An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1726, 2004)
A seminal text of the Scottish Enlightenment which was written as a critical response to the work of Bernard Mandeville and as a defense of the ideas of Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury. It consists of two treatises exploring our aesthetic and our moral abilities.
An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue in Two Treatises, ed. Wolfgang Leidhold (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004).
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Table of Contents
- Liberty and Happiness
- The Argument of the Inquiry
- The First Treatise
- The Second Treatise
- NOTE ON THE TEXT
- The Editions
- Editorial Intervention in the Main Text
- AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGINAL OF OUR IDEAS OF BEAUTY AND VIRTUE
- THE PREFACE
- ∥1TREATISE I: viz. An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, &c.Edition: 1726; Page: ∥
- SECTION I: Concerning some Powers of Perception, distinct from what is generally understood by Sensation.
- SECTION II: Of Original or Absolute Beauty.
- SECTION III: Of the Beauty of Theorems.
- SECTION IV: Of Relative or Comparative Beauty.
- SECTION V: Concerning our Reasonings about Design and Wisdom in the Cause, from the Beauty or Regularity of Effects.
- SECTION VI: Of the Universality of the Sense of Beauty among Men.
- SECTION VII: Of the Power of Custom, Education, and Example, as to our internal Senses.
- SECTION VIII: Of the Importance of the internal Senses in Life, and the final Causes of them.
- ∥1TREATISE II: viz. An Inquiry Concerning the Original of our Ideas of Virtue or Moral Good.
- SECTION I: Of the Moral Sense by which we perceive Virtue and Vice, and approve or disapprove them in others.
- SECTION II: Concerning the immediate Motive to virtuous Actions.
- SECTION III: The Sense of Virtue, and the various Opinions about it, reducible to one general Foundation. The Manner of computing the Morality of Actions.
- SECTION IV: All Mankind agree in this general Foundation of their Approbation of moral Actions. The Grounds of the different Opinions about Morals.
- SECTION V: A further Confirmation that we have practical Dispositions to Virtue implanted in our Nature; with a further Explication ∥1of our Instinct to Benevolence in its various Degrees∥; with the additional Motives of Interest, viz. Honour, Shame and Pity.
- SECTION VI: Concerning the Importance of this moral Sense to the present Happiness of Mankind, and its Influence on human Affairs.
- SECTION VII: A Deduction of some Complex moral Ideas, viz. of Obligation, and Right, Perfect, Imperfect, and External, Alienable, and Unalienable, from this moral Sense.
- TEXTUAL NOTES