p. 153), D (p. 154): neither our Esteem nor Benevolence, is founded on Self-Love

36. Omitted in C (p. 154), D (p. 155).

37. C (p. 154), D (p. 155): been reputed virtuous

38. C (p. 154), D (p. 155): numbered IX.

39. C (p. 154), D (p. 155): Good-Will

40. Not in A (135). In C (p. 154), D (p. 155): , and especially toward our- selves

41. C (p. 154), D (p. 155): wish well to

42. C (p. 154), D (p. 155): do so

43. A (p. 135): And further

C (p. 155), D (p. 156): Nay, farther

No new paragraph in A, C, D.

44. C (p. 155), D (p. 156): Good-will

45. D (p. 156): will



4 6. New paragraph in C (p. 155), D (p. 156).

47. C (p. 155), D (p. 156): Beneficence then must increase our Good-will, as it raises Complacence, which is still attended with stronger degrees of Be- nevolence

48. Omitted in C (p. 155 f), D (p. 156 f).

49. Deleted in B [Errata] .

50. A (p. 136): by

51. Not in A (p. 137).

52. C (p. 156), D (p. 157): Good-will

53. C (p. 156): Good-will

D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: ultimate Good-will

54. C (p. 156): Good-will

D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: such Good-will

55. C (p. 156), D (p. 157): Affection

56. Paragraph omitted in C (p. 156), D (p. 157).

57. B [Errata]: 5

58. No new paragraph in A (p. 138). In C (p. 156), D (p. 157): Hadweno other ultimate Desire but that of private Advantage

59. A (p. 138): must only act

60. A (p. 138): we can have no reason to imagine that

61 . C (p. 157), D (p. 158): by many who yet expect Mercy and Beneficence in the Deity

62. No new paragraph in A (p. 139).

63. C (p. 158), D (p. 159): infinite Power and Art

64. Not in A (p. 139).

6 5. A (p. 139): be as capable of giving him

66 . Entire § VIII omitted in C (158), D (p. 159).

67. No new paragraph in A (p. 140).

68. A (p. 141): And then this

69. A (p. 141): Passions are not from Self-Love

70. A (p. 141): do tend generally in fact

71. A (p. 141): removal of our Pain is not directly intended; for then

72. A (p. 141): run into

73. C (p. 158), D (p. 159): numbered X.

74. D (p. 160): Spring

75. D (p. 160): for

76. C (p. 160), D (p. 161): No; but his naturally implanted Desire of their



Good, and Aversion to their misery, makes him affected with Joy or Sorrow from their Pleasures or Pains. This Desire

77. C (p. 160), D (p. 161): it

78. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: say others

79. D [Corrigenda, pp. 307-8]: it. Another Author thinks all this easily deducible from Self-Love. “Children are not only made of our Bodies, but resemble us in Body and Mind; they are rational agents as we are, and we only love our own Likeness in them.” Very good all this. What is Likeness? ’Tis not individual Sameness; tis only being included under one general or specifical Idea. Thus there is Likeness between us and other Mens Children, thus any Man is like any other, in some Respects; a Man is also like an Angel, and in some Respects like a Brute. Is there then a natural Disposition in every Man to love his Like, to wish well not only to his individual Self, but to any other like rational or sensitive Being? and this Disposition strongest, where there is the greatest Likeness in the more noble Qualities? If all this is called by the Name Self-Love; be it so: The highest Mystick needs no more- disinterested Principle; tis not confined [308] to the Individual, but termi- nates ultimately on the Good of others, and may extend to all; since each one some way resembles each other. Nothing can be better than this Self-Love, nothing more generous.

If any allege, That “Parents always derive Pleasure, often Honour, and sometimes Wealth, from the Wisdom and Prosperity of their Children, and hence all Parental Solicitude arises;” let us recollect what was said above; all these Motives cease upon Approach of Death, and yet the Affection is as strong then as ever. Let Parents examine their own Hearts, and see if these views are the only Springs of their Affection, and that toward the most infirm, from whom there is least Hope.

80. No new paragraph in A (p. 145).

81. Not in A (p. 145).

82. C (p. 161), D (p. 162): numbered XI.

83. D (p. 163): more desire

84. C (p. 162), D (p. 163): would he not rather desire the Prosperity of his Country

85. C (p. 162), D (p. 163): readily wish

86. C (p. 162), D (p. 163): desire

87. C (p. 163), D (p. 164): Happiness. And that all these Affections, whether more or less extensive, are properly disinterested, not even founded



on any Desire of that Happiness we may expect in seeing their prosperous Condition; may appear from this, that they would continue even at the In- stant of our Death, or intire Destruction, as was already observed, Art. IV. of this Section.

88. C (p. 161), D (p. 162): numbered XII.

89. B [Errata]: or

90. A (p. 149): but

Treatise II, Section III

1. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: generally

2. C (p. 165), D (p. 166): Good-will to others

3. B [Errata]: 6 . Par. 3 D (p. 167): 9. Par. 2

4. No marginal header in A (p. 151), D (p. 168).

5. A (p. 152): Beneficiary

6. D (p. 168): belov’d

7. A (p. 152): Beneficiary

8. D (p. 168): but

9. Omitted in D [Corrigenda, p. 310].

10. Omitted in C (p. 168), D (p. 169).

11. D (p. 172): the one

12. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: manifest

13. C (p. 171), D (p. 172): ultimate Desire of

14. C (p. 171), D (p. 172): desire

15. D3 (pp. 173-74): The frequent, and seemingly unprovoked Cruelties of the Nero’s and Domitian’s, are often alleged in Opposition to all this; but perhaps unjustly. Such Tyrants are conscious that they are hated by all those whom the World repute virtuous, and they apprehend Danger from them: A Tyrant looks upon such Men as designing, artful, or ambitious, under a false Shew of Virtue. He imagines the surest Means of his own Safety is to appear terrible, and to deprive his Enemys of all Hopes of escaping by his Compassion. The Fame of Virtue in eminent Subjects is matter of Envy, and is a Reproach upon the Tyrant: it weakens his Power, and makes them dan- gerous to him. Power becomes the Object of Delight to the Tyrant; and in Ostentation of it, he may break through all regards to Justice and Humanity. Habits of Cruelty can be acquired in such a Course. Any of these apparent



interests seem better to account for the Crueltys of Tyrants, than [174] the supposing in them

16. A (p.158): that it is

17. A (p. 158): only Self-Love, and not Malice, which was his Motive; or C (p. 173), D (p. 174): he acted from Self-Love, and not Malice, or,

18. D3 (p. 174): they are

19- C (p. 174), D (p. 175): Spring

20. A (p.159): too

21. Deleted in B [Errata].

22. D3 (p. 175) adds: or such strong Appetites, or Passions either selfish, or toward some narrow Systems, as overcome our Regard to Publick Good;

23. D3 (p. 175 f): seem of a middle Nature, neither virtuous nor vitious.

24. Omitted in D (p. 176).

25. A (p. 161): is

26. D3 (p. 177): VI. Benevolence is a Word fit enough in general, to de- note the internal Spring of Virtue, as Bishop Cumberland always uses it. But to understand this more distinctly, ’tis highly necessary to observe, that under this Name are included very different Dispositions of the Soul. Sometimes it denotes a calm, extensive Affection, or Good-will toward all Beings capable of Happiness or Misery: Sometimes, 2. A calm deliberate Affection of the Soul toward the Happiness of certain smaller Systems or Individuals; such as Patriotism, or Love of a Country, Friendship, Parental Affection, as it is in Persons of Wisdom and Self-Government: Or, 3. The several kind particular Passions of Love, Pity, Sympathy, Congratulation. This Distinction between the calm Motions of the Will, Affections, Dispositions, or Instincts of the Soul, and the several turbulent Passions, is elsewhere more fully considered.*

Now tho’ all these different Dispositions come under the general Character of benevolent, yet as they are in Nature different, so they have very different Degrees of Moral Beauty. The first Sort is above all amiable and excellent: ’Tis perhaps the sole Moral Perfection of some superior Natures; and the more this prevails and rules in any human Mind, the more amiable the Person appears, even when it not only checks and limits our lower Appetites, but when it controuls our kind particular Passions, or counteracts them. The second Sort of Benevolence is more amiable than the third, when it is suffi- ciently strong to influence our Conduct: And the third Sort, tho’ of a lesser Moral Dignity, is also beautiful, when it is no way opposite to these more



noble Principles. And when it is opposite, tho’ it does not justify suchActions as are really detrimental to greater Systems, yet it is strong extenuating Cir- cumstance, and much alleviates the Moral Deformity. We are all sensible of this, when any Person, from Friendship, Parental-Affection, or Pity, has done something hurtful to larger Societys.

  • See Treatise III. Sect. ii. Art. 3 and Treatise IV. Sect. vi. Art. 4. [Editor’s

note: Hutcheson thought of the Inquiry and the Essay as a coherent whole. Conse- quently he is here referring to the two Treatises making up the Essay, namely, An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Illustrations upon the Moral Sense, Lon- don, 1728.]

27. D3 (p. 179): the Strength of some particular kind Attachment, or of

28. A (p. 161): shews it to be founded upon a mistaken Opinion of the Tendency of an Action to the publick Good, which does not in Reality tend to it: so that a wise

29. D3 (p. 179): by the calm extensive Benevolence, how strong soever it were

30. D3 (p. 179): strong virtuous Disposition

31. Not in A (p. 162).

32. D (p. 178): what

33. D3 (p. 180): Proportion

34. Omitted in D3 (p. 179).

35. Wrongly corrected in D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: VIII

36. A (p. 163): injurious

37. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: not numbered.

38. C (p. 180), D (p. 181): not numbered.

39. A (pp. 164-65): But by the Consequences of Actions, we are not only to understand the immediate Effects directly produc’d by them, but also all those Events which otherwise would not have happen’d. Thus many Actions which have no immediate evil Effects; nay, which actually produce good Ef- fects, may be evil, if their universal Al- [Allowance would be more detri- mental to Mankind than their universal Prohibition; or if there be no fixed Standard, that Men may easily know when such Actions are allow’d, and when prohibited; or when such Actions, however useful in particular In- stances, might be Precedents to the greatest Mischief. As for Example, the Execution of Justice by private Persons on Offenders, in any State not entirely perverted from the Ends of Government; the violating the Rights ofworthless Persons, in favor of those of great moral Capacitys, and of great Benevolence;



the protecting the Innocent by false Testimony in a Court of Justice, and such like, may be very useful in singular Instances: but then the Allowance of such Actions would lead into the greatest Mischief, since every one would judge for himself what Cases were proper, and what not, and then there could be no Certainty of Life, Possessions, and Evidences: and hence such Practices are universally counted evil.

40. D (p. 182): Mistake

41. C (pp. 182-83), D (pp. 183-84): it. [new paragraph] IX. ’Tis here to be observed, that tho’ every kind Affection abstractly considered, is approved by our moral Sense, yet all sorts of Affections or Passions which pursue the Good of others are not equally approved, or do not seem in the same degree virtuous. Our calm Affections, either private or publick, are plainly distinct from our particular Passions; calm Self-Love quite distinct from Hunger, Thirst, Ambition, Lust, or Anger; so calm Good-will toward others is differ- ent from Pity, passionate Love, the parental Affection, or the Passion of par- ticular Friends. Now every kind Passion which is not pernicious to others, is indeed approved as virtuous and lovely: And yet a calm Good-will toward the same Persons appears more lovely. So calm Good-will toward a small System is lovely and preferable to more passionate Attachments; and yet a more extensive calm Benevolence is still more beautiful and virtuous; and the highest Perfection of Virtue is an universal calm Good-will toward all sen- sitive Natures. Hence it is, that we condemn particular Attachments, when inconsistent [183 or 184] with the Interest of great Societies, because they argue some defect in that more noble Principle, which is the Perfection of Virtue.*

  • See Essay on Passions, Sect. 2. Art. 3. And Illustrations, Sect. 6 . Art. 4.

42. C (p. 183), D (p. 184): these

43. C (p. 183), D (p. 184): Beneficence

44. C (p. 183), D (p. 184): even

45. D3 (p. 184): except

46. D3 (p. 184): does

47. D and D3 (p. 185): he would condemn a great

48. C (pp. 184-85), D (pp. 185-86): This Constitution of our Sense, whereby the moral Beauty of Actions, or Dispositions, increases accordingto the Number of Persons to whom the good Effects of them extend; whence also Actions which flow from the nearer Attachments of Nature, such as that between the Sexes, and the Love of our Offspring, do not appear so virtuous as Actions of equal Moment of Good towards Persons less attach’d to us; has



been chosen by the Author of Nature for this good Reason, “That the more limited Instincts tend to produce a smaller Moment of Good, be- [185 or 186] cause confined to small numbers. Whereas the more extensive calm In- stinct of Good-will, attended with Power, would have no Bounds in its good Effects, and would never lead into any Evil, as the particular Passions may: and hence it is made more lovely to our Sense, that we might be in- duced to cultivate and strengthen it; and make it check even kind Passions, when they are opposite to a greater Good.”

49. A (p. 167): were it

50. D (p. 186): numbered X.

51. D (p. 186): may arise a Notion of moral

52. D (p. 186): : or are natural Indications of a good Temper, and usually accompany it

53. C (p. 185), D (p. 186): Approbation

54. A (p. 168) : Qualitys Good or Evil. Now, a Veneration for these Qual- itys, any further than as they are employ’d for the publick Good, is foolish, and flows from our moral Sense, grounded upon a false Opinion; for if

D (p. 168): Qualitys: And we seem to have a natural Relish for them distinct from moral Approbation. But if

55. D (p. 187): Rule

56. In D (pp. 187-88) all formulae are omitted, and the axioms read as follows:

1. The moral Importance of any Agent, or the Quantity of publick Good he produces, is in a compound Proportion of his Benevolence and Abilitys. For tis plain that his good Offices depend upon these two jointly. In like manner, the Quantity of private Good which any Agent obtains for him- self, is in a like compound Proportion of his selfish Principles, and his Abilitys. We speak here only of the external Goods of this World, which one pursues from some selfish Principles. For as to internal Goods of the Mind, these are most effectually obtain’d by the Exercise of other Affec- tions than those called Selfish, even those which carry the Agent beyond himself toward the Good of others.

2. In comparing the Virtues of different Agents, when the Abilitys are equal, the Moments of publick Good are proportioned to the Goodness of the Temper, or the Benevolence; and when the Tempers are equal, the Quantitys of Good are as the Abilitys.

3. The Virtue then or Goodness of Temper is directly as the Moment



of Good, [188] when other Circumstances are equal, and inversly as the Ability's. That is to say, where the Abilitys are greatest, there is less Virtue evidenced in any given Moment of Good produced.

4. But as the natural Consequences of our Actions are various, some good to ourselves, and evil to the Publick; and others evil to ourselves, and good to the Publick; or either useful both to ourselves and others, or per- nicious to both; the intire Spring of good Actions is not always Benevo- lence alone; or of Evil, Malice alone (nay, sedate Malice is rarely found); but in most Actions we must look upon Self-Love as another Force, some- times conspiring with Benevolence, and assisting it, when we are excited by Views of private Interest, as well as publick Good; and sometimes op- posing Benevolence, when the good Action is any way difficult or painful in the Performance, or detrimental in its Consequences to the Agent.

57. Not in A (p. 168). The following axioms are numbered accordingly,

2 : 3 : 4 , 5 -

58. A(p.i68): Benevolence is as the Moment of publick Good, produced by them in like Circumstances: or B = M X I.

59. C (p. 187), D (p. 188): Spring of

60. C (p. 187), D (p. 188): or of Evil

61. C (p. 187), D (p. 188): sedate Malice is rarely found

62. A (p. 170): afterwards

63. Omitted in D (p. 189).

64. A (p.171): tend to

65. C (p. 189), D (p. 190): done by

66. A (p.171): fifth

67. D (p. 190): in judging of the Goodness of Temper in any Agent, the Abilitys must come into Computation, as is above-mentioned, and none can act beyond their natural Abilitys

68. D (p. 190): the Moment of Good produced equals the Ability

69. Omitted in D (p. 190).

70. Omitted in D (p. 190).

71. Omitted in D (p. 191).

72. D (p. 191): XII. In the same Manner we may compute the Degree of Depravity of any Temper, directly as the Moment of Evil effected, and in- versly as the Abilitys. The Springs of vicious Actions however are seldom any real ultimate Intention of Mischief, and never ultimate deliberate Malice; but



only sudden Anger, Self-Love, some selfish Passion or Appetite, some kind Attachments to Parties, or particular kind Passions.

The Motives of Interest may sometimes strongly cooperate with a depraved Temper, or may oppose it, in the same Mannner that they cooperate with or oppose a good Temper. When they cooperate, they diminish the Moral Evil; when they oppose, they may argue the Depravity of Temper to be greater, which is able to surmount such Motives of Interest.

73. B [Errata]: H = fi X I

74. A (p. 173): be co-operating with Hatred or opposing

75. Footnote in D (p. 191): *See Treatise IV. § 6.

76. The following three paragraphs not in A (p. 174).

77. A (p. 174): From Axiom the 4th

D (p. 193): From the former Reasonings

78. A (p. 174): would

79. D (p. 194): Beneficence; and makes us

80. D (p. 194): their Interests

81. D (pp. 195-96): Some will not allow that Virtue can spring from Pas- sions, Instincts, or Affections of any Kind. ’Tis true, kind particular Passions are but a lower Kind of Goodness, even when they are not opposite to the general Good. Those calmer Determinations of the Will, whether of greater or less Extent, or sedate strong Affections, or Desires of the Good of others, are more amiable. These may be as much rooted in the Frame of the Soul, or there may be as natural a Disposition to them as to particular Passions. They tell us, That “Virtue should wholly spring from Reason;” as if Reason or Knowledge of any true Proposition could ever move to Action where there is no End proposed, and no Affection or Desire toward that End.* For this see Treatise IV. Sect, i and ii.

The ultimate End, according to many of our Moralists, is to each one his own Hap-[i96]piness; and yet this he seeks by Instinct.

  • These Gentlemen should either remember the common Doctrine of the Schools,

or else confute it better; that the npoalpecns [choice] which is necessary in virtuous Actions is opetjcs fiovXtvriKr] [intention of will]: And that Virtue needs not only the \oyov aX-p&ri [logical truth], but the ope£ is opd-qv [right intention]. These very Au- thors who deny any Affections or Motions of the Will to be the proper Springs of sublime Virtue, yet, inconsistently with themselves, must allow in Men of sublime Virtue, and even in the Deity too, a settled Disposition of Will, or a constant De- termination, or Desire to act in Conformity to Reason, or a fixed Affection toward a certain Manner of Conduct. Now an ill-natur’d Adversary would call this an In- stinct, an Essential or Natural Disposition of Will, an Affectionate Determination



toward a very sublime Object presented by the Understanding. See Aristotle’s Magn. Moral. Lib. i. c. 18, 35. and Lib. ii. c. 7 & 8. and in many other Places.

82. Omitted in D (p. 196).

83. D (p. 196): End consistently with the general Good.

84. A (p. 176): generally

85. No new paragraph in A (p. 176), D (p. 196).

86. A (p. 176): Self-Love: And I see

87. C (p. 196), D (p. 196): until some prospect of Interest allures them to it.

88. C (p. 196), D (p. 197): arises from

89. D3 (p. 197): in studying to raise these kind Affections, and to

90. New footnote in D (pp. 197-98): *’Tis thus we must understand many places of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and others of the Antients, when they speak of “natural Instinct or Disposition in each Being, toward his own Pres- ervation and highest Perfection, as the Spring of Virtue.” ’Tis acknowledged by all, that we have such an Instinct, which must operate very indistinctly at first, till we come to consider our Constitution, and our several Powers. When we do so, we find, according to them, the natural Principles of Virtue, or the (fivoLKal aperal [natural virtues], implanted in us: They appear to us the noblest Parts of our Nature; such are our Desires of Knowledge, our Relish for Beauty, especially of the Moral Kind, our Sociable Affections. These upon Reflection we find to be natural Parts of our Constitution, and we desire to bring them to Perfection from the first-mentioned general Instinct. We must not thence con- [198] elude, that all our Affections spring from Self-Love, or are ultimately pursuing private Good. Disinterested Affections are presup- posed as natural Parts of our Constitution, and found in it upon Reflection, not raised by an Act of Choice for some private Good, nor ultimately pur- suing it. (See Cicer. De Finib. Lib. iii. & Lib. v.) This would be manifestly contrary to the most express Words of these great Men on Friendship, Pa- triotism, and other Subjects. See Aristotle in the Magn. Moral. &Nicom. On Friendship; and Cicero de Finib. Lib. ii. & Lib. v.

91. D (p. 198): From the preceding Reasonings we shall only draw this one Inference

92. Omitted in D (p. 198).

Treatise II, Section IV

1. A (p. 179): see

2. D (p. 200): universally



3. D (p. 200): generally

4. Not in A (p. 179).

5. D (p. 201): generally

6. D (p. 201): others.*

  • Beside that moral Approbation or Commendation, we have also an immediate

natural Relish for certain Powers and Abilitys, and the regular Exercise of them; and a Dislike and Contempt of a Person who wants them, or has not cultivated them; when we don’t think of any Subserviency to a publick Good. But this is rather per- ceiving a vigorous or a mean Character, than a virtuous or vitious one.

7. Omitted in D (p. 201).

8. Omitted in D (p. 202).

9. D (p. 202): by stronger Motives of external Advantage

10. D (p. 202): makes

11. D (p. 202): by their Moral

12. C (p. 202), D (p. 203): and conceive

13. C (p. 202), D (p. 203): to be

14. No new paragraph in A (p. 182): But to prove that some Men

15. C (p. 202), D (p. 203): without any Motive of Interest, real or ap- parent; and approved without any Opinion of Tendency to publick Good, or flowing from Good-will

16. A (p. 182): touch

17. C (p. 203), D (p. 204): and the

18. No new paragraph in A (p. 184).

19. D (p. 205): such

20. A (p. 185): shall certainly be

21. Not in A (p. 185).

22. C (p. 206), D (p. 206): They are sparing enough in Accounts

23. C (p. 206), D (p. 206): transiently

24. A (p. 186): judge, and compare the Tendencys of

25. Not in A (p. 186).

26. A (p. 186): in the

27. Omitted in D (p. 208).

28. D (p. 208): Deities

29. C (p. 208), D (p. 209): intimated

30. A (p. 187): us

31. The following two paragraphs not in A (p. 188).

32. No new paragraph in A (p. 188).



33. A (p. 188): with Peace a long Tract of Vice

34. A (p. 191): where yet there is nothing contrary to Benevolence ap- parent in Actions

35. A (p. 191): Now we generally allow, that what is from Nature in one Nation, would be so in all.

36. A (p. 191) : and yet we cannot find any necessary tendency of it to the detriment of Mankind, at least among Collaterals: Now this

37. D (p. 216): disapprove

38. B [Errata]: Persons

39. A (p. 192): want of Benevolence, or Malice

40. A (p. 193): Incest, or prohibiting it; since it does not appear that any obvious natural Evils follow from it.

41. A (p. 193): do so: but

Treatise II, Section V

1. D (p. 218): of our Benevolent Instincts of various Kinds

2. D (p. 218): all benevolent Affections are of one Kind, or alike strong.

3. Omitted in D (p. 218).

4. Omitted in D (p. 218).

5. Omitted in D (p. 218).

6 . Omitted in D (p. 218).

7. A (p. 195): may only further observe

8. No new paragraph in A (p. 196).

9. D (p. 219): and

10. Omitted in C (p. 219), D (p. 219).

11. D [Corrigenda, p. 310] : more strongly and constantly than it ascends

12. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: more

13. C (p. 220), D (p. 220): great

14. C (p. 220), D (p. 220): great

15. A (p. 197): be made useless towards multitudes, whose Interests, at vast distances, we could not understand

D (p. 221): become useless, by being equally extended to Multitudes, whose Interest we could not understand

16. Omitted in D (p. 221).

17. C (p. 221), D (p. 221): so well ordered it, that as our Attention is more raised by those good Offices which are done to our selves or our Friends, so



they cause a stronger Sense of Approbation in us, and produce a stronger Benevolence toward the Authors of them

18. A (p. 198): selves; which we call Gratitude; and thus has laid a Foun- dation

19. Omitted in D (p. 221).

20. D (p. 221): The

21. Omitted in D (p. 222).

22. Omitted in D (p. 222).

23. Omitted in D (p. 222).

24. D (p. 222): altogether. Beside this general Attraction, the Learned in these Subjects shew us a great many other Attractions among several Sorts of Bodys, answering to some particular Sorts of Passions, from some special Causes. And that Attraction or Force by which the Parts of each Body cohere, may represent the Self-Love of each Individual.

25. D (p. 222): These different Sorts of Love to Persons

26. D (p. 222): natural

27. D (p. 223): desire and delight

28. A (p. 200): as Honour, is constituted an immediate Evil.

29. C (pp. 223—24), D (pp. 223—24): an Opinion [224] of him as perni- cious to his Neighbours; but what subjects his Ease to this Opinion of the World? Why, perhaps, he

30. A (p. 201): from Interest

31. A (p. 202): is founded on Self-Love

32. No new paragraph in A (p. 202).

33. A (p. 202): but

34. D (p. 225): to

35. Not in A (p. 204).

36. New footnote in C (p. 227), D (p. 227): *This should be considered by those who talk much of Praise, high Opinion, or Value, Esteem, Glory, as Things much desired; while yet they allow no moral Sense.

37. C (p. 228), D (p. 228): be heartily approved and admired, when we know that Self-Love is

38. D [Corrigenda, p. 310]: No; we should distrust all Pretenders to such a Temper, and hate

39. B [Errata]: to procure

D (p. 228): to procure to

40. A (p. 206): any



41. D (p. 229): are

42. C (p. 230), D (p. 230): all Men would look upon

43. C (p. 232), D (p. 232): hereafter

44. A (p. 209): and they never

45. Not in A (p. 209).

46. C (p. 233), D (p. 233): Desire of

47. C (p. 233), D (p. 233) add: and of having been acquired by Virtue,

48. A (p. 211): And the

49. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : strengthens the natural Modesty in civiliz’d Nations, as Habits and Education improve it

50. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : of

51. A (p.214): We may also hence

52. D (p. 237): Pleasure

53. A (p. 214): as

54. A (p.214): And therefore none are

55. New footnote in C (p. 238), D (p. 238): *See another Reason of this, perhaps more probably true, in the Essay on the Passions, p. 6.

56. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : morally evil [an apparently incomplete cor- rection]

57. Not in A (p. 216).

58. A (p. 217): : Thus

59. A (p. 217): and

60. A (p. 217): study

61. A (p. 219): meeting with

62. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : or Curiosity

63. D [Corrigenda, p. 308] : State. Some have alleged, That “however the Sight of another’s Misery some way or other gives us Pain, yet the very feeling of Compassion is also attended with Pleasure: This Pleasure is superior to the Pain of Sympathy, and hence we desire to raise Compassion in ourselves, and incline to indulge it.” Were this truly the Case, the Continuation of the Suf- fering would be the natural Desire of the Compassionate, in order to continue this State, not of pure Pleasure indeed, but of Pleasure superior to all Pains.

Treatise II, Section VI

1. A (p. 221): wherever it appears that

2. A (p. 222): Mankind

3. A (p. 222): when his



C (p. 245), D (p. 245): whose

4. A (p.223): the external Sensations of Pleasure, or all the Opportunity's of seeing the most beautiful regular Prospects, and hearing the most har- monious Sounds, or obtaining the most extensive Knowledge? These internal Pleasures of Beauty and Harmony, have a great Power to sooth

5. A (p. 224): would

6 . A (p. 224): Nay

7. C (p. 248), D (p. 248) insert: as related by Cicero and some others,

8. D (p. 248): better a

9. No new paragraph in A (p. 226).

10. A (p. 226): would

11. Not in A (p. 227).

12. A (p. 227): such Pleasures

13. No new paragraph in A (p. 227).

14. A (p. 227): obtain the solitary Perceptions of

15. A (p. 230): it is that such Forms

16. D (p. 253): upon some probable Foundation in Nature, and some- times without any,

17. C (p. 253), D (p. 253): Is it

18. D (p. 253) [no new paragraph]: Had Homer, in his Character of Helen, rais’d our Idea of her external Beauty to the greatest Height, yet

19. D (p. 254): morally amiable

20. A (p. 234): foresee all the

21. No new paragraph in A (p. 234).

22. New paragraph in A (p. 234).

23. D (p. 257): and

24. A (p. 235): we

25. Omitted in D (p. 259).

26. D (p. 262): a more

27. D (p. 262): Representations

28. C (p. 263), D (p. 263): far

29. Not in A (p. 242).

30. Not numbered in A (p. 244).

31. Not numbered, no new paragraph in A (p. 244).

32. In A (pp. 244-48) follow §§ VIII and IX, which in the later editions became §§ III and IV of Section 7: B (pp. 270-74), C (pp. 271-74), D (pp. 271-75).



Treatise II, Section VII

1. A (p. 249): ; and that we have Ideas of Virtue and Vice, abstractly

2. D (p. 268): of

3. C (p. 268), D (p. 268): beneficent

4. C (p. 268), D (p. 268): good

5. Not in A (p. 250).

6. Not in A (p. 250).

7. C (p. 270), D (p. 270): virtuous Benevolence toward

8. A (p. 253): but are the Effect of the great Author of all things, who forms our Nature for them.

9. In A (p. 253) §§ III and IV appear instead at the end of Section 6, numbered VIII and IX (pp. 244-48).

10. C (p. 272), D (p. 272): influence

11. A (p.245): were

12. D (p. 273): condemn

13. D [Corrigenda, pp. 308-9]: contrary. Some also object, That accord- ing to this Account, Brutes may be capable of Virtue; and this is thought a great Absurdity. But tis manifest, that, 1. Brutes are not capable of that, in which this Scheme places the highest Virtue, to wit, the calm Motions of the Will toward the Good of others; if our common Accounts of Brutes are true, that they are merely led by particular Passions toward present Objects of Sense. Again, tis plain there is something in [309] certain Tempers of Brutes,* which engages our Liking, and some lower Good-will and Esteem, tho’ we do not usually call it Virtue, nor do we call the sweeter Dispositions of Chil- dren Virtue; and yet they are so very like the lower Kinds of Virtue, that I see no harm in calling them Virtues. What if there are low Virtues in Creatures void of Reflection, incapable of knowing Laws, or of being moved by their Sanctions, or by Example of Rewards or Punishments? Such Creatures cannot be brought to a proper Trial or Judgment: Laws, Rewards, or Punishments won’t have these Effects upon them, which they may have upon rational Agents. Perhaps they are no farther rewarded or punished than by the im- mediate Pleasure or Pain of their Actions, or what Men immediately inflict upon them. Where is the Harm of all this, That there are lower Virtues, and lower Vices, the Rewarding or Punishing of which, in Creatures void of Rea- son and Reflection, can answer no wise End of Government?

  • Cicero is not ashamed to say of some Brutes, Videmus indicia pietatis, cogniti-

onem, memoriam, desideria, — secreta a voluptate humanarum simulacra virtutum.



De Finib. Lib. II. c. 33. [today: II, no]. [Translation: “( in a certain class of birds) we see some traces of affection, and also recognition and recollection; and ( in many we even notice) regret for a lost friend. {If animals therefore possess some) semblance of the human virtues unconnected with pleasure.” (Cicero, De finibus bonorum etmalorum, with an English translation by H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967, p. 202.)]

14. Omitted in C (p. 273), D (p. 273).

15. A (p.248): nothing else but

16. A (p. 253): wrongly numbered II (instead of III).

17. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : Or that his Will is conformable to his Will.

18. No new paragraph in A (p. 253).

19. C (p. 275), D (p. 275): Desire of

20. D [Corrigenda p. 311] : morally good [an apparently incomplete cor- rection]

21. D (p. 276): Desire

22. A (p. 255): altho

23. A (p. 256): numbered IV.

24. C (p. 277), D (p. 277): one

25. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : Natural Liberty

26. No new paragraph in A (p. 257).

27. Not in A (p. 257).

28. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : Natural Liberty

29. C (p. 279), D (p. 279): naturally residing in the Persons injur’d, or their voluntary, or invited Assistants, to use force

30. Omitted in D (p. 279).

31. No new paragraph in A (p. 258).

32. A (p. 259): the Power of Compassion

33. A (p. 261): War on both Sides just

34. A (p. 261): numbered V.

35. A (p. 261): a Power to transfer

D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : the Power of transferring

36. A (p. 262): numbered VI.

37. A (p. 262-63): all [263] Men are oblig’d to observe such a Tenour of Action as shall most effectually promote Industry; and to

38. A (p. 263): Whatever

39. A (p. 263): of Self-Love from Industry and leaves Benevolence alone;

40. Not in A (p. 264).

41. Omitted in D (p. 286).



42. Not in A (p. 265).

43. A (p. 265): numbered VII.

44. D (p. 288): Rules

45. Omitted in D (p. 288).

46. Omitted in D (p. 288).

47. A (p. 266): in as far

48. Omitted in D (p. 289).

49. Omitted in D (p. 289).

50. D (p. 290): the Motives of private Interest are greater.

51. D (p. 290): selfish Motives from

52. D (p. 291): no new

53. Omitted in D (p. 291).

54. D (p. 291): natural Liberty, or the Penalties of Law in Civil Society.

55. D (p. 291): A stronger and less extensive Tie of Benevolence, in equal Abilitys, must produce a greater Moment of Good to the Object of it, in equally good Characters, than the weaker Ties. Thus, natural Affection, Grat- itude, Friendship, have greater Effects than general Benevolence: Or, we do more Good to Friends, Children, Benefactors, than to Persons under no spe- cial Relation.

56. D (p. 292): Benevolence alone

57. D (p. 292): more extensive, but less passionate

58. D (p. 292): more violent, or passionate

59. C (p. 292), D (p. 292): more. The general Benevolence appears of itself a more amiable Principle, according to the Constitution of our moral Sense

D (p. 292) adds: , than any particular Passion, [and adds a footnote after “Sense”]: *See Sect. 3. Art. ix. The Author all along supposes, that no Man acts without some Desire, or Instinct, or Affection, or Appetite; that of these Attachments of the Will, some are calm and unpassionate, others are passionate; some are extensive, and others confined to one, or to a few. The former Sort in each of these Divisions, manifestly appears more amiable; and consequently, caeteris paribus, the Virtue is less, in any given Quantity, of Good done from the violent, passionate, and narrow Attachment. A certain Remarker thence argues, “That then the Virtue is highest, when there is no Desire, Affection, or Attachment at all; or when we act solely from Reason, without any Affection to any Thing.” One may retort this Reasoning in a like Case. In any given Momentum of Bodies, there the Velocity is greater,



where there is least Matter; consequently, it is there greatest, where there is no Matter at all.

60. D (p. 293): which

61. Not in A (270).

62. The following five paragraphs are not in A (p. 270-72); instead: VIII. Let us not imagine, that from the above Idea of Right it will follow, [271] that the wise and benevolent have a perfect Right to dispose of the Labours or Goods of the weak or foolish, because perhaps they would better employ them for the publick Good than the unskilful Possessors can; for tho in some particular Cases this might happen to do good, as when a good-natur’d Oc- tavius assum’d the Government of a distracted Commonwealth; yet what would be the Consequence of allowing this universally, while there is no ac- knowledg’d Standard, or Judge of superior Wisdom or Benevolence, which every one would be too apt to claim? And as each Man is more nearly engag’d for his own Good by Self-love, than another is by mere Benevolence, he will scarcely be brought to believe, that another understands his Interest, or pur- sues it, better than he could himself. And what Happiness can remain to the Govern’d, while there is any Suspicion of either the Benevolence or Wisdom of the Governor? Especially when there are too great Presumptions, that Gov- ernors may be sway’d by Self-love against the publick Good. From this Con- sideration, as well as the natural Love of Liberty, and Inclination both to act and judge for our selves, we justly conclude, “That except when Men, for their own Interest, or out of publick Love, have by consent subjected their Actions, or their Goods within certain Limits to the Pleasure of others; no [272] Mortal can have a Right from his superior Wisdom, or Goodness, or any other Quality, to give Laws to others without their Consent, express or tacit; or to dispose of the Fruits of their Labours, or of any other Right what- soever.”

63. D (p. 298): secure

64. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : violent Usurper

65. D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : regard to a publick Good

66. A (p. 272): we should be better guided by them than by our own utmost

67. A (p. 273): numbered IX.

68. A (p. 273): (by his assuming Authority)

69. D [Corrigenda, p. 311]: as some ancient Hereticks did,

70. A (p. 273): numbered X.



71. C (p. 302), D (p. 302): There seems

72. C (p. 302), D (p. 302): and desires

73. A (p. 274): Course of such external

D [Corrigenda, p. 311] : with a suitable Course of

74. A (p. 275): numbered XI.

75. Omitted in C (p. 303), D (p. 303).

76. A (p. 275): Yea

77. C (p. 303), D (p. 303): approve

78. No new paragraph in A (p. 275).

79. C (p. 303), D (p. 303): not

80. D (p. 304): more than

81. C (p. 304), D (p. 304): more lovely


ability: comparing degrees of virtue and vice in action, corollaries from, 188; individual dispositions and abilities, moral effect of,


absolute government, 191—92

absolute or original beauty, xii, 27, 28-35

abstraction, 20

acquaintance, natural affection not arising from, 148

advantage. See self-love (interest or advantage)

Aeschylus, 94nv

aesthetics, theory of, xi-xii, 9-10; ani- mals, beauty of, 32-34; animal vs. human senses, 28; comparative or relative beauty, 27, 42-45; custom, effect of, 70—72; definition of beauty and harmony, 23; design in the cause from effects ( see design in the cause reasoned from beauty/ regularity of effects); diversity of ideas regarding beauty, 21-22, 66-69; education, effect of, 20, 70, 72-73; example as cause of internal sense of beauty, 70, 74-75; external senses, 23-25; geometric shapes, 28-30; gratification of superior senses, 158-59; harmony as part of original or absolute beauty, 34-35; internal senses, 23-25, 66-67,

76-82; nature, beauty in, 30-34; objects, beauty arising from, 28-35; original or absolute beauty, xii, 27, 28-35; pleasure and pain, and sense of beauty, 61-63; prejudice, 20, 73-74; separate sense of beauty dis- tinct from interest, 25—26; theo- rems ( see theorems, beauty of); uniformity (see uniformity amidst variety); universal/general laws of nature, 58-60, 79-82; universality of sense of beauty, 61-69; use, beauty as, 208-9M5; virtue and beauty, connection between, 90, 99-100, 166-68; wisdom and pru- dence, 57-58

affections as motive for virtuous ac- tions, 101-15; different affections not equally approved, 233041; dis- interestedness of affections, 102-4, 106-7; hatred, 102-3; love and be- nevolence (see love and benevo- lence as moral foundation); par- ents’ natural affection for children, 112-14, 127, 147-48, 169, 229079; public affections (neighbors, fellow countrymen, and relations), 114-15, 170-71; strength of ties, 190, 245-46059; voluntary generation of love or any other affection, xiv— xv, 220— 27029

airs, motions, and gestures, 168-69




algebraic calculations, 36, 205n4 alienable rights, 185-86 allegory, 43-44, 174-75 Amphion, 172

animals: beauty in, 32-34; fowls, 34; gross similarity by chance, impossi- bility of, 54, 55; human vs. animal senses, 28, 78, 80; moral sense, brutes’ capacity for, 243-44013; perceptions of, 202027; propor- tions, 33-34

approbation, xv-xvi, 10, 62-63, 85; aversion vs., xv— xvi, 10, 20—21, 62-63, 85; different affections not equally approved, 233041; false,

1:36 — 37; love or benevolence, rela- tionship to, 116—17; self-love, not grounded in, 93-95. See also aver- sion; virtue and moral good architecture, 41, 44-45, 63-66, 68, 73, 77, 208-9M5

Aristotle, I2nvii, 43, 207035,

208-9M5, 237081, 237090 art, works of, 41, 42, 44-45, 64, 77,


associations of ideas, 43-44, 62-63, 67-68, 157-59. 169. 174-75 aversion, xv-xvi, 10, 20-21, 62-63, 85.

See also approbation axioms, 37

beauty. See aesthetics, theory of Beccaria, Cesare, i25niii benevolence. See love or benevolence as moral foundation Bentham, Jeremy, I25niii Bergerac, Cyrano de, H4-i5nv Berkeley, George, n8ni, 208—9015 bible: 1 Corinthians 15:32, 226029; Hebrews 11:6, 226029; Hebrews 12:2, 227029

brutes’ capacity for moral sense, 243-44ni3

Cadmus, 106

calculations: algebraic calculations and beauty, 36, 20504; evil, 130-32; fluxional calculations and beauty, 36, 20504; morality of actions, 128-30, 130-32, 134, 234-35056, 236-37072

Calvinist theology, 87ml Carteret, John, 1st Lord Granville,


Cartesian theory, 39, 47m, 55, 20906 castle-builders, happiness, and virtue, 163-64

Cato (M. Porcius Cato Uticensis),

97, 98, i2onii, 217040 chance producing beauty/ regularity, impossibility of, 49-56 chastity, 170

children: compassion in, 161; geomet- ric shapes, child’s sense of beauty in, 30; marriage, rights of, 187; par- ents’ natural affection for, 112-14, 127, 147-48, 169, 229079; sacrifice of, 138-39; universality of moral sense, 145-46

Christianity: Calvinist theology,

8ynii; incest, repugnance for, 144-45; love or benevolence, con- cept of, xiii, xiv— xv; Manichean- ism, no. See also bible; religion and God

Cicero, 3, I2nvii, 94nv, 97nviii, 99, 20in27, 226029, 237090,


civil government, 187-95; absolute government, 191-92; despotic gov- ernment, 193—94; divine govern- ment, 193—95; limited government, 192-93; rights protected under, 191-92, 246062; right to form, 187-88; tyranny and despotism, xviii, 120-21, 193-94 Clarke, Samuel, 39, i8ini



classical literature, Hutcheson’s famil- iarity with, i2nvii. See also specific authors and characters clockwork, 58 Codrus, 94

color, 20, 22, 23, 26, 64, 74 combinations by chance, 50-52 combinations of irregular forces,


commerce, right of, 187 comparative or relative beauty, 27, 42-45

comparison, human tendency to- ward, 43-44 compassion, 159-61 complacence or esteem, 102-3, 105, 219ml, 219027

compounded ideas, 20, 21-22 consequences affecting morality of actions, 125-26, 232-33039 constraint vs. obligation, 181-82 contempt or displicence, 102-3 1 Corinthians 15:32, 226M9 corollaries, 38-40, 188-92 countenances, moral disposition in, 166-68, 203n52

country: affection for fellow country- men, 114— 15, 170—71; love of,

114-15; opinions of, 151-54 critics, 23

crystallization, 49-50 cultural issues: diversity of moral principles, 137—44, 151—52; opinions of country, 151-54. See also custom; example

Cumberland, Richard, xv, 94, 197, 2o6n29, 23in26

custom: aesthetics and, 70-72; com- passion and, 161; education and,

73; learned persons, influence on, 119; virtue and moral good, rela- tionship to, 99, 144-46

Decius (Publius Decius Mus), 94, 97, 98, 217040 Defoe, Daniel, ii5nv Derry, Siege of, 158 Descartes, Rene, 39, 47m, 55, 209n6 design in the cause reasoned from beauty/ regularity of effects, 46-60; chance, impossibility of, 49-56; ir- regular forces, combinations of, 52-54; irregularity not proof of lack of design, 56-57; miracles, 60; multiple good effects flowing from one general cause, 58; undirected force, probability of, 46-49; uni- versal/general laws, 58-60; wisdom and prudence, 57-58 desire, xiv, 20

despotism and tyranny, xviii, 120—21, 193-94

displicence or contempt, 102-3 diversity of ideas regarding beauty, 21-22, 66-69

diversity of moral principles, reasons for, 137-44

divinity. See religion and God Domitian (emperor), 230015 dress and fashion, 22, 26, 64, 66, 77, 157-58

Dutch struggle for freedom from Spain, 93nii

Earth, 31

easy theorems, 37-38 editions of Inquiry, xxiii— xxiv education: aesthetics and, 20, 70, 72-73; compassion and, 161; learned persons, influence on, 119; superior senses, gratification of,

1:58 — 59; virtue and moral good, re- lationship to, 99, 144-46, 178 emetic in wine, 21 Epicureanism, 55



equipage and furnishings, 66, 77, 157-58

Essay (Hutcheson), xiv, 23in26 esteem or complacence, 102-3, 105, 219ml, 2i9n27 Euclid, 36, 38 Euripides, 94nv

evil and vice, 85, 90-91; comparing degrees of virtue and vice in ac- tion, corollaries from, 188—92; computation of moral evil, 130-32; disinterested malice, 120; hatred, 102-3, 105-6; love or benevolence toward evil characters, 124; malice, 102, 103, 105-6, 120-21, 189,

219ml; mistaken opinions or sense of benevolence rather than delight in evil itself, 143; mistaken self-love as ordinary spring of, 121-22; natu- ral and moral evil, 90-91; private pleasure as occasion of vice, 157; tyranny and despotism, 120-21. See also virtue and moral good example: aesthetics and, 70, 74-75; compassion and, 161; virtue and moral good, 99 external rights, 184 external senses, 23-25

fashion and dress, 22, 26, 64, 66, 77,


fear, 106-7

Filmer, Robert, i95nii First Treatise: argument of, xi-xii; ta- ble of contents, 15; text of, 15-82 fluids, 34

fluxional calculations, 36, 205n4 Fontenelle, Bernard de Bouvier de, ii5nv

foresight, moral effect of, 129—30, 131-32 fowls, 34

Franklin, Benjamin, x

friendship and society, 114-15, 170-71

gardens and gardening, 44, 66, 77 general/universal laws of nature, 58-60, 79-82

geometry: combinations by chance, 50-52; corollaries, 38-39; easy the- orems, 37-38; gross similarity by chance, impossibility of, 54; heroic monuments, 44-45; original or ab- solute beauty of geometric shapes, 29-30; theorems, beauty in, 36; undirected force, 47 gestures, airs, and motions, 168-69 gladiators, 160-61 God. See religion and God good. See virtue and moral good goodness and wisdom of God, 80-81, 194-97

good taste, concept of, 24, 75 Gothic architecture, 64-65, 68, 73 government: civil (see civil govern- ment); divine, 193-95 grandeur, 69, 157-58 gratitude, 117-18, 124, 148-50, 219027 gravity, 38, 59

greatest happiness for greatest num- bers, x, xvi— xvii, 125, 126, 233-341148

happiness: defined, xvii; different no- tions of, 137-38; greatest happiness for greatest numbers, x, xvi— xvii, 125, 126, 233-34n48; liberty and happiness, relationship between, ix— x, xvii— xviii, 187-95; natural good and, 86; others’ happiness, our desire for, 223-25029; virtue as greatest happiness, xvii, 162-75 harmony and beauty: definition of beauty and harmony, 23; original



or absolute beauty, harmony as part of, 34-35; pleasure and pain, 34-35. See also aesthetics, theory of harmony and music, 22, 23, 62, 68-69, 77

Harrington, James, xviii hatred, 102-3, 105-6 Hebrews: 11:6, 226n29; 12:2, 227M9 Helen of Troy, 167-68, 242018 heroic monuments, 44-45 heroic virtue, 134 history, study of, 65, 175 Hobbes, Thomas, 86nii, 94niii, 197, 2i6n2i

Holland’s struggle for freedom from Spain, 93nii

Homer, 43, 44, 167-68, 175, 242018 honor and shame, 150-59; false honor, 155-56; love of honor and aversion to shame, 154-55; moral incapacity as matter of shame, 156; opinion, 151-54; same associations of ideas, arising from, 157-59; self- ishness as shameful, 157 Horace, 64, 76m, 83, 98nix, i43nii, 164m, 173-74 human sacrifice, 138-40 Hutcheson, Francis: classical authors and myths, familiarity with, I2nvii; Essay ; xiv, 231026; influence and importance of, ix-x; Inquiry (see Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue)-, por- trait, iii

ideas: associations of, 43-44, 62-63, 67-68, 157-59, 169, 174-75; innate idea, internal sense not presuppos- ing, 67; simple and compounded, 20, 21-22 idol worship, 140 imagery, 43-44, i74~75

imitation, 44-45, 73 imperfect rights, 183-84 inalienable rights, 185-86 incest, 144-45 Indian architecture, 65 Indians, travelers’ accounts of cus- toms of, 139-40

individual airs, motions, and gestures, 168-69

individual characters, moral beauty of, 132

individual countenances, moral dis- position in, 166— 68, 203n52 individual dispositions and abilities, moral effect of, 127—28 innate idea, internal sense not pre- supposing, 67

Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (Hutcheson): argument of, x— xvii; editions of, xxiii-xxiv; Essay and Inquiry thought of by Hutcheson as coher- ent whole, 232026; First Treatise {see First Treatise); influence and importance of, ix— x; political per- spective of, xvii-xviii; Second Trea- tise {see Second Treatise) instinct/passions as spring of virtue, 133-34, 236n8i, 237090 instruction. See custom; education; example

intention: beauty via correspondence to, 44-45, 73; moral effect of, 129-30, 131-32

interest. See self-love (interest or ad- vantage)

internal senses, 23-25, 66-67, 73> 76-82

irregularity: combinations of irregular forces leading to regularity/beauty, impossibility of, 52-54; lack of de- sign not proved by, 56-57

2 54


kindred, affection for, 114-15, 170-71 knowledge, theory of, xi— xii, xiii, 7

law: consequences of actions and,

126; knowledge of, 189; morality and, 86-87, 180-81; obligation, moral sense of, 180—81 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, xn2, 39 liberty: happiness and liberty, rela- tionship between, ix— x, xvii— xviii, 1:87 — 95; restrictions on, xviii;

Dutch struggle for freedom from Spain, 93nii. See also civil govern- ment

limited government, 192—93 liquids, 34

literary works, beauty of, 42-43 Locke, John, xi, xiii— xiv, 66, i95nii Londonderry (Derry), Siege of, 158 lotteries, 56

love or benevolence as moral founda- tion, xiii— xv, 102—3, 112, 116—34; a P' probation, relationship to, 116-17; beneficent, love of, 107-8, 148-50; cause of, 104; complacence or es- teem, 102-3, 105, 219ml, 219027; degrees of affection, 147; different dispositions included in benevo- lence, 231— 32M6; narrow interpre- tation of, 141, 143; national love (love of country), 114-15; parents’ natural affection for their children, 112-14, 127, 147-48, 169, 229079; partial benevolence, 126-27; public affections (neighbors, fellow coun- trymen, and relations), 114-15, 170-71; quality of object of benev- olence, effect of, 124; religion, re- lationship to, 117—18; romantic/ sexual love distinguished, 102; self- love joined with, 104, 121-24;

self-love opposed to, xvii— xviii, 102-4, 106-12, 219-27029; social virtues, 118-20; sole moral founda- tion, status as, 136-37; strength of ties, 190, 245-46059; universality of, 135-46; voluntary generation of love or any other affection, xiv-xv, 220-27029

Lucretia, rape of, 2i6n2i luxury, 77-78, 157-58 Lycurgus, 139

machines and mechanical philosophy, 45. 5 2 -53. 57-58

malice, 102, 103, 105-6, 120-21, 189, 219ml

Mandeville, Bernard de, xiii, 9niii, 93niv, 97nvii, nonii, H2niii, H3niv, 154m, I55nii Manicheanism, no marriage, 127, 169-70, 187 mathematics: moral calculations, 128-30, 130-32, 134; theorems, beauty in, 36, 20504. See also calcu- lations; geometry meanness, 157-58 mechanical philosophy and ma- chines, 45, 52-53, 57-58 merit, natural affection not arising from, 148

metaphor, 43-44, 174-75 Milton, John, 68nii, 71, 106 miracles, 60 modesty, 157

Molesworth, Robert, Viscount, n monuments, 44-45 moral evil. See evil and vice moral good. See virtue and moral good

motions, airs, and gestures, 168-69 music, 22, 23, 62, 68-69, 77



national love (love of country), 114-15 natural affection of parents for their children, 112-14, 127, 147-48, 169,


natural evil vs. moral evil, 90-91 natural good vs. moral good, 85-86, 89-90

natural public affection, 114-15 nature: gardens as imitations of, 44; symbolic meanings found in, 44, 67; universal/general laws, 58-60, 79-82; variety with uniformity as beauty in, 30-34 neighbors, affection for, 114— 15, 170-71

Nero, 120, 230M5 Netherlands’ struggle for freedom from Spain, 93nii Newton, Sir Isaac, 38 novelty, 38, 40, 69

obligation, moral sense of, 176-82; constraint vs., 181-82; education and moral sense, 178; law/divine law, 180-81; reflection and moral sense, 178-80 opinion, 151—54 oratory, power of, 171-73 order, 37 Orestes, 94

original or absolute beauty, xii, 27, 28-35

Orpheus, 172

Paetus (Thrasea Paetus), 120 pain. See pleasure and pain painting. See works of art parents’ natural affection for chil- dren, 112-14, 127, 147-48, 169,


partial benevolence, 126-27

passions (instinct) as spring of virtue, 1:33-34, 236081, 237090 passive obedience, 118-19 perception, theory of, xi— xii, xv, 7—9, 10, 19-27 perfect rights, 182 perfect virtue, 130

physical appearance: individual airs, motions, and gestures, 168-69; in- dividual countenances, moral dis- position in, 166— 68, 203052 piracy, 105

planets, 30-31, 78-79, H4-i5nv plants, beauty of, 31-32 Plato and Platonic concepts, xi-xii, I2nvii, I72niv, 209M5, 237090 pleasure and pain, xiv, 7-8; Aristotle on, 207035; compassion, 34in63; harmony, 34-35; interest or advan- tage antecedent to, 86; moral sense and, 100, 217047; natural good, re- lationship to, 86; perception, the- ory of, 20—21, 25, 202—3029; pri- vate pleasure as occasion of vice, 157; sense of beauty, deriving from, 61-63; theorems, beauty of, 40-41; virtue, concomitant pleasure of, 110-12; virtue necessary to plea- sure, 165-66; virtue superior to any pleasure, 164-65 Plotinus, I2nvii Plutarch, 139m

poets and poetry 23, 42-43, 64, 173-75

political perspective of Inquiry, xvii— xviii

political structures. See civil govern- ment

praise, 97~99> 154-55- 159 prejudice, 20, 73-74 private pleasure as occasion of vice, 157



property rights, 186-87 proportions of animals, 33-34 prudence, xviii prudence and beauty, 57-58 public affection, 114-15, 170-71 public opinion, 151-54 Pufendorf, Samuel von, 39, 94, 197 punishment, right of, 183

quality of object of benevolence, ef- fect of, 124

reason and virtue, 133-34, 1 4° reflection and moral sense, 178-80 Regulus (Marcus Atilius Regulus),

97, 164-65

relations, affection for, 114-15, 170-71 relative or comparative beauty, 27, 42-45

religion and God: creation, 195; disin- terested nature of affections regard- ing God, 222n29; existence of God from beauty ( see design in the cause reasoned from beauty/ regularity of effects); false opinions as to divine laws, 143-44; goodness and wisdom of God, 80-81,

194—97; government, divine,

1:93 — 95; idol worship, 140; interest or advantage of God, 109-10; in- ternal senses, God as final cause of, 78-82; love or benevolence, rela- tionship to, 117—18; Manicheanism, no; miracles, 60; moral sense and divine law, 180-81; moral sense not founded on religion, 96; sects per- nicious to virtue, 141-43; self-love and, 108-10, 226-27n29; Zoroas- trianism, nonii, i44niii. See also bi- ble; Christianity restrictions on liberty, xviii reverence, 106-7

rights, 182-95; alienable and inaliena- ble rights, 185—86; civil govern- ment, 187-88, 191-92, 246n62 ( see also civil government); commerce, right of, 187; comparing degrees of virtue and vice in action, corollar- ies from, 188—92; external rights, 184; imperfect rights, 183-84; mar- riage, rights of, 187; oppositions in, 184-85, 190-91; perfect rights, 182; property rights, 186-87; punish- ment, right of, 183; war, rights of, 183, 185

romantic/sexual love, 102, 169-70 Russen, David, ii5nv

sacrificial practices, 138-40 seasons, 31

Second Treatise: argument of, xiii- xvii; table of contents, 16; text of, 83-198

secret sense, moral sense as, xv sects pernicious to virtue, 141-43 selfishness as shameful, 157 self-love (interest or advantage), xvii— xviii; aesthetics distinct from interest, 25-26; affections, disinter- estedness of, 102-4, 106-7; appro- bation not grounded in, 93-95; be- neficent, love of, 107-8, 148-50; comparing degrees of virtue and vice in action, corollaries from, 188—89; evil springing from mis- taken self-interest, 121-22; God’s interest or advantage, 109-10; hatred, 105; love or benevolence, disinterestedness of, xvii— xviii, 102-4, 106-12, 219-27M9; love or benevolence, joined with, 104, 121-24; parents’ natural affection for children compared, 112— 14, 127, 147-48, 169, 229079; pleasure and



natural good antecedent to, 86, 89; public affections compared, 114-15; religion and, 108-10; social virtues and, 119-20; superior senses, grati- fication of, 158-59; virtue and mo- rality, consistent with, 121—24; vir- tue and morality, distinct from, 92-96, 132; virtue and morality, role in, 86-88, 89-90; voluntary generation of love or any other af- fection, xiv— xv, 220— 27M9 sensation. See perception, theory of senses: aesthetics and, 19-20, 23-25;

moral sense, 89-100 Sextus Empiricus, 139m sexual/romantic love, 102, 169-70 Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of, xi, xiii, 9, 12, 8yniii, i39n, 14m Shakespeare, 92m shame and honor. See honor and shame

simile, 43-44, 174-75

simple ideas, 20, 21—22

social virtues, 118-20

society and friendship, 114-15, 170-71

Solon, 139

Sophocles, 94nv

Spain, Dutch struggle for freedom from, 93nii Stoics, I72niv substances, 20 surprise, 37-38, 40, 2o6ni3 symbolism, 43-44, 174-75 Syng, Edward, 11

taste, concept of, 24, 75 theorems, beauty of, 24, 36-41; axi- oms, 37; corollaries and unified theories, 38-40; custom, effect of, 72; easy theorems, 37-38; final cause of internal senses, 79-80;

pleasure arising from, 40-41; sur- prise and novelty, 37-38, 40, 206M3; universal/general laws of nature, 58-60, 79-82 travelers’ accounts of barbarous prac- tices, 138-40

truths, universal. See theorems, beauty of

tyranny and despotism, xviii, 120—21, 193-94

undirected force producing beauty/ regularity, probability of, 46-49 unified theories, 38-40 uniformity amidst variety: design in the cause from effects (see design in the cause reasoned from beauty/ regularity of effects); final cause of internal senses, 79-80; order, 37; original or absolute beauty, 28-34, 35; theorems, beauty of, 36-37; universality of beauty via, 64-65; works of art, 41

United States: Hutcheson’s influence in, x; Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776, ix

universal/general laws of nature, 58-60, 79-82. See also theorems, beauty of

universality of moral sense, 135-46 universality of sense of beauty, 61-69 universal opinion of divine goodness, 197-98

use, beauty as, 208-9015 utilitarianism, I25niii

variety with uniformity. See unifor- mity amidst variety vice. See evil and vice Virgil, unv, 44, 91, 168 Virginia Bill of Rights, 1 776, ix



virtue and moral good, 85-88; actions of or affecting other persons only, 91-92, 96-97; actions of our own, 95-96; beauty and virtue, connec- tion between, 90, 99-100, 166-68; comparing degrees of virtue and vice in action, corollaries from, 188-92; custom, education, and ex- ample, relationship to, 99, 144-46; defined, 85, 100; diversity of moral principles, reasons for, 137-44; foundation of, things not forming, 89-100; happiness and virtue, xvii, 162-75; instinct/passions as spring of, 133-34, 236n8i, 237n9o; moral sense as origin of moral ideas, xv-xvi, 8-9, 10; natural good vs., 85-86, 89-90; philosophical opin- ions as to, 86-88; pleasure con- comitant to virtue, 110-12; plea- sure, virtue necessary to, 165-66; pleasure, virtue superior to,

164-65; reason and virtue, 133-34, 140; self-love consistent with, 121—24; self-love distinct from,

92-96, 132; self-love’s role in, 86-88, 89-90. See also more specific topics

voluntary generation of love or any other affection, xiv— xv, 220— 27M9

war, rights of, 183, 185 water, 34

wealth and the wealthy, 77-78, 123-24

Whig tradition, xviii will, love or benevolence as act of, xiv— xv, 220— 27M9 wisdom and beauty, 57-58 wisdom and goodness of God, 80-81, 194-97

women: compassion in, 161; mar- riage, 127, 169-70, 187; natural af- fection for wives, 127; romantic/ sexual love, 102, 169-70 works of art, 41, 42, 44-45, 64, 77,


Zoroastrianism, nonii, I44niii

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