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Essay on the principles of human action

essay on the principles of human action

he by the bye was not a Frenchman) who from the depth of his feelings, without many distinct images, produces the same aldous huxley music at night and other essays kind of interest in the mind that is excited by the events. The operation of both these faculties is of * To avoid an iendiess subtlety of distinction I have not here given any account of consciousness in general: but the same reasoning will apply to both. Our shrinking from that which gives us pain could not in any respect be considered as an act of volition, or reason, if we did not know that the same object which gives us pain will continue to give us pain while we remain. The good which he does not feel must be mat- ter of perfect indifference to him. Or the same thing may be said with reference to my ge- neral nature as a voluntary agent. 49 of selfish feelings, it is some consolation to think that the force of the habit we may oppose to this is seconded by reason, and the natural dispositionof the mind, and that we are not obliged at last to establish ge- nerosity and virtue. The comparison might be instituted with a slight shade of difference between self-love, the love of a relative or friend, of a neighbour, and of an entire stranger.

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(See Notes to the Essay on the Ine- quality of Mankind.) I hope this will be sufficient to break the force of the objec- tion as above stated, and may perhaps fur- nish a clue to a satisfactory account of the subject essays with advice itself. An example of this may be given in boys at school. It can- not be a matter of indifference then whether the faculty by which I am originally in- terested in the welfare of others is the same as that by which I am interested in my own welfare, or whether I am naturally inca- pable. Lastly, it may be said, that there is something in the very idea of plea- 12 sure or pain as affecting myself which na- turally excites a lively, unavoidable inte- rest in my mind. For there is 65 no reason to be shewn why the ideas of the imagination should not be efficient, operative, as well as those of memory, of which they are essentially compounded. It is in proportioning our anxiety to promote the welfare of any of these to our sense of the use our assis- tance may be of, to use a well known phrase, without respect of persons, that what may be called the natural balance. I cannot help thinking that some idea of this kind is frequently at the bottom of the perplexity which is felt by most people who are not metaphysicians (not to mention those who are) when they are told that the man is not the same. The closest connection between my ideas is formed by that relation of things among themselves, which is most necessary to be attended to in making use of them, the common concurrence of many things to some given end: for example, my idea of the walking-stick. I have thought upon this subject so long, and it has sunk into my mind I may say so deeply in the single abstract form which 21 appears to me to explain almost every other view which can be taken of it, that I cannot. It does, my Lord.

essay on the principles of human action

To which are Added, Some.
An Essay on the Principles of Human Action: Being an Argument in Favour.

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