Thursday, May 21, 2009

All the Kind Affections Taken Together

Among the former [i.e., particulars of natural temper interfering with the bonds of society], we may justly esteem our selfishness to be the most considerable. I am sensible, that, generally speaking, the representations of this quality have been carry'd much too far; and that the descriptions, which certain philosophers delight so much to form of mankind in this particular, are as wide of nature as any accounts of monsters, which we meet with in fables and romances. So far from thinking, that men have no affection for any thing beyond themselves, I am of opinion, that tho' it be rare to meet with one, who loves any single person better than himself; yet 'tis as rare to meet with one, in whom all the kind affections, taken together, do not over-ballance the all the selfish.


Hume, Treatise 3.2.2.5.

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