Browsing Untitled By Tag : human actions

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BOOK II PRINCIPALS OF SOCIETY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In the preceding book we have cleared the foundations for the remaining branches of inquiry, and shown what are the prospects it is reasonable to entertain as to future political improvement. The effects which are produced by positive institutions have there been delineated, as well as the extent of the powers of man, considered in his social capacity. It is time that we proceed to those disquisitions which are more immediately the object of the present work. Political inquiry may be distributed under two heads: first, what are the regulations which will conduce to the well being of man in society; and, secondly, what is the authority which is competent to prescribe regulations. The regulations to which the conduct of men living in society ought to be con...

CHAPTER IV1 THE CHARACTERS OF MEN ORIGINATE IN THEIR EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Theory of the human mind.--Subjects of the present chapter--of the next.--Erroneous opinions refuted.--I. Innate principles.--This hypothesis, 1, superflous--2, unsatisfactory--3, absurd.--II. In- stincts.--Examination of this doctrine--of the arguments by which it has been enforced: from the early actions of infants--from the desire of self-preservation--from self-love--from pity.--III. Effects of antenatal impressions and original structure.--Variableness of the characters of men.--Ease with which impressions may be counter- acted.--Form of the infant undetermined.--Habits of men and other animals compared.--Inference.--Importance of these speculations.-- IV. Reasonings of the present chapter applied.--Three sorts of edu- cation--1, accident--2, precept--3, political institution.

ESSAY III OF INTELLECTUAL ABORTION In the preceding Essay I have endeavored to establish the proposition, that every human creature, idiots and extraordinary cases excepted, is endowed with talents, which, if rightly directed, would shew him to be apt, adroit, intelligent and acute, in the walk for which his organization especially fitted him. There is however a sort of phenomenon, by no means of rare occurrence, which tends to place the human species under a less favorable point of view. Many men, as has already appeared, are forced into situations and pursuits ill assorted to their talents, and by that means are exhibited to their contemporaries in a light both despicable and ludicrous. But this is not all. Men are not only placed, by the absurd choice of their parents, or an imperious concurrence of circumstances, in destinations and employments in which they can never appear to advantage: they frequently, without any external compulsion, se...

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