Adam Smith's Simplified Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 4, Chapter 2: Morality from Utiltiy

Chapter 2: The Morality from Utiltiy

12The following can promote or disturb individual and societal happiness:

The prudent, equitable, active, resolute, and sober character promises prosperity and satisfaction to:

This has all the beauty as the most perfect machine invented for that purpose.

13 This beauty of characters from their usefulness strikes those who philosophically consider mankind's conduct.

14 David Hume has been so struck with this view of things.

Nature seems to have so happily adjusted our sentiments of approbation and disapprobation to the convenience of the individual and the society.

15 It seems impossible:

Emotional Quotient

16 The usefulness of any disposition of mind is seldom the first ground of our approbation.

We may observe this with all the virtuous qualities:

18 Superior reason and understanding are originally approved of as just, right, and accurate, and not merely as useful or advantageous.

19 In the same way, our self-command is approved of as much under propriety as under utility.

20 Humanity, justice, generosity, and public spirit, are the qualities most useful to others.

21 The propriety of generosity and public spirit is founded on the same principle with the propriety of justice.

22 It is the same case with the greater exertions of public spirit.

Brutus' sons conspired against Rome.

In such cases, our admiration is founded on the unexpected, great, noble, and exalted propriety of such actions, and not so much on their utility.

23 So far as the sentiment of approbation arises from the beauty of utility, it has no reference to the sentiments of others.


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