The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, Volume 1
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 208 pages
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1793. Excerpt: ... C H A P. IX. Of The Duty Of Parents. THAT virtue, which confines its beneficence within the walls of a man's own house, we have been accustomed to consider as little better than a more refined selfishness; and yet it will be confessed, that the subject and matter of this class of duties are inferior to none, in. utility and importance: and where, it may be asked, is virtue the most valuable, but where it does the most good ? What duty is the most obligatory, but that, on which the most depends ? And where have we happiness and misery so much in our power, or liable to be so affected by our conduct, as in our own families ? It will also be acknowledged, that the good order and happiness of the world are better upheld, whilst each man applies himself to his own concerns and the care of his own family, to which he is present, than if every man, from an excess of mistaken generosity, should leave his own business, to to undertake his neighbour's, which he must always manage with less knowledge, conveniency, and success. If, therefore, the low estimation of these virtues be well founded, it must be owing not to their inferior importance, but to some defect or impurity in the motive. And indeed it cannot be denied, but that it is in the power of association, so to unite our children's interest with our own, as that we shall often pursue both from the same motive, place both in the same object, and with as little fense of duty in one pursuit as in the other. Where this is the case, the judgment above stated is not far from the truth. And so often as we find a solicitous care of a man's own family, in a total absence or extreme penury of every other virtue, or interfering with other duties, or directing its operation solely to the temporal happiness of the children, placing that happiness...
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