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virtue is a fictitious entity, growing out of the imperfection of
language — of language created long before the idea phenomena
of mind were studied or understood.

Virtue not having a superior genus is not susceptible of
what is commonly meant by a definition; which via reference
to some generic appellation embracing it. By the medium of
its conjugates, it is capable of being expounded; and when the
word — a virtuous act, a virtuous habit, or a virtuous disposition,
are used, a tolerably determinate conception is conveyed
by them to the mind.

When a man says of an act that it is virtuous, he merely
conveys an opinion that it merits his approbation. And thereon
comes the enquiry which is the ground of that opinion.

On looking closely into the matter it will be found that the
ground in different places is very different — so that it would
not be very easy to give a correct answer. If the answers be
correct they will be different, and to collect them all; — intricate
and all — comprehensive, — boundless must be the researches in the
fields of geography & history. And thus it is that when it is
inquired demanded why an act is virtuous, or what constitutes the virtue
of an act, — the only response to so important an inquiry will be
when thoroughly sifted — It is virtuous because I think it to
be so — and its virtue consists in its having my favorable

A new ground will be put forward here. The
ground of approbation will be the tendency of an act to
increase happiness — the ground of reprobation the tendency of
an act to diminish happiness.

Z Intellectual Faculties.

Between the intellectual faculties and virtue
and vice there exists an intimate relation. Wherever
the will has any influence on their direction they belong to the
moral field: and in as far as it is in the power of the will
to add to their efficiency they become instruments of pain and
pleasure, and important in the proportion of the amount
of the pain and pleasure which their exercise is able to produce.

The faculty of invention for virtuous belongs to the
understanding — it is intellectual: but whether it is an
instrument in the hands of virtue or vice depend upon the
application to purposes beneficent or maleficent. Hume

Identifier: | JB/149/366/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 149.


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z intellectual faculties


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