Adam Smith's Simplified Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 6, Section 2, Chapter 1: Family and Children
Chapter 1: The Order How Individuals are Recommended by Nature to our care


4 The Stoics used to say that every man is first and principally recommended to his own care.

5 After himself, the natural objects of his warmest affections are:

They are naturally and usually the persons on whose happiness or misery his conduct has the greatest influence.



2 This sympathy and the affections founded on it are by nature also more strongly directed towards his children than towards his parents.


7 The earliest friendships are those among brothers and sisters.


8 The children of brothers and sisters are naturally connected by the friendship which, after separating into different families, continues to take place between their parents.


9 The children of cousins are still less connected.


10In reality, affection is nothing but habitual sympathy.


11 Though in a particular instance, the circumstances which usually produce those natural affections may not have taken place, by some accident.

However, with the dutiful and the virtuous, respect for the general rule will frequently produce something which are not the same.

However, I am afraid that time and experience too frequently undeceive them.


12 However, it is only with the dutiful and the virtuous that the general rule has even this slender authority.


13The domestic morals in the higher ranks of life, and consequently the domestic happiness of France and England have been hurt most essentially by the education of:

Do you wish to educate your children to be:

Put them under the necessity of being:

From their parent's house they may go out to attend public schools everyday, with propriety and advantage.


14 In some tragedies and romances, we meet with many beautiful and interesting scenes founded on 'the force of blood'.


15 The branches of the same family commonly choose to live in the neighbourhood in:

Their association is necessary for their common defence.


16 In commercial countries, the law is always perfectly sufficient to protect the meanest man in the state.

Regard for remote relations becomes less and less in every country, according as this state of civilization has been longer and more completely established.


17 I consider natural affection as more the effect of the moral than of the supposed physical connection between parent and child.

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Next: Chapter 1b: Friendship