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AN ' - - ^. -"^ 

introduction' ^^^^" 

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uncoln's-inn fields; 




IN THE YEAR 1780; 


B. B«n0l«y, Bolt Cunit} Fle«t Street. 



The following sheets were» as the title-page ex- 
presses, printed so long ago as the year 1780. 
The design, in pxirsnance of which they were written, 
was not so extensive as that announced by the 
present title. They had at that time no other 
destination than that of serving as an introduction, 
to a plan of a penal code in terminis] designed to 
follow them, in the same volume. 

The body of the work had received its completion 
according to the then present extent of the author's 
views, when, in the investigation of some flaws he 
had discovered, he found himself unexpectedly en- 
tangled in an unsuspected comer of the metaphysical 
maze. A suspension, at first not apprehended 
more than a temporary one, necessarily ensued: 
suspension brought on coolness, and coolness, aided 
by other concurrent causes, ripened into disgust. 

Imperfections pervading the whole mass had al- 
ready been pointed out by the sincerity of severe 
and discerning fiiends ; and conscience had cer- 
tified the justness of their censure. The inordinate 
length of some df the chapters, the apparent inutility 
of others, and the dry and metaphysical turn of 

VOL. I. b 



the whole, suggested an apprehension, that, if pub- 
lished in its present form, the work would contend 
under great disadvantages for any chance, it might 
on other accounts possess, of being read, and con- 
sequently of being of use. 

But, though in this manner the idea of completing 
the present work slid insensibly aside, that was not 
by any means the case with the considf^rations which 
had led him to engage in it. Every opening, which 
promised to afford the lights he stood in need of, 
was still pursued: as occasion arose, the several 
departments connected with that in which he had 
at first engaged, were, successively explored ; in^' 
somuch that, in one branch or other of the pursuit, 
his researches have nearly embraced the whole field 
of legislation. . . • 

Several causes have 6onspii; present to bring 
to. light, under this new title, a work which under 
its original one had been imperceptibly, but as it 
had seemed irrevocably, doomed, to oblivion. In 
the course of eight, years, materials for various^ 
works, corresponding to the different branches of 
the subject of legislation, had been produced, and 
some nearly redueed to/shape: and, in every one 
of those works, the. principles exhibited in the 
pi^sent pubiicatioii had been found so necessary, 
that, either to transcribe them piece-meal, or to ex-* 
hibit them somewhere where they could be referred 
to in the lump, vras found unavoidable. The former 
course would hav<& occasioned repetitions too bulky 

to be employed without necessity in the execution 
of a plan unavoidably so voluminous : the latter 
was therefore indi^utably the preferable one. 

To publish the materials in the form in which they 
wiere already printed, or to work them up into a 
■ new one, was. therefore the only alternative: the 
latter had all along been his wish, and, had time 
and the requisite degree of alacrity been at com- 
mand, it would as certainly have been realised. 
Cogent considerations, however, concur, with the 
irksomeness of the task, in placing the accomplish- 
ment of it at present at an un&thomable distance. 

Another consideration is, that the suppression of 
the preeent woirk, had it been ever so decidedly 
- wished, is no longer altogether in his power. In 
the course of so long an interval, various incidents 
have introduced copies into various hands, from 
some of which they have been transferred, by deaths 
and' other acQidents, into others that are unknown 
to;him. Detached, but considerable extracts, have 
even been published, without any dishonourable 
views, (for the name of the author was very honestly 
subjoined to them) but without his privity, and in 
publications undertaken without his knowledge. 

It may perhaps be necessary to add, to complete 
his excuse for offering to the public a work pervaded 
by Uemishes, which have not escaped even the 
author's partial eye, that the censure, so justly be- 
stowed upon the form,, did not extend itself to t|ie 



In sending it thus abroad into the world with 
all its imperfections upon its head, he thinks it may 
be of assistance to the few readers he can expect, 
to receive a short intimation of the chief particulars, 
in respect of which it foils of corresponding witii 
his maturer views. It will thence be observed how 
in some respects it fails of quadrating with the 
design announced by its original title, as in others 
it does with that announced by the one it bears 
•at present. 

An introduction to a work which takes for its 
subject the totality of any science, ought to con- 
tain all such matters, and such matters only, as 
belong in common to every particular branch of 
that science, or at least to more branches of it than 
one. Compared with its present title, the present 
work fails in both ways of being conformable to 
Ahat rule. 

As an introduction to the principles of morals^ In 
udcKtion to the analysis it contains of the extensive 
ideas signified by the terms 'pleasure^ pain, motive, 
^nd dpsposition, it ought to have given a similar 
analysis of the not less extensive, though much less 
determinate, ideas annexed to the terms emotion, 
passion, appetite, virtue, vice, and some others, in- 
duding the names of the particular virtues ajid vices. 
But as the true, and, if he conceives right, Ae only 
true ground-work for the development of the latter 
set of terms, has been laid by the explanation of the 
former, the completion of such a dictionary, so Xo 


Style it, .would, in comparison of the. commencement, 
be little more than a mechanical operation. 

Again, as an introduction to the principles of 
legislation in general, it ought rather to have included 
matters . belonging exclusively to the civil branch, 
than > matters more particularly, applicable to the 
penal: the latter being but a means of compassing 
the ends proposed by the former. In preference 
therefore, or at least in priority, to the several 
chapters which will be found relative to punishment, 
it ought to have exhibited a set of propositions 
which have since presented themselves to him as 
affording a standard for the operations performed 
by government, in the creation and distribution of 
propriet3,ry and other civil rights. He means cer- 
tain axioms of what may be termed mental pathology, 
expressive of the connexion betwixt the feelings of 
the parties concerned, and the several classes of in- 
cidents, which either call for, or are produced by^ 
operations of the nature above mentioned.* 

The consideration of the division of offences, and 
every thing else that belongs to offeAciei^,, ought. 

«■ !■ » 


' * For example. — It U worse to lose than ^mply not tOrgain, — A losxfalh 
the lighter fty being divided. — The suffering, of a person hurt in gratifica- 
tion of enmity f is greater than the gratification produced by the same Cause, 
Hiese, and a few others which be wiU have occasion to exhibit at the 
head of another publication, have the same cl^m to the appellation of 
axioms, as tliose given by mathematicians under that name \r since, re- 
fening to universal es^rience as their immediate basis, they are in-^ 
capable ef demonstration, and require pnly to be developed and illuBtrai£4, 
m prdci: to be itccognised as incontestable* 



besides, to have preceded the consideration of 
punishment : for the idea oi punishment presupposes 
the idea of offence : punishment, as such, not being 
inflicted but in consideration of offence. . 

Lastly, the analytical discussions relative to the 
classification of offences would, 'according to his 
present views, be transferred to a separate treatise, 
in which the system of legislation is considered 
solely in respect of its form : in other words, in 
respect of its method and terminology. 

In these respects the performance fails of coming 
up to the authors own ideas of what should have 
been exhibited in a work, bearing the title he has 
now given it, viz. that of ?Xi Introduction to the Prin^ 
cipks of Morals and Legislation. He knows how- 
ever of no other that would-be less unsuitable: 
nor in particular would so adequate an intimation 
of its actual contents have been given, by a title 
corresponding to the more limited design, with 
which it was written : viz. that of serving bs an 
introduction to a penal code. 

Yet more. Dry and tedious as a great part of 
the discussions it contains must unavoidably be 
found by the bulk of readers, he knows not how 
to regret the having written them, nor even the 
having mad& them public. Under every head, the 
practical uses, to which the discussions contained ' 
under that head appeai^ed applicable, are indicated: 
nor is there, he believes, a single proposition that 
he has not found occasion to build upon in the 


pedning of some article or other of those provisions 
of detail, of ^^cfa a hodj of law, authoritative or 
unautfaOritatiTe, must be composed. He will ven- 
ture to specify p^ticularly, in this view, the several 
chapters shortly characterised by the words Sen- 
sibUUif, Actions, ItiterUionoHty, Consciousness, Motives, 
Dispositions, Conseqitertces. Even in the enormous 
ofaapter on the division of offences, which, notwith- 
standing the forced compression the plan has under- 
gone in several of its parts, in manner there men» 
tioned, occupies no fewer than one hundred and four 
closely printed quarto pages,* the ten concluding 
ones are employed in a s^tement of the practical 
advantages that ibay be reaped from the plan of 
classification which it exhibits. Those in whose 
sight the Defence of Usury has been fortunate 
enough to find favour, may reckon as one instance 
of those advantages the discovery of the principles 
developed in tiiat little treatise. In the preface to 
an anonymous tract published so long ago as in 
1776,t he had hinted at the utility of a natural clas- 
sification of offences, in the character of a test for 
distinguishing genuine from spurious ones. The 
case of usury is one among a nurtiber of instances 
of the truth of that observation. A no'te at the end 
of Sect. XXXV. Chap. xvi. of the present publication, 
may serve to show how the opinions, developed in 
that tract, owed their origin to the difficulty ex- 

* The first edition was published in 1T89, it) quarto. 
^ A Fragment on Government, Sic. teprinted 183S. 



P9PW» ■■■ n « p M 



perience^ in the attempt to find a place in his system 
f<»r that imaginary offence. To some readers/ as a 
means of helping them to support the fatigue of 
wading through an analysis of such enormous length, 
he would almost recommend the beginning with 
those ten concluding pages. 

One good at least . may result from the present 
publication; viz. that the inore he has trespassed on 
the patience of the reader on this occasion, the less 
need he will have so to do on future ones : so that 
this , may do to those, the office which is done> by 
books of pure mathematics, to books of mixed ma- 
thematics and natural philosophy. The narrower 
the circle of readers is, within which the present 
work may be condemned to confine itself, the less 
limited may be the number of those to whom the 
fruits of his succeeding labours may be found ac- 
cessible. He may therefore in this respect find 
himself in 'the condition of those philosophers of 
antiquity; who are represented as having held two 
bodies of doctrine, a popular and an occult one : 
but, with this difference, that in his instance the 
occult and the popular will, he hopes, be found as 
consistent as in those they were contradictory ; and 
that in his production whatever there is of occultness 
has been the pure result of sad necessity, and in 
no respect of choice. 

Having, in the pourse of this advertisement, had 
such frequent occasion to allude to different ar- 
rangements, as having been suggested by more ex- 


tensive and maturer views, it may perteips contribute 
to the satisfaction of the reader, to receive a short 
intimation of their nature : the rather, as, without 
such e^cplanation, references, made here and there 
to unpublished works, might be productive of per* 
plexity and mistake. The following then are the 
titles of the works by the publication of which his 
present designs would be coinpleted. They are 
exhibited in the order which seemed to him best 
fitted for apprehension, and in which they would 
stand disposed, were the whole assemblage ready to 
come out at once: but the order, in which they 
will eventually appear, may probably enough be 
influenced in some degree by collateral and tern- 
porary considerations. 

Part the 1st. Principles of legislation in matters 
of civil, more distinctively termed private distributive, 
or for shortness, distributive, law. 

Part the 2d. Principles of ^legislation in matters 
oi penal law. 

Part the 3d. Princijdes of legislation in matters 
of procedure : uniting in one view the criminal and 
dvU branches, between which ho line can be drawn, 
but a very indistinct one, and that continually liable 
to variation. 

Part the 4th. Principles of legislation in matters 
of reward. 

Part the dth. Principles of legislation in matters 
of public distributive, more concisely as well as fa- 
miliarly termed constitutional, law. 


Part the 6th. Principles of legislation in matters 
of poiiticaf tactics : or of. the art of maintaining order 
in the proceedings of political assemblies^ so as to 
direct them to the end of their institution: viz. 
by a system of rules, which are to the constitutional 
branch, in some respects, what the law of procedure 
is to the civil and the penal. 

Part the 7th. Principles of legislation in matters 
betwixt nation and nation, or, to use a new though 
not inexpressive appellation, in matters of int^r- 
naAfMo/ law. 

Part the 8th. Principles of legislation in matters 

Part the 9th. Principles of legislation in matters 
of political economy. 

Part the 10th. Plan of a body of law, complete 
in all its branches, considered in respect of its form ; 
in other words, in respect of its method and ter- 
minol(^y; including a view of the origination and 
connexion of the ideas expressed by the short list 
of terms, the exposition of which contains all that 
can be said with propriety to belong to the head 
of tmiversal jurisprudence.* 
.. .The use of the principles laid down under the 
above several heads is to prepare the way for the 
body of law itself exhibited . in terminis ; and which 
to be complete, with reference to any political state, 
finust consequently be calqulated for 'the meridian, 

■ # • 

* Such as obligation^ rights power, possession, title, exemption, immu- 
nity, franchise, privilege, nullity, validity, and the like. 

PB£FAC£. Zl 

and adapted to the circumsta&oes, of some one such 
ijtate in particular. 

- Bbd he an unlimited power of drawing upon tifne, 
and every other condition necessary, it would be 
his wish to 'postpone the publication of each part 
to the completion of the whole. In particular, the 
use of the ten parts, which exhibit what appear to 
him the dictates of utility in every line, being no 
other than to furnish reasons for the several cor- 
responding provisions contained in the body of law 
itself^ the exact truth of the former can never be 
precisely ascertained> till the provisions^ to which 
they are destined to apply, are themselves ascer* 
tained, and that in termnis. But as the infirmity of 
human nature renders all plans precarious in the 
estecution, in proportion as they are extensive in 
the design, and as he has. already made considerable 
advances in several branches of the theory, without 
haying made correspondent advances in the prac- 
tical applications, he deems it more than probable^ 
that the eventual order of publication will not cor* . 
respond exactly with that which, had it been equally 
practicable, would have appeared most eligible. 
Of this irregularity the:unavoida)3le result will be, 
a multitude of imperfections, iwhich, if the execu^ 
tion of the body of law in termmis had kept pace 
wiUi the development of the principles, so that each 
part had> been adjusted and corrected by the other^ 
might have been avoided. His conduct however 
will be the less swayed bythisiinconvenieiice, ftenar 

xn . jpasFACE. 



suspecting it to be of the number of those . in 
which the personal vanity of the author is muoh 
more concerned, than the instruction of the public: 
since whatever amendments may be suggested in 
the detail of ihe principles, by the literal fixation 
of the provisions to which they are relative, .may 
easily be made in a corrected edition, of the former, 
succeeding upon the publication of the latter. 

In the course of the ensuing pages, references 
will be found, as already intimated, some to the 
plan of a penal code to which this work was meant 
as an introduction, some to other branches of the 
above-mentioned general plan, under titles some* 
what diflferent from those, by which they have beew 
mentioned here. The giving this warning is all 
which it is in the author's power to do, to save the 
reader from the perplexity of looking out for what 
has not as yet any existence. The recollection of 
the change of plan will in like manner account 
for several similar incongruities not worth par- 

Allusion was made, at the outset of this ad- 
vertisement, to some unspecified difficulties, as the 
causes of the original suspension, and unfinished 
complexion, of the present work. Ashamed of his 
defeat, and unable to dissemble it, he knows not 
how to refuse himself the benefit of such an apology 
as a slight sketch of the nature of those difficulties 
may afford. 
. The discovery of them was produced by the 

attempt to solve ^e questions that will be found at 
the conclusion of thevoltime: Wherein consisted the 
identity snd completeness of a law? What the dis- 
tinction, and where the separation,- between a penal imd 
a civil law? What the distinction, and where the 
separation, between the penal and other branches of 
the law ? 

To give a complete and correct answer to these 
questions, it is but too evident that the relations and 
dependencies of every part of the legislative system, 
with respect to every other, must have been com- 

. prehended and ascertained. But it is only upon a 
vieVv of these parts themselves, that such an opera- 
tion could have been performed. To the accuracy 
of such a survey one necessary condition wouM 
therefore be, the complete existence of the fabric 
to be surveyed. Of the performance of this ■ con- 
dition no example is as yet to be met with any 
where. Common law, as it styles itself in England, 

judiciary law, as it might more aptly be styled every 
Ivhere, that fictitious compositi<m which has no 
known person for its author, no kno*wn assemblage 
of words for its substance, forms every where the 
main body of the legal fabric : like that fancied 
ether, which, in default of sensible matter, fills up 
^e measure of the universe. Shreds and scraps 
of real law, stuck on upon that imaginary ground, 
compose the furniture of every national code. 
What follows? — that he who, for the purpose just 
mentioned or for any other, wants an example of 



a complete body of: law to refer to, must begin witbf 
making one. .: 

There is, or rather there ought to be; a logic of 
the witt, as well fits of the undemtandmg : the opera* 
tions of the former faculty, are neither less sua* 
ceptible, nor less worthy, than those of the latter; 
of being delineated by rules. Of these two branches 
of that recondite art» Aristotle saw only .the la;tter : 
succeeding logicians, treading in the steps of theif 
great founder, have concurred in seeing with no 
other eyes. Yet so far as a difference can be as* 
signed between; branches so intimately connected^ 
whatever difference there is, in point of importancje, 
is in favour of the logic of the will.. Sinci© it if 
only by their capacity of directing, the operations 
of this faculty^, that the of>erationsi of the . und^* 
standing are of any consequence. . . 

Of this logic. of rthe will, the sci^kce of lam, 
considered in. respect of itsform^ is the most con- 
siderable braBch,^^the most important application. 
It is, to the art of legislation, what the Sj&ien<^.<^ 
anatomy is to the art. of medicine ; with this differ- 
ence> that the subject of it isf what theartisthas to 
work with, instead of being what he has to operate- 
upon. Nor is the body politic less in danger from 
a want of acquaintance with the one science, than 
the body natural from ignorace in the Qther. On^ 
example, amongst a thousand liiatmigbt be ^dui^ed 
in jlroof <tf this vassertion, maybe seen inithe; npte 
which terminates:tfaii& volume. ...: . .> 

Such then were the difficulties : such the pTe- 
Uminaries :— ^an uoexampled work to achieve, and 
then a new science io create : a new branch to add 
to one of the most abstruse of sciences. 

Yet more : a body of proposed law, how complete 
aoerer, would be- comparatively useless and unin- 
structive, unless explained and justified, and ibaX in 
every tittle, by a continued accompaniment, a per- 
petual commentary of reasons.-* which reasons, that 
the comparative value of such as point in opposite 
directions may be estimated, and the conjunct force, 
of such as point in the same direction, may be felt, 
must be marshalled, and put under subordination 
to such extensive and leading ones as are termed 
principles. There must be therefore, not one sys&m 
only, but two paralld and ccoinected systems, 
ruling oa together, the one of legislative provisions, 
the other of political reasons, each affording to th6 
other correction and support. 

Are enterprises like these achievable ? He knows 
not. This only he knows, that they have been voir 
dertaken, proceeded in, and that some progress has 
been made in all of them. He will venture to add, 
if at all achievable, never at least by one, to whom 
the fatigue of attending to discussions, as arid as 
those which occupy the ensuing pages, would either 
appear useless, or feel intolerable. He will repeat 
it boldly (for it has been said before him,) truths 

■ To the aggregate of tliem & common denomioatioii hu since been 
allotted — Ihe TationaU. 





that form the basis of political and moral science, 
are not to be discovered but by investigations: as 
severe as mathematical ones, and beyond all com- 
parison more intricate and extensive. The familiarity 
of the terms is a presumption, but, it is a most fal- 
lacious one, of the facility of the matter. Truths 
in general have been called stubborn things: the 
truths just mentioned are so in their own viray. 
They are not to be forced into detached and general 
propositions, unincumbered with explanations and 
exceptions. They will not compress themselves 
into epigrams^ They recoil from the tongue and 
the pen of the declaimer. They flourish not in the 
same soil with sentiment. They grow among thorns; 
and are not to be plucked, like daisies, by infants 
as they run. Labour, the inevitable lot of humanity, 
is in no track mo^e inevitable than here. In vain 
^ould an Alexander bespeak a peculiar road for 
royal vanity, or a Ptolemy, a smoother one, for 
royal indolence. There is no King's Raad^ no 
Stadtholder's Gate, to lejgislatiye, any more than to 
mathematic science. 



CHAP. 1. 

Of the Principle of Utility. 


JVIankind governed by /Tain |and /y^oiure 1 

Principle of uHHty, wlMit ;-. , ^ 3 

ji principle, what ...*;. « ib. 

•• » 

C7WKly,what ib. 

Interest of the community , what 4 

jtn action conformable to the principle o/utiHty^ what 5 

^ measure of government conformable to the principle of uHHty, 

what ib. 

JLaws or dictates o/utihty, what ib. 

ji partisan of the principle of utitity, who ib. 

Ought, ought not, right and wrong, &c. how to be understood. ... 6 
To prove the rectitude of this principle is at once unnecessary and 

impossible ib. 

It bAS seldom, however, as yet, been consistently pursued ib. 

It can never be consistently combated. 7 

Course to be taken for surmounting prejudices that may have been 

entertained against it ^ 9 


Of Principles adverse to that of Utility 

All other principles than that of utility must be wrong 13 

Ways in which a principle may be wrong ib. 

jisceticism, origin of the word ib. 

Principles of the Monks . . . . > ib. 

Frineiple of asceticism^ what ..•••••• •#••• 14 


•- u 

• •« 



A pariiian of the prmcrpleof atcetidsmf who « 15 

This principle has had in some a philosophical, in others a reli^ous 
orig^in ib. 

|t has been carried farther by the reli^ous party than by the philo- 
sophical 1 , . . 16 

The philosophical branch of it has had most influence among per- 
sons of education, the reli^ous among^ the vul^r 17 

The principle of asceticism has never been steadily applied by either 
party to the business of goverameot ib. 

The principle of asceticism, in its origin, was but that of utility 
misapplied 20 

It can'never be consistently pursued 21 

77m piindple of sympathy and antipathic, what ib. 

This is rather the negation of all principle, than any thing positive 27 

Sentiments of a partisan of the principle of antipathy ib. 

The systems that have been formed concerning the standard of light 

and wrong, are all reducible to this principle 28 

Various phrases, that have served as the characteristic 

marks of so many pretended tystemi ib. 

l^ Moral Sense 29 

2. Common Sense • ib. 

3. Understanding • ib. 

4. Rule of Right,.. 30 

b. Fitness of Things ib. 

6. Law ef Nature ib. 

7. Lavf^ Reason, Bight Reason, Natural Justice, Natural Eguity^ 

GoodQrder ib. 

8. Truth 31 

9. Doctrine rf Eleetion • ib. 

10. Repugnancy to Nature ib. 

Mischief they produce. , . . • r . . . . 32 

Whether utiUty is actually the sole ground of all the ap- 
probation we ever bestow^ is a different consideration 33 

This principle will frequently coincide with that of utility 29 

lliift principle is most apt to err on the side of severity « 34 

But errs, in some instances, on the side of lenity . ^ • 36 

The theological prinaipUt what— pot a separate principle ib^ 

The principle of theology how reducible to one or another 

of the other three priociples 38 

Antipathy, let the actions it dictates be ever so rights is never of 
itself a right groiw4 of Vtlon • ib. 




1. Pleasures of sense enumerated » 57 

2. Pleasures of wealthy which are either of aequintion, or of 

possessicn ib. 

3. Pleasures of skUl 58 

4. Pleasures of amity ib. • 

5. Pleisisures of a goodname « ib. 

6. Pleasures of power • 59 

T. Pleasures of piety ib. 

8. Pleasures of benevolence or good-wiU ib. 

9. Pleasures of tnalewlence or itt-wiU 6d 

10. Pleasures of the memory • ib. 

1 1. Pleasures of the imagination 61 

12. Pleasures of expectation , . . . • ib. 

13. Pleasures depending on association ib. 

14. Pleasures of relief 62 

1. Pains o{ privation ib. 

These include, 1. Pains of desire 63 

2. Pains of disappointment ib. 

3. Pains of regret ib. 

2. Pains of the senses .- « 64 

No positive pains correspond to the pleasure of the sexual 
sense ib, 

3. Pains of awkwardness 65 

No positive pains correspond to the pleasure of novelty. . ib« 

— nor to those of wealth ib. 

. . Is this a distinct positive pain, or only a pain of privation? ib. 

4.. Pains of enmity ....;..... 66 

5. Pains of an ill-name • ib. 

The positive pains of an ill«name, and the pains of privation, 
opposed to the pleasures of a good name, run into one 

another '. ib. 

6. Pains of piet3^ 67 

No positive pains correspond to the pleasures of power. ... ib. 
The positive pains of piety, and the pains of privation, op* 
posed to the pleasures of piety, run into one another. • ib. 

7. Pains of benevolence * ib. 

8. Pains of malevolence 68 

9. Pftin? of the memory ib. 

10. Pains of the imagination ib. 

11. Pains of expectation .« ib. 

12. Pains of association 69 

Pleasures and pains are either seff-regarding or extra-regarding , ib. 


Pleasures and pains of amity and enmity distinguish«d 

from those of benevolence and malevolence 69 

In what way the law is concerned with the above pains and pleasi^res ib. 

Complex pleasures and pains omitted, why 70 

Specimen. — ^Pleiasures of a country prospect ib. 


Of Circumstances inflttencing Sensibility. 

Pain and pleasure not uniformly proportioned to their causes. ... 72 

Pe^ee or gttarUttm of sensibility, what. . . .-. -. ib. 

JBitu or quality of sensibility, what ib. 

Exciting causes plecaurahle and dolmific 73 

Circumstances if^iiencing sensibility , what 74 

Circumstances influencing sensibility enumerated. ib. 

Extent and intricacy of this subject 75 

1 . HedUh 76 

2. Strength 77 

MecLsure •fstrengthy the weight a man can lift 78 

Weakness^ what ib, 

3. Hardiness ib. 

Difference between strength and hardiness 79 

4. Bodily imperfection, ib, 

5. Quantity and quality of knowledge 80 

6. Strength of. intellectual powers 81 

7. Firmness of mind ib. 

8. Steadiness 82 

9. Bent of inclinations , ib. 

10. Moral sensibility 83 

11. Aforal biases , . 84 

12. Religious sensibility 85 

13. Religious biases ib. 

14. Sympathetic sensibility • . ib. 

15. Sympathetic biases '. ib. 

16, 17. Atitipathetic sensibility and biases. ...«•.... 86 

18. Insanity ib. 

19. Habitual occupations 87 

20. Pecuniary circumstances v ib. 

21. Omnejnons in the way of, syptpathy 90 

22. Connexions in the way of antipathy ib. 

23. Radical /rame of botfy 93 

24. Radical frame of mind » , 494 



Idiosyncrasy i what , • . . . 94 

This distinct from the circumstance of frame of body ib. 

Whether the soul be meaerinl or immateriai makes bo 

difference 95 

—and from all others : ib. 

Yet the result of them is not separately discernible 96 

Frame of body indicates, but n&t certainly, that of mind ........ ib. 

Secondmif influencing^ circumstances 98 

25. iSav ib, 

Tff.j^ge 100 

27. Rank ^ 101 

28. Education 102 

29. Oimate .' 104 

30. Lineage 105 

31. Government , ,., 106 

32. Religious profession 107 

Use of the preceding observations 109 

How far the circumstances in question can be taken into account ib. 
To what exciting causes there is most occasion to apply them .... Ill 
jtMolytical view of the circumstances iuflv^encingsensitMity 114 

Analytical view of the constituent articles in a man's 
pficuniary circumstances 116 


Of Human Actions in general. 

The demand for fwUshment depends in part upon the tendency 

^ of the act 117. 

Tendency of an act determined by its contefuences ib. 

Material consequences only are to be regarded ib. 

These depend in part upon the intention- 118 

The intention depends as well upon the understanding as the wiU ib. 

In an action are to be considered, 1. The act. 2. The eireum' 
stances. 3. The intentionaHty. 4. The consciousness. 5. Th* 

motives. 6. The duponttm 119 

Acts poKtive and negative. -. , .' • • 120 

Acts of omisdon are still acts ' ib. 

TJegative acts may be so relatively or ataolutely 121 

Negatire acts may be expressed positively ; and vice vend ib. 

Acts attemai and internal .....t. 122 

Act! of dmfunt, mtM *a* 

EiCenol aMa mwy be trennlrH or hunmitwe >'•■ 

Distinct ioD between traositive net* wut iDtraaritlv*, recog- 

ai«ed bj. gmminariaBi '^3 

; t«nRiiu(iin, and iotcrBietliaU 

Acts trunuHt and oontiniMd 12S 

Difference between > emtamtd act and a rtpoiliim of acts ib. 

Di&rence betiteen a repttiHim of oeti and a hMt ib. 

Acti are indaiiibli, or diviiiblt, am] divisible, as well with regard to 

•«H«ras tofBoHm 126 

Caution res^iectlnK the ambiguity of language 137 

Ctrcumitanctt are to be considered ib. 

Cimuwunvt, what 128 

CtrcufflMoRci, archetypation of the word ib. 

Circumstancea nuMriat and mmaleriai 129 

A cireunutance may be relhted to en event in point of Eotunh'ti/, in 

four ways, iiii. I . Pmduetiim. 2. StriwtiDn. 3. CbltaWralfonnecim. 

4. Cnp'unil ntfUimct ib. 

Extunjile. Assatsinatian of Buckingham 130 

It is not' every event that h^icircumBtancei related to it in nlltbose 

way* 132 

Use of thii chapter. '. 133 

CHAP, vm: 

Of Inlentionalit;. 

Recapitulation 137 

The intEmion mayregard, 1. The act : or, 2. TTie anutjaeneti .... ib. 

Aablgoity of the wards oehmtwy and imoluttlary ib. 

Ifmay legBid the act without any of the coniequences 138 

— or the consequences without regarding the act in all its slagea ib. 

■ — hut not without regarding the fim stage 139 

An act unintentional in its first stage, may be so with 
respect to l.Qnaalily of raatttr muicd : 2. Direetim.- 

3. Viloeitt/ ib. 

A consequence, when intentional, may be dtnctlt/ so, or Mijv^y. . 140 

When directly, irftunntetii so, or mtHat^ii 141 

When directly inteDtiotial^ it may be raeiUBH^ so, or intxcliuivelt/. . 142 
When- inexcluaively, it may be cmguuctivili), dl^unetivily, or vnUt- 

crimimiMJj ■ s» ib. 



When disjunctively^ it may be voiih or aikhowt ff^erencB^ 142 

Difference between an incident's being unsntentiaiuiZ^ and 
di^unctivdy intentumal, when the election is in fovour of 

" theother 143 

Example ib. 

Intentionallty of the act with respect to its different stages, how 

far material 145 

Goodness and badness of intention dismissed. .' 146 

Of Consciousness. 

Connexion of this chapter with the foregoing 148 

Acts advised and unadvised : consciousness, what ib. 

Unadvisedness may regard either existence, or materiality 149 

The'circumstance may have been present, past, or future ib. 

An unadvised act may be heedlessy or not heedless ib. 

A misadmsed act> what. — a ndssupposal ib. 

The supposed circumstance might have been material in the way 

either of prevention or of compensation 150 

It may have been supposed present, past, or future , . ib. 

Example, continued from the last chapter ib. 

In what case consciousness extends' the intentionaliiy from the 

act to the consequences 152 

Example continued .' 153 

A misadvised act may be rash or not rash ib. 

The intention may be good or bad in itse^, independently of the 

motive as well as the eventual concequences 154 

* It is better, when the intention is meant to be spoken of as being 

good or bad, not to say, the motive 155 

Example ., 156 

Intention, in what cases it may be innocent ib» 

Intentionality and consciousness how spoken of in the Roman law . 157 
Use of this and the preceding chapter 159 


0/ Motives. 

§ 1 . Different senses of the word motive. 

Motives, why considered 161 

Purely speculative motives have nothing to do here ib. 

Motives to the vnU , , • . • • • 162 



Figuratioe and ut^iguratwe tenses of the word 1^3 

Motives interior and exterior 164 

Motive in prospect — emotive in esse ib. 

Motives immedieae and remote, • 166 

Motives to the undersUmding how they may influence the vfUl 167 

§ 2. No motives either constantly good or constantly 

" bad. 
Nothing can act of itself as a motive, but the idea of pleasure 

or pain 169 

Ne sort of motive is in itself a bad one ib. 

Inaccuracy of expressions iu which good or bad are applied to 

motives 170 

Any sort of motive may g^ve birth to any sort of act ib. 

Difficulties which stand in the way of an analysis of this sort .... 171 

§ 3. Catalogue of motives corresponding to that of 

Pleasures and Pains. 

Physical desire correspond ingf to pleasures of sense in g^eneral 175 

The motvue corresponding to the pleasures of the palate ib. 

Sexual desire corresponding to the pleasnres of the sexual sense 176 

Curiosity, &c. corresponding to the pleasures of curiosity 177 

None pleasures of sense 178 

Peeunary interest to the pleasures oitoeaUh ib. 

None to the pleasures of stall 179 

To the pleasures of amity, the desire of ingratiating one's self ib. 

To the pleasures of a good name, the love of reputation 180 

To the pleasures of power, the love of power 184 

The motive belonging to the rdigioiu sanction 185 

Good-will, &c. to the pleasures of sympathy 187 

JU'tnUy &c. to the pleasures of antipathy 190 

Sey^-preservationy to the several kinds of ^ttu 192 

To the pains of exertion, the love of ease , . • 195 

• Motives can only be bad with reference to the most frequent com- 
plexion of their effects 197 

How it is that motives, such as lust, avarice, &c. are constantly bad^ ib. 
Under the above restrictions, mo'tives may be distinguished into 

good, bad, and indifferent or neutral 198 

Incouveniences of this distributiim • 199 

It is only in individual instances that motives can be good or bad. . 200 

Motives distinguished into social, dissocial, and self -regarding 201 

' — social, into purely-social, and semi*»oeial • ib. 





I 4. Order of pre-eminence among motives. 

The dictates of: gotd-mU.wct the surest ol eoiooidiofl; with those of 

«<ifi^ , 203 

Lfliwv and dictates conceived as issuing from motives. ... ib. 

Yet do not in all cases *^' 

Nes^t to them come those of the hrne of rtputaHon 204 

Next those of the dmre of amxty 206 

DiffiMlQF of placing those of reHgian 207 

Te4idciiey« they have to improve 211 

Afterwards oome the- ttitf-vegaifding motives : smd^ lastiy> that of 
ditp ymm *-i**' 

§ 5. Conflict among motives. 

Motives impMikg and fntraimng, what 212 

What are die motives most frequently at variance 213 

Example to illustrate a- struggle among emOmdmg motives ib. 

Practical use of the abo^M disquisiUons relative to motives 216 


Of kwman Dispositions in general, 

Di^wmtion, what 218 

How far it belongs to the present subject ib. 

A miuidevoM disposition ; a meritaviout disposition ; what 220 

What a man's disposition is,, can only be matter of presumption . . ib. 

It depends upon what the act ofipean to he to him , 221 

Which position is grounded on two facts: 1. The correspondence 

between inttntwM and comequtw^ ib. 

2. Between the intentions of the saipe person at different times . . 222 
A disposition, from which proceeds a habit ol doing mis* 

chief, cannot be a good one ib. 

The disposition is to be inferred, 1. From the apparent tgndmei^ 

of the act : 2. From the nature of the moltDt ib. 

Case 1. Tendency, good — motive, ulf-regarding 223 

Case 2' Tendency, had — motive, s^-regarding ib. 

Case 3. Tendency, good — motive, gqpd^vnll « 224 

Case 4. Tendeney,.iiail— motive> g^od^wUl • ib. 

This case not an impossible one ib. 

• • 



Example 1 225 

Example 11 - 226 

Example III • ib. 

Case 5. Tendency, good — motive, hve ofrtputation 227 

The bulk of mankind apt to depreciate this motive .... ib. 

Case 6. Tendency, bad — motive, honour 228 

Example I « 2Q'^ 

Example II ib. 

Case 7. Tendency, goad — ^motive, piety ...*..••,• 230 

Clase 8. Tendency, bad — ^motive, religion « •. 231 

llie disposilion may be bad in this case ib. 

Case 9. Tendency, good-^-motivey maknolmx .• 234 

Example • • ••. ib. 

Case 10. Tendency, &u^-^motive, taaUvotetfCti. »• 285 

Example 236 

Plroblem — to measure the depravitff ia a man's disposition ....*... ib. 
A man's disposition, is constituted by the turn of his tntftittoM. ..:.•• ib. 

—which owe their birth to mrtiMS • 237 

A teducing or eonupting motive, what~« tutdagy or prmervatoiy 

motive ••••.• ib» 

Tutelary motives are either standing or oecatkmai • . . •• ib* 

Standing tutelary motives are> 1. Good-viiU^ ,,, 238 

2. Thetewofngntfatim. 239 

3. The dmr» of amity .. 240 

4. The motive of m^^ 241 

Oceational tutelary motives may be any whatsoever 242^ 

Motives that are partieuiarly d^rt to act in this chttfacter. are> L -Lpm 

of eate, 2^ ii^'prettruitum 243 

Dangeii to which toy^-pretervatum is moat apt in tiiii ease to. have ve- 

spect, are, 1. Dangers purely phyneaL 2. Dangers itptmiit^ 

on detection • ib. 

Danger depending on detection may result from, 1. Oppadtlon on 

the spot : 2. Subsequent pwMment 244 

The force of the two standing tutelaiy motivea of k>va-al rapvte* 

tion, and desire of amity, depends vnpoa detection ..•••.•••• ib. 

Strength of a taaptiition, what is meant by it • • • . 245 

Indications alForded by this and other circiimacaneea i«ap«ctuig thit 

depramty of an offender's disposition «• 246 

JRii^ for measuring the depravity of ditposition in«licatnd bgr an 

oflfence l...,^ 248 

Use of this chapter « « ....*. 251 

-^f^a^^mi^^^^^mma^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^gmmmmmm^^mmmmrmmmm ikj 



. Of the Consequences of a mischievous act. 

§ 1. Shapes in whuJi the mischief of an act may show itself. 


Recapitulation : 253 

Mischief of an act, the aggregate of its mischievous consequences 254 

The mischief of an act, primary or secondary ib. 

Primary— oi^tnoZ or dtrivative ih. 

The secondary — 1. Alarm: or, 2. Danger 255 

Example 256 

The danger vjkence it arises — a past offence affords no direct motiue to a 

fiOwre 257 

But it suggests ykuifrtZiti/, and weakens the force of restraining motives 258 

viz. 1. Those issuing from the political sanction 259 

2. Those issuing from the moral 260 

It is said to operate by the influence of example 261 

The alarm and the danger, though connected, are disthtguithiable, ... ib. 

Both may have respect^ to the same person, or to others , . . ib. 

The primary consequences of an act may be misckiewms and the 

secondary, beneficial 262 

Analysis of the different sh4q>es in which the mischief of ati act may 

show itself ib. 

— applied to the preceding cases 265 

— to examples of other cases where the mischief is less con- 
spicuous ib. 

Example I. An act of self-intoxication 266 

Example II. Non-payment of a tax 267 

No alarm, when no assignable person is the object 270 

§ 2. How intentionality, Sfc, may influence the mischief of 

an act. 

Secondary mischief influenced by the staJte of the agent's mind .... 272 

(Jase 1. Iitw^tnitartnest 273 

Case 2. UninUnJtumality with heedlessness ib. 

Case 3. Missupposal of a complete justification, without rashness 274 

Case 4. Missupposal of a partial justification, without rashness. ... ib. 

Case 5. Missupposal, with rashness 275 

*Case 6. Consequences completely intentional, and free from nus- 
suppostd ib. 


• \ 



The nature of a motive takes not away the mischief of the secondary 

consequences 275 

Nor the benefictalness 276 

But it may aggravatg the mischievousness, where they are mis- 
chievous 277 

But not the most in the case of the worst motives ib. 

It does the more, the more considerable the tendency of the motive 

to produce such acts « ib. 

— ^which is as its strength and eon^ncy 278 

General efficacy of a species of motive, how measured ib. 

A mischievous act is more so, when issuing from a s^-r^arding 

than when from a dissocial motive ib. 

— so even when issuing from the motive of rdigion 279 

How the secondary mischief is influenced by disposition 280 

Connexion of this with the succeeding chapter ib. 



Side-note in page 489 for poUtie read poUtieat, 
Title of Chapter X. page 161, insert « MoTtv£s." 

■ AN 






Nature has placed mankind under the go- Mankind 
vernance of two sovereign masters, pain and ^p^^d 
pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what ^ ""' 
we ought to do, as well as to determine what 
we shall do. On the one hand the standard of 
right and wrong, on the other the chain of 
causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. 
They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in 
all we think : every effort we can make to throw 
off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate 
and confirm it. In words a man may pretend 
to abjure their empire: but in reality he will 
remain subject to it all the while. The prin- 
ciple of utility * recognises this subjection^ and 

* Note by the Author, July 1822. 

To this denomination has of late been added, or substituted, 
the greatest happiness or greatest felicity principle : this for 
shortness, instead of saying at length that principle which 
states the greatest happiness of all those whose interest is in 

VOL. I. . B 


S"^^ ^:> assumes it for the foundation of that system, 
the object of which is to rear the fabric of 
felicity by the hands of reason and of law. 
Systems which attempt to question it, deal 
in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead 
of reason, in darkness instead of light. 

But enough of metaphor and declamation : 
it is not by such means that moral science is 
to be improved. 

The principle of utility is the foundation of 
the present work : it will be proper therefore 
at the outset to give an explicit and deter- 
minate account of what is meant by it. By 

question^ as being the right and proper, and only right and 
proper and universally desirable, end of human action : of 
human action in every situation, and in particular in that of 
a functionary or set of functionaries esLcrcising the powers of 
' Government. The word utiUty does not so clearly point to 
the ideas of pleasure and pain as the wbrds happiness and fe- 
licity do : nor does it lead us to the consideration of the 
number, of the interests affected ; to the number, as being the 
circumstance, which contributes, in the largest proportion, 
to the formation of the standiu'd here in question; the standard 
of right and wrong, by which alone the propriety of human 
conduct, in every situation, can with propriety be tried. This 
want of a sufficiently nianifest connexion between the ideas 
of happiness and pleasure on the one hand, and the idea of 
utUiiy on the other, I have every now and then found ope- 
rating, and with but too much efficiency, as a bar to the 
acceptance, that might otherwise have been given, to this 


the principle * of utility is meant that principle ££^^i; 
which approves or disapproves of every action iP^^^^^ 
whatsoever, apcording to the tendency which '*^*^' 
it appears to have to augment or diminish the 
happiness of the party whose interest is in 
question : or, what is the same thing in other 
words, to promote or to oppose that happiness. 
I say of every action whatsoever; and there- 
fore not only of every action of a private in- 
dividual, but of every measure of government. 

By utility is meant that property in any utility, 
object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, ad- 
vantage, pleasure, good, or happiness, (all this 
in the present case comes to the same thing) or 

* rPrinciple] The word principle is derived from the Latin A principle, 


priqcipium: which seems to be coiQpounded of the two - 
wordk primus, first, or chief, and cipium, a termination Which 
seems to be derived from capio, to take, as in maneipium, 
munii^um; to which are analogous aucepSy forceps, And 
others. It is a term of very, vague and very extensive sig*^ 
aification : it is applied to any thing which is conceived to 
serve as a foundation or beginning to, any series of operations : 
in s6me cases, of physical operations ^ but of mental opera- 
tions in the present case. 

The principle here in question may be taken fpr an act o^ 
the mind 5 a sentiment ; a sentiment of approbation ) a sen* 
timent which, when applied to an action, approves of its 
titility, B8 that quality of it by which the measure of appro- 
bation or ^sapprobation bestowed upon it ought to be go« 

B 2 


Chap. 1. (what coHies again to the same thing) to prevent 
the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhap- 
piness to the party whose interest is considered : 
if that party he the community in general, then 
the happiness of the community : if a particular 
individual, then the happiness of that individual. 


Interest of The interest of the community is one of the 

the com- .. . . 

munity, most general expressions that can occur in the 


phraseology of morals: no wonder that the 
meaning of it is often lost. When it has^ a 
meaning, it is this. The community is a ficti- 
tious body, composed of the individual persons 
" who are considered as constituting as it were 
its members. The interest of the community 
then is, what? — the sum of the interests of the 
several members who compose it. 

V. ' ' 

It is in vain to talk of the interest of the 
community, without understanding what is the * 
interest of the individual.* A thing is said to 
promote the interest, or to be for the interest, 
of an individual, when it tends to add to the 
sum total of his pleasures : or, what comes to 
the same thing, to diminish the sum total of 
his pains. 

* [Interest, &c.] Interest is one of those words, which not 
having any superior genus, cannot in the ordinary way be 


yj CH«r. I. 

' An action then may be said to be conform- *o° "^" 
able to the principle of utility, or, for shortness priilc^/i*^ 
sake, to utility, (meaning with respect to the ^^'^Jf ■ 
community at large) when the tendency it has 
to augment the happiness of the community is 
greater than any it has to diminish it. 
A measure of government (which is but a ^f'^^^ 
particular kind of action, performed by a par- ^^^^"(0 
ticular person or persons) may be said to be "^^ Pj,'||°5j^ 
conformable to or dictated by the principle of 'J- "■«• 
utility, when in like manner the tendency which 
it has to augment the happiness of the com- 
munity is greater than any which it has to 
diminish it. 


When an action, or in particular a measure La*» <>' 

^ dicUhB of 

of government, is supposed by a man to be utility, 
conformable to the principle of utility, it may 
be convenient, for the purposes of discourse, to 
imagine a kind of law or dictate, called a law 
or dictate of utility : and to speak of the action 
in question, as being conformable to such law 
or dictate. 


A man may be said to be a partizan of the A^i^i^ittn 
principle of utility, when the approbation or <.'p'"'[h''- 
disapprobation he annexes to any action, or to 
any measure, is determined, by and propor- 






9^^ ' h tioned to the tendency which he conceives it 
to have to augment or to diminish the hap- 
piness of the community : or in other words, 
to its conformity or Unconformity to the laws 
or dictates of utility. 


Ought, Of an action that is conformable to the prin- 

ought not, . , , 

right and ciple of Utility, ohe may always say either that 

wrong, &c. . . - 111 11 

how to be it IS ouc that ought to be done, or at least that 
it is not one that ought not to be done. One 
may say also, that it is right it should be done ; 
at least that it is not wrong it should be done : 
that it is a right action ; at least that it is not 
a wrong action. When thus interpreted, the 
Words ought, and right and wrong, and others 
of that stamp, have a meaning : when other* 
wise, they have none. 


ToppoTc Has the rectitude of this principle«been ever 

tudeofthis formally contested? It should seem that it had, 

St"oniS un- by those who have not known what they have 

Md*?m^8- been meaning. Is it susceptible of any direct 

proof? it should seem not: for tl^at which is 

used to prove every thing else, cannot itself 

be proved : a chain of proofs must . have their 

commencement somewhere. To give such proof 

is as impossible as it is needless. 


It has sei- ^^^ ^^^^ there is or ever has been that human 
evS'wy^t, Pf mature breathing, however sttipid or perverse, 

been consistently pursued. 


Who ha^ hot on many^ perhaps on most occa- 
sions of his Iife^ deferred to it. By the natural 
constitution of the human frame, on most oc* 
casions of their lives men in general embrace 
this principle, without thinking of it: if not 
for the ordering of their own actions, yet for 
the trying of their own actions, as well as of 
those of other men. There have been, at the 
same time, not many, perhaps, even of the most 
intelligent, who have been disposed to embrace 
it purely and without reserve. There are even 
few who have not taken some occasion or other 
to quarrel with it, either on account of their 
not understanding always how to apply it, or 
on account of some prejudice or other which 
they were afraid to examine into, or could not 
bear to part with. For such is the stuff that 
man is made of: in principle and in practice, 
in a right track and in a wrong one, the rarest 
of all ^ human qualities is consistency. 


When a man attempts to combat the prin- J**^ 

*■ -■■ be CO 

ciple of utility, it is with reasons drawn, without «ntiycom- 
his being aware of it, from that very principle 
itself.* His arguments, if they prove any thing/ 
prove not that the principle is wrong, but that, 
according to the applications he supposes to 

^ ^^ The principle of utility^ (I have heard it said) is a daii- 
'" gerous principle : it is dangerous on certain occasi^ms to 
*' consult it.'* This is ais much as to say, what ! that it is 




p"^' h be made of it, it is misapplied. Is it possible 
for a man to move the earth ? Yes ; but he 
must first find out another earth to stand upon. 

not consonant to utility, to consult utility : in shorty that it 
is not consulting it> to consult it. 

Addition by the author^ July 1822. 

Not long after the publication of the Fragment on Govern- 
ment> anno 1776> in which, in the character of an all-com- 
prehensive and all- commanding principle^ the principle of 
utilih/ was brought to .view, one person by whom observation 
to the above effect was made was Alexander TVedderburn, at 
that time Attorney or Solicitor General, afterwards succes- 
sively Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Chancellor of 
£ngiand, under the successive titles of Lord Loughborough 
and Earl of Rosslyn. It was made-^not indeed in my hear- 
ing, but in the hearing of a person by whom it was filmost 
immediately communicated to me. So far from being self- 
contradictory, it was a shrewd and perfectly true one. By 
that distinguished functionary, the state of the Government 
was thoroughly understood : by the obscure individual^ at 
that time not so much as supposed to be so : his disquisitions 
had not, been as yet applied, with a.ny thing like a compre- 
hensive view, to the field of Constitutional Law, nor therefore 
to those features' of the English Government, by which the 
greatest happiness of the ruling one with or without that of 
a favoured few^ are now so plainly seen to be the only ends 
to which the course of it has at any time been directed. The 
principle of utility was an appellative^ at that time employed — 
employed by me, as it had been by others, to designate that 
which^ in a more perspicuous and instructive manner^ niay> 
as above^ be designated by the name of the greatest happiness 
principle. *' This principle (said Weddefbum) is a dangerous 
" one.** Saying so^ he said that which^ to a certain extent, 
is. strictly true: a principle, which lays down, as the only 


XIV. ^"^- h 

To disprove the propriety of it by arguments be uTen 

is impossible ; but, from the causes that have Counting 

been mentioned, or from some confused oj par- [hat^^^^ 

tial view of it, a man may happen to be disposed ^^^^^^ 

not to relish it. Where this is the case, if he f^ ««""** 

' It. 

thinks the settling of his opinions on such a . 
subject worth the trouble, let him take the fol- 
lowing steps, and at length, perhaps, he may 
come to reconcile himself to it. 

1 . Let him settle with himself, whether he 
would wish to discard this principle altogether ; 

right and justifiable end of Government^ the greatest hap- 
piness of the greatest number— how can it be denied to be a 
dangerous one? dangerous it unquestionably is^ to every 
government which has for its actual end or object^ the 
greatest happiness of a certain one, with or without the ad- 
dition of some comparatively small number of others, whom 
it is matter of pleasure or accommodation to him to admit, 
each of them, to a share in the concern, on the footing of do 
many junior partners. Dangerous it therefore really was, to 
the interest — ^the sinister interest— of all those functionaries, 
himself included, whose interest it was, to maximize delay, 
vexation, and expense, in judicial and other modes of pro- 
cedure, for the sake of the profit, extractible out of the ex- 
pense. In a Government wh^ch had for its end in view the 
greatest happiness of the greatest number, Alexander , Wed- 
derbum might have been Attorney General and then Chan- 
cellor : but he would not have be^n Attorney General with 
a^ 15,000 a year, nor ChanceUor, with a peerage with a veto 
upon aU justice, with sS^S,0OO a year, and with 500 sinecures 
at his disposal, under the nam^ of Ecclesiastical Benefices, 
besides et oBteras, 


£2:^^ if SO, let him consider what it is that all lus 
reasonings (in matters of politics especially) 
can amount to ? 

2. If he would, let him settle with himself, 
whether he would judge and act without any 
principle, or whether there is any other he 

' would judge and act by ? 

3. If there be, let him examine and satisfy 
himself whether the principle he thinks he has 
found is really any separate intelligible prin* 
ciple ; or whether it be not a mere principle in 
words, a kind of phrase, which at bottom ex- 
presses neither more nor less than the mere 
averment of his own unfounded sentiments; 
that is, what in another . person he might be 
apt to call caprice ? 

4. If he is inclined to think that his own 
approbation or disapprobation, annexed to the 
idea of an act, without any regard to its con- 
sequences, is a sufficient foundation for him to 
judge and act upon, let him ask himself whether 
his sentiment is to be a standard of right and 
wrong, with respect to every bther man, or 
whether every man's sentiment hai^ the same 
privilege of being a standard to itself? 

5. In the first case, let him ask himself 
whether his principle is not despotical, and 
hostile to all the rest of human race ? 

6. In the second case, whether it is not 
anarchial, and whether at this rate there are not 


as many different standards of right and wroiig 5"^- ': 
as there are men ? and whether even to the 
same man, the same thing, which is right to- 
day, may not (without the least ehange in its 
nature) be wrong to-morrow X and whether the 
same thing is not right and wrong in the same 
place at the same time? and in either case, 
whether all argument is not at an end ? and 
whether, when two men have said, '^ I like 
this," and " I don't like it," they can (upon 
such a principle) have any thing more tb say ? 

7. If he should have said to himself. No: 
for that the sentiment which he proposes as a 
standard must be grounded on reflection, let 
him say on what particulars the reflection is to 
turn? if on particulars having relation to the 
utility of the act, then let him say whether this 
is not deserting his own principle, and bor- 
rowing assistance from that very one in oppo- 
sition to which he sets it up : or if not on those 
particulars, on what other particulars ? 

8. If he should be for compounding the 
matter, and adopting his own principle in part, 
and the principle of utility in part, let him say 
how far he will adopt it ? 

9. When he has settled with himself where 
he will stop, then let him ask himself how he 
justifies to himself the adopting it so far ? and 
why he will not adopt it any farther? 

10. Admitting any other principle than the 


Chap. I. 


principle of utility to be a right principle, a 
principle that it is right for a man to pursue ; 
admitting (what is not true) that the word 
right, can have a meaning without reference to 
utility, let him say whether there is any such 
thing as a motive that a man can have to pursue 
the dictates of it : if there is, let him say what 
that motive is, and how it is to be distinguished 
from those which enforce the dictates of utility : 
if not, then lastly let him say what it is this 
other principle can be good for ? 


[ 13 ] 

CHAP. 11. 



If the principle of utility ,be a right principle i^:ZL 
to be governed by, and that in all cases, it of mi% 
follows from what has been judt observed, that "^n^* 
whatever principle differs from it in any case 
must necessarily be a wrong one. To prove 
any other principle, therefore^ to be a wrong 
one, there needs no more than just to show it 
to be what it is, a principle of which the dictates 
are in some point or other different from those 
of the principle of utility : to state it is to con- 
fute it. 

A principle may be different from that of ^*yf*° 

^ A ^ Winch a 

utility in two ways : 1 . By being constantly ^"^^^^p*® 
opposed to it : this is the case with a principle ^'^o^e- 
which may be termed the principle oi asceticism * 

* [Asceticism] Ascetic is a term that has been sometimes Ascetiasm, 
,.,_,, ^ A ^ , originofthe 

appued to Monks. It comes from a Greek word which sig- word. 

nifies exercise. The practices by wliich Monks sought to Principles 

distinguish themselves from other men were called their Exr ?( ^5. 

ercises. These exercises consisted in so many contrivances 

they had for tormenting themselves. By this they thought 

to ingratiate themselves with the Deity. For the Deity^ sa»d 

they, is a Being of infinite benevolence : now a Being of the 

most ordinary benevolence is pleased to see others make 



9"^^' ^h 2. By being sometimes opposed to it, and 
sometimes not, as it may happen : this is the 
case with another, which may be termed the 
principle of sympathy and antipathy. 


Sietitt^f By the principle of Asceticism I mean that 
principle, which, like the principle of utility, 
approves or disapproves of any action, accord^^ 
ing to the tendency which it appears to have 
to augment or diminish the happiness of the 
party whose interest is in question ; but in an 
inverse manner : approving of actions in as far 
as they tend to diminish bis happiness ; dis-^ 
approving of them in as far as they tend to 
augment it. 

themselTes as happy as they can : therefore to make ourselves 
as unhappy as "we can is the way to ple^ise the Deity. Kany 
body asked them^ what motive they could find for doing all 
this \ Oh ! said they^ you are not to imagine that we arc 
punishing ourselves for nothing : we know very well what 
we are about. You are to know, that for every grain of 
pain it costs us now, we are to have a hundred grains of 
.pleasure by and by. The case is« that God loves to see us 
torment ourselves at present : indeed he has as good as told 
us so. But this is done only t6 try us, in order just to see 
how we should behave : which it is plain he could not know, 
without making the experiment. Now then, from the satis- 
flftction it gives him to see us make ourselves as unhappy as 
we can make ourselves in this present life, we have a sure 
proof of the satisfoction it will give him to see us as happy 
as he can make us in a life to come. 


iy^ Chap. II. 

It is evident that any one who reprobates ofthrpX- 
any the least particle of pleasure, as such, from elucism"" 
whatever source derived, is pro tanto a partizati ^****- 
of the principle of asceticism. It is only upon 
that principle, and not from the principle of 
utility, that the most abominable pleasure 
which the vilest of malefactors ever reaped 
from his crime would be to be reprobated, if it 
stood alone. The case is, that it never does 
stand alone ; but is necessarily followed by 
such a quantity of pain (or, what comes to the 
same thing, such a chance for a certadn quantity 
of pain) that the pleasure in comparison of it, 
is as nothing : and this is the true and sole, 
but perfectly sufficient, reason for making it a 
ground for punishment. 


There are two classes of men of very different This prin. 

ciplc bfts 

complexions, by whom the principle of ascetic hadinsome 

• i_ 1 1 1 * philoso- 

cism appears to have been embraced ; the one phicai, lu 
a set of moralists, the other a set of rell- lipousori- 
gionists. Different accordingly have been the ^^' 
motives which appear to have recommended it 
to the notice of these different parties. Hope, 
that is the prospect of pleasure, seems to have 
animated the former : hope, the aliment of phi-< 
losophic pride : the hope of honour and repu-> 
tieitioti at the hands of men. Fear, that is the 
prospect of paiu, the latter : fear, the offspring 


9?^ * ^h of superstitious fancy : the fear of future pu- 
nishment at the hands of a splenetic and re- 
vengeful Deity. I say in this case fear : for of 
the invisible future, fear is more powerful than 
hope. These circumstances characterize the 
two different parties among the partizans of 
the principle of asceticism; the parties and 
their motives different, the principle the same. 

. VI. 

cwriedfa?- '^^^ religious party, however, appear to have 
wUff^Jiif* carried it farther than the philosophical : they 
Ey'tL^^h?- ^^^^ acted more consistently and less wisely, 
losophicai. The philosophical party have scarcely gone 
farther than to reprobate pleasure : the religious 
party have frequently gone so far as to make it 
a matter of merit and of duty to court pain; 
The philosophical party have hardly gone far- 
ther than the making pain a matter of indif- 
ference. It is no evil, they have said : they 
have not said, it is a good. They have not so 
much as reprobated all pleasure in the lump. 
They have discarded only what they have 
called the gross ; that is, such as are organical, 
or of which the origm is easily traced up to "- 
such as are organical : they have even cherished 
and magnified the refined. Yet this, however; 
not under the name of pleasure: to cleanse 
itself from the sordes of its impure original, it 
was necessary it should change its name : the 
Jionourable^ the gloriou^> the reputable^ the be-* 


coming, the kanestum, the decorum, it was to be P"^^* ": 

called : in short, any thing but pleasure. 


From these two sources have flowed the Th« philo- 

doctrines from which the sentiments of the branch of it 

has had 

bulk of mankind have all along received a mostinflu- 

' - . enceamoDi^ 

tincture of this principle ; some from the phi- persons of 

. education. 

losophical, some from the religious, some from the reiigi- 
both. Men of education more frequently from Uie vui|plin 
the philosophical, as more suited to the eleva- 
tion of their sentiments : the vulgar more fre- 
quently from the superstitious, as more suited 
to the narrowness of their intellect, undilated 
by knowledge : and to the abjectness of their 
condition, continually open to the attacks of 
fear. The tinctures, however, derived from 
the two sources, would naturally intermingle, 
insomuch that a man would not always know 
by which of them he was most influenced: 
aiid they would often serve to corroborate and 
enliven one another. It was this conformity 
that made a kind of alliance between parties of 
a complexion otherwise so dissimilar : and dis- 
posed them to uiiite upon various occasions 
against the ^common enemy, the partizan of the 
principle of utility, whom they jomed in brand- 
ing with the odious name of Epicurean. 

The principle of asceticism, however, with ''^*?'[jjj^*: 
whatever warmth it may have been embraced ti«»»J»« 

^ never been 

VOL. I. C steadilyappUcd by either party 

to the Business of Government. 


^^ ^ V: by its partizansf as a rule of private coiodnct^ 
seems, not to have been carried to any con- 
siderable length, when applied to the business 
of gdvemment. In a few instances it has been 
carried a little way by the philosophical pally : 
witness the Sparta^ regimen. Though thien, 
pelH^apa, it may be coilsidered as having been 
a measure of security : smd an application^ 
though a precipitate and perverse application, 
of the principle of utility. Scarcely ih any 
inatances, to any considerable length, by the 
^igious : for the various monastic orders, and 
the societies of the Quakers, Dumplers, Mo- 
ravians, and other religionists, have been free 
societies, whose regimen no man has been as- 
tricted ;to without the intervention of his own 
consent. Whatever merit a man may have 
thiought there would be in making himself 
miserable, no such notion seems ever to have 
^curred to any of them, that it may be a merit, 
much less a duty, to make others miserable : 
although it should seem, that if a certain quan- 
tity of misery were a thing so desirable, it 
would not matter much whether it were brought 
by csach man upon himself, or by one man upon 
another. : It is true, that from the same source 
from whence, among the religionists, the at-r 
tachment to the principle of asceticism took its 
rise, flowed other doctrines and practices, from 
which misery in abundance was produced in 


one man by the instrumentality of another : 2^;^ 
witness the. holy wars, and the persecutions for 
religion. But th^ passion for producing misery 
in theae cases proceeded upon some special 
ground : the exercise of it was confined to 
persons of particular descriptions : they were 
tormented, not as itnen, but as heretics and in 
fidels. To have inflicted the same miseries oq 
theirffeUow-believers Mid fellow-sectaries, would 
hate been as blameable in the eyes even of 
these religionists, as in those of a partizan of 
die principle of utility. For a msm to give . 
himself a certain number of stripes was indeed 
meritbrioud : but to giv« the same nimiber oS 
stripes to another man. not consenting, would 
have been a sin. We r^id of saints, who for 
the good of their souls, and the mortification of 
their bodies, have voluntarily yielded them- 
selves ' a prey to vermin : but though many 
persons of this class have' wielded the reins of 
empire, we read of none who have set them- 
selves to work, and made laws on purpose, 
with a view of stocking the body politic with 
the breed of highwaymen, housebreakers, or 
incendiaries. If at any time they have suffered 
the tmtion to be preyed upon by swarms of 
idle pensioners, or useless placemen, it has 
rather been irom negligence and imbecility, 
than bom any settled plan for oppressing and 
plundering of the people. If at any time they 
c s 


9"^^' ^h have sapped the sources of national wealth, by 
cramping commerce, and driving the inhabi- 
tants into emigration, it hais been with other 
views, and in pursuit of other ends. If they 
have declaimed against the pursuit' of pleasure, 
and the use of wealth, they have commonly 
stopped at declamation: they have not, like 
Lycurgus, made express ordinances for 'the 
purpose of banishing the precious metals. ''. If 
they have established idleness by a law, it has 
been not because idleness, the mother of vice 
iand misery, is itself a virtue, but because idle- 
ness (say they) is the road to holiness. If 
iindier the notion of fasting, they have joined 
in the plan of confining their subjects to a diet, 
thought by some to be of the inost nourishing 
and prolific niature, it has been not for the sake 
of making them tributaries to the nations by 
whom that diet was to be supplied, but for 
the sake of manifesting their own power, and 
exercising the obedience of the people. If 
they have established, or suffered to be esta- 
blished, punishments for the breach of celibacy, 
they have done no more than comply with the 
petitions of those deluded rigorists, who, dupes 
to the ambitious and deep4aid policy of their 
rulers, first laid themselves under that idle 
obligation by a vow. 


Theprinci- The principle of asccticism scems originally 


to have been the reverie of certain hasty, spe- JJ^^^- 
culators, who having perceived, or fencied, i^uriiin, 
that certain pleasures, when, reaped in certain Xi' otuti- 
circumstances, have, at the long run, been at- pji^"'"^" 
tended vrith pains more than equivalent to 
them, took occasion to quarrel with every 
thing that offered itself under the name of 
pleasure. Having then got thus iar, and having 
forgot the point which they set out from, they 
pushed on, and went so much further as to 
think it meritorious to fall in love with pain. 
Even this, we see, is at bottom but the prin- 
ciple of utility misapplied. 

consistently pursued; and it is but tautology en^pur- 
to say, that the more consistently it is pui^ued, 
the better it must ever be for human-kind. 
The principle of asceticism, never was, nor eyer 
can be, consistently pursued by any living 
creature. Let but one tenth part of the in- 
habitants of this earth pursue it consistently, 
and in a day's time they will have turned it 
into a hell. 


Among principles adverse* to that of utility, riieprmci- 

— -~ pathy aiid 

• The following Note was first printed in January 178ft ■^'^"''' 
It c^ig^t rather to have been styled, more extensively, 
the prindple of caprice. Where it applies to the choice of 
actions to be marked out for it^uDction or prohibition, for 


P°^^' ^h that which at this day seems to have most in- 
fluence in matters of government, is what may 

be called the principle of sympathy and an- 

i^i**— '•^■"^■'"^■^•"""'^""'^^"■■"""■^-^"^■■"-"^•"^■^-^""■^^^■^■"^^^^■''■^""■^■■^""■^^-^■■"■^-"■^^^ 

reward or punishment, (to stand, in a word, as subjects for 
obligations to be imposed,) it may indeed with propriety be 
termed, as in the text, the principle of sympathy and aniipaiky, 
But this appellative does not so well, apply to it, when occu- 
pied in the choice of the events which are to serve as sources 
of title with respect to rights: where the actions prohibited 
and allowed the obligations and rigbtSj being already fixed, 
the only question is, under what circumstances a man is to be 
invested with the one or subjected to the other ? from what 
iacideots occasion is to be taken to invest a man, or to refuse 
to invest him^ with the one, ot to subject him to the other } 
In this latter case it may more appositely be characterized by 
the name of the phantastic principle. Sympathy and antipathy 
are affection^ of the senable fadulty. But the choice of titles 
with respect to rights, especially with respect to proprietary 
rights, upon grounds unconnected with utility, has been in 
many instances the work, not of the affections but of the 

When, in justification of an article of English Common 
Iaw, calling uncles to succeed in certain cases in preference 
to fiithers. Lord Coke produced a sort of ponderosity he had 
discovered in rights, disqualifying them from ascending in a 
straight line, it was not that he loved uncles particularly, or 
Jutted fathers, but because the analogy, such as it was, was 
what his imagination presented him with, instead of a reason, 
and because, to a judgment unobservant of the standard of 
utility, or unacquainted with the art of consulting it, where 
affection is out of the way, imagination is the-ooly-guide. 

When I know not what ingenious grammarian invented 
the proposition Delegatus non potest delegare, to. serve as a 
rule of law, it was not surely that he had any antipathy to 
delegates of »thjB second order, or that it was any pieaanre to 


tipathy. 9 jr the principle of sympathy and ^^ 
antipathy^ I mean that principle which ap- 
proyes or diaaj^royes of certain actions, not on 

him to tkink of iAie ruin which^ for want of a manager at 
home, may befal the affiurs of a traveller^ whom an i^iforedeetf 
accident has deprived of the object of hia chmce: it waa^ 
that the incongruity, of giving the same law to objects so 
contrasted ^a active and passive are, was not to 'be sur^ 
mounted, and that -atus chimes, as well as it contrasts, 
with -ore. 

When that inexorable maxim, (of which the dominion is 
ho more to be defined, than the date of its birth, or the 
natide of its father, is to be found,) was imported lh>m 
England for the government of Bengal, and the whole fabric 
of judicature was crushed by the thunders of ex post facto 
justice, it was not surely that the prospect of a blameless 
magistracy perishing' in prison afforded any enjoyment to the 
unoffended authors of their misery ; but that the music of 
the maxim, absorbing the whole imagination, had drowned 
the cries of humanity along with the dictates of common 

sense.^ Rat JmiUia^ mat cctlum, says another maxim, as 

- - ■ ' 

- • AddmoMl Note by the Antkor, Joly 1898. 

Add, and that the had system, of Mahometan and other natiTe law was to b^ pnt 
down al all events, to makef way for the inapplicable and still more misehieron* 
ayatcm of Eaflish Jodge-made law, and, by the hand of his accomplice Hastings, 
was pat into the pocket of Impey — Importer of this instrument of snbTersion, 
£8,000 a-year contrary to law, in addition to the £8,000 a-year lavished upon him, 
with the cnstomary proftuion, by the hand of law.— See the Account of this trans- 
action in MUW BritUk India. 

To titia CtoToraor a statue ia erecting by a Tote of East India Pirectors and Pro- 
prietors t on U should be inscribed— Let it hut put «en«y into our poekett^ no 
tyrmnnff too Jlo^itiou* to he worohipped Ay ut. 

To this statue of the Arch-malefactor should be added, for a companion, that of 
the long robed accomplice : the one lodging the bribe in the hand of the other. The 
hundred millions of plundered and oppressed Hindoos and Bf idiometans pay for the 
one : a Westminater Hall subscription might pay for the other. 

What they have done for Ireland with her seven mfllions (tf souls, the antiioriaed 
deniets and pervertert oi justice have done for Hhidoatan wilfa her hmidred milliona. 
In this there is nottiing wonderftil. The wonder is— that, under such inatitntions, 
men, though in ever such small number, Aould l»e found, whom thtf view of the 
i^jostioea which, by Engliih Judfe^mude law, they are compelled to coiimit, an4 




Chap. II. 

account of their tendiog to augment the hap- 
piness^ nor yet on account of their tending to 
diminish the happiness of the party whose 

fiiU of extravagance as it is of. harmony : Go heaven to 
wreck— HBO justice be but done : — and what U the ruin of 
kingdoms^ in comparison of the wreck of heaven ? 

So again^ when the Prussian chanceUor^ inspired with the 
wisdom of I know not what Roman sag«i» proclaimed in good 
Latin^ for the edification of German ears^ ServUus sertiiutis 
nondatur, [Cod. Fred. tom. ii. par. 2. liv. 2. tit. x. § 6. p. 308.] 
it was. not that he had conceived any aversion to the life- 
holder who^ during the continuance of his term, should wish 
to gratify a neighbour with a right of way or water, or to 
the neighbour who should wish to accept of the indulgence 3 
but that, to a jurisprudential ear, ^tiu "tutU sound little less 
melodious than -atus 'are. Whether the melody of the 
maxim was the real reason of the rule, is not left open to 
dispute : for it is ushered in by the conjunction quia, reason's 
appointed harbinger : quia servitus servitutis non datur. 

Neither would equal melody have been produced, nor 
Indeed could similar melody have been called for, in either 
of these instances, by the opposite provision : it is only when 
they are opposed to general rules, and not when by their 
conformity they are absorbed in them, that more specific 
ones can obtain a separate existence. Delegatus potest dek^ 
gare, and Servitus servitutis datur, provisions already included 
under the general adoption of contracts^ would hdve been as 
unnecessary to the apprehension and the memory, as, in 
comparison of their energetic negatives, they are insipid to 
the ear. 

Were the inquiry diligently made, it would be fotmd that 

the miseries they are thus compelled to prodace, deprive of health and rest. 
Witness the Letter of an English Hindoeton Jndge, Sept. 1, 1S19, which )ies,beii)re 
me. I will not make so cmel a reqnital for his honesty, ,as to pnt his. name in 
print : indeed the House of Commons' Doenuents already published leave jittle 
need of it. 


interest is in question, but merely because a Chap. n . 
man finds himself disposed to approve or dis^ 
approve of them : holding up that approbation 
or disapprobation as a sufficient reason for 

the goddess of harmoay has exercised more influence^ how** 
ever latent^ over the dispensations of Themis, than her most 
diligent historiographers, or even her most passionate pane- 
gyrists, seem to have been aware of. Every one knowl(, 
how, by the ministry of Orpheus, it was she who first col^ 
lected the sons of men beneath the shadow of the sceptre : 
yet, in the midst of continual experience, men seem yet to 
learn, vnth what successful diligence she has la(>oured to 
guide it in its course. Every one knows, that measured 
numbers were the language of the infancy of law : none 
seem to have observed, with what imperious sway they have 
governed her maturer age. In English jurisprudence in par- 
ticular, the connexion betwixt law and music, however less 
perceived than in Spartan legislation, is not perhaps less real 
nor less close. The music of the Office, though not of the 
same kind, is not less musical in its kind, than the music of 
the Theatre ; that which hardens the heart, than that which 
softens it : — sostenutos as long, cadences as sonorous ; and 
those governed by rules, though not yet promulgated, not 
less determinate. Search indictments, pleadings, proceedings 
in chancery, conveyances : whatever trespasses you may find 
against truth or common sense, you vnU find none against 
the laws of harmony. The English Liturgy, justly as this 
quality has been extolled in that sacred office, possesses not 
a greater measure of it, than is commonly to be found 
in an English Act of Parliament. Dignity, simplicity, 
brevity, precision, intelligibility, possibility of being retained 
or so much as apprehended, every thing yields to Harmony. 
Volumes might be filled, shelves loaded, with the sacrifices 
that are made to this insatiate power. Expletives, her 
ministers in Grecian poetry, are not less busy, though in dif- 


£f^^- itself, and disclaiming the necessity of lookup 
out for any extrinsic ground. Thus &r in the 
g^ieral d^artmeat of morals : and in the par- 

ferent aliape and balk^ in English legislation : in the former^ 
they are monosyllables :* in the latter^ they are whole lines.f 

To return to the principle of sympathy and antipathy: a 
term prefenred at firsts on account of its impartiality, to the 
principle of caprice. The chpice of an appellative, in the 
above respect? too nanrow, was owing to my not having, at 
that time, extended my views over the civil bhmch of law, 
any otherwise than as I had found it inseparably involved in 
the ponaL But when we come to the former branch, we 
shall see the phcaitastic principle making at least as great a 
figure there, as the principle of sympathy and antipathy in the 

In the days of Lord Coke, the light of utility can scarcely 
be said to have as yet shone upon the face of Common Law. 
If a faint ray of it, under the name of the argumentum ab 
mconvenienti, is to be found in a list of about twenty topics 
exhibited by that great lawyer as the co-ordinate leaders of 
that all-perfect system, the admission, so circumstanced, is 
as sure a proof of neglect, as, to the statues of Brutus and 
Cassius, exclusion was a cause of notice. It stands, neither 
in the firont, nor in the rear, nor in any post of honour 3 but 
huddled in towards the middle, without the smallest mark 
of preference. [Coke Littleton. 11. a.] Nor is this Latin 
inconvenience by any means the same thing-with the English 
one. It stands distinguished from mischief: and because by 
the vulgar it is taken for something less bad, it is g^ven by 
the learned as something worse. The law prefers a mischief 
to an inconvenience, says an admired maxim, and the more 
admired, because as nothing is expressed by it, the more is 
supposed to be understood. 

• Mwy rot, ^€, iw, &c. — 

^ And be it further enacted by the authority aforetaidy that^>ProTided always, 
•nd it is heMby fturther enacted uid declared that—Ae. tea. 



tlcular department of politics, measuring out chapjl 
the quantum (as well as determining die ground) 
of punishment, by the degree of the disap- 


It is manifest, that this is rather a p^nciple This is »- 

^ \ , tberthene- 

in name than in reality : it is not a positive gation of 

aU princi- 

principle of itself, so much as a term einploy ed pie, than 
to signify the negation of all principle. What pm&uv!^ 
one expects to find in a principle is something 
that points out some external consideration, 
as a. means of warranting and guiding the in- 
ternal sentiments of approbation and disap-* 
probation : this expectation is but ill fulfilled 
by a proposition, which doe^ neithier naore nor 
less than hold up each of thpse sentiments as a, 
ground and standard for itself. 


, In looking over the catalogue of human senHmente 

^ - ^ of a parti- 

' actions (says a partizan of this principle) in sanofthe 

•' * * * principle of 

Not that there is any avowed, much less a constant oppo- 
sition^ between the prescriptions of utility and the operations 
of the common law : such constancy we have seen to be too 
much even for ascetic fervor. [Supra, par. x.] From time to 
^e instinct would unavoidably betray them into the paths 
of reason : instinct wliich, however it may be cramped^ can 
never be killed by education. The cobwebs spun out of tlie 
materials brought together by " the competition of opposite 
analogies/' can never have ceased being warped by the silent 
attraction of the rational principle : though it should have 
been, as the needle is by the magnet, without the {nivity of 

g'^^— ^W^^^^^r^^^^^^^^^^^^^Wi^^^M^^^^^B^^^^II^^^Pi^^ii^^— ■ I pi ^i— '^^PW^^^p^i^g^ 


£g^- "; order to determine which of them are to, be 
marked with the. seal of disapprobation, you 
need but to take counsel of your own feelings : 
whatever you find in yourself a propensity ; to 
condemn, is wrong for that very reason. For 
the same reason it is also meet for punishment : 
in what proportion it is adverse to utility, or 
whether it be adverse to utility at all, is a 
. matter that makes no difference. In that same 
proportion also is it meet for punishment : if 
you hate much, punish much: if you hate 
little, punish little : , punish as you hate. -If 
you hate not at all, punish not at all : the fine 
feelings of the soul are'not to be overborne and 
tyrannized by the haxsh and rugged dictates 
of political utilijty. 


The sys- The various systems that have been formed 

terns that , •^ /. . ^ 

hare been concemiug the Standard of nght and wrong, 
conccmiujf mav all be reduced to the principle of svm- 

the stand- f , • , ^ 

ard of right pathy and antipathy. One account may serve 

and wrong, __ . /. . 

are all re- for all of them. They consist all of them in 
this prin- so many contrivances for avoiding the obliga- 
tion of appealing to any external standard, and 
for prevailing upon the reader to accept of the 
author's sentiment or opinion as a reason for 
itself. The phrases different, but the principle 
the same.* 

Various * It is curious enough to observe the variety of inventions 

^'hrirc ^^^ ^*^® ^^ ^'P^^' ^^^ *^® variety of phrases they have 
served as the charac- 




XV. Chap. II, 

It is manifest, tbat the dictates of this prin-^j^P|^" 
ciple will frequently coincide with those of ^*?J^fj"*^y 
utility, though perhaps without intending any ^^'[i\ity* 

brought forward, in order to conceal from the world, and, if *®"*^*^ * 
possible, from themselves, ' this very general and therefore many pre- 
very pardonable self-sufficiency. i^mg^ ' 

^ 1. One man says, he has a thing made on purpose to teU ]. Moral 
him what is right and What is wrong 5 and that it is caUed a ^^s^* 
moral sense : and then he goes to work at his ease, and says, 
such a thing is right, and such a thing is wrong— why? 
^' because my moral sense tells me it is." 

S. Another man comes and alters the phrase : leaving out 2. Common 
moral, and putting in common, in the room of it. He then ^^^' 
tells you, that his common tense teaches him what is right 
and wrong, as surely as the other's moral sense did : meaning 
by common sense, a sense of some kind or other, which, he 
says, is possessed by aU mankind : the sense of those, whose 
senset is not the same as the atuthor*s, being struck out of the 
account as not worth taking. This contrivance does better 
than the other j for a moral sense, being a new thing, a man 
may foel about him a good while without bdng able to find 
it out: but common sense. is as old as the creation; and 
there is no man but. would be ashamed to be thought not to 
have as nmch of it as his neighbours. It has another great 
advantage : by appearing to share power, it lessens envy : 
for when a man gets up upon this ground, in order to 
anathematize those who differ from him, it is not by a sic 
volo sicjubeo, but by a velitis jubeatis, 

3. Another man comes, and says, that as to a moral sense 3. Under* 
indeed, he cannot lind that he has any such thing : that s^^ding. 
however he has eai' underHanding, which will do quite as 
well. This understancfingi he says, is the standard of right 
and wrong : it tells him so and so. AU good and wise men 


^ili^Ji such thing. Probably more frequently than 
not : and hence it is that the business of p^al 
justice is carried on upon that tolerable sort 

understand as he does : if other men's understandings differ 
in any point from his^ so much the vrbrae for them: it is a 
sure sign they are cither defective or corrupt. 
4* Rule of 4. Another mui says^ that there is an eternal and im;- 
'^'"'*- mutable Rule of Bight : that that rule of right dictates sb 
and so : and then he begins giving you his sentiments upon 
any thing that comes uppermost : and these sentimeots (you 
are to take for granted) are so many branches of the eternal 
rule of right; 

5. Fitness 5. Another man^ or perhaps the same man (it's no matter) 
^^^* says^ that the^e are certain practiceiEt eonform^le^ and others 

repugnant, to the Fitntes of Things j and then he tells you^ 
at his leisure^ what practitses nre conformable and what re- 
pugnant : just as he happens to lilce a practice or disHlce it. 

6. I^w of €' A great multitude of people iare continually talking of 
Nature. ^^ j^^ ^£ Nature ; and th^n tiiey go on giving you their 

sentiments about what is right and what ia wrong: and 
these sentiments, you are to understahd, ar6 so many chapters 
and sections of the Law of Nature. 

7. Law of 7"* Instead of the phrase. Law of Nature, you have some- 
ReasoD, times. Law of Reason, i^ght Reason, Natural Justice, Na- 
son, Natu- tural Equity, Good Order. Any of them will do equaDy 
l^til!^'^* well. This hitler is most used hi politics. The three tet 
Equity, are much more tolerable than the others, because they do 

Good Or- . 

der. not very ekpMcitty daim to be any thing more than phrases : 

tiiey insist but feCibly upon the being looked upon as so 
many positive standards of themselves, and seem content to 
be taken, upon occasion, for phrases expressive of the con- 
formity of the tiling in question to the proper standard, 
whatever that may be. Ou most oceasions, however, it will 
be better to say uftltly > utUU^ is clears', as referrfaig more 
explidtiy to pain and pleasure. 


of footing upon wtucfa we see it csmed on in ^|^^;_^ 
common at this day. For what more natural 
or more general ground of hatred to a practice 

8. We have one philosopher, who sajs, there is no harm S-Tiuth. 
in any thing in the world bat in tcUiog a lie : find that ifi 

fi>r example, you were to murder your own fethe^ this would 
only be a particular way of saying, he was not your fethw. 
Of course, when this philosopher sees any thmg that he does 
not like, he saya, it is a particular way of telling a lie. It is 
saying, that the act ought to be done, or may be done, when, 
ta Imth, it ought not to be done. 

9. 1^ ftirest and openest of them all b that sort of man g_ uadriDc 
wbo apeak# oot, and says, I am of the nnmber of the Kect : of Election, 
now Ood himself takes care to inform the Elect what is 

right : and that with so good effect, that let them strive 
ever so,' they cannot help not only knowing it but practising 
it. If therefi»e a man wants to know what is right and 
what is wrong, he has nothing to do but to come to nie. 

It ii upon the principle of antipathy that snch and such Repur. 
acta are often reprobated on the score of their being tm- "^urto 
natMrat! the practice of exposing children, est^h'shed 
among the Greeks and Romans, was aa unnatural practice. 
Unnatural, when it means teaj thing, means unfirequent : and 
there it means something ; dthou^ nothing to the present 
purpose. Bnt here it means no such thing : tar the fr^ 
quency of audi acts is perh^s the great complaint. It 
tiwrefore mewis noOing ; nothing, I mean, which there Is 
in Ute act itself. All it can serve to express is, the dispi^ 
•ition of the pierson who is talking of it : the dispoaiti(» 
he is in to be angry at the tiionghts of it. Does it merit hk 
anger 1 Very likely it may : but wiietber it does or no is a 
qticstkio, which, to be answered righdy, can only be an- 
swered upon the principle of utility. 

UnnMura), Is as good a word as moral sense, or common 



Chap; H. 

can thl^re be, than the mischievousness of such 
practice? What iall men are exposed t6 suffer 
by» all men will be disposed to hate. It is far 

they pro- 

sense; and would be as good a foundation for a system. 
Such an act is unnatural; that is^ repugnant to nature: 
for I do not like to practise it ; and^ consequently^ do not 
practise it. It is therefore repugnant to what ought to be 
the nature of every body else. 

The mischief common to alt these ways of thinking and 
arguing (which^ in truth, as we have seen^ are but one and 
the same method^ couched in different forms of words) is 
thdr serving as a cloke^ and pretence^ and aliment^ to des- 
potism : if not a despotism in practice^ a despotism however 
in disposition : which is but too apt^ when pretence and 
power offer^ to show itself in practice. The consequence Is, 
that with intentions very commonly of the purest kind^ a 
man becomes a torment either to himself or his fellow- 
creatures. If he be of the melancholy cast, he sits in silent 
griefs bewailing their blindne£(s and depravity: if of the 
irascible, he declaims with fury and virulence against all who 
differ from him; blowing up the eoals of fanaticism, and 
branding with the charge of corruption and insincerity^ every 
man who does not think, or profess to think, as he does. 

If such a man happens to possess the advantages of style, 
his book may do a considerable deal of mischief before the 
nothingness of it is understood. 

These principles, if such they can be caHed, it is more 
frequent to see applied to morals than to politics : but their 
influence extends itself to both. In politics, as well as 
morals, a man will be at least equally glad of a pretence 
for deciding any question in the manner that best pleases 
him, without the trouble of inquiry. If a man is an in- 
follible judge of what is right and Wrong in the aetkms of 
private individuals, why not in the measures to be observed 


yet, however, fcom being a constant ground: SH^^* 
fer when a m4n suffers, it is not always that 

he knows what it is he suffers by. A mati tiaay 

1 ^ - - ' ' ' '. 

by pubUc men in the direction of those actions ? accordingly 
(not to mention other chimeras) I have more than once 
known the pi«tended hiw of nature set up in l^^ative 
debates, in opposition to arguments derived from the prin- 
ciple of , utility* 

*^ But is it never, then, from any other considerations than whether 
** those of utility, that we derive our notions of right and ^^^* 
" wrong?" I do not know: I do not care. Whether a the sole 
moml sentiment can be originally conceived from any other ^^ gp.. 

source than a view of utility^ is one question: whether upon probAtioa 

we ever 
enanination and reflection it can, in point of fact, be actually hestow, is 

persist^ In and justified on any other ground, by a person ^^^m- 
refiecting within himself, is another : whether in poiht of tion. 
right it can properly be justified on any other ground, by a 
person addressing himself to the community, is a third. The 
two first are questions of speculation : it matters no^ com- 
paratively speaking, how they are decided. The last is a 
question of practice : the decision of it is of as much im« 
portanee as that of any can be. 

" I lisel in myself/* (say you) '^ a dLqposition to approve of 
such or such an action in a moral view : but ihis is not owing 
to any^ notions I have of its being a useful one to the 
community* I do not pretend to know whether it be an 
useAil one or not : it may be, for ought I know, a mis« 
ehievous one." * But is it then^' (say I) ' a mischievous one? 
examine $ and if you can make yourself sensible that it is so, 
then, if diM^ means any thmg, that is, moral duty, it is your 
duiif at lee^ to abstain from it : and more than that, if it is 
what lies in your power, and can be done without too great 
a sacrifice, to endeavour to prevent, it. It is not yoi^r che- 
risiiing the liotion of it in your bosom, and giving it the name 
of virtue^ that will excuse you.* 

VOL. I. D 


SSiji >s«*«r grkfwudy, for insUAce, by a ftei* tax, 
without being able to tMce iip ttie cause of his 
sufifeiings to the injustice of soliie neighbour, 
who has eluded the payment of ah old one. 


This prin- The principle of sympathy and antipathy is 
tnostapttp most apt to eiT On the aide of severity. It is 
Bide of se- for applying punishment in many cases which 


■ » % ! ■ 

**^ r feel in myself^'* (say you again) ''*a» ^sposUion to 
detest such or audi an* laction in a^moral view $ liut tUs is 
not o'mn^'to aiiy notions I have of its bdng amlBehknias 
dne to the commnnfty. I d6 not pretend to know ^wlicdMr 
it be a misdhi^voas one or n6t : it maybe not a iaischlevoiui 
one : it may be^ for aught I know> an tisefol one.***^« May 
it indeed/ (say I) ' din tisefol one ? but let Bieteli yo« Itei, 
that unless duty« and right and wrongs be just what ymi 
please to make thiso^^ if it really be not a mischievous cme^ 
and any body has a mind to do it> it is no ibity df your*8^ 
but> on the contrary^ it would be very wrong in yon> to tftke 
upon you to prevent him : detest it within youVself temnch 
as yotf please 3 that may be a very good reason (ui^s it'be 
also a useful dne) Sor your not doing it youMelf : but tf you 
go about^ by word oi* dited, to do any Ihing to h^der himj or 
toake hlmi suffer for it, it is ydu, and not he, that have done 
wrong : it Is not your setting your^lf to blame his oonduet, 
6r braiiding it with the name of vice, that wiU msike him 
culpable. Or you blameless. Therefore, i^ you can make 
yoursdf content that he shaH be of one mind, ahd yott ai 
another, about that matter, and so continue, it is well *; but 
if hothing wHl serVe you, but that you iemd he ta\M needs 
"be of tiie same mind, FU teQ you vi^t you' huve to do : it 
is for you to get the better of your antipaithy, not for him to 
truckle to it.' 


deserve noBer in maay cases which deserare ?2iJ^;JJ; 
Bome, it is for applying more than tbey deserve. 
There^ is no meident imaginable^ be it eVer so 
trivial, and so remote frcon mischief, from which 
this prmciple may not extract a ground of pu- 
n^ffament. Any different in taste: any dif- 
ference 'in ( opinion : upon one subject as well 
4s upon another. No ; disagreement so. trifling 
whiek perseverance and .altercation will not 
render serious^ £ach becomes in the other's 
eyes an enemy, and, if laws permit, a criminal^'* * 

* King James the First ef England had conceived a 
ridlent antipathy against Arians : two of whom he burnt* 
This grfttifica^n be procured himself, withoif t much di^culty : 
the notions of the times were favourable to it. He wrote a 
furious book against Vorstius^ for being what was called an 
Arminiaa : for Vorstius was at a distance. He also Wrote a 
fuiious book> called ''A Counterblast to Tobacco^" against 
the use of that drug, which Sir Walter Raleigh had then 
lately introduced. Had the notions of the times co-operated 
with him, he would have burnt the Anabaptist and the 
smoker of tobacco in the same fire, fiowever he had the 
satisfoction of putting Raleigh to death afterwards^ though 
for another crime. 

Disputes concerning the comparative excellence of French 
and Italian music have occasioned very serious bickerings 
at Paris. One of the parties would not have been sorry 
(says Mr. D'Alembertf) to have brought government into 
the quarrd. Pretences were sought after and urged. Long 
before that, a dispute of like nature, and of at least equol 
Mrarmth, had been kindled at London upon the comparative 

* Bome't Hist. toI. 6. i> Melanges Em«1 fl«rl» Liberty de la Bfnaiqne. 



^"^- ^h This is one of the circumstandes by which the 
human race is distinguished (not much indeed 
to its advantage) from the brute creation. 


Buterrs, in It is not, howcvcr, by any means imexampkd 
^ces^on for this principle to err on the side of lenity, 
lenity. . A near and perceptible mischief moves an- 
tipathy. A remote and imperceptible mischief, 
though not less real, has no effect. Instances 
in proof of this will occur in numbers in the 
course of the work.* It would be breaking in 
upon the order of it to give them here. 


Thfttheo- It may be wondered, perhaps, that in all 
pfwdpie, this while no mention has been made of the 
• Mparate theological principle; meaning that principle 
which professes to recur for the standard of 

.^ m ■__■ ii-ii — '- — - ■ II II -i ^m^^at^ 

merits of two composers at Xioadon | where riots between 
the Improvers and disapproTera of 4 new play are, at this d^y, 
not imfteiiaent. The gioond of quarrel between the Big* 
fsndians and 4he Litrtle-endians in the fable^ was not more 
frirolous than many an one which has Uid empires desolate. 
In Russia, it is said, there was a time when some thousands 
of persons lost their tives in a quarrel, in whidi the govern* 
ment had taken part, about the number of fingers to be used 
In making the sign of the cross. This was in days of yore : 
the ministers of Catherine IL are better instructed f than to 
take^any other part in such disputes, than that of preTonting 
the parties <x)noerned from doi^g one another a mitehieC 

f laBlmet «rt ^4, <7S^ 4ro. 

* See ch. zvL [DivisioB] par. 4% H, 




right 8md wrdngt^ to the will of God. But the Sl!^^* 
case is^ this is not in fact a distinct principle. 
It is never any^ thing more or less than one or 
other of the three before-mentioned principles 
presenting itself under another shape. The 
wilt oi God here meant cannot be his terealed 
will, as contained in the sacred writings : for 
that is a system which nobody ever thinks of 
recurring to at this time of day, for the details 
of political administration : and even before it 
can be applied to the details of private conduct, 
it is universally allowed, by the most eminent 
divines of all persuasions, to stand in need of 
pretty ample interpretations ; else to what use 
are the works of those divines ? And for the 
guidance of these interpretations, it is also al- 
lowed, thai some other standard must be as- 
sumed. The will then which is meant on this 
occasion, is that which may be called the pre- 
mmpiive will : that is to say, that which is pre-* 
sumed to be his will on account of the conr 
formity of its dictates to those of some other 
principle. What then may be this other prin- 
ciple ? it must be one or other of thft th]:ee 
mentioned above: for there qannot». aa we^ have 
seen, be any more. It is plain, therefore,..that„ 
setting revelation out of the question, no light 
can ever be thrown upon the standard of right 
and wrong, by any thing that cs^ be said upon 
the question, what n God's wilL We may be 


Sl:JJ^ peffeetly sure, indeed, that IrhateTer is «i^ 
IB conformable to the Will of God : but solar is 
that from answering the purpoie of showing v^ 
what is right, that it is necessary to know first 
whether a thing is right, in order to know firon^ 
thence whether it be conformable to the will 
of God.* 

^t t£?M^.' There are two things which are very apt to 
tionsitdic- be confounded, biit which it imports iis care-* 

tates be . *^ 

ever so foUy to distinguish: — the motive or causey 

Dever of it- >■ ■ > ' " ' ■ 

^und^* * The principle of theology refers every thing to God's 
action. pleasure. But what is God's pleasure? God does not^ he 
The prin- confiessedly does not now, either speak or write to us. How 
Sl?*°h*^*" *^®^ are we to know what is his pleasure? By obserring 
reducible what is our own pleasure^ and pronouncing it to be hk* Ad<» 
anotber'of cordingly, what is called the pleasure of God» is and most 
the other necessarily be (revelation apart) neither more nor less than the 
ciples. good pleasure of the person^ whoever he be^ who is pro- 
nouncing what he .beli^ves^ or pretends, to be God's pleasure. 
How know you it to be Grod's pleasure that* such or such an 
act should #be abstained from ? whence come you even to 
suppose as much? ''Because the engaging in it would, I 
imagine, be prejudicial upon the whole to the happiness of 
mankind;" says the partizan of the principle of utility: 
'' Because the commission of it is attended with a grods and 
sensual, or at least with a trifling and transient Satisfectadn ;'* 
says the partizan of thie princifde of asoetidsm : ^ B^caniM 
I detest the thoughts of it | and I cannot, neither ought I to 
be called upon to tell why i** says he who proceeds upon the 
principle of antipathy. In the words of one or other of these 
must that person necessarily answer (revelation ap&ft) Who 
professes to take for his standard the wiU of God. 



wJiich, by. operating on tke mUid of aa indi- g" ^- ^V 
ndoaly is ppoductiire of any act : and the groiiiu]^ 
or season ^wlikh i^^artiants a legislator, ac other, 
by^gtander, in regarding that act wi^ an eye 
of i^probation. WJien the act happens^ in 
the particular instance in question, to be pro- 
daetiT^ of effects which we approve of, much 
more if. we happen to observe that the same 
motive may frequently be productive, in other 
instances, of the like effects, we are apt to 
titansfer our approbation to the motive itself^ 
and to assume, as t)ie just ground for the 
approbation we bestow on the act, the cir-^ 
cumstanee of its originating from that motive. 
It is in this way th^t the sentiment of antipathy 
has often been considered as a just ground of 
action. Antipathy, for instance, in such or 
such a case, is the cause of an action which i$ 
attended with good effects : but this does not 
make it a right grotmd of action in that case, 
any more than in any other. Still farther. Not 
only the effects are good, but the agent sees 
beforehand that they will be so. This may 
make the action indeed a perfectly right action : 
but it does not make antipathy a right ground 
of action. For the same sentiment of antipathy^ 
if implicitly deferred to, may be, and very 
frequently is, productive of the very worst 
effects. Antipathy, therefore, can never be a 
right ground of action. No more, therefore. 

1 . ' "r****"** 




9**^' ": can resentment^ which^ as will be seen more 
particalarly Ijiereafter, is but a modification of 
antipathy. The only right ground of action, 
that can possibly subsist, is, after all, the con- 
sideration of utility, which, if it is a right prin- 
ciple of action, and of approbation, in any one 
case, is so in every other. Other principles in 
abundance, that is, other motives, may be the 
reasons why such and such an act has been 
done: that is, the reasons or causes of its 
being done : but it is this alone that, can be 
the reason why it might or ought to have 
been done. Antipathy or resentment requires 
always to be regulated, to prevent its doing 
mischief: to be regulated by what ? always by 
the principle of utility. The principle of utility 
neither requires nor admits of any other re- 
gulator than itself. 


[ « ] 





It has been shown that the happiness of the Omaexion 
individuals, of whom a community is composed, chwter 
that is their pleasures and their security, is the precedins. 
end and the sole end which the legislator ought 
to have in view : the sole standard, in confor- 
mity to which each individual ought, as far as 
depends upon the legislator, to be made to 
fashion his behaviour. But w^hether it be this 
or any thing else that is to be done, there is 
nothing by which a man can ultimately be made 
to do it, but either pain or pleasure. Having 
taken a general view of these two grand objects 
(viz. pleasure, and what comes to the same 
thing, immunity from pain) in the character of 
Jinal causes; it will be necessary to take a 
view of pleasure and pain itself, in the cha- 
racter of efficient causes or means. 

There are four distinguishable sources from Four sane- 
which pleasure and pain are in use to flow: m^AMof 
considered separately, they may be termed the an?*!^ 
physical, the political, the moral, and the re^ 
ligious: and inasmuch as the pleasures and 
pains belonging to each of them are capable 


Chap. Ill, ^f giving a binding force to any law or rule 
of conduct, they may all of them be termed 



i.Thcphy- If it be irx the present life, and from the or- 

sical sane- _ , 

tion. dmary course of nature, not purposely modified 
by the interposition of the will of any human 
being, nor by any extraordinary interposition 
of any superior invisible being, that the plea- 
sure or the pain takes place or is expected, it 

* Salictio> in ta^n, was used to sigmfy the aci(^bmdingy 
aiid> by a comtnon grammatical transition, av^ thing whick 
sep}es to hind a man : to wit^ to the observance Of such or 
such a mode of conduct. Aceording to a Latin grammarian^* 
the import of the word is derived by rather a far-fetched 
process (such as those cdmoiotily are, and in a great mea- 
siire indeed must be^ by which intetteoiual ideas are derived 
from sensible ones) from the word ^nscf^m, blood : b^ufe, 
among the I^mans, with a view to inci^eate into the people 
a persuasion that such or such a mode of conduct would be 
rendered obligatory upon a man by the force of what I call 
the religious sanction' (that Is^ that he wotdd "be made to 
suffer by the extramdhiai^ taterposkioii. of some mipeiior 
be^, if he failed to obsenre ilye ihq^ of eoiiduot in question) 
certain ceremonies were contrived by the priests: in the 
. course of which ceremonies the blood of victims was made 
use of. 

A Sanction then is a source of obligatory powers dr motive]} .* 
that is> of pains^ aild pleaseares^ which^ according as tii^ ai'e 
connected with such Or such modes of conduct^ operate^ and 
.ar^ indeed the only things which can operate^ as mot^^. 
iSee Cba|>. x. [Motives.] 

' * * - ■ . ■ 

1 II I ^ - "' ■ " . - 

* ^trriiu. Sao Ain>Wi>it|i^s Plot. a4 yeibijiD df«iicfto. 



may be said to issue from or to belong to the 9^^*^*: 
phfskal Monction. 


Jtf at the hands of ^partictdar person or set ^jl^^J^^" 
of persons in the community, who under names 
correspondent to that of jW^e, are, chosen for 
the particular purpose of dispensing it, ac* 
cording to the will of the sovereign or supreme 
ruling power in the state, it may be said to 
issue from the political sanction. 

•^ • .V. . ' 

If at the hands of such chance persons in the ^^^ ^^^ 
commumty, as the party inquestion may happen Hat* 
in the course of his life to have concerns with, 
discording to each man's spontaneous disposir 
tkm, and not according to any settled or con? 
eerted rale^ it may be said to issue from the 
moral or pymlar sanction.* 


if from the immediate hand of a superior J- T^ "" 
invisible being, either in the present life, or in 
a future, it may be said to issue from the re- 

U^ious sanction. 

■ - * ■ ■ " ■ » 

* Better termed populate aa more direetly in^eative of iti 
constituent csnae *, as likewise of its relation to the more com** 
moa phrase pu6/ic opinion, in French opinion pubiique, the nam^ 
. there given to that tutelary power^ of which of late so much 
is said, and by which so much b done. The latter appella- 
tion is however unhappy and hiexpressive ; since if opinion 
is material^ it is only in virtde of the influence It exercises ovet 
action^ through the medium of the affections and the will. 


The plea- Pleasures or pains which may be expected 

sares and ^ * , 

wudibe^ to issue from the physical, political^ or moral 
loDjsio the sanctions, must all of them be expected to be 

reu^ous * ■ 

sanctioii, experienced, if ever, in the present life : those 
nrd either which mav bc expcctcd to issue from the re- 

theprwent „ . "^ . '^ _ _ , 

iifeorafti- ligums sanction, may be expected to be ex- 
perienced either in the present life or in |t 

Thoce Those which can be experienced in the 

xrbieb t^ - * . 

ganithe prcseut life, can of course be no others than 

presoDit life» 

horn Which such Rs hiimau nature in the course of the 
source they prescut life is susccptible of: and from each 

flow, differ \. - „ « » » ' 

only in the of thcsc sourccs may flow all the pleasures or 
stances of paius of which, in the course of the present 
ducii^ life, human nature is susceptible. With regard 
to these then (with which alone we have in 
this place any cobcem) those of them which 
belong to any one of those sanctions, differ not 
ultimately in kind from those which belong to 
any one of the other three: the only differ- 
ence there is among them lies ii^ the circum- 
stances that accompany their production. A 
suffering which be&lis a man in the natural and 
spontaneous course of things, shall be Btyled, 
for instanced, a calamty ; in which case, if it be 
supposed to be£3tl him through any imprudence 
of his, it may be styled a punishment issuing 
from the physical sanction. Now this same 



suffering, if inflicted by the law, will be what cha^hi, 
is commonly called a punishment; if incurred 
for want of any friendly assistance, which the 
misconduct, or supposed misconduct, of the 
sufferer has occasioned to be withholden, a 
punishment issuing from the moral sanction ; if 
through the immediate interposition of a par- 
ticular providence, a punishment issuing from 
the religious sanction. 

A man's goods, or his person, are consumed ^Baampit. 
tiy fire. If this happened to him by what is 
called an accident, it was a calamity : if by 
reason of his own imprudence (for instance, 
from his neglecting, to put his candle out) it 
may be styled a punishment of the physical 
sanction : if it happened to him by the sentence 
of the political magistrate,, a punishment be- 
longing to the political isanction ; that is, what 
is commonly called a punishment : if for want 
of any assistance which his neighbour withheld 
from him out of some dislike to his moral cha- 
racter, a punishment of the moral sanction: 
if by an immediate act of God's displeasure, 
manifested on account of some sin committed 
by him, or through any distraction of mind, 
occasioned by the dread of such displeasure, 
a punishment of th^ religious sanction.^ 

* A sttflbring eonceiTed to befiil a man by the imaiediate 


£haf.IU. X 

Those As to such of the pleasuTcs and pams be- 

^rdafu- tonging to the religious sanction^ as regard a 
not sped- feture Kfe, of what kind these may be we 
knoi^. cannot know. These lie not open to bur ob- 
servation. During the present life they are 
matter only of expectation : and, whether that 
expectation be derived from natural or revealed 
religion, the particular kind of pleaisure or pain, 
if it be different from aU those which lie open 
to our observation, is what we can have no 
idea of. The best ideas we can obtain of .sudi 
Ipains and pleasures are aLtogetherunlixiuidated 
IB point of quality. In what other respects 
i^ur ideas of them may h^ liquidated ^will be 
icrasidered in another place.* 


The ph^i- Of these four sanctions the physical is al- 

calsaQction i t i #• 

included in together, we may observe, the ground-work of 
otherthree. the political and the moral: so is it also of 
the religious, in as hx as the la:tter bears relation 
"to the present life. It is included in each of 
those other three. Thisi may operate in any 
•case, (that is, any of the pains or pleasures be- 

act of God, as above^ is often, for shortness sake, caUied a 
judgment: instead of saying, a suffering inflicted on him in 
consequence of a special judgment formed, add resolution 
Aefeupon 'tatEenfby^tnc Jjeity. 

* Sf» ch. xiii. [Climes lUHQMetl pMr..^. NolP> . : . 


longing to it may operate) independently of chap^hi. 
th^sm: nf^e of thm editi operate but by means 
df this. Iti a word, the powers of natture DMy 
c^elrate 0f themselves; but neither the ina* 
gistrate, nor wtm . at large, ^ can operate, nc»r 
is €rod in the case in question mpposed to 
operate, but through the powers of nature. 


For these four objects, which in their nature Useoftuu 

•^ chapter. 

have so much in common, it seemed of use 
to find a common name. It seemed of use, 
in the first place, for the convenience of giving 
a name to certain pleasures and pains, for 
which a name equally characteristic could 
hardly otherwise have been found : in the 
second place, for the sake of holding up the 
efiicacy of certain moral forces, the influence 
of which is apt not to be sufficiently attended 
to. Does the political sanction exert an in- 
fluence over the conduct of mankind? The 
moral, the religious sanctions do so too. In 
every inch of his career are the operations of 
the political magistrate liable to be aided or 
impeded by these two foreign powers: who, 
one or other of them, or both, are sure to be 
either his rivals or his allies. Does it happen 
to him to leave them out in his calculations ? 
he wiU be sure almost to find himself mis- 


taken in the result. Of all this we shall find 

■ •■ ■ ■ ^wu^m^imm 



III ■« «■ 



ca^jJL abundant proofs in the sequel of this work. 
It behoves him, therefore, to have th^m con- 
tinually before his eyes ; and that under such 
a name as exhibits the relation th^y bear to 
his own purposes and designs. 

! ■ m ^ 'fmmwmm''t^mmmm^^mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm''''^mmmmmmmmmmmm 

[ 49 ] 




Pleasures then, and the avoidance of pains, Use of this 
are the ends which the legislator has in view : 
it behoves him therefore to understand their 
value. Pleasures and pains are the instruments 
he has to work with: it behoves him there- 
fore to understand their force, which is again, 
in other words, their Value. 

To a person considered by himself, the value J;^^"^^ 
of a pleasure or pain considered by itself, will J^^^^. 
be greater or less, according to the four fol- 2S^{^**" 
lowing: circumstances :* the value 

o of a plea* 
• ■ ^ sure or 

• These circumstances have since been denominated e/e- P""f °5*?l 

dered with 

merits or dimensions of value in a pleasm'e or a pain. reference 

Not long after the publication of the first edition, the TCr*on"wid 
following memoriter verses were framed, in the. view ofoyitBtU, 
lodging more e£fectually^ in the memory, these points, on 
which the whole fabric of morals and legislation may be seen 
to rest. 

Intense, long, certain, speedy, fruitftd^ pure"^ 

Such marks in pleasures and in pains endure. 

Such pleasures seek, if private be thy end : 

If it be public, wide let them extend. 

Such patfM avoid, whichever be thy view : ^ 

Tf pains must come, let them extend to few. 

VOL. I. E 


Chap. IV. J. Its intensity. 

2. Its duration. 

3. Its certainty or uncertainty. 

4. Its propinquity or remoteness. 

— consi- These are the circumstances which are to be 
connected Considered in estimatmg a pleasure or a pain 
pleasures 'considered each of them by itself. But when 
orpams. ^j^^ yalue of any pleasure or pain is dorisidered 
for the purpose of estimating the tendency of 
any act by which it is produced, there are two 
other circumstances to be taken into the ac- 
count ; these are, 

6. Its fecundity, or the chance it has of 
being followed by sensations of the same kind : 
** that is, pleasures, if it be a pleasure : pains, 

if it be a pain. 

' 6.' Its purity, or the chance- it has of not 
being followed by sensations of the opposke 
kind : that is, pains, if it be a pleasure : plea- 
sures, if it be a pain. 

These two last, however, are in strictness 
scarcely to be deemed properties of the plea- 
.sure or the pain itself; they are not, therefore, 
in strictness to be taken into the account of 
the value of that pleasure or that pain. They 
are in strictness to be deemed properties only 
of the act, or other event, by which such plea- 
sure or pain has been produced ; and accord- 
ingly are only to be taken into the account of 
the tendency of such act or such event. 

ji i ■ I mmmm^^fmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm'immmmm^mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm^mm 

HpW TO ^9£ MEASURED. 51 

IV; : ^»^^ *V. 

To ^ mmber of pernons, with r§|fereiice to — consi- 
each- <>f .whom th^ value of a pleasure or a nference 

to A mini" 

paiu u» considered, it will be greater or less, berofper- 
accordijig to seven cu*C]UJQstance3 : to wit^the 
six preceding ones; viz. 

1. Its iHtpmity., 

2. Its dM^atUm. 

3. Its certmnty or uncertqinty. 

. 4. Its propinquity or remoteness. 

5. Its fecundity. 
r 6, Its fpurity. 

Ajod one other ^ . to lyit : 

7. Its extmt; that is, the number of persons 
to whom it contends ;, <>T Qjk other words) who 
ate affected by it« 

• V, 

To ti^ke an exact, account then of the general P»oc««.ft>r 
tQbdency of apy act, ' by which the interests the tendeo- 
of 4 co&ii^utiity are affected, prpceed;aa;folipw8«; actorevent 
B^gJinrwith afiy one peirson of those whose in? 
tetesjt^s sedm most in^mediately to JbfC; affected 
by it: and take an account, 

1. Of the value of ^ach distinguishable pka-- 
sure which. appears to be produced by it i^ 
thfi Jk'st TOrtajieew 

2« Of ,th.6 value of each pain which appe^s 
to bi it in the^r^t instance. 

3. Qf the viedue of each pleasure which ap- 
pears to be produced by it after the first. 

£ 9 

6^ PLEASURE ok l»XlN," 

chiap, sv- j^^ constitutes the fsdundUy of the first pka- 
mre and the impurity of the first pain. 

41 Of the value of each pain which appears 
to be* produced by it after the first. This con- 
stitutes the fecundity of the first pain, and the 
impurity of the first pleasure. 

5. Sum up all the values of all the pleasures 
on the one side^ and those of all the' pains On 
the other. The balance, if it be on the side 
of pleasure, will give the ^ocw? tendency of the 
act upon the whole, with respect to the in- 
terests of that individual person ; if on the side 
of pain, the bad tendency of it upon the whole. 

6. Take an account of the ^rwmAer of persons 
whose interests appear to be concerned; and 
repeat the above process with respect to eadh.* 
Sum up the numbers expressive of the degrees 
of good tendency, which the act has, with re- 
spect to each individual, in regard to' whom the 
tendency of it is good upon the whole : do this 
again with respect to each individual, in regard 
to whom the tendency of it is good upon Ifee' 
whole : do this again with respect to each* in-' 
dividual, in regard to whom the tendency of 
it is bad upon the whole. Take the balance; 
which, if on the side of pleasure, will give the 
general good tendency of the act, with respect to 
the total number or community of individuals' 
concerned ; if on the side of pain, the general 
evil tendency, with rei^pect to the same com- 


. H,OW, TO , BX,, MltASU^i;D. 53 

-.- Chap. IV. 

, . It is minU>,he ^xpeotede that this, process ^^J^ '^[jj,*'* 
i^ouldJ>eiSttictly pursued previously to . every process. 
mpral judgment, or to ev^ry legislative or judi- 
cial. Qperatiou. It may, however, J)e always 
kept in view : iai^d as: near as the process ac- 
tually pursue<t Qjx th^se occ3sipns approaches 
tQ; it, SQ near will such process appro?ich to^the 
ch^^racter of an exact one. . 

. ; vn, : 
The same process is alike applicable to. plea- The same 
sure and pain, in whatever shape they appear : ^u^aK 
and by whatever denomination they are dis- f^, p'l'iflt 
tinguished: to pljeasure^ whether it be called chierand ^ 
good (which 13. properly the cause or instrument modm^- 
, q£ pleasure),or /?ro/i*( (whiphjs distant pleasujre^ pi^ure 
, OK the cause or instirumeiit of dist^t pkasure,) ^* ^""' 
or ampcnkucCj, or advat^ge, benefit, emolument , 
happiness, aiid so, forth: tp. paii^ whether it^be 
called e»^, (which CQrresppAd^ to goqd) oxms-*, 
.chief, fPr incmvenience,. or^ or loss ^ 
or unhappme^Sy and so forth* 

Nor is this a novel and unwarjanted,^ any Conformity 
more than it is a useless theory. In all this practice to 
there is nothing but what the practice of man- *' * *°'^* 
kind, wheresoever they have a clear view of 
their own interest, is perfectly conformable to. 
An article of property, an estate in land, for 
instance^ is valuable, on what account? On 



^^^' ^; account of the pleasures of all kinds which it 
enables a man to ptodute, and what comes to 
the i^tme thing the pains of allkindsr which it 
enajiles him to avert. But the value of such 
an article of pr6perty is universally understood 
to rise or fell according tp the length or short* 
ness of the time which a man has in it:, the 
fcertaittty or uncertainty of its coming into pos- 
session : and the nearness or remoteness of the 
time at which, if at all, it is to come into pos- 
sei^ion. As to the intensity of the pleasures 

. which a man n^y derive from it, this is never 
th<^ught of, because it depends upoiy tfa^ use 
wM^h each particular petson lAay come to 
make off it; which cdxt^ot be estimated' till the; 
partiiitflar plea^dufes h6 may come to>deriVe 
fr<mit, or the pa;rticiilar painai he m»y comie^ to 
exclude by mesti3^ of it, aire brought to viei^. 
For the same redison, neithei^ does he think dT 

- the fscundity or purity of thote pleastifres. 

Thtm much for pleastire and pain^ happinesit 
and unhappiness, ija generai We come now 
to consider the several pslrticular kinds of pain 

and ptesisure. 

[ «5 ] 




Having represented what belongs to all sorts Pleasures 
of pleasures and pains alike, we come now to are either, 
exhibit, each by itself, the several sorts of pains; or, 2!^om. 
and pleasures. Pains and pleai^ures may be- ^ **' 
called by one general word, interesting per- 
ceptions. Interesting perceptions are either 
simple or complex. The simple ones are those 
which cannot any one of them be resolved into 
more : domplex are those which are resolvable 
into divers simple ones. A complex i^terest-^ 
ing perception may accordingly be composed 
either, 1 . Of pleasures alone : 2, Of pains 
alone : or, 3. Of a pleasure- or pleasures, and 
a pain or pains together. What determines 
a lot of pleasure, for example, to be regarded 
as one complex pleasure, rather than as divei^^ 
simple ones, is the nature of the exciting cause. 
Whatever pleasures are excited all at once by 
the action of the same cause^ are apt to be 
looked upon as constituting all together but 

one pleasure. 


The several simple pleasures of which hu- The simple 

man nature is susceptible, seem to be as enume- 

* •, rated. 


^l' ^; follows : 1. The pleasures of sense. 2. The 
pleasures of wealth. 3. The pleasures of skill. 
4. The pleasures of amity. 5. The pleasures 
of a good name. 6. The pleasures of power. 
7. The pleasures of piety. 8. The pleasures of 
benevolence. 9: The pleasures of malevoleuce. 
10. The pleasures of memory. 11. The plea- 
sures of imagination. 12. The pleasures of ex- 
pectation. 13. The pleasures dependent on 
association. 14. The pleasures of relief. 

The Sim. The scveral simple pains seem to be as fol- 

pie paiDs ^ * *^ 

enumerat- Iqws : 1 . The paius of privatiou. 2. The pains 
of the senses. 3. The pains of awkwardness. 
4. The pains of enmity. 6. The pains of an 
ill name. 6. The pains of piety. 7. The pains 
of benevolence. 8. The pains of malevolence. 
9. The pains of the memory. 10. The pains 
of the imagination. 1 1 . The pains of expecta- 
tion. 1 2. The pains dependent on association.* 

Analvt'cal * ^^® catalogue here given^ is what seemed to be a coin- 
view, why plete list of the several simple pleasures and pains of which 
none given |^^JQ2|2^^ nature is susceptible : insomuch, that if, upon any 
occasion whatsoever, a man feels pleasure or pain, it is either 
referable at once to some one or other of these kinds, or re- 
solvable into such as are. It might perhaps have been a 
satisfaction to the reader, to have seen an analytical view of 
the subject, taken upon an exhaustive plan, for the purpose 
of demonstrating the catalogue to be what it purports to be, 
a complete one. The catalogue is in fact the result of such 
an analysis 5 which, however, I thought it better to discard 
at present, as being of too metaphysical a cast, and not 


Chap. V. 


1 . The "pleasures of sense seem to be as fol- Pleasures 

rrii 1 n 1 of sensp 

lows : 1. The pleasuries of the taste or palate ; enumerate 
including whatever pleasures are experienced 
in satisfying the appetites of hunger and thirst. 
2. The pleasure of intoxication. 3. The plea- 
sures of the organ of smelling. 4. The pleasures 
of the touch. 5. The simple pleasures of the 
ear ; independent of association. 6. The simple 
pleasures of the eye ; independent of associa- 
tion. 7. The pleasure of the sexual sense. 8. The 
pleasure of health : or, the internal pleasure- 
able feeling or flow of spirits (as it is called,) 
which accompanies a state of full health and 
vigour ; especially at times of moderate bodily 
exertion. 9. The pleasures of novelty : or, the 
pleasures derived from the gratification of the 
appetite of curiosity, by the application of new 
objects to any of the senses.* 


2. By the pleasures of wealth may be meant Pleasures 

of wealtb 

those pleasures which a man is apt to derive which are 
firom the consciousness of possessing any article acquisition 
or articles which stand in the list of instruments sessioD. 
of enjoyment or security, and more particularly 

strictly within the limits of this design. See ch. ixiii. {Cases 
unmeet] Par. 2. Note. 

* There are also pleasures of novelty, excited by the ap- 
pearance of new ideas : these are pleasures of the imagina- 
tion. See infra xiii. 



of amity. 








5. Measures 
nf a good 

58 FL£AS0R'£S AND PAlUfS. 

^"^J- V; at the time of his first acquiring them ; at which 

time the pleasure may be styled a pleasuris of 

gain or a pleasure of acquisition : at othbr times^ 

a pleasure of possession. 

s.pieasures 3. The pleasUFCB of skill^ as^ exercised u^m 

^^^^^' partieular objects^ are those which accompany 

the application of such particular instruiSMits 

of enjoyment to their uses> as cannot be so ap*^ 

plied without a greater or less share of diffi*- 

" culty or exertion.* 

4. The ple93ur6s of aniity, or self-recoimnen- 
dation, are the pleaisures that may aecompaiiy 
the persuasion of a man's beii^g. in the acqui^i-^ 
tion or the possession of the good- will of such 
or such assignable person or persons in particu- 
lar : or, as the phrase is, of being upon good 
terms with him or them : and. as a fruit of it, of- 
his being in a way to have the benefit of their: 
spontaneous and gratuitous services. 


5. The pleasures of a good name are th^ 
pleasures that accompany the persuasion of ^ 
man's being in the acquisition or the posse^-i 
sion of the good* will of the world about him ; 

* For instance^ the pleasure of being able to gratify the 
sense of hearings by singing, or performing upon any musical 
instrument. The pleasure thus obtained ^ is a thing super- 
added to^ and perfectly distinguishable from^ that which a 
man enjoys from hearing another person perform in the same 



thaX is, of such members of sbciety as ke it* cha^.v. 
likely- to have cbm^ems with ; and a^ a meaiui 
of it, either their love or theif esteem, or both ; 
and as a fruit of it, of his being in the way t& 
^ have the benefit of their spontaneous and gra- 
tuitous^ services. These may likewise be called 
the pleasures of good repute, the pleasures of 
honour^ or the pleasures of the moral sanction.* 


6. The pleasures of power are the pleasures 6.pi«»ure» 

* * of power. 

that accompany the persuasion erf* a mans. be- ^ 
ing ina condition to dispose people, by means . . 
of their hopes and fears, to give him the beiaie- 
fit of their services : that is, by th& hope of 
some service, or by the fear of some disservice, 
thfiCt he miay be in the way to render them. 

7. The pleafsures of piety are the pleasures /^Pleasures 
4.t ««,oUy the belLof a u^A^^-"^ . 
the acquisition or in possession of the good- 
will or favour of the Supreme Being : and as a 

fruit of it, of his being in a way of en^ymg i^ea- 
sures to be received by God's special appoint- 
ment, ei^er in this life, or in a Mfe to come^ 
These may also be called the pleasures of reli- 
gion, the pleasures of a reUgious disposition^ or 
the pleasures of the religious sanction.t 


8. The pleasures of benevolence are the plea- 8.Heasur€» 

• * * ofbencvo- 

*"■ . — Icnoenr 

* See cli in. [Sailictiohs.] f See ch. lii. [Sahctidn^] ^ood-wUL 


9^^' ^: sures resultiag froin liie view of any pleasures 
supposed to be possessed by the. .beings wHo 
may be the objects of benevolence; to; wit, the 
sensitive beings we are acquainted: with ; under 
which are commonly included, 1. The Supi^eme 
Being. 2. Human beings. 3*. Other animals. 
These may also be called tixe pleasures of go^- 
will, the pleasures of sympathy, or the pl^asurii^s 
of the benevolent or social affections. 


9.piea«ire8 9. The pleasures of malcvoleuce ate the plea* 

kDce or iU- surcs rcsultmg from the view of any pam sup- 

'"'• poi«d to be suffered by the beings wko may 

become the objects of malevolence : to wit, 

1. Human beings. ^ 2. Other animals. These 

may also be styled the pleasures of ill-wdU, the 

pleasures of the irascible appetite, the pleasures 

of antipathy, or the pleasures, of the malevolent 

* or dissocial affections. 

-XII. . , 

» • 

JO. Ren- ' 10. The "pleasures of the memory arei the 

tures of the ^ ., 'i*i i^'i * ^ • ' t ■ i i 

memoiy. pleasures which, alter having enjoyed such and 
such pleasures, dr even in some case after having 
siiffered such and sudh pains, a man will new 
and then experience; at recollecting them ex- 
actly in the order and in the circumstances* in 
which they were actually enjoyed or suffered. 
These derivative pleasures may of course b^ 
' distinguished into as many species as there are 
of original perceptions, from whence they may 


fLEAstjres Asn' pains. ' <ji 

be cbpied^ They may also be styled c^leasures S^^^J- ^: 
of simple recollection. 


11. The pleasures of the ima|^ation are the J^;^***^,^^ 
pl^^eu^tires which may be deri^eed from; the con- »«»&»«»- 
templatdon of any such pleasures as. may hapr 

pien' to be suggested by the memory, but in a 
different order, and accompanied by different 
groupa of circumstances. These may accord- 
ingly be referred to any, one of the three car^ . 
diual points of time, present, past, or future; 
It is evident they may admit of as many dis? 
tinctions as those of the former class. 


12. The pleasures of expectation are the J^*^*^, 
pleasures that result from the contemplation of p«cta^on. 
any sort of pleasure, referred to time /w^i/re, 

and accompanied with the sentiment of belief. 
These also may admit of the same distinctions.* 


13.The pleasures of association are the plea- i»we*- 

^ ^ . supeg de- 

siiifes which certain objects or incidents may pending on 
hs^pen to affordj- not of themselves, but merely tion. 
in Yirtue of some association they have con- 
tracted in the mind with certain objects, or 
ificidentfi which are in themselvea^ pleasurable. 
Such is the case, for instance, with the pleasure 

* In contradistinction tothese^ all other pleasures may be 
^^rmed pl^ares of enjoyment 


£11^^ ofiskfli, when afforded by such a set of isiditeiits 
as compose a game of chess. This derives its 
pleasurable quality from its association partly 
with the pleasures of skill, as exercised m ;the 
production of incidents pleasurable of ilheiii- 
^elres : partly firom its association with the 
pleasures of power. Such is the case also wilih 
the pleasure of good luck, when afforded by 
such incidents aa compose the game of hazard* 
.or any other game of chance, when played at 
&r nothing. This derives its pleasurable qua- 
lity from its association with one. rof the plea- 
sures of wealth ; to wit, with the pleasure of 

acquiring it. 

.' * • • • . . .. 


14. prea- 14^ I^arther on we shall laee p^s ground^ 
suresofre- ^p^^ plcasurcs ; in like manoier' may we now 
see pleasures grounded upon pains. To. the 
catdogue of pleasures inay accordingly be 
added the pleasures oi relief : or, the pleasures 
which a man experiences when, after he has 
. been enduring a pain of any kind for a certain 
time, it comes to cease, or to abate. These 
may 6f course be distinguished into as many 
species as there are of pains : and may give rise 
to sa many pleasures of memory,^ of imagina- 
tion, and of expectation 


i.PaiDsof 1. Pains of privation are the pains that may 
pnvauon. ^^^^^i from the thought of not possessing in the 





time preseBt ai>y of the several kinds <^ plea- ^^^ 
sures. Pains of privation may accordingly be 
resolved into as many kinds as there are of 
pleasures to which they may correspond^ and^ 
from the absence whereof they may be derived, 


There are three sorts of pains which are only These ia- 

* " elude, 

S9 many modifications of the several pains of i.Pain$ of 
^privation. When the enjoyment of any parti- 
^lar- ^asure happens to^ be particularly de- 
-sired^ but without any expectation approaching 
to assurance, the pain of privation which tbere- 
i^on results takes a particular name, and is 
called the pain oi desire, or of unsatisfied desire. 


Where the enjoyment happens to have been 2. Pains 
looked for with a degree of expectation ap- poimment. 
preaching to assurance, ttnd that Expectation 
is made suddenly to cease, it is called a pain 
of disappointment. 


A pain of privation takes the name of a pain 3. pjubs of 
of regret in two cases : 1. Where it is grounded "^'^ 
on the memory of a pleasure, which having 
been once enjoyed, appears not likely to be 
enjoyed again : 2. Where it is ground^ on 
the idea of a pleasure, which was never actually 
enjoyed, nor perhaps so much as expected,' 
but which might have been enjoyed (it is sup- 


chap^. posed,) had such or such a contingency hap- 
pened, which, in fact, did not happen. 


2. Pains of 2. The several pains of the senses seem to 

tn« senses. *• 

be as follows : 1 . The pains of hunger and 
thirst : or the disagreeable sensations produced 
by the want of suitable substances which need 
at times to be applied to the alimentary canal. 
2'. The. pains of the taste : or the disagreeable 
sensations produced by the application of va- 
rious substances to the palate, aud other super 
rior parts of the ^ame canal. 3. The pains of 
the organ of smell : or the disagreeable sensa- 
tions produced by the effluvia of various sub- 
stances when applied to that organ. 4. The 
pains of the touch : or the disagreeable sensa- 
tions produced by the application of various 
substances to the skin. 5. The simple pains 
of the hearing : or the disagreeable sensations 
excited in the organ of that sense by various 
kinds of sounds : independently (as before,) of 
association. 6. The simple pains of the sight : 
or the disagreeable sensations if any such there 
be, that may be excited in the organ of that 
sense by visible images, independent of the 
principle of association. 7 .* The pains resulting 

No positive • Xhe pleasure of the sexual sense seems to have no posi- 
pains cor- %' i.-t i .-. . 

respond to tive pain to correspond to it : it has only a pain of priVation, 

sure^^nh ^^ P**° ^^ *^® mental class, the pain of unsatisfied desire. 



from excessive heat or cold, unless these be chaf^ 
refettible to the touch. 8, The pams of dis- 
ease : or the acute and uneasy sensations re- 
sulting from the several diseases and indispo* 
sitions to which human nature is liable. 9. The 
pain of exertion, whether bodily or mental : or 
the uneasy sensation which is apt to accompany* 
any intense effort, whether of mind or body. ^ 


3.* The pains of awkwardness are the psdns 3- Paiw of 
which sometimes result from the unsuccessfril ness. 
endeavour to apply any particular instruments 
of enjoyment or security to their uses, or from 
the difficulty a man experiences in iapplying 

If any positive pain of body result from the want of such in- 
xlulgence, it belongs to the head of pains of disease. 

* The pleasures of novelty have no positive pains corre- No positive 


sponding to them. The pain which a man experiences when JJJJJIate'tSB 
he is in the condition of not knowing what to do with him- pleasure of 
6elf> that pain^ which in French is expressed by a single word 
ennui, is a pain* of privation: a pain resulting from the ab- 
sence> not only of all the pleasures of novelty^ but of all kinds 
of pleasure whatsoever. 

- The pleasures of wealth have also no positive pains cor- -—...nor to 
responding to them : the only jialns opposed to them are ^^^S^ ^^ 
pains of privation. If any positive pains result from the 
want of wealth, they are referable to some other class of posi- 
tive puns 3 principally to those of the senses. From the 
want of food, for instance^ result the pains of hunger ; from 
the want of clothings the pains of cold j and so forth. ^ 

t It may be a <|ues(tion^ perhaps^ wheiaer this be a positive Is this a 
pain of itself, or whether it be nothing more than a pain of giSJe mSr 

VOL. I. F . J^^'^?''! 

painof priTatioa? 


Ctf AP. V. 


4. Pains of 4. The pains of enmity are the pains that 
"" ^* may accompany, the persuasion of a man's be- 
ing obno^ous to the ill-will of such or such an 
assignable person or persons in particular : or, 
as the phrase is, of being upon ill terms with 
him or them : and, in consequence, of being 
obnoxious to certain pains of some sort or other, 
of which he may be the cause. 


5.Paiiidof S* T^^ pains of an ill-name, are the paiins 
amUname. ^^^ accompauy the persuasion of a man's be- 
ing obnoxious, or in a way to be obnoxious to 
the ill-will of the world about him. These may 
likewise be called the pqins of ill-repute, the 
pains of dishonour, or the pains of the moral 

privatioD^ resulting from the consciousness of a want of skill. 
It is^ however^ but a question of words^ nor does it matter 
which way it be determined. 
The posi- * In as far as a man's fellow-creatures are supposed to be 
of^an iuT^ determined by any event not to regard him with any degree 
imme, and of esteem or good wiU, or to regard him with a less degree 
of priva- of esteem or good will than they 'would otherwise ; not to do 
poMdX ^^ any sorts of good offices^ or not to do him so many good 
the plea- offices as they would otherwise ; the pain resulting from such 
^oodname, consideration may be reckoned a pain of privation : as far as 
™"th*^^"* they are ^posed to regard him with such a degree of aver- 
sion or disesteem as to be disposed to do him positive iH 
offices^ it may be reckoned a positive pain. The pain of pri- 
vation^ and the positive pain, in this case run one into another 


XXV, ' ^ S^^:J!; 

6.* The pains of piety are the pietins that ac- 6. Pains of 
company the belief of a man^s being obnoxious ^'**^" 
to the displeasure of the Supreme Being : and 
in consequence to certain pains to be inflicted 
by his especial appointment^ either in this life or 
in a life to come. These may also be called 
the pains of religion ; the pains of a religious 
diaposition ; of the pains of the religious sanc- 
tion. When the belief is looked upon as well- 
grounded, these pains are commonly called 
ireligious terrors ; when ^ looked upon as ill- 
grounded, superstitious terrors.^ 


7. The pains of benevolence are the pains ^.Pamsof 
resulting from the view of any pains sup- ^^ce. 
posed to be endured by other* beings. These 
may also be called the pains of good'-will, of 

* There seem to be no positive pains to correspond to the No positive 

l^asares of power. The piuns that a man may feel from the Jl^^^^ 

want or the loss of power^ in as far as power is distinguisbed the plea- 

from all other sources of pleasure^ seem tp be nothing more power. - 

than pains of privation. 

f The positive pains of piety, and the p^ins of privation, Thepo«' 

tiTe pEins. 
opposed to the pleasures of piety, rua one into another in of piety, 

the sarnie manner as the positive pains of enmity, or of an ^inlofnri- 

iU name, do with respect to the pains of privation, opposed vation, op- 

« . 1 1 <• -i -rn posedtotne 

to the pleasures of amity, and those of a good name. If pi^gures 

what is apprehended at the hands of God is barely the not pfpiety»nm 
'^^ ^ into one 

receiving pleasure, the pain is of the privative class : if, another, 
moreover, actual pain be apprehended, it is of the class of 
positive pains. ' ' 

-^^^^^■» ■■ ■ W9 ^ 



P"^- ^v sympathy, or the pains of the benevolent or 
social affections.' 


8.:Pam8of 8. The pains of malevolefnce are the pains 
kncey^ resulting froin the view of any pleasures sup- 
posed to be enjoyed by any beings who happen 
to be the obj ects of a man's displeasure. Thesfe 
may also be styled the pains of ill-will, of anti- 
pathy, or the pains of the nialevolent or dis- 
social affections. 


9. Pains of 9. The pains of the memory may be grounded 

the memo- <• 

ry. on every one of the above kinds, as well of 

pains of privation as . of positive pains. These 
correspond exactly to the pleasures of the me- 

tbi^^"*/ 10. The pains of the imagination may also be 

nation. grounded on any one of the above kinds, as 

well of pains of privation as of positive pains : 

in other respects they coirespond exactly to 

the pleasures of the imagination. 


iLPains of H • The paius of expectation may be grounded 
^pecta- ^^ ^^^j^ ^^^ ^£ ^jj^^ above kinds, as well of pains 

of privation as of positive pains. . These may 
be also termed p^ns of apprehension.* 

*• • • 


■ I 1 1 - ir r I ~ -^ - ^- -^ ^,1 |— ■ 1 — ^^— i^i— r^ ^i^i 

I ^ ^ 

* In contradistinction to these, all other pains may be 
termed pains of suffitrance* 



. XXXI. S^^^ 

12. The pains of association correspond ex- 12. Pains of 

* ^ ^ . associa* 

actly to the; pleasures of association. ^'lou. 


Of the above list there are certain pleasurcis ««»«>:•» 

^ and pain« 

smd pains which suppose the existence of some J^J^ ^^^l***^ 
pleasure or paip of some other person, to which garding: or 
the pleasure or pain of the person in question gardiog. 
has regard : such pleasures and pains may be 
termed ej^tra-regarding. Others do not sup- 
pose any such thing : these may be termed 
self-regarding* The only pleasures and pains 
of the extra-regarding class are those of bene- 
volence, and those of malevolence : all the. rest 
are self-regarding.f 


* Of all these several sorts of pleasures and in what 

. * ' ^ ^ ways the 

pains, there is scarce any one which is not law is con- 
liable, on more accounts than one, to come under ^^ith the 


the consideration of the law. Is an offence pains and 
committed ? it is the tendency which it has to 
destroy, in such or such persons, some of these 
pleasures, or to produce some of these pains, 
that cbnstitutes the mischief of it, and the ground 

• See chap. x. [Motives.] Pleasures 

. t By this means the pleasures and pains of amity may be and pains 
the more clearly distinguished from those of benevolence : 2nd ©nmi- 

and on the other hand, those of enmity from those of male- «y dijtin- 

rolebce. The pleasures and pains of amity and! enmity are from those 

of the self-regarding cast : thdse of beneTolence and male- J^^^a " 
volence of the extra-regarding. malerolence. 



wum imr * 

aod pains 

of a coun- 
try pro- 


for punishing it. It is the prospect of some of 
these, pleasures^ or of security : {irom some of 
these pains^ that constitutes the motive or tempt- 
ation, it is the attainment of them that consti- 
tutes the profit of the offence. : Is the offender 
to be punished ? It can be only by the pro* 
duction of one or more of these pains, that the 
punishment can be inflicted.* 

■I-' ' I 

*• It would be a matter not only of <;ttnosi1;yy but of some 
use, to exhibit a catalogue. ^^ the seyprpl ^eonplex {ileasufes 
and pains^ analyzing them at the same time itxto. the seveiai 
simple ones, of which they are respectively composed. But. 
such a disquisition would take up too much room to be ad* 
mitted here. A short specimen, however, for the purpose of 
illustration, can hardly be dispensed with. 

The pleasures taken in at the eye and ear are generally 
very complex. The pleasures of a country scene, for instai^ce, 
consist commonly, amongst others^ of the foUo wing pleasures : 

I. Keasures of the sensed. 

1. The simple pleasures of sight, excited by the percep- 
tion of agreeable colours and figures, green fields, waving 
foliage, glistening water, and the like. 

2.^ The simple pleasures of the ear, excited by the percep- 
tions of the chirping of birds, the murmuring of waters, the 
rustling of the wind among the trees. 

3. The pleasures of the smeU, excited by the perceptions 
of the fragrance of flpwers, of new-mown hay, or other 
vegetable substances, in the first stages of fermentation. 

4. The agreeable inward sensation, produced by a brisk 
circulation of the blood, and the ventilation of it in the lungs 
by a pure air, such as that in the country frequently is in 
comparison of that which is breathed in towns. 



n. Pleasures of the imaginati(m produced by association. Chap, V. 

1. The idea of the plenty^ resulting from the possession of 
the objects that are in view^ and of the happiness arising 
from it 

2. The idea of the innocence and happiness of the birds^ 
sheep^ cattle, dogs, and other gentle or domestic animals. 

3. The idea of the constant flow of health, supposed to be 
enjoyed by all these creatures : a notion which is apt to 


result from the occasional flow of health enjoyed by the 
supposed spectator. 

Ai The Idea of gratitude, ex<5ited by the contempla^tion of 
the all-powerful and beneficent Being, who is looked, up to 
as the autiior of these blessings. 

These four last are all of them, in some measure at least, 
pleasures of sympathy. 

The depriving s man of this groupe of pleasures is one of 
the evils apt to result from imprisonment > whether produced 
by illegal vit^ence, or in the way of punishment, by appoint* 
ment of the laws. 

[ 72 




pj^gJJ^ Pa I N and pleasure are produced in men's 

fon^ypro- ^i^ds by the action of certain causes. But 

portioned j^e quantity of pleasure and pain runs not 

causes. uniformly in proportion to the cause ; in other 

words, to the quantity of force exerted by such 

cause. The truth of this observation rests not 

upon any metaphysical nicety in the import 

given to the terms cause, qtuirUUtf, and force: 

it will be equally true in whatsoever manner 

such force be measured. 

Degree or The dispositiou which any one has to feel 
j»/»«tt8ibi- such or such a quantity of pleasure or pain, 
upon the application of a cause of given force, 
is what we term the degree or quantum of his 
sensibility. This may be either general, re- 
ferring to the sum of the causes that act upon 
him during a given period : or particular, re* 
jTerring to the action of any one particular caus6, 
or sort of cause. 

Bias or But in the same mind such and such 

?(^i^u^, causes of pain or pleasure will produce more 
^^^ pain or pleasure than such or such other 



causes of pain or pleasure : and this proportion ^»^^- vy 
will in different minds be different. The dis- 
position which any* one has to have the pro- 
portion in which he is affected by two ttuch 
causes, different from that in which another 
man is affected by the same two causes, may 
be termed the quality or bias of his sensibility. 
One man, for instance, may be most affected 
by the pleasures of the taster another by those 
of the ear. So also, if there be a difference 
in the nature or pro'portion of two pains oi* 
pleasures which they respectively experience 
from the same cause ; a case not so frequent 
asthefonner. From the «ane injury, for in- 
sjtance, one man may feel the same quantity 
of grief and resentment together as another 
man : but one of them shall feel a greater 
share of grief than of resentment : the other, 
a greater share of resentment than of grief. 


Any incident which serves as a cause, either Excitm^ . 

/• 1 o • -I T causes 

of pleasure or of pam, may be termed an ei*- pleasure 
citing cause : if of pleasure, a pleasurable cause : doiorific. 
if of pain, a painful, afflictive, or dolorific 

* The exciting came, the pleasure or pain produced by it, 
and the intention proiluced by such pleasure or pain in the 
character of a motive, are objects so intimately connected, 
that, in what follows, I fear I have not, on every occasion, 
been able to keep them sufficiently distinct. I thought it 


Chap. Vi.' V 

circum- Now the quantity of pleasure^ or of pain, 
flSendngT which a man is liable to experience upon the 
JSat/''^' application of an exciting cause, since they 
will not depend altogether upon that cause, 
will depend in some measure upon some other 
circumstance or circumstances : these circum- 
stances, whatsoever they be, may be termed 
circumstances inftumdng sensibility.* 


Circum- Thcsc circumstanccs will apply differently 
flSwndng^ to different exciting causes ; insomuch that to 
enume-''^ a Certain exciting cause, a certain circumstance 
^ * shall not apply at all, which shall apply with 
great force to another exciting cause. But 
without entering for the present into these dis- 
tinctions, it may be of use to sum up all the 
circumstances which can be found to influence 
the effect of ^wy exciting cause. These, as on 
a former occasion, it may be as well first to 

oec^sary to give the reader this warning; after whidi, 
should there be found any such mistakes^ it is to be hoped 
they wiU not be productive of much confusion. 

* Thus^ in physical bodies^ the momentum of a ball put in 
motion by impulse, ivill be influenced by the circumstance of 
^gravity : being in some directions increased, in others di- 
minished by it. So in a ship, put in motion by the wind, the 
momentum and direction will be influenced not only by the 
attraction of gravity, but by, the motion and resistance of 
the water, and several other circumstances. 



sum up together in the concisest manner possi- ^"^^^^' * 
ble, and afterwards to allot a few words to the se- 
parate explanation of each article. They seem^ 
to be as follows: 1. Health. 2. Strength. 3. Har-* 
diaess«. 4; Bodily imperfection. 5. Quantity' 
and quality of knowledge. 6. Strength. j)f 
intellectual powers. 7. Firmness of mind.. 
8* Steadiness of mind. 9. Bent of inclina-) 
tion. 10. Moral seasibility. 11. Moral biases. 
12. Religious sensibility. 13. Religious biased. 
14. Sympathetic sensibility. 15. Sympathetic 
biases. 16. Antipathetic sensibility. .17. An- 
tipathetic biases. 18. Insanity. )9. Habitual 
occupations. 20. Pecuniary circumstances. 

21. Connexions in the way of sympathy. 

22. Connexions in the way of antipathy. 

23. Radical frame of body. 24. Radical frame 
of mind. 25. Sex. 26. Age. 27. Rank. 
28. iSducation. 29. Climate. 30. Lineage. 

31. Government. 32. Religious profession.* 

■ ■ ■ ' ' - - 

* An analytical view of all these circumstances ;mil ^Extent and 
given at the condusion of the chapter: to which place it intricacy of 
was necessary to refer it^ as it could not wdl have been' un- 
derstood^ till some of them had been pf%viously explained. 

To sefurch out the vast variety of exdtiog or moderating 
causes, by which the degree or bias of a man's sensibility 
may be influenced, to define the bomidaries of each, to ex-^ 
tricate them from the entanglements in winch they are in-' 
volved, to lay the effect of each artide distincdy before the' 
reader> eye, is, pfrhaps> if not absolutely the most difficult' 


Chap, VI. 


1. Health. 1. Health is the absence of disease, ^d 
consequently of aU those kinds of pain which 
are among the symptoms of disease. A man 
may be said to be in a state of health, when he 

task, at least one of the most difficult tasks, within the 
compass of moral physiology. Disquisitions on this head can 
never be completely satisfactory without examples. To 
provide a sufficient collection of such examples, would bjc a 
work of great labour as well as nicety : history and biogvaphy 
would need to be ransacked : a vast course of reading would 
need to' be travelled through on purpose. By such a process 
the 'present work would doubtless have been rendered more 
amusing j but in point of bulk, so enormous, that this single 
chapter would have been swelled into a consideriable v(4uine. 
Feigned cases, although they may upon occasion serve to- 
render the general matter tolerably intelligible, can never 
be sufficient to render it palatable. On this therefore, as on 
so many other occasions, I must confine myself to dry and' 
general instruction : discarding illustration, although sen- 
sible that without it instruction cannot manifest half its 
efficacy. The subject, however, is so difficult, and so new, 
that I shall thmk I have not itf succeeded, if, without pre- 
tending to exhaust it, I shall have been able to mark out the 
principal points of view, and to put the matter in such a 
method as may facilitate the researches of happier inquires. 

The great difficulty lies in the nature of the words ^ which 
are not, Uke pain and pleasure, names of homogeneous real 
cntiUes', but names of various fictitious entities, for which no 
common genus is to be found : and which therefore, witiMUt 
a vast and roundabout chain of investigation,, can never be 
brought under any exhaustive plan of arrangement, but must 
be pickled up here and therfe as they happen to occur. 








is not consciaus of any uneasy sensations, the 9"*^' ^ 
primary seat of which can be perceived to-be 
any where in his body.* In point of general 
sensibility, a man who is under the pressure of 
any bodily indisposition, or, as the phrase is, 
is in an ill state of health, is less sensible to the 
influence of any pleasurable cause, and more 
so to that of any afflictive one, than if he were 

2. The circumstance of strength, though in 2.streDgth, 
point of causality closely connected with that 
of health, is perfectly distinguishable from it. 
The same man will indeed generally be stronger 
in a good state of health than in a bad one. 
But one man, even in a bad state of health, may 
be stronger than another even in a good onje. 
Weakness is a common concomitant of dise^e : 
but in consequence of his radical frame of bodyy 
a man may be weak all his life long, without 
experiencing any disease. Health, as we have 
observed, is principally a negative circumstaace : 
strength a positive one. The degree of a man's 

' " ' ' I ' ' I I I I I » II I I I I I II ^ i^m^mm^lmm-^^^^^-t»' 

* It may be thought, that in a certain degree of healthy 
this negative account of the matter hardly comes up to the 
case. In a certain degree of health, there is often such a imH 
of feeling diffused over the whole frame, such a comfortable 
fed, or flow of spirits, as it is called, as may with propriety 
come under the head of positive pleasure. But without ex* 
periendng any such pleasurable feeling, if a man experience 
no painAd one, he may be well enough said to be in health. 



: ch^. VI . girength can be measured with tolerable accu- 


3. Hardi- 3. Haxdiness is a circumstance which, though 
closely connected with that of strength, is dis- 
tinguishable from it. Hardiness is the absence 
of irritability. Irritability respects either p&in, 
resulting from the action of mechanical causes ; 
or disease, resulting from the auction of cs^uses 
purely physiological. Irritability, in the former 
sense, is the disposition to undergo a greater 
or less degree of pain upon the application of a 

• ' ■ ' I I. . ■ ■ ,.■■.. I. - I , - ...- n . .1 . , I I r .. > 

Measure of . * The most accurate measure that can be eiven of a man's 
strength, " 

the weight Strength^ seems to be that which is taken from the weight or 
Hf™*" ^"^ J*^'^^®'' o^ pounds and oupcea he can lift with his hands in a 
^given attitude. This indeed relates immediately only to his 
Erms r but these are the organs of strength which are most 
^ni)ilciyeci^ of which the strength corresponds with modt 
exactiiess to the general state of the body with regard to 
strength ; and in which the quantum of strength is easiest 
measured. Strength may accordingly be distinguished into 
general and particular. 
Weakness, Weakness is a negative term, and imports the absence of 
strength. It is, besides, a relative term, and accordingly im** 
ports- the absence of such a quantity of strength as makes the 
share, possessed by the person in question^ less than that of 
some person he is compared to. Weakness^ when it is at 
such a degree as to make it painful for a man to perform the 
motions necessary to the going through the ordinary functions 
of life, such Bs to get up, to walk^ to dress one's self, and so 
'forth, brings the circumstance of health into question^ and^ 
puts a man ihto that sort of condition in ^ich he is said to 
be in ill health. 



mechanical cause ; such a.s are most . of those ^"^ ^h 
applications by which simple afflictive punish* 
ments are inflicted,, as whipping, beating, and 
the like. In the latter sense, it is the dispo^i* 
tion to contract disease with greater or less 
&C£iity, upon the application of any instrument 
acting on the body by its physiological pro- 
perties ; as in the case of fevers, or of colds, pjr 
other inflammatory diseases, produced by the 
application of damp air: or to experience im- 
mediate uneasiness, as in the case of relaxation 
or chilliness produced by an over or under pro- 
portion of the matter of heat. 

Hardiness, even in the sense in which it is Diffbrence 
opposed to the action of mechanical causes, is strength 
distinguishable from strength. The external nm. 
indications of strength are the abundance an4 
firmness of the muscular fibres : those of hardi- 
ness, in this sense, are the firmness of the mus- 
cular fibres, and the callosity of the skin. 
Strength is more peculiarly the gift of nature : 
hardiness, of education. Of two persons who. 
have had, the one the education of a gentle- 
man, the other, that of a common sailor, the 
first may be the stronger, at the same time that 
the other is the hardier. 

■ X. 

4. By bodily imperfection may be undert 4. Bodily' 
stood that condition which a person is in, who tion. 
either stands distinguished by any remarkable 


^^vy?.- deformity, ot wants any of those parts or 
faculties, which the ordinary run of persons of 
the same sex and age are furnished with : who, 
for instance, has a hare-lip, is deaf, or has lost 
a hand. This circumstance, like that of ill* 
health, tends in general to diminish more or less 
the effect of any pleasurable circumstance, and 
to increase that of any afflictive one. The ef- 
fect of this circumstance, however, admits of 
great variety : inasmuch as there are a great 
variety of ways in which a man may suffer in 
his personal appearance, and in his bodily or- 
gans and faculties : all which differences will 
be taken notice of in their proper places.* 


5. Quantity 5. So much for circumstanccs belonging to the 

and quality , 

of know- condition of the body : we come now to those 
which concern the condition of the mind : the 
use of mentioning these will be seen hereafter. 
In the first place may be reckoned the quantity 
and quality of the knowledge the person in ques- 
tion happens to possess : that is, of the ideas 
which he has actually in store, ready upon oc- 
casion to call to mind : meaning such ideas as 
are in some way or other of an interesting 
nature : that is, of a nature in some way or 
other to influence his happiness, or that of other 
men. When these ideas are mi^ny, and of im* 

»■ II ^ " 

* See B. i. Tit [irrep. corp. Injuries.] 


portance, a man is isaid to be a man of know- S!I1^^ 
ledge ; when few, or not of importance, ignorant, 


61. By strength of intellectual powers may be J^ .^f^J^ 
understood the degree of facility which a man tuaipowew. 
experiences in his endeavours to call to mind 
as well such ideas as have been already aggre- 
gated to his stock of knowledge, as any others^ 
which, upon any occasion that may happen, he 
inay conceive a desire to place there. It seems 
to be on some such occasion as this that the 
words parts and talents are commonly employedv 
To this head may be referred the several qua- 
lities of readiness of apprehension, accuracy land 
tenacity of memory, strength of attention, clears 
ness of discernment, amplitude of compre^ 
hension, vividity and rapidity of imaginatioii* 
Strength of intellectual powers, in general, 
seems to correspond, pretty exactly to general 
strength of body : as any of these qualities in 
particular does to particular strength. 


7. Firmness of mind on the one hand, and r.Firmnes* 
irritability on the other, regard the prdportioii 
between the degrees of efficacy with which a 
man is acted upon by an exciting cause, of which 
the value lies chiefly in magnitude, and one 
of which the value lies chiefly in propinquity.* 
A man may be said to be of a firm mind, wlien 

• See chap. iv. [Value^H;' 
VOL. I. G 



CllAF. VL 

8. Steadi- 

9. Bent of 


small pleasures or ipajins/ whiph are present or 
near, do not a£Pect hijEa, in a greater proportion 
to their value, than greater pleasures or pains, 
which are uncertain or remote ;f of an irritable 
mind, when the contrary is the case. : 


8. Steadiness regards, the time during which 
a given exciting eause of a given value conti* 
n:ues to affect a man in nearly the same manner 
and degree ad at first, no assignable external 
event or change of circumstances intervening 
to make an aleration in its force. t 


9. By the bent of a man's inclinations majt 
be understood the propei»s\ty he has to expect 
pleasure or pain fi*pm certain objects, rather 
than from others. A man^s inclinations may be 

When^ for instance^ having been determined^ by the 
prospect of some ineonvenience^ not to disclose a fact, 
although he should be put to the rack^ he perseveres in such 
resolution after the rack is brought into bb presence, and 
even applied to him. 

f . The facility with which children grow tired of their 
play-things, and throw* them away, is an instance of un- 
steadiness : the perseverance with which a merchant applies 
himself to his traffic, or an author to his book, may be tak^n 
for m instance of the conjfcrary* It is difficult to judge of 
the quantity of pleasure Qr p«ii in these cases, but from the 
effects which it produces in the character of a motive : and 
even then it is difficult to pronounce, whether the chanjge of 
conduct happens by the extinctibn of the old pleasure or 
pain, or by the intervention of a n^w one* 


said to havie such or such a bent, when, amongst 9"^^- ^V 
the several sorts of objects which afford* pleasure 
in some degree to all men, he is apt to expect 
more pleasure from one particular feort, ttah 
from another particular sort, or more from any 
given particular sort, than another man would 
expect from that sort ; or when, amongst the se- 
veral sorts of objects, which to one man afford 
pleasure, whilst to another they afford none, he 
is apt to expect, or not to expect, pleasure from 
an object of such or such a sort : so also with re- 
gard to pains. This circumstance, though inti- 
mately connected with that of the bias of a man's 
sensibility, is not uiidistinguishablefromit. The 
quantity of pleasure or pain^ which on any given 
occasion a man may experience from an appli- 
cation of any sort, may be greatly influenced by 
the expectations he has* been used to entertain 
of pleasure or pain *from ihai quarter; but^ 
will not be absolutely determined by^theton' for 
pleasure or pain may boine -upoii him frcnhla 
quarter from %hich he was not accustomed to ' 
expect it. 

10. The circumstances ^ of imora// reRgious^^ ib. Moni 
sympathetic^ and antipathetic I sensiinlityy when *^" ' *^' 
closfeiy 0onsider6d, mil apjpear to be: included 
in some sort under thzt ci ia»it c^^^ 
Oti account of their particular importance they 
may, however, be worth mentioning apart. A 

G 2 


^iJ[;Ji' maa's mcMal feasibility may be said to be 
strong, when the pains and pleasures of the 
moral sanction * show greater in his eyes, in 
comparison with other pleasures and pains 
(and consequently exert a stronger influence) 
than in the eyes of the persons he is compared 
with.; in other words, when he is acted on 
M^ith more than ordinary efficacy by the sense 
of honour : it may be said to be weak, when 
the contrary is the case* 

biiiS!*^ IJ. Moral sensibility seems to regard the 
average effect or influence of the pains and 
pleasures of the moral sanction, upon all sorts 
of occasions to which it is applicable, or 
happens to be applied. It regards the average 
force or quantity of the impulses the mind re- 
c^ves from that source during a given period. 
Moral bias regards the particular acts on which, 
upon so many particular occasions, the force 
of that sanction is looked upon as attaching. 
It regards the quality or direction of those 
impulses. It admits of as many varieties, 
tiierefore, as there are dictates which the moral 
sanction may be conceived to issue forth. A 
man may be said to have such or such a moral 
Has^ or to have a moral bias in favour of such 
4>r such an action, wheb he looks upon it as 

^ See ch. v. {Beasuret and flaiiifl.] 


being of the number of those of which tlie SH!^ 
performance ia dictated by the moral sanction^. 

xYiri. • 

12. What has been said vrith regard to moral i2.Reiigi- 

. ^ ous gcnsi- 

sensibility, may be applied, mutatis mutandis, to buuy. 


13. What has been said with regard to mora! i^^uilil 
biases, may also be applied, mutatis mutandiSy 

to religious biases. 

14. By sympathetic sensibility is to be un- i*- sympt- 

:, J^ ^ . theticsfn-, 

derstood the propensity that a man has to nbiiity. 
derive pleasure from the happiness, and pain 
from the unhappiness, of other sensitive beings. 
It is the stronger, the greater the ratio of the 
pleasure or pain he feels on their account is to 
that of the pleasure or pain which (according 
to what appears to him) they feel for them- 


15. Sympathetic bias regards the descrip- J5'?y»p*- 
tion of the parties who are the objects of a ^^'^^^ 
man's sympathy : and of the acts or other cir- 
cumstances of or belonging to those persons, 

by which the sympathy is excited. These 
parties may be, 1. Certain individuals. 2. Any 
subordinate class of individuals. 3. The whole 
nation. 4. Human kind in general. 5. The 
whofe sensitive creation. According as these 


chap^vl otgect^ q£ sympathy are more numerous^ thie 
affection, hy whicli tbe man is biased, may be 
said to be the more enlarged. 

. XXII. 

* • 

16, 17. An- 16, 17. Antipathetic sensibility and antipa- 
^Mblm^y, thetic biases are just the reverse of sympa- 
and biases. j|jg|.j[^ sensibility and sympathetic biases. By 

antipathetic sensibility is to be understood the 
propensity that a man has to derive pain from 
the happiness, and pleasure from the unhap- 
piness, of other sensitive beings. 


id.insanity 18. The circumstancc of insanity of mind 
corresponds to that of bodily imperfection. l€ 
admits, however, of much less variety, inas- 
much as. the soul is (for aught we can perceive) 
one indivisible thing, not distinguishable, like 
the body, ipto parts. What lesser degrees of 
imperfection the mind may be susceptible of, 
seem to be comprisable under the already- 
mentioned heads of. ignorance, weakness of 
mind, irritability, or unsteadiness; or under 
such others as are reducible to them. Those 
whidi a^e here in view are those extraordinary 
species and degrees of menial imperfection, 
which, wherever they take place, are 9:8 con-* 
spicuous and as unquestionable as lameness or 
blindness in the body : operating partly,^ it 
should seem, by inducing an extsaordinary 
degree of the imperfections above, mentioned. 

■«« i> ■■■^■^'^^■^V^n^^^^qH^^MV^^Hpgpp^V^P^^api^pi^SgBiggiS 


partly by -giving an extraordinary and pre- ^^i^;^ 
posterons bent to the inclinations. 

: . XXIV, 

19. Under the head of a man's habitual oct ly.Habi- 

tual occu- 

cupations, are to be , understood, on this ooca- pations. 
^ion, as well those which he , pursues for the 
sake of profit, as those which he pursues for 
the sake of present pleasure. The considera- 
tion of the profit itself belongs to the head of 
a m^n's pecuniary circumstsuices. It is evi- 
dent, that if by any means a punishment^ or 
any other exciting (^ause, has the eflfect.of 
putting it out of his p6wer to continue in the 
pursuit of any such occupation, it must on that 
account be so much the m6re distressing. A 
inan's habitual occupations; though intimately ^: 
ConpeQt6d in point of causality with the ben^ 
of his ^inclinations, are not to be looked upon 
as precisely the same circumstance. An, amuse- 
ment, or channd of profit, may be the object 
of a man's inclimaums, whieh has liever been 
the subject of his habittial occupations: for it 
may be, that though he wished to betake him- 
self to it, he nev^ did,; it not being in his 
power : a circumstance which . may make a 
good deal of diflference in the. eflfect of any 
incident by. which he happens to be debarred 
firom it, . 


; aO. Under the ^ead :X)f pecuniary circum- 20. Pecu- 

* •' niary cir- 


88 OP eiECUM«TANC£6 

*c21^;JI; stances, I mean to bring to view the propor- 
tion which a man's means bear to his wants c 
the sum total of his means of every kind, to 
the sum total of his wants of every kind. A 
man's means depend upon three circumstances : 
1. His property. 2. The profit of his labour. 
3. His connexions in the way of support. His 
wants seem to depend upon four circumstances. 
1. His habits of expense. 2. His connexions 
in the way of burthen. 3. Any present casual 
demand he may have. 4. The strength (^ his 
expectation. By a man's property is to be 
understood, whatever he has in store inde- 
pendent of his labour. By the profit of his 
labour is to be understood the growing profit. 
As to labour, it may be either of the body 
principally, or of the mind principally, or of 
both indifferently : nor does it matter in what 
manner, nor on what subject, it be applied, so 
it produce a profit. By a man^s connexions in 
the way of support, are to be understood the 
pecuniary assistances, of whatever kind, which 
he is in a way of receiving from any persons 
who, on whatever account, and in whatever 
proportion, be has reason to expect should 
contribute gratis to his maintenance : such as 
his parents, patrons, and relations. It seems 
manifest, that a man can have no other meana 
than these. What he uses, he must have either 
of his own, or from other people : if firom other 

^^^m^mm^^mtim^^mmF^H^mm^^^ nui»^ 


people, either gratis or for a price. As to cjiap^ 
habits of expense, it is well known, that a 
man^ desires are governed in a great degree 
by his habits. Many are the cases in which 
desire (and consequently the pain of privation 
connected with it *) would not even subsist at 
all, but for previous enjoyment. By a man's 
connexions in the way of burthen, are to be 
understood whatever expense he has reason 
to look upon himself as bound to be at in the 
support of those who by law, or the customs 
of the world, are warranted in looking up to 
him for assistance ; such as children, poor re- 
lations, superannuated servants, and any other 
dependents whatsoever. As to present casual 
demand, it is manifest, that there are occasions 
on which a' given sum will be worth infinitely 
more to a man than the same sum would at 
another time : where, for example, in a case 
of extremity, a man stands in need of extra- 
ordinary medical assistance : or wants money 
to carry on a law-suit, on which his all depends : 
or has got a livelihood waiting for him in a 
distant country, and wants money for the 
charges of conveyance. In such cases, any 
piece of good or ill fortune, in the pecuniary 
way, might have a very different effect from 
what it would have at any other time. With 
legard to strength of expectation ; when one 

^ See ch. v. [Pleasures and Pains.] 


^!!!1^;J!3* man expects to gain or to keep a thing, which 
another does not, it is plain the circupGistance of 
iiot having it will affect the former very diffe- 
rently from the latter ; who, indeed, commonly 
will not be affected by it at all. 

XXVI. . , 

21. Con. 21. Under the head of a man^s connexions 

ti«xiou8 in , . . 

the way of in thc Way of Sympathy, I would bring to view 
the number and description of the persons in 
whose wel£lre he takes such a concern^ as that 
the idea of their happiness should be productive 
of pleasure, and that of their unhappiness of 
pain to him : for instance, . a man's wife, his 
children, his parents, his: near relations, and in- 
timate friends. This class of persons, it is ob- 
vious, will for the most, part include the two 
olbsses by which his pecimiary circumstances 
«e rfeJd. those, to *ivft^ whoi« m«u,. 
he may expect suppooi:, and those whose wants 
operate on him as a burthen. But it is obvious, 
that . besides these, it may very well inclirde 
others, with wlnmi he -has no subh pecuniary 
connexion : and even ^th regard to these, it is 
evident that the pecuniary dependence, and the 
union of affections, are circumstances perfectly 
4istang3iishaUe. . According^ly,. the connexicois 
here in question^ independently of any influence 
they may ^ helve 6n' a man s :pecuniary circuniT 
stances, have ah influence on the effect of uny 
exciting causes whatsoever. The tendency of 


them is to increase a man's general sensibility ; ^"^^^ 
tp increase, on the one hand, the pleasure, pro^ 
duced by all pleasurable, causes ; on the otheii: 
the pain produced by all afflictive ones. When 
jjiixy pleasurable incid^it happens to a man, he 
ix^turally, in the first moment, thinks of the 
pleq&ure it will afford immediately to himself : 
preseritly afterwards, however (except in a few 
cases, which is not worth while here to insist 
on) he begins to think of the pleasure which 
his friends will feel upon their coming to know 
Qf it : and this secondary pleasure is commonly 
no. mean addition to the primary ope. First 
comes the self-regarding pleasure : then. comes 
the idea of, the pleasure of sympathy, which you 
suppose that pleasur.Q of your's will give birth 
to in the boson;i of yoijr friend : and thi^ id6a 
excites again in your's a new pleasure pf sym? 
pathy, grounded upon his- The first pleasure 
issuing from your own bosom, as it were frpflat 
^ jadiant point, illuminates the bosom of your 
friend : reverberated firom thence, it is refletcted 
^ith augmented warmth to the point fr^m 
whence it first proceeded : and so it is with 

* This is one reason why legislators in general like better" 
ioliave married jpeople to deal with than single ; aiid people 
that have children than such as are childless. It is manifest 
^hat the stronger and more numerous a man's connexions in 
the way of sympathy are, the stronger is the hold which the 


^^'^" Nor does this eflFect depend wholly upon af^ 
fection. Among near relations^ although there 
should be no kindness, the pleasures and pain9 
of the moral sanction are quickly propagated 
by a peculiar kind of sympathy : no article, 
either of honour or disgrace, can well fall upon 
a man, without extending to a certain distance 
within the circle of his family. What reflects 
honour upon the father, reflects honour upon 
the son : what reflects disgrace, disgrace. The 
cause of this singular and seeiningly unreason- 
able circumstance (that is, its analogy to the 
rest of the phenomena of the human mind,) be- 
longs not to the present purpose. It is sufii- 
cient if the effect be beyond dispute. 


22. Con. 22. Of a man's connexions in the way of an* 

Deiions in , 

the way of tipathy, thcrc needs not any thing very parti- 
cular to be observed. Happily there is ho 
primaeval and constant source of antipathy in 
human nature, as there is of sympathy. There 
are no permanent sets of persons who are natu- 
rally and of course the objects of antipathy to 
a man, as there are who are the objects of the 
contrary affection. Sources, however, but too 
many, of antipathy, are apt to spring up upon^ 
various occasions during the course of a man\ 

law has upon him. A wife and children are so many pledges 
a man gives to the world for his good behaviour. 

I I II I ■PWiliiyri^^WP'^^^gr— ^W^I^^^^gl^^PiW^I^^P—— i— l^— ■■— —pqg 


life : and whenever they do, this circumstance ^[j^^^- 
may have a very considerable influence on the i 

^effects of Taiious exciting causes. As on the * 

one hand a punishment, for instance, which 
tends to separate a man from those with whom 
he is connected in the way of sympathy, so on 
the other hand, one which tends to force him 
into the company of those with whom he is con- ^ 

Elected in the way of antipathy, will, on that ! 

account, foe so much the more distressing. It 1 

is to be observed, that sympathy itself multi- < 

plies the sources of antipathy. Sympathy for 
your friend gives birth to antipathy on your 
part against all those who are objects of anti- 
pathy, as well as to sympathy for those who are 
objects of sympathy to him. In the same man* 
ner does antipathy multiply the sources of sym- 
pathy ; though commonly perhaps with rather 
a less degree of efficacy. Antipathy against 
your enemy is apt to give birth to sympathy on 
your part towards those who are objects of anti- 
pathy, as well as to antipathy against those who 
are ojects of sympathy, to ki^. 


23. Thus much for the circumstances by 23; Radical 

^ . . frame of 

which. the effect of any exciting cauise may be ^<>y*. 
influenced, when applied upon any given oc- 
casion, at any given period. But besides these 
supervening incidents, there are other circum- 
Mances relative to a man, that may have their in- 


^UtrJi* fluerice, and which are co-eval to his birth. In 
the first place, it seems to be uniyersally agreed, 
that in the original frame or texture of every 
mail's body, there is a something which, indepen^^ 
dently of all subsequently intervening circum^ 
stances, renders him liable to be affected by 
causes producing bodily pleasure or pain, in a 
manner different from thiaf in which another 
man would be affected by the same causes. To 
the catalogue of circumstances influencing a 
man's sensibility, we may therefore add his ori- 
ginal or radical frame, texture, constitution, or 
temperament of body. 


24. Radical 24. In the next place, it seems to be pretty 

frame of * . i • i 

mind. * well agreed, that there is something also m the 
original frame or tiexture of ev^ry man's mind, 
which, independently of all. exterior and subse-* 
quently intervening circumstances, and even of 
his radical frame of body, makes him liable to ' 
be differently affected by the same exciting 
causes, from what another man would be. To 
the catalogue of circumstances influencing a 
man's sensibility, we may therefore further add 
his original or radical frame, texture, constitu- 
tion or temperament of mind.^ 

Idiotyn- ' * The characteristic circhmstances whereby one man's frame 

what o^ hoidy or mind^ considered at any giv^en period^ stands* dis* 

tinguished from that of another, hare been comprised by 

metaphysicians and physiologists under the name idiosyncroiff^ 

from ilioi, peculiar^ and avtmpaa'ii, composition. 



XXX, Cha^VI. 

It seems pretty certain, all this while, that a This dis- 

, , , tinctfrom 

man'i» sensibility to . causes producing pleasure thecircum- 
or pain, even of mind, may depend in a cansi* frame of 
derable degree upon his original and acquired 
frame of body. But we have no reason to dunk 
that it can depend jJtogether upon tkat^frame { 
since, on the one hand, we see persons whose j 

frame of body is as much alike as can be com 
ceived, differing .wry considerably in respect 
of their mental frume : and, oa the other hand, 
persons whose frame of mind is as much alike 
as can be conceived, differing very conspi- . 
cuously in regard to their bodily frame.* 

It seems indisputable also, that the different ^-^ 

— P-- ^i — r- — 7 — r— : — ' ^r-.- —-^^ ■ ■■ "_ » others. 

* Those who maintain^ that the mind and the body are whether 

one substance^ may here object, that upon that supposition ***® soul be 

material or 
the distinction between frame of mind and frame of body is immaterial 

but nominal, and that accordingly there^ is no such thing as "^^"^^^ 

a frame of mind distinqt froin the fcam^ of bo4y« But graatr 

ing, for ar^ment-sake, the. antecedent,, ^e may dispute .the 

consequence. For if the mind be but a part of the body, it 

is at any rate of a naturq very different from the other parts 

of the body. 

A man's frame of body cannot in any part of it undergo 

any considerable alteration without its hei9g.ii¥Wedia^ • 

dicated by phaenomena disceri^ible by t)ie senses. A man's 

frame of mind may undergo very considerable alterations, his 

frame of body remaining the same to all appearance 5 that 

is, for any thing tiiat is indicated to the contrary by phieno- 

foeoa cognizable to thedenses : mejuiing those of other meft« 


^ ^•^j. - sets of external occurrences that may befid a 
man in the course of his life, will make great 
differences in the subsequent texture of his 
mind at any given period : yet still those dif- 
ferences are not solely to be attributed to such 
occurrences. Equally far from the truth seems 
that opinion to be (if any such be maintained) 
which attributes all to nature, and that which 
attributes all to education. The two circum^^ 
stances will therefore still remain distinct, as^ 
well from one another, as from all others. 


TiAt^Uiem I^istinct howcvcr as they are, it is manifest; 
"jj«jp«- that at no period in the active part of a man's 
ceruibie. life can they either of them make their appear- 
ance by themselves. All they do is to consti- 
tute the latent ground-work which the other 
supervening circumstances have to work upon : 
and whatever influence those original principles 
may have, is so changed and modified, and 
covered over, as it were, by those other circum* 
stances, as never to be separately discernible. 
The effects of the one influence are indistin- 
guishably blended with those of the other. 


Frame of The cmotious of the body are received, and 
^mXV ^^^^ reason, as probable indications of the tem- 
iy!*thi?ilf' perature of the mind. But they are far enough 
*""'*'" from conclusive. A man may exhibit, for in- 
stance, the exterior appearances of griei^ with* 



out really grieving at all, or at least in any thing 
near the proportion in which he appears to 
grieve. Oliver Cromwell, whose conduct in- 
dicated a heart more than ordinarily callous, 
was as remarkably profiise in tears.* Many 
men can command the external appearances of 
sensibility with very little real feeling.f The 
female sex commonly with greater facility than 

* Hume*8 Hist. 

t The quantity of the sort of pain^ which is called grief, 
18 indeed bardly to be measured by any external indications. 
It is neither to be measured, for instance, by the quantity of 
the tears, nor by the number of moments spent in crying* 
Indications rather less equivocal may, perhaps, be afforded 
by the pulse. A man has not the motions of his heart at 
command as he has those of the muscles of his face. But 
the particular significancy of these indications is still very 
iincertain. AU they can*express is, that the man is affected $ 
th&jr cannot express in what manner, nor from what cause. 
To an affection resulting in reality from such or such a cause, 
he may give an artificial colouring, and attribute it to such, 
of such another cause. To an affection directed in reality to 
sueh or audi a person as its object, he may give an artificial 
bias, and represent it as if directed to such or such another 
object. Tears of rage be may attribute to contrition. The 
concern he feels at the thoughts of a punishment that awaits 
him, he may impute to a sympathetic concern for the mis- 
chi<sf produced by his offence. 

A very tolerable judgment, however, may commonly be 
formed by a discerning mind, upon laying all the external 
indications exhibited by a man together, and at the same 
time comparing them with his actions. (. 

A remarkable instance of the power of the will, over the 
external indications of semibility, is to be found in Tadtus's 
VOL. I. H . 




9"^^- ^\' the male : hence the proverbial expression of 
a. woman s tears. To have this kind of com- 
mand over one's self, was -the characteristic ex^ 
qelletice of the orator of ancient times, and is 
still that of the player in our own. 


The remaining circumstances may, with re- 
ference to those already mentioned, be termed 
secondary influencing circumstances. These 
have an influence, it is true, on the quantum or 
bias of a man's sensibility, but it is only by 
means of the other primary ones. The manner 
in which these two sets of circumstances are 
concerned, is such that the primary ones do the 
business, while the secondary ones lie most 
open to observation. The secondary ones, 
therefore, are those which are most heard of; 
on which account it will be necessary to take 
notice of them : at the same time that it is only 
by means of the primary ones that their iur 
fluence can be explained ; whereas the influence 
of ^ the primary ones will be apparent enough, 
without any mention of the secondary ones. 


25. Among such of the primitive modifica- 
tions of the corporeal frame as may appear to 
influence the quantum and bias of sensibility. 

25. Sex. 

Story of the Roman soldier, who raised a mutiny in the camp, 
pretending to have lost a brother by the lawless crudty of the 
GeaenJ. The truth wasy he never had had a brother. 

wjPlPiJFi pm^s^fi^mfm 









the most obvious and conspicuous are those chap« \h 
which constitute the sej^. In point of quantity^ 
the sensibility of the female sex appears in ge- 
neral to be greater than that of the male. The 
health of the female is more delicate than that 
of the male : in point of strength and hardiness 
of body, in point of quantity and quality of 
knowledge, in point of strength of iiltellectual 
powers, and firmness of mind, she is commonly 
inferior: moral, religious, sympathetic, and 
antipathetic sensibility are commonly stronger 
in her than in the male. The quality of her 
knowledge, and the bent of her inclinations, 
are commonly in many respects different, fter 
moral biases are also, in certain respects, re- 
markably different: chastity, modesty, and 
delicacy, for instance, are prized more than 
courage in a woman : courage, more than any 
of those qualities, in a man. The religious 
biases in the two sexes are not apt to be re- 
markably different ; except that the female is 
rather more inclined than the male to super- 
stition ; that is, to observances not dictated by 
the principle of utility ; a difference that may 
be pretty well accounted for by some of the 
before-mentioned circumstances. Her sympa- 
thetic biases are in many respects different : for 
her own offspring all their lives long, and' for 
children in general while young, her afiectioQ 
is commonly stronger than that of the male. 

H 2 


^^ ^h Her affections are apt to be less enlarged : 
seldom expanding themselves so much as to 
take in the welfare of her country in general, 
much less that of mankind, or the whole sen- 
sitive creation: seldom embracing any ex- 
tensive class or division, even of her own coun- 
trymen, unless it be in virtue of her sympathy 
for .^ome particular individuals that belong to 
it. . In general, her antipathetic, as well as 
sympfithetic biases, are apt to be less conform- 
able to the pranciple of utility than those of 
the male; owing chiefly to some deficiency in 
point of knowledge, discernment, and com- 
prehension. Her habitual occupations of the 
amusing kind are apt to be in many respects 
different from those of the male. With regard 
to her connexions in the way of sympathy, 
there can be no difference. In point of pe- 
cuniary circumstances, according to the customs 
of perhaps all countries, she is in general less ' 

26. Affe. 26. Age is of course divided into divers pe- 
riods; of which the number and limits are by 
no means uniformly ascertained. One might 
distinguish it, for the present purpose, into, 
1. Infancy. 2. Adolescence. 3. Youth. 4^ Ma- 
turity. 5. Decline. 6. Decrepitude. It were 
loBt time to stop on the present occasion to 
examine it at ieach period, and to observe the 



indications it gives, with respect to the several chap^. 
primary circumstances j.ust reviewed. Infency 
and decrepitude are commonly inferior to the 
other periods, in point of health, strength, har- . 
diness, and* so forth. In infancy, on the part 
of the female, the imperfections of that sex are 
enhanced : on the part of the male, imperfec- 
tions take place mostly similar in quality, but- 
greater in quantity, to those attending the states 
of adolescence, youth, and maturity in the fe- 
male. In the stage of decrepitude both sexe& 
relapse inta many of the imperfections of in- 
fancy. The generality of these observations may 
easily be corrected upon a particular review. 


27. Station, or rank in life, is a circumstance,: 27. Rank. 
that, among a civilized people, will commonly 
undergo a multiplicity of variations. C(Eteris 
paribus, the quantum of sensibility appears to 
be greater in . the higher ranks of men than in 
the lower. The primary circumstances in re^ 
spect of which this secondary circumstance is 
apt to induce or indicate a difference, seem 
principally to be as follows : 1 . Quantity and 
Quality of knowledge. 2. Strength of mind. 
3. Bent of inclination. 4. Moral sensibility; 

6. JVIoral biases. 6. Religious sensibility. 

7. Religious biases. 8. Sympathetic sensi- 
bility. 9. Sympathetic biases. 10. Antipa- 
thetic sensibility. 11. Antipathetic biases. 



£i;^- 12- Habitual occupations. 13, Nature and 
productiveness of a man s means of livelihood. 
14. Connexions importing profit. 15. Habit 
. of expense. 16. Connexions importing bur- 
then. A man of a certain rank will frequently 
have a number of dependents besides those 
whose dependency is the result of natural re- 
lationship. As to healthy strength, and hardi- 
ness; if rank has any influence on these cir- 
cumstances, it is but in a remote way, chiefly 
by the influence it may have on his habitual 


28. Educa- 28. The influence of education is still more 


extensive. Education stands upon a footing . 
somewhat different from that of the circum- 
stances of age, sex, and rank. These words^ 
though the influence of the circumstances they 
respectively denote exerts itself principally, if 
not entirely, through the medium of certain of 
the primary circumstances before mentioned^ 
present, however, each of them a circumstance 
which has a separate existence of itself. This 
is not the case with the word education : which 
means nothing any farther than as it serves td 
call up to view soilie one or more of those 
primary circumstances. Educatibn may be 
. distinguished into physical and mental ; the 
education of the body and that of the mind : 
mental, again, into intellectual and moral ; the 



Culture of the understanding, and the culture Sill^;^- 
of the affections. The education a man re* 
ceives, is given to him partly by others, partly 
by himself. By education then nothing more 
can be. expressed than the condition a man 
is in in respect of those primary circumstances, 
as resulting partly from the management and 

contrivance of others, principally of those who 


in the early periods of his life have had do- 
minion over him, partly from his own. To the 
physical part of his education, belong the cir- 
cumstances of health, strengtfa> and hardiness : 
sometimes, by accident, that of bodily imper- 
fection; as where by intemperance or negli- 
gence an irreparable mischief happens to his 
person. To the intellectual part, those of 
quantity and quality of knowledge, and in some 
measure perhaps those of firmness of mind and 
steadiness. To the moral part, the bent of 
his inclinations, the quantity and quality of 
his moral, religious, sympatheticj and antipa^ 
thetic sensibility : to all three branches indis- 
criminately, but under the superior control of 
external occurrences, his habitual recreations, 
his property, his means of livelihood, his con- 
nexions in the way of profit and of burthen, 
and his habits of expense. With respect indeed 
to ajl these points, the influence of education is 
modified, in a manner more or less apparent, 
by that of exterior occurrences; and in a 

■v> ■■■« ■ ^^1 


^cf^;J!; piaiwer scarcely at all apparent, and altogether 
out of the reach of calculation, by the original 
texture and constitution as well of his body as 
of his mind. 


29.cumate. 29. Amoug the external circumstances by 
which the influence of education is modified, 
the principal are those which come under the 
head of climate. This circumstance places it6elf 
in front, and demands a separate denomination, 
not merely on account of the magnitude of its in- 
' t fluence, but also .on account of its being conspi- 
cuous to every body, and of its stpplying indiscrir 
minately to great numbers at a time. This.cir-^ 
cumstance depends for its essence upon the 
situation of that part of the earth which is ii^ 
question, with respect to the course taken by 
the whole planet in its revolution round the 
sun: but for its influence it depends upon the 
condition of the bodies which compose the 
earth's surface at that part, principally upon 
the quantities of sensible heat at different pe- 
riods, and upon the density, and purity, and, 
dryness or moisture of the circumambient air. 
Of the so often mentioned primary circum- 
stances, there are few of which the production 
is not influenced by this secondary one ; partly 
by its manifest effects upon the body ; partly 
by its less perceptible effects upon the mind. 
In hot climates men's health is apt to be more 

qp^lV^M^^HMiaPWM ■Mil WIS OT^^*«>«Paiipil i iiv«^^«i^Mim^v^^«^^>^HHH^«^qMHMqM«qifIS«|i^PP|^V^H|HHHiVMI|^l^HpVI 


precarious than in cold : their strength and caAPMri. 
hardinesi^ less : their vigour, firmness, and 
steadiness of mind less : and thence indirectly 
their quantity of knowledge : the bent of their 
inclinations, different : most remarkably so in 
jnespect of their superior propensity to sexual 
enjoyments, and in respect of the earliness of 
the period at which that propensity begins to 
manifest itself: their sensibilities of all kinds 
more intense : their habitual occupations sa- 
vouring more of sloth than of activity : their 
radical frame of body less strong, probably, and 
less hardy : their radical frame of mind less 
vigorous. Ls Eno. .e» steady. 


30. Another article in the catalogue of se- 3o.Line«ge 
condary circumstances, is that of race or lineage : 
the national race or lineage a man issues from. 
This circumstance, independently of that of 
climate, will commonly make some difference 
in point of radical frame of mind and body. 
A man of negro race, bom in France or England, 
is a- very different being, in many respects, 
from a man of French or English race. A man 
of Spanish race, bom in .Mexico or Peru, is at 
the hour of his birth a different sort of being, 
ii^ many respects, from a man of the original 
Mescican or Peruvian race. This circumstance, 
as. far as it is distinct from climate, rank, and 
«^ucation, and from the two just mentioned. 


-Chap. VL operates chiefly through the medium of moral, 
religious, sympathetic, and antipathetic biases. 


31. Govern- 32^ The last circumstancc but one, is that 

Blent. ' 

of government*: the govemnient q. man lives 
under at the time in question ; or rather that 
under which he has been accustomed most to 
live. This circumstance operates principally 
through the medium of education : the magis* 
trate operating in the character of a tutor upon 
all the members of the state, by the direction 
he gives to their hopes and to their fears. 
Indeed under a solicitous and attentive govern* 
ment, the ordinary preceptor, nay even the 
parent himself, is but a deputy, as it were, to 
' the magistrate: whose controlling influence, 
difierent in this respect from that of the ordinary 
preceptor, dwells with a man to his life's end. 
The effects of the peculiar power of the magi- 
strate are seen more particularly in the in- 
fluence it exerts over the quantum and bias of 
men's moral, religious; sympathetic, and anti- 
pathetic sensibilities. Under a well-constituted, 
or even under a well-administered though ill- 
constituted government, men's moral sensibility 
is commonly stronger, and their moral biases 
more conformable to the dictates of utility: 
their religious sensibility frequently weaker, 
but their religious biases less unconformable 
to 'the dictates of utility: their sympathetic* 


affectionis more enlarged, directed to the magis- ^"^^'^^: 
trate more than to small parties or to indivi- 
duals, and more to the whole community than 
to either : their antipathetic sensibilities Jess 
violent, as being more obsequious to the influ- 
ence of well-directed moral biases, and less apt 
to be excited by that of ill-directed religiouis 
ones : their antipathetic biases more conform* 
able to well-directed moral ones, more apt (in 


proportion) to be grounded on enlarged and 
sympathetic than on narrow and self-regarding 
affections, and accordingly, upon the whole, 
more conformable to the dictates of utility. 

XLII. - ] 

32. The last circumstance is that of religious 32. Reii- { 

'0U8 pro- ] 

ession. \ 

profession : the religious profession a man is of : fLsi 
the religious fraternity of which he is a mem- 
ber. This circumstance operates principally 
through the medium of religious sensibility and 
religious biases. It operates, however, as an 
indication more or less conclusive, with respect 
to several other circumstances. With respect 
to some, scarcely but through the medium of 
the two just mentioned : this is the case with 
regard to the quantum and bias of a .man's 
moral, sympathetic, and antipathetic sensibi- 
lity : perhaps in some cases with regard to quan- 
tity and quality of knowledge, strength of in- 
tellectual powers, and bent of inclination. With 
respect to others, it may operate immediately 


9"^^' ^h of itself : this seems to be the case with regard 
to a man's habitual occupations, pecuniary cir^ 
cumstances, and connexions iathe way of sym- 
pathy and antipathy. A man who pays very- 
little inward regard to the dictates of the re- 
ligion which he finds it necessary to profess, 
may find it difficult to avoid joining in the cere- 
monies of it, and bearing a part in the pecu-- 
niary burthens it imposes.* By the force of 
habit and example he may even be led to en- 
tertain a partiality for persons of the same pro- 
fession, and a proportionable antipathy against 
those of a rival one. In particular, the anti- 
.pathy against persons of different persuasions 
is one of the last points of religion which, men 
part with. Lastly, it is obvious, that the re- 
ligious profession a man is of cannot but have a 
considerable influence on his education. But, 
considering the import of the term education, 
to say this is perhaps no more than saying in 
other words what has been said already. 

— ' — — -I , _ . I I 

* The ways in which a religion may lessen a man*& means^ 
or augment his wants, are various. Sometimes it will pre- 
vent him from making a profit of his money : sometimes 
from setting his hand to labour. Sometimes it will oblige 
him to buy dearer food instead of cheaper : sometimes to 
purchase useless labour: sometimes to pay men for not 
labouring : sometimes to purchase trinkets^ on which ima- 
gination alone has set a value : sometimes to purchase ex- 
emptions from punishment, or titles to felicity in the world 
to come. 



" ■■ ' 



These circumstances, all or many of them, Use of the 
will need to be attended to as often as upon observa- 
any occasion any account is taken of any quan- 
tity of pain, or pleasure, as resulting from any • 
cause. Has any person sustained an injury ? 
they will need to be considered in estimating 
the mischief of the offence. Is satisfaction to 
be made to him ? they wUl need to be attended 
to in adjusting the qitarUum of that satisfaction. 
Is the injurer to-be punished ? they will need 
to be attended to in estimating the force of the 
impression that will be made . on him by any 
given punishment. 


It is to be observed, that though they seem How far 
all of them, on some account or other, to merit a sumclw'iu ' 
place in the catalogue, they are not all of equal ^Vht^ 
use in practice. Different iaxticles among them ^count*^ 
are applicable to different exciting causes. Of 
those that may influence the effect of the same 
exciting cause, some apply indiscriminately to 
whole classes of persons together ; being ap- 
plicable to all, without any remarkable diffe- 
rence in .d^&r^® • these may be directly and 
pretty fiilly provided for by the legislator. 
This is the case, for instance, with the primary 
circumstances of bodily imperfection, and in- 
sanity : with the secondary circumstance of sex : 
perhaps with that of age: at any rate with those 



£^;7^ of rank, of climate, of lineage, and of religious 
profession. Others, however they may apply 
to whole classes of persons, yet in their appli- 
cation to different individuals are susceptible 
• of perhaps an indefinite variety of degrees. 
These cannot be fully provided for by the legis- 
lator ; but, as the existence of them, in every 
sort of case, is capable of being ascertained, 
and the degree in which they take place is 
capable of being measured, provision may be 
made for them by the judge, dr other executive 
magistrate;^ to whom the several individuals that 
happen to be concerned may be made known. 
This is the case, l.With the circumstance of 
health. 2. In some sort with that of strength. 
3. Scarcely with that of hardiness : still less 
with those of quantity and quality of know- 
ledge, strength of intellectual powers, firmness 
or steadiness of mind; except in as far as a 
man's condition, in respect of those circum- 
stances, may be indicated by the secondary 
circumstances of sex, age, or rank : hardly with 
that of bent of inclination, except in as far as 
that latent circumstance is indicated by the 
more manifest one of habitual occupations : 
hardly with that of a man's moral sensibility or 
biases, except in as for as they may be indicated 
by his sex, age, rank, and education : not at all 
with his religious'sensibility and religious biases, 
except in as far as they may be indicated by the 



religious profession he belongs to : not at all CHAPja. 
with the quantity or quality of his sympathetic 
or antipathetic sensibilities, except in as far as 
they may be presumed from his sex, age, rank, 
education, lineage, or religious profession. It 
is the case, however, with his habitual occupa- 
tions, with his pecuniary circumstances, and 
with his connexions' in the way of sympathy. 
Of others, again, either the existence cannot 
be ascertained, or the degree cannot be mea- 
sured. These, therefore, cannot be taken into 
account, either by the legislator or the execu- 
tive magistrate. Accordingly, they would have 
no ckim^to be taken notice of, were it not for 
those secondary circumstances by which they 
are indicated, and whose influence could ndt 
well be understood without them. What these 
are has been already mentioned. 


It has already been observed, that different '^^J^^^ 
articles in this list of circumstances apply to <?"««« 

• V r^ J there is 

different exciting causes : the circumstance of "?<>st occa- 

^ sion to ap-, 

bodily strength, for instance, has scarcely any piy ^^^ 
influence of itself (whatever it naay have in a 
roundabout way, and by accident) on the effSect 
of an incident which should increase or diminish 
the quantum of a man's property. It remains 
to be considered, what the exciting causes are 
with which the legislator has to do. Itese 
may, by some accident or other, be ainy what- 


^2f^;3 soever: but those with which he has priuci-' 
pally to do, are those of the painful or afflictiii:e 
kind. With pleasurable ones he has little to 
do, except now and then by accident : the- 
reasons of which may be easily enough per- 
ceived, at the same time that it would take 
up too much room to unfold them here. The 
exciting causes with which he has principally 
to do, are, on the. one hand, the mischievous 
acts, which it his business to prevent ; on the 
other hand, the punishments, by the terror of 
which it is his endeavour to prevent them. 
Jfow of these two sets of exciting ^causes, the; 
latter only is of his production : being produced 
partly by his own special appointment, partly 
in conformity to his general appointment, by 
the special appointment of the judge. For the 
legislator, therefore, as well as for the judge, 
it is necessary (if they would know what it is 
they are doing when they are appointing 
punishment) to have an eye to all these cir- 
cumstances. For the legislator, lest, meaning 
to apply a certain quantity 6f punishment to 
all persons who shall put themselves in a given 
predicament, he should unawares apply to 
some of those persons much nlore or much 
less than he himself intended : for the judge, 
lest, in applying to a particular person a par- 
ticular measure of punishment, he should apply 
much more or much less than was intended. 



perhaps by himself, and at any rate by the 
legislator. They ought each pf them, tiierefore, 
to have before him, on the one hand, a list of 
the several circumstances by which sensibility 
may be influenced ; on the other hand, a list 
of the several species and degrees of punishment 
which they purpose to make use of: and then, 
by making, a comparison between the two, to 
form a detailed estimate of the influence of each 
of the circumstances in question, upon the 
effect of each species and degree of punishment. 
There are two plans or orders of distribution, 
either of which might be pursued in the drawing 
up this estimate. The one is to make the name 
of the circumstance take the lead, and under 
it to represent the different influences it exerts 
over the effects of the several modes of punish- 
ment : the other is to make the name of the 
punishment take the lead, and under it to 
represent the different influences which are 
exerted over the effects of it by the several 
circumistanees above mentioned* Now of thesfe 
two sorts of objects, the punishment is that to 
which the intention of the 4egislator is directed 
in the first instance. This is of his own crea- 
tion, and will be whatsoever he thinks fit to 
make it : the influencing circumstance exists 
independently of him, and is what it is whether 
he will or no. What' he has occasion to do is 
to establish a certain species and degree of 

^OL. I. I 


c^iAi\Vj[. punishment: and it is only with reference to 
that punishment that he has occasion to make 
any inquiry concerning any of the circum- 
stances here in question. The latter of the 
two plans therefore is that which appears by 
far the most useful and commodious. But 
neither upon the one nor the other plan can 
any such estimate be delivered here.* 


Analytical Qf the several circumstances contained in 

view of the 

circum- ijiig catalogue, it may be of use to give some 

stances in- o- ' j o 

fluencinp sort of aualvtic view ; in order that it may be 

ftensibility. j ^ j 

the more easily discovered if any winch ought 
to have been inserted are omitted; and that, 
with regard to those which are inserted, it may 
be seen how they differ and agree. 

* This is far fkx>in being a visionary proposal^ not reducible 
to practice. I speak from experience^ having actually drawn 
up such an estimate^ though upon the least commodious of 
the two plan8> and before the several circumstances in ques- 
tion had been reduced to the precise number and order in 
which they are here enumerated. This is a part of the 
matter destined for another work. See ch. xiii. [Cases 
unmeet] par 9. Note. There are some of these circumstances 
that bestow particular denominations on the persons they 
relate to : thus> from the circumstance of bodily imperfec- 
tions^ persons are denominated deaf^ dumb, blinds and so 
forth : from the circumstance of insanity, idiots> and maniacs : 
from the circumstance of age, infants : for all which dasses 
of persons particular provision is made in the Code. See B. I. 
tit [Exemptions.] Persons ^us distinguished will form so 
many articles in the catuLogw j>er$<marum pnoHegiatarum, 
See Appendix, tit [Composition.] 


la the first jflapi^, they may be 4i'^tiDguished chap^. 
iflto primary ^BXid secondary: those ^^ may be 
termed primary, which operate immediately of 
.themselii^es ; those secondary, which operate 
not but by the medium of the former. To this 
latter hea<J belong the circumstances of sex, 
age; station in life, education, climate, lineage, 
government, and religious profession : the rest 
are primiary. These again are either connate- 
or adventitious: those which are connate, are 
r^diqal frame of body and radical frame of 
taiind. Those which are adventitious, are either 
personal, or exterior. The personal, again, con- 
cern either a man's dispositions, or his actions. 
Those :which concern his dispositions, concern 
either his My or his mind. Those which con- 
cern his body are health, strength, hardiness, 
and bodily imperfection. Those which concern 
his mind, again, concern either his understanding 
or his affections. To the former head belong 
the circumstances of quantity and quality of 
knowledge, strength of understanding, and in- 
sanity. To the latter belong the circumstances 
of firmness of mind, steadiness, bent of incli- 
nation, moral sensibility, moral biases, religious 
sensibility, religious biases, sympathetic sensi- 
bility, sympathetic biases, antipathetic sensi- 
bility, and antipathetic biases. Those which 
regard his actions, are his habitual occupations. 
Those which are exterior to him, regard either 

I 2 


Chap. VI. 

the things or the persons which he is concerned 
with; uiider the former head come his pecuniary 
circumstances;* under the latter, his con- 
nexions in the way of sympathy and antipathy. 

Analytical * As to a man*8 pecaniary circumstances^ the causes on 
constUu- ^ ^liich those circumstances depend^ do not come all of them 

entarticlei under the same' class. The absolute quantum of a man's 

in a man s _ ' 

pecuniary property does indeed come under the same class with his 

8tai^* pecuniary -circumstance iu general: so does the profit he 
makes from the occupation which furnishes him with the 
means of livelihood. But the occupation itself concerns his 
own person, and comes under the same head as his habitual 
amusements : aa likewise his habits of expense: his con- 
nexions in the ways of profit and ofburtben, under the same 
head as his connexions in the way of sympathy : and the 
^ circumstances of his present demand for money^ and strength 
of expectation^ come under the head of those circumstances 
relative to his person which regard his affections. 

[ nr ] 




The business of government is to promote the The dc- , 

_ , mand for 

happiness of the society, by punishing and re- punish- 
warding. That part of its business which con- p«ndB in 

. , part upoir 

sists in punishing, is more particularly the- subr the ten- 
ject of penal law.. In proportion, as . an aet the act. 
tends to disturb that happiness, in proportion 
as the tendency of it is pei3>icious,.will be the 
demand it creates for punishment.. What ;hap,r 
piness consists of we have already seen^r eujoyr 
ment of pleasur^s^, secuiky ftom pains.. 

The general tendency of an act is more or less Tendency 
pernicious, s^cording to the sum total of its con- deten^ncd 
sequences : that is, according to the difference '^l^r 
between the sum of such as are good,. and the 
sum of such as* are evil. 


It is to be observed, that here, as well Material 

, w J , consequen- 

as henceforward, wherever consequences are cesoniyara- 

1 /• 1 1 - to be re- 

spoken of> such only are meant, as are material, sanied. 

Of the consequences of any act, the multitude 

and variety must needs be infinite : but such 

of them only JEis are niaterial are worth regard- 


ing. Now among the consequences of an act, 
be they what they may, such only, by one who 
views them in the capacity of a legislator, can 
be said to be material,* as either consist of pain 
or pleasure, or have an influence in the produc- 
tion of pain or pleasure .f 

These de- It Is also to be obscrvcd, that into the aiccount 
part u^n of the cousequcnces of the act, are to be taken 
tion?**"' not such only as might have ensued, were in- 
tention out of the question, but such also as 
depend upon the connexion there may be be- 
tween these first-mentioned consequences and 
the intention. The connexion ther^ is betweoEi 
the intention and cett^n consequenoe&r is, as 
we shall see hereafter,!}: a means of producing 
other consequences. In this lies the diiSerence 
between rational agency and irrational. 


The hiften- Jfow the intention, with regard to the con- 

peordfl as -^ ■. , - 

well upon 

the under- ♦Or of importance, 

•taadine as . ' 

the will. t In certain cases the conseqiieaces of an act may be mate- 

rial by serring as evidences indicating the Existence of some 
Qtiher material fact, which is even antecedent to the act of 
which they are the consequences : but even here, they are 
material only because^ in virtue of such thieir evidentiiary qua* 
lity, they have an influence^ at a subsequent period of tinde, 
in the production of pain and pleasure : for eiumple, by serv- 
ing as grounds for eonvicfiop', and thence for punishment* 
See tit. [Simple Falsehoods.] verba [material.] 

• • • ' 

X 3ee B. I. tit. [Exemptions] and tit. [Extenuations.] 


sequences of an act, will depend upon two ^«f^^'- 
things: L The, state of the .will or intention, 
with respect to the act itself. And^ 2« The state 
of the understanding, or iperceptive faculties^ 
MFith regard to the circumstances which it is,, 
or may appear to be, accompajEiied with. Now 
with respect to these circumstances, the percep- 
tive faculty is susceptible of three states : con- 
sciousness, unconsciousness, and false conscious- 
ness. Consciousness, wh^n the party believes 
precisely those circumstances, and no others^ 
to subsist, which really do subsist : unconscious- 
ness, when he &uls of perceiving cei;tai& cir* 
domstances to subsist, which, however, do sub^ 
fidst: Mse consciousness, when he believes or 
imagines certain circumstanci^^ to subsisjt, which 
in truth do not subsists 

VI* . 

In every transaction, therefore^ which is ex- inaD»ctio» 

- ^ • 1 • 1 1 • are to be 

ammed with a view to pumshment, there are coB«dered, 

four articles to be considered : 1. The acMtself, 2! The drl 

which is done. 2. The circumstanees in which pes. a.The 

it is done. 3. The tntentionalUy that may have aiity. 4.The 
• J 'x A mt- • conscious- 

accompanied it. 4. Ine consciousness y uncon- ness. 

sciousness, or false consciousness, that may 

have accompanied it. 

What regards the act and the circumstances 

will be the subject of the present chapter t 

what regards intention and consciousness, that 

of the two succeeding. 



Chap. VII. 


tivS'S.Thc' '^^^^ ^^ 3lso two Other articles .on wbich 
disposition, the general' tendency of an act depends : and 
on that, as well as on other accounts, the de- 
mand which it creates for punishment. These 
are, 1. The particular motive or motiveB which 
gave birth to it. 2. The general disposition which 
it indicates. These articles will be the subject 
of two other chapters. 


Acts may be distinguished in several ways> 
for several purposes. 

' They may be distinguished, in the first place, 
into positive and negative. By positive are meant 
such as consist in motion or exertion : by ne* 
gative, such as consist in keeping at rest ; that 
is, in forbearing to move or exert one's self in 
such and such circumstances. Thus, to strike 
is a positive act : not to strike on a certain oc^ 
casion, a negative one. Positive acts are styled 
also acts of commission ; negative, acts of omis- 
sion or forbearance.* 

Acts posi- 
tive and 

Aets of 
are still 

. ■* The distinction between positive and negative acts rnns 
through the whole system of offences, and sometimes makes 
a material difference with regard to their consequences. To 
reconcile us the better to the extensive, and, as it niay ap« 
pear on some occasions, the inconsistent signification here 
given to the word act, it may be considered, 1. That in many 
cases, where no exterior or overt act is exercised, the state 
which the mind is in at the time when the supposed act is 
said to happen, is as truly and directly the result of the wiU^ 



Such acts, again, as are negative, may either ^J^JJ^^e 
be absabttefy so, or relativefy: absolutely, when ^^^^'' 
they import the negation of all positive agency i«*«*y- 
whatsoever ; for instance, not to strike at all : 
relatively, when they import the negation of 
such or such a particular mode of agency ; for 
instance, not to strike such a person or such a 
thing, or in such' a direction. 

X. • - 

It is to be observed, that the nature of the Negative 

acts giaybe 

act, whether positive or nefirative, is not to he expmscd 

. . pogitively; 

determined immediately by the form of the dis- an4 vue 


course made use of to express it. An act which 
is positive in its nature may be characterised 
by a negative expression : thus, not to be at 
rest, is as much as to say to move. So also an 

as any exterior act, how plain and conspicuous soever. Tlie 

not revealing a conspiracy, for instance, may be as perfectly 

tiie act of the will, as the joining in it. In the next pjbce, 

that even though the mind should never have had the incident 

in question in contemplation (insomuch that the event of its 

not happening should not have been so much as obliquely, 

intentional) still the state the .person's mind was in at the 

time when, if he had so willed/ the incident might have hap- i 

pened, is in many cases productive of a^ material consequences ; 

and not only as likely, but as fit to call for the interposition 

of other agents, as the opposite one. Thus, when a tax is 

imjposed, your not paying it is an act which at any rate must 

be punished in a certain manner, whether you happened to 

think of paying it or not. 


cbap^ vil g^Qi;^ which is negative in its nature, may be 
characterized by a positive expre3sion: thus> 
to forbear or omit to bring food to a person in 
certain circumstances, is signified by the single 
and positive term to starve. 


Acts exter- ^^ the sccoud place, acts may be distinguished 
"eroti. *°" ijito external and internal. By exteinaal, are 
meant corporal acts ; acts of the body; by in- 
ternal, mental acts ; acts of the mind. Thus, 
to strike is an external or exterior * act : to in- 
tend to strike, an internal or interior one. 


Actsofdii- Acts of discourse ^xe a sort of mi3d:ujre of the 


what. two : external acts, which are no ways mate*^ 
rial, nor attended witk any consequences, any 
further than as they serve to express the exists 
ence of internal ones. To speak to another to 
strike, to write to him to strike, to make signs 
to him to strike, are all so many acts of dis- 
. course. 


External Third, Acts that are external may be distin- 

acts may be , , , , *' 

transitiye guished iuto transitive and intransitive. Acts 

or intraDsi- 

tive. may be called transitive, when the motion is 
communicated from the person of the agent to 
some foreign body : that is, to such a foreign 
body on which the effects of it are considered 

* [Exterior.] Ad exterior act is also called by lawyers overt 


eg being material i as where a man runs against ^iliJ\22J* 
you, or thrown water in your face. Abts may 
be called intransitive, when the motion is com"»- 
inunicated to no othter body, on which the 
effects of it are regarded as material, than some 
part of the same person in whom it originated : 
as where a man runs^ or washes himsdlf.^ 



An act of the transitive kind may be said to a traosuive 
be in its commencement, or in the first stage of its meuce-**™" 
progress, ^hile the motion is Lfined to the Z^' 
person of the agent, and has not yet been coni* medUte'^ 
municated to any foreign body, on which the p"^^*^^®"' 
effects of it can be material. It may be said to 
be in its termination, or to be in the last stage 
of its progress, as soon -as the motion or impulse ^ 
has been communicated to some such foreign 
body. It may be said to be in the middle or 

* The distinction is weU Isnovvn to the latter gramma- Distinction 

rians : it is with them indeed that it took its rise : thoudk '>«t'''^ 

^ transitive 

by them it has been applied rather to the names jthan tprtbe actoanttin- 
things themselvea; To yerb8> signifying transitive acts^ as recogSzed 

here described, they havegivei) the name of transitive verbs-: ^y gram- 

L ^ ' Diarians. 

those significative of intransitive acts they have termed intran- 
sitive. These last are still more frequently called neuter; 
that is> neither active nor passive. The appellation seems 
improper : since^ instead of their being neither, they ace b^h 
in one. 

To the class of acts that are here termed intransitive^ be- 
long those which <;onstitute the 3d class in the system of 
oflFences. See ch. [Division.] and B. I. tit. [Self-regarding 


Chap, vil intermediate stage or stages of its progress^ 
while the motion^ having passed from the person 
of the agent, has not yet been communicated to 
any such foreign body. Thus, as soon as a man 
has lifted up his hand to strike, the act he per- 
forms in striking you is in its commencement : 
as soon as his hand has reached you, it is in 
its termination. If the act be the motion of a 
body which is separated from the person of the 
agent before it reaches the object, it may be 
said, during that interval, to be in its interme- 
diate progress,* or in gradu mediativo : as in the 
case where a man throws a stone or fires a 
bullet at you. 


An intran- Au act of the fiitransitive kind may be said 

gitive act, . , . . i i v* 

its com- to be m its commencement, wjien the motion or 
ment,and impulsc is as yet confined to the member or 
ti6a. ' * organ in which it originated ; and has not yet 
been communicated to any member or organ 
that is distinguishable from the former. It may 
be said to be in its termination, as soon as it 
has been applied to any other part of the same 
person. Thus, where a man poisons himself, 
while he is lifting up the poison to his mouth, 
the act is in its commencement : as soon as it 
has reached his lips, it is in its termination.f 

* Or in iU migration, or in transitu. 

f These distinctions wiU be referred to in the next chapter : 
ch. viii. [Intentionality] : and applied to practice in B. (. 
tit [Extenuations.] 


XVI. Chap.VII. 

In the third place, acts may be distinguished ^ent^" 
into transient and continued. Thus, to strike is «^«ntmu^. 
a transient act : to lean, a continued one. To 
buy, a transient act : to keep in one's posses- 
sion, a continued one. 


In strictness of speech there is a difference Differeoce 
between a continued act and a repetition of acts. conUnued 
It is a repetition of acts, when there are inter- w^ution 
vals filled up by acts of diflFerent natures : a ^^ *^" 
continued act, when there are no such intervals. 
Thus, to lean, is one continued act: to keep 
striking, a repetition of acts. 


There is a difference, again, between a repe- Difference 
tition of acts, and a habit or practice. The term ^uSn* 
repetition of acts may be employed, let the acts a^babu."^ 
in question be separated by ever such short in- 
tervals, and let the sum total of them occupy 
ever so short a space of time. The term habit 
is not employed but when the acts in question 
are supposed to be separated by long-continued 
intervals, and the sum total of them to occupy 
a considerable space of time. It is not (for in- 
stance) the drinking ever so many times, nor ever 
so much at a time, in the course of the same 
siCting, that will constitute a habit of drunken- 
ness : it is necessary that suqh sittings them- 
selves be frequently repeatedi Every habit is 


Chap. VII. ^ repetition of acts ; or, to speak more strictly, 
when a man has frequently repeated such and 
such acts after considerable intervals/ he is said 
to have persevered in »or contracted, a habit : 
but every repetition of acts is not a habit* 


Act! are in- Fourth, acts may be distinguished into indi- 

divisible,or ^ .» x • • 

4msihie, vimle and divisible. Indivisible acts are merely 

and divi* 

sibie, as imagiualT : they may be easily conceived, but 

well witli . V V *f 

regard to canuevcr b^ known to be exemplified, ^uch as 

matter as 

to motion, are divisible . may bc so, with reg^d eijther to 
matter or to motion. An act indivisible -with 
regard to matter, is the motion or rest of one 
single atom of matter. An act indivisible, with 
regard to motion, is the motion of any body, 
from one single atom of space to the ne;xt to it. 
Fifth, acts m9,y be distinguished ii^o.sin^k 
and compfes : simple, such as the act of striking, 
thjB act of leaning, or the aqt of drinkii^^ above 
instanced : complex^ consisting each of a multi> 
tude of simple actSi whiab> though numerous 
and heterogenepusi de^iv^ a sort of unity front 
the. relation they bear tP somer common design 
or end; such as the act af' giving a dinner, 
the act of maintaining a child, the act of exhi- 

* [Habit.] A habit, it should seem, can hardly in strict- 
ness be termed an aggregate of acts : acts being a sort of 
real archetypal entities, and habits a kind of fictitious enltides 
or imaginary beings, supposed fp be cofutltuted by, or 16 
result as it were out of, the former* 




biting, a triumph, the axjt <rf bearing anns, the 
act of holding a court; a^d so fprth. 

It has been every pow aad thien made a ques- caution re- 
tion^what it is in such.acc^e that constitutes theamli- 
me. act : where one act has ended, and another ftmsuage. 
act has begun : whether what has happened 
haiB been one. act or many.* These qu^stion^, 
it is now evident^ may frequently be answered, 
with equal propriety, in opposite ways ; and if 
thete be any occasions on which they can be 
answered only in one way, the answer will de- 
pend upon the nature of the occasion, and the 
purpose for which the question is proposed. A 
man is wounded in two fingers at one stroke — 
Is it one wound or several ? A man is beaten at 
12 o'clock^ and again at 8 minutes after 12^-18 
it one beating or several ? You beat one man, 
and instantly in the same breath you beat ano- 
ther — Is this one beating or several ? In any of 
these cases it n^ay be one, perhaps^ as to some 
purposes, and several as to others. These ex- 
amples are given, that men may be aware of. 
the ambiguity of language : and neither harass 
themselves with unsolvable doubts, nor one 
another with interminable disputes. 


So much with regard to acts considered in circum- 

staoces are 
to be con- 

* Distinctions like tliese come frequently in question in sidered. 
the course of Procedure. 



qHAP. viL themselves : we come now to speak of the ctr- 
cumstances with which they may have been 
accompanied. These must necessarily be taken 
into the account before any thing can be deter- 
• mined relative to the consequences. What the 
consequences of aii act may be upon the whole 
can never otherwise be ascertained: it can 
never be known whether it is beneficial, or in- 
different, or mischievous. In some circum- 
stances eyeii to kill a man may be a beneficial 
act : in others, to set food before him may be a 

pernicious one. 

t !. .' . XXII. 

' • Now the circumstances of an act, are, what ? 
Any objects * whatsoever. Take any act what- 
soever, there is nothing in the nature of things 
that excludes any imaginable object from being 
a circtimstance to it. Any given object may be 
a circumstance to any other .f 




tion of the 

* Or entities. See B. II. tit. [Evidence.] § [Facts.] 

f The etymology of the word circumstance is perfectly 


chajucteristic of its import : drcum stantiaf things standing 
round : objects' standing round a given object. I forget what 
mathematician it was that defined God to be a circle, of which 
the center is every where, but the circumference no where. 
In like manner the field of circumstances, belonging to any ad, 
may be defined a circle, of which the circumference is no where> 
but of which the act in question is the center. Now then, as 
any act may, for the purpose of discourse, be considered as a 
center, any other act or object whatsoever may be consi- 
dered as of the number of those that are standing round it: 


XXIII. Chap^. 

We have already had occasion to make men- circum- 

/• /•' 1 /. Stances 

tion for a moment of the consequences of an act : material 
these were distinguished into material and im- material, 
material. In like msmner may the circum- 
stances of it be distinguished. Now materiality/ 
is a relative term : applied to the consequences 
of an act, it bore relation to pain and pleasure : 
applied to the circumstances, it bears relation 
to the consequences. A circumstance may be 
said to be material, when it bears a visible rela- 
tion in point of causality to the consequences: 
immaterial, when it bears no such visible relation. 


The consequences of an act sure events.* A a ciroum- 
circumstance may be related to an event in b^rSaSa^ 

• M n T ^ • /• /• to an event 

point ot . causality m any one of four ways : in point of 
!• In the way of causation or production. 2. In i?"four^* 
the way of derivation. 3. In the way of coUa- T.lproduc- 
teral connexion. 4. In the way of conjunct Jwation. *" 
influence. It may be said to be related to the ^^©n***" 
event in the way of causation, when it is of the "^conjunct 
number of tiiose that contribute to the produq- '"^"•*'^*' 
tion of such event : in the way of derivation, 
when it is of the number of the events to the 
production of which that in question has been 
contributory : in the way of collateral con- 
nexion, where the circumstance in question, 
and the event in question, without being either 

- * iiee B. II. tit. [Evidence.] § [Facts,] 
VOL. I. K 


crap.v^ . of them instrumental in the production of the 
other, are related, each of them, to scJme com- 
mon object, which has been concerned in the 
production of theih both: in the way of con- 
junct influence, when, whether related in any 
other way or not, they have both of them con- 
curtdd in the production of some common con- 

Example. An cxatnpfe may be of use. In the year 
tioHf ""^ 1628, Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, favourite 
bam!'"*^ 8md minister of Charles I, of England, received 
a wound and died • The man who gave it him was 
one Felton, who, exasperated at the mal-admi- 
nistration of which that minister was iaccused, 
went down from London to Portsmouth, where 
Buckingham happened then to be, made his 
way into his anti-chamber, and findjing hiin 
busily engaged in conversation with a number 
of people round him, got close ta him, drew a 
knife and stabbed him. In the effort, the assas- 
sin's hat fell off, which was found soon after, 
and, upon searching him, the bloody knife. In 
the crown of the hat were found scraps of 
paper, with sentences expressive of the purpose 
he was come upon. Here then, suppose the 
event in question is the wound received by 
Buckingham : Felton's drawing out his knife, 
his making his way into the chamber, his 
going down to Portsmouth, his conceiving an 



indignation at the idea of Buckingham's admi* chap .vil 
nistration, that administration itself, Charles's 
appointing such a minister, and so on, higher 
and higher without end, are so matiy cireum* 
stances, related to the event of Buckingham's 
receiving the wound, in the way of caiisatioa 
or production : the bloodiness of the. knife^ a 
circumstance related, to the same event in the 
way of derivation : the finding of the hat upon 
the ground, the finding the sentences in the 
hat, and the writing them, so many circum- ^ 
stances related to it in the way of collateral 
connexion: and the situation jandconyersations 
of the people about Buckin^am, were circum- 
stances related to the circumstances of Felton's 
making his way into the room> going down to 
Portsmouth, and so forth, in the way of conjunct 
influence ; inasmuch as they contributed in 
common to the event of Buckingham's receiv- 
ing the wound, by preventing him from putting 
himself upon his guard upon the first appear- 
ance of the intruder.* 

* The division may be farther illustrated and confirmed by 
the more simple and particular case of animal generation. 
To production corresponds paternity : to derivation^ filiation : 
to collateral connexion, coUatecal consanguinity: to coi\}unct 
influence, marriage tmd eppvl&tion. 

If inMsessary, it might be again illustrated by the material 
image of a chcun^ such as th^t wl^ch, acccMrding to the inge- 
nious fiction of the ancients, is attached to the throne of Jupi- 
ter. A section of this chain should then be exhibited by 

K 9 


Chap. VII . XXVI. 

It is Dot These several relations do not all of them 

every event 

that has attach upon an event with equal certainty. In 

circum- * i */ 

stances re- the first place, it is plain, indeed, that every 

lated to it . . ' "^ 

in all those evcnt must have soi^ie circumstance or other, 


and in truth, an indefinite multitude of circum- 
stances, related to it in the way of production : 
it must of course have a still greater multi- 
tude of circumstances related to it in the way 
of collateral connexion. But it does not ap- 
pear necessary that every event should have 
circumstances related to it in the way of deri- 
vation: nor therefore that it should^ have any 
related to it in the way of conjunct influence. 
But of the circumstances of all kinds which 
actually do attach upon an event, it is only a 
very small number that can be disfcpvered by 
the utmost exertion of the human faculties : it 
is a still smaller number that ever actually do 
attract our notice: when occasion happens, 
more, or fewer of them will be discovered by a 
man in proportion to the strength, partly of his 
intellectual powers, partly of iiis inclination. * 

way of specimen^ in the manner o( the ^Uagramofn pedigree. 
Such a figure I should accordingly have exhibited, had it 
not been for the apprehension that an exhibition of this sort, 
while it mad^ the eubject a small .matter clearer to one man 
out of a hundred, mighty like the mathematical formularies 
we see sometimes employed for the like purpose, make it 
^ore obscure and formidable for the other ninety-ipne. 
* The iixore remote a connexion of this sort is, of course 



It appears thetefore that the multitude and d.e- ^^^^i 
sc'ription of such of the circumstances belonging 
to an act, as may appear to be material, ; will 
be determined by two considerations: 1. By 
the nature of things themselves. 2, By the 
strength or weakness of the fiacultie$ of thsose • 
who happen to consider them. 

4 r 


• * • 

Thus much it seemed necessary to premise Um of this 

"' * ' chapter. 

■ , , . ; ; : ^ 

X . ..... 

the more obscure. It will often happen that a connexion^ 
the idea of which would at first sight appear extravagant and 
abisurd^ dhall be rendered highly probable^ and indeed indis- 
putable, merely by the suggestion of a ftw intermediate cir- 
cdttistances. . . 

At.Ron^e, S90 years before the Christian sera, a goose sets 
up a cackling : two thousand years afterwards a king of 
France is murdered. To consider these two events, and 
nothing more, what can appear more extravagant than the 
notion that the former of them should have had any in- 
fluence on the production of the latter? Filhup the gap, 
bring to mind a few intermediate circumstances, and nothing 
can appear more probable. It was the cackling of a parcel 
of geese, at the time the Gauls had surprised the Capitol, that 
saved the Roman commonwealth : had it not been for the 
ascendancy that commonwealth acquired afterwards over 
most of the nations of Europe, amongst others over France, 
the Christian religion, humanly speaking, could not have 
established itself in the manner it did in that country. Grant 
then, that such a man as Henry IV. would have existed, no 
man, however, would have had those motives, by which 
Ravaillac, misled by a mischievous notion concerning thei 
dictates of that religion, was prompted to assassinate him^ 


CflAPjviL in^gfenerai concerning acts, and their circnm-' 
stances^ previously to th3 consideration bf the 
particular sorts of acts with their particulat 
. circumi&taiices, i^ith which we^ shall hav6 to do 
in th6 body of the work. An act of some sort 
or other is^ necessarily included in the notion of 
every oflfence. Together with this adt; under 
the notion of the same offence, are included 
certain circumstances : which circumstances 
enter into the essence of the offence, contribute 
by their conjunct influence to the production 
of its consequences, and in conjunction with 
the act are brought into view by the name by 
which it stands distinguished. These we shall 
liave occasion to distinguish hereafter by the 
tmme of criminative circumstances.* Other 
circumstances again entering into combination 
with the act and the former set of circum- 
a[tances, are productive of still farther conse- 
quences. These additional consequences, if 
they are of the beneficial kind, bestow, accord- 
ing to the value they bear in that capacity, 
upon the circumstances to which they owe 
their birth, the appellation of ea^culpative f or 
eMenuativecivcnmstBncesiX if of themischietotis 
kind, they bestow on them th^ appellation of 

1.1 rf 

* See B. I. tit. [Crim. circumstances.] 
t See B. I. tit. [Justifications.] 
X See 6. 1, tit. [Extenuations.] 

I ^ W ' '^ii»""»^^^^^^»*"^"*Wi^«W*iiWiii»^iiPBip»i»iWWW^Wl«ii^p 


aggravatkx, ciircunaidtauces.* Of all these dif- chapjjii. 
ferent sets of circumstance^f the criminative 
are connected with the consequences of the 
original offence, in the way of production ; with 
the act, and with one another, in the way of 
conjunct influence: the consequences of the 
original offence with them, and with the act 
respectively, in the way of derivation: the 
consequences of the modified offence, with the 
criminative, exculpative, and extenuative cir- 
cumstances respectively, in the way also of 
derivation: these different sets of circum- 
stances, with the consequences of the modified 
act or offence, in the way of production : and 
with one another (in respect of the consequenpes 
of the modified act or offence) in the way of 
conjunct influence. Lastly ^^ whatever circum- 
stances can be seen to be connected with the 
consequences of the offence, whether directly 
in the way of derivation, or obliquely in the 
way of collateral affinity (to wit, in virtue of its 
being connected, in the way of derivation, with 
some of the* circumstances with which they 
stand connected in the same manner) bear a 
material relation to the offence in the way of 
evidence, they may accordingly be styled evi- 
dentiary circumstances, and may become of 
use, by being held forth upon occasion as so 

• See B. I. tit. [AggravationsJ 



Chap. VII. many proofs, indicatioAS, or evidences of its, 
having been committed*,* f ' ' 

* S€e B. I. tit. [AcceMory Offences.] and B. II. tit. [Esi^ 

f It is evident that this analysis is equally applicable to 
incidents of a purely physical nature, as to those in which 
moral agency is concerned. If therefore it be just and use- 
ful here, it might be found not impossible, perhaps, to find 
some use for it in natural philosophy. 

[137 ] 



So much with regard to the two first of the Recapitn- 


articles upon which the evil tendency of an 
action may depend : viz. the act itself, and the 
general assemblage of the circumstances with 
which it may have been accompanied. We 
come now to consider the ways in which the 
particular circumstance of intention maybe con- 
cerned in it. 


First, th^n, the intention or will may regard T*^^ '"**"" 

•' ^ tion may 

either of two obiects : 1. The act itself: or, 2. J^|?r**» 

^, ' 1. The act; 

Its consequences. Of these objects, that which ©r, 2. The 

* •' ^ consequent 

the intention regards may be styled intentional, ces. 
If it regards the act, then the act may be said 
to be intentional :* if the consequences, so also 

* On this occasion the words voluntary and involuntary A°ibiguity 
are commonly employed. These, however, I purposely ab- words 
stain from, on account of the extreme ambiguity of their ^ {g^. 
signification. By a voluntary act is meant sometimes, any ^"^^tary. 
aict, in the performance of which the wiU has had any 
concern at all 3 in this sense it is synonymous to intentional : 
sometimes such acts only, in the production of which the 
will has been determined by motives not of a painful 
nature -, in this sense it is synonymous to unconstrained, or 


CBAP.V11I . ^i^^n jjp^g^y ^^ consequences. If it regards both 
the act and consequences, the whole action may 
be said to be intentional. Whichever of those 
articles is not the object of the intention, may 
of course be said to be unintentional. 


It may re- The act may very easily be intentional 

gard the •' i i 

actwi«bMft Without the consequences ; and often is so. 

any of the , . 

consequen- Tbus, you may intend to touch a man, without 
intending to hurt him : and yet, as the conse- 
q\i^lBnces turn out, you may chance to hurt hipa. 


the The consequences of an act may als,o be in- 

cM^hout tehtional, without the act's being intentional 
J1^**J^['\^ throughout ; that is, without its being intentional 
tfa^^. i° every stage of it : but thjsis npt so frequent a 
c?tse as the former. You intend to hurt a man, 
suppose, by running agami^t him, and pushing 
him down : and you run towards him accord- 
ingly : but a second man coming in on a sudden 
■ I ■ ■■ I III . I 

uncoerced : sometimes such actd only, in the production of 
w)iich the wiU has been determined by motives, which, 
iKrhether of the pleasurable or painful kind, occurred to ia man 
himself, without b^ing suggested by any body else ; in l&s 
sense it is synonymous to gpontaneous. The sense of the 
word involuntary does not correspcHid completely to that of 
th<e word voluntary. -Involuntary is used in oj^position to in- 
tentional'; and to unconstrained: but not to spontaneous. 
It might be of use to ccmfine the Bignification of th^ words 
voluQta#y and involuntary to one single aiid very narrow 
case, whidii will be mentioned in the next not^ 


between you and the first man, before you can cb^^^. 
stop yourself, you ran against the second man, 
and by hhn push down the first. 


'^ But the consequences of an act cannot be in- —but not 

, 3 1. • 1^ • without re- 

tentional, without the acts being itself mten- gardingthe 

tibnal in at least the first stage. If tbe act be 
not intentional in the first ?tage, it is no act of 
your's: there is accordingly no intention on 
your part to produce the consequences : that is 
to say, the individual consequences. All there 
can have been on yoijr part is a distant inten- 
tion to produce other consequences, of the same 
nature, by some act of your's, at a future time : 
or ebe, without any intention, a bare unsh to 
see isuch event take place. The Second man, 
suppose, runs of his own accord against the 
first, and pushes him down. You had intentions 
q£ doing a thing of the same nature : viz. To run 
against him, and push him down yourself; bat 
you had done nothing in pursuance of those in- 
tentions : the individual consequences therefore 
of the act, which the second man performed ip 
pushing down the first, cannot be said to have 
been on your part intentional.* 

* To redder the tinatyisid here given of the possible atates An act uo- 
of the miiid in point of idtentionality absolutely complete, it |^ ^^ ^^^^ 
most be ptidhed to such a farther te^ree of minuteness, as to f^se, may 

*^ ^^ . be so with 

some eyes ^rill be apt to appear trifling. Oti this account it respect to> 
ieemed advisable to disc&rd what foUdws, tnm the text to a of m'lMtter ^ 

moyed : 2, Direction : 3. Velocity. 


Chap.VHI. YI^ 


Aconse- Secoud. A conseoueiice^ when it is inten- 

quence, . , * 

wheD in- tional^ may either be directly so, or only obliqttelyi 
may be di- It mav be Said to be directly or lineally inten- 

rectly so, , "^ - *' •' 

or oblique- tional, when the prospect of producing it confiti- 
*y** , 

place where any one who thinks proper may pass by it. An 
act of the body> when of the positive kind^ is a motion : now 
in motion there are always three articles to be considered : 
1. The quantity of matter that moves : 2. The direction in 
which it moves : and, 3. The velocity with which it mave9; 
Corr^pondent to these three articles, are so maiiy modes of 
intentionality, with r^ard to an act, considered as being only 
in its first stage. To b^ completely unintentional, it must 
be unintentional with respect to every one of these three par- 
ticulars. This is the case veith those acts which alone are 
properly termed . involuntary r racta, in the performanipe of 
which the will has no" sort of. share : such as the contraction 
of the heart and arteries. 

Upon this principle, acts that are unintentional in their first 
stage, may b6 distinguish^ into such as are completely unin- 
tentional, and such as are incompletely unintentional :■ and 
those again^ may be unintentional, either in point of quantity of 
matter alone, in point of direction alone, in point of velocity 
alone, or in any two of these points togetlier. 

The example given further on may easily be extended to this 
part of the analysis, by any one who thinks it worth tlie while. 

There seem to be occasions in whi<ih even these disquisi- 
tions, minute as they may appear, may not be without their 
use in practice. In the case of homicide, for example, and 
othfifr corporal injuries, all the distinctions here specified may 
oceur, and in the course of trial may, for some purpose pr 
other, require to be brought to mind, and made the subject 
of discourse. What may <:ontribute to render the mention of 
them pardonabte> is theiuse that might poasiUy be made of • 



tuted one of the links in the chain of causes by SSH!;^* 
which the person was determined to do the act. 
It may be said to be obliquely or collaterally 
intentional, when, although the consequence 
was in coRtemplation, and appeared likely to 
eiMsne in case of the act's being performed, yet 
the prospect of producing such consequence 
did not constitute a link in the aforesaid chain.. 


Third. An incident, which is directly in- ^'*t»«* ^i- 

" rectly, uiti« 

tentional, may either be ultimately so, or only matew so, 
mediately. It may be said to be ultimately in^ ly. 
tentional, when it stands last of all exterior 
events in the aforesaid chain of motives ; inso- 
much that the prospect of the production of 
sttch inoideat, could there be a certainty of its 
taking place, would be sufficient to determine 
the: will, without the prospect^ of its producing 
any other. It may be said to be mediately in^ 
tentional,. and no more, when there is some other 
incident,, the prospect of producing which forms 
a subsequent link in the same chain.: insomuch 
that the prospect of producing the former would 
not have operated as: a motive, but for the ten- 

them in natural philosophy. In the hands of an expert meta- 
physician, these^ together with the foregoing chapter on 
human actions, and the section on facts in general; in title 
Evidence of the Book of Proceiiure, mighty perhaps^ be made 
to contrihute something, towards an exhaustive analysis of the 
possible varieties of mechanical inventions. 


chaptuj . (ienqy /virhich it seemed to have towards the 
productioa of the latter. 


When di- Fourth. When an incident is direcrfiy inten- 

t«Qtira5',it tional, it may either be esckisweiy so, or i«&r* 

dusivdj*^ chisively. ' It may be said to be exclusively in- 

dugwe^r tentional, when no other but that very indivi- ' 

dual incid^it would have answered the purpose^ 

insomuch that no other incident had any share 

in determining the will to the act in question. 

It may be said to have been inexclusively * in- 

-tentional, when there was some other incident, 

the prospect of which was acting upon the will 

at "the same time. 


When in- Fifth. When an incident is inexclusively 


it may be intentional, it may be either conjunctively so, 
lively, dig. Jwrjunctively, or indiscriminately. It may be said 

junctivdy, "^ '. ... •'!•» i 

or indifgcri^ to bc coujunctivcly lutentional with regard to 
so™ ^ such other incident, when the intention is to 
produce both: disjunctively, when the iiiten- 
tion is to produce either the one or the other in- 
differently, but not both : indiscriminately, when 
the intention is indifferently to produce eidier 
the one or the other, or both, as it may happen. 

When d:«- Sixth. When two incidents are disjunctively 
it^fnay bJ' Intentional, they may be so with or without 
withou't prefsrence. They may be said to be «o with 

preference. 4 . ■■— ■■ , . . . .. „ . . ,, — „.^ — , ., — ■■■ 

* Or concurrently. 


preference, when the intention is, that one of chap^. 
them in particular should happen rather than the 
other: without preference, when the intention 
is equally fulfilled, whichever of them happens.* 



One example will make all this dear. Wil-. E»n«p^ 
liam II. king of England, being out a stag-hunt- 
ing, received from Sit Walter Tyrrel a wounds 
of which hedied.t Let us tzke this case, mid 
diversify it with a variety of suippositions, ccA** 
respondent to the dii^tinctions just laid down. 

1. First then, Tyrrel did not so much , as . 
entertain a thought of the king's death ; or, if 
he did, looked upon, it as an event of which 
there was no4anger. In either of these cases 
the incident of his killing the king was aU 
together unintentional. 

2. He saw a stag running that way, and he 
saw the king riding that way at the same time : 
what he aimed at was to kill the stag : he did 

* There is a' difference between the case where an incident DiffercDce 
is altogether^uniiitenlional, and th&t in which> it being dis- incident's 
jionctitely inteniibnal with reference to another^ the preference ^'°^|'*?Ii 
is in favour of tliat other. In the first case, it is not the in- and dis- 
tention of the party that the incident In question should hap- i^Qtloiud 

pen at aU : in the latter case, the intention is rather that the ^}^^. ^^«. 

election is 

other should happen t but if thait dftnnot' be, then that this in infevour of 
question should ha^peii ratifaer than thki neither should, and ^^® ^*^^'* 
that both, at any rat^, should not happen. 

AU these are distinctions to be attended to> in the use of the 
particle or : a particle of very ambiguous import, and of great 
importance in legislation. See Append, tit. [Composition.} 

* t Hustle's Hist. 



c^ vni. ijQt ^sh to kill the king : at the same time he 
saw, that if he shot, it was as likely he should 
kill the king as the stag: yet for all that he 
shot, and killed the king accordingly. In this 
case the incident of his killing the king was 
intentional, but obliquely so. 

3. He killed the king on account of the 
hatfed he bore him, and for no other reason 
than the pleasure of destroying him. In this 
case the incident of the king's death was not 
only directly but ultimately intentional* 

4. He killed the king, intending fully so to 
do ; not for any hatred he bore him, but for 
the sake of plundering him when dead. In 
this case the incident of the king's death was 
directly intentional, but not ultimately : it was 
mediately intentional. 

6. He intended neither more nor less than 
to kill the king. He had no other aim nor 
wish. In this case it was exclusively as well as 
directly intentional : exclusively, to wit, with 
regard to every other material incident. 

6. Sir Walter shot the king in the right leg, 
as he was plucking a thorn out of it with his 
left hand. His intention was, by shooting the 
arrow into his leg through his hand, to cripple 
him in both those limbs at the same time. 
In this case the incident of the king's being 
shot in the leg was intentional : and that con- 
junctively with another which did not happen • 
viz. his being shot in the hand. 

t^w^i^mmmi^'^mi^'f^^^^^^rmm^m m *■ i p i ij^-i j — a^ii -■..- .. ~-. — — — — ^ ^-—r . ^ ■ — - —w^~^ — -I 


7. The intention of Tyrrel was to shoot CHAP.ym. 
the king either in the hand or in the leg; but 

not in both; and rather in the hand than in 
the leg. In this case the intention of shooting 
in the hand was disjunctively concurrent, with 
regard to the other incident, aiid that with 

8. His intention was to shoot the king either 
in the leg or the hand, whichever might happen ; 
but not in both. In this case the intention 
was inexcliisive, but disjunctively so : yet that, 
however, without preference. 

9. His intention was to shoot the king either in 
the leg or the hand, or in both, as it might happen. 
In this case the intention was indiscriminately 
concurrent, with respect to the two incidents. 

XII. ^ 

It is to be observed, that an ' act may be intention- 
unintentional in any stage or stages of it, though adt with ret 
intentional in the preceding : and, on the other different 
hand, it may be intentional in any stage or faj^ate^^ 
stages of it, and' yet unintentional in the sue- " 
ceeding;* But whether it be intentional or no 
in any preceding stage, is immaterial, with 
respect to the consequences, so it be unin- 
tentional in the last. The' only point, with 
respect to which it is material, is the proof. 
The more stages the act is unintentional in, 
the more apparent it will commonly be, that 

■■ ; ■■■ . . , . . . T 1 , . ■ I — ■ , III , . . 

* See eh. vii. [Actions] par. 14. 
VOL. I. L 


CHAP.V1IL it ^2^ unintentional with respect to the last- 
If a man, intending to strike you on: the cheek, 
strikes you in the eye, and puts it out, it will 
probably be difficult for him to prove that it was 
not his intention to strike you in the eye^ It will 
probably be easier, if his intention was^ really 
not to strike you, or even not to strike at alL 

Goodneas It is frequcut to hear men speak of a good 
nes8 of in- intention, of a bad intention ; of the goodness 

tention dis* 

missed, and baducss of a man's intention : a circum- 
stance on which great stress is generally laid. 
It is indeed of no small importance^ when 
properly understood: but the import of it i^ 
to the last degree ambiguous and obscure. 
Strictly speaking, nothing can be ss^d to be 
good or bad, but either in itself; which is 
the case only with pain or pleasure: or on 
account of its effects; which is tibie case only 
with things that are the causes or preventives 
of pain and pleasure^ Bat in i figurative and 
less proper way of speech, a thing may also be 
styled good or ^ bad, in consideration of* its 
cause. ^ Now the effects of an intention to do 
suohor auch an act, ace the .same objects whieh 
WB have been speaking of under therappeUatiffli 
of its* cof^fefUene^ : and the causes^^of* intention 
are i^lhd fnatives. A manls intention then'^ii 
any' occbsion may be i&tyled good or ^ bad, : with 
reference either to the consequences of the 



■ ij I ■ in I ■!! I I — w^iw^^ww— WPii^ywii 


act, or with reference to his motives. If itCHii*.vni. 
be deemed good or bad in any sense, it must 
be either because it is deemed to be produc- 
tive of good or of bad consequences, or be- 
cause it is deemed to originate from a good 
or from a bad motive. But the goodness or 
badness of the consequences depend upon the 
circumstances. Now the circumstances are 
no objects of the intention. A man intends 
the act : and by his intention produces the act : 
but as to the circumstances, he does not intend 
them: he doe& not, inasmuch as they are cir- 
cumstances of it, produce them. If by accident 
there be a few which he has been instrumental 
in producing, it has been by former intentions, 
directed to former acts, productive of those 
circumstances as the consequences : at the time 
in question he takes them as he finds th?m: . 
. Acts, with their consequences, are objects of 
the will as weU as of the understanding : cir^ 
cumstances, as such, are objects of the under? 
stan^Ung only. All he can do with these, as 
such, is to know or not to know them.: iQ 
other words, to be conscious of them,* orno^ 
conscious. To the title. of Cocusciousnes^ h^ 
longs what is to be said of the goodness\:or 
badness of a man'iB intention as resulting from 
the consequences of the act; an4 to the he^ 
of Motives, what is to be^^aid of his intention, ' 
as resulting from tibe: motive. 

[ f-^8 ] 




Connexion So far with regard to the ways in which the 
chapter 'will or intention may be concerned m the pro- 

with the . . , 

foregoing, duction of any incident : we come now to 
consider the part which the understanding or 
perceptive faculty may have borne, with re- 
lation to such incident. 

^8^"and ^ certain act has been done, and that in- 
unadnsed: tcntionallv : that act was attended with certain 

conscious* J 

ness, what, circubistances : upon these circumstances de- 
pended certain of its consequences; and 
amongst the rest, all those which were of a 
QHture purely physical. Now then, take any 
one of these circumstances, it is plain, that a 
man, at the tipie of doing the act from whence^ 
such consequences ensued, may have been 
either conscious, with respect to this circum- 
stance, or unconscious. In other wordis, he 
may either have been aware of the circum-^ 
i&tance, or not awaire : - it may either have been 
present to his mind, or not present. In the 
£rst case, the act may be said to have been 



SMi advised B,fitf with respect to that eircttm- 9^^^- '^; 
stance : in the other case, an unadvised oqe^ 

' . ' . III. ; ^ 

There are two points, with regard to which ^nadvised- 
an act m^y have been advised or unadvised : ^^^^ ^ 

1. The existence oi the circumstance itself, "^^n^e, or 


2. The materiality of it,* 


It is manifest, that with reference to the time P* *^'" 
of the act, such circumstance may have been "^^q**^^! 
either present, pasty or future^ or°ftIiSrr' 

An act which is unadvised, is either heedless. An unad- 
vised act 

or not heedless. It is termed heedless, when i^ay J>« 


the case is thought to be such* that a person of ^^^ *»eed- 
ordinary prudence,-}* if prompted by an ordinary 
share of benevolence, would have been likely, 
to have bestowed such and so . much attention 
and reflection upon the material circumstances, . 
as would have effectually disposed him to pre- 
vent the mischievous incident from taking place : 
not heedless,, \yhen the case is not thought to 
be such as above, mentioned.:!: 

Again. Whether a man did or did not supr- ^jg^j^^jf " 
pose the existence or materiality of a given ^^^tj-^^ 
circumstance, . it may be that he did suppose tlie p^**^- 

* See ch. viL [Actions.l par. 3. 

t'Se^ ch'. vi. [Sensibflity!] par. 1^. 

X See B. I. tit. [Extenuations.] 



CHAF.1X; existefice attd materiality of some circumstance, 
whiek- either did not exist, orwkich^ though 
existing, was not material. In such case the 
act may be said to be nds-advised, with respect 
to such imagined circumstance : and it- may be 
said, that there has been an erroneous suppo- 
sition, or a mis-mpposal in the case. 

VI I / 

The sup- Now a circumstance, the existence of which 

cumstuTe IS thus cnToneously i^npposed, may be material 

fe^ mate- cither, 1. In the way of prevention: or, 2. In 

way either^ that of Compensation. It may be said to be 

2k,S'Jr rf" material in the way of prevention!, when its 

^peoM- ggjg^t Qj» twidency, had it existed, would have 

been to prevent the obnoxious consequences : 

in die way of < compenssition, when - that effect 

or tendency would have been to produce other 

consequences, the beneficialness of which would 

have out-weighed the mischievousness of the 

others.' ' 


It may have I* ^ mauifcst that, with reference to the time 
^^'pre- ^^ *^^ ^*» s^^^ imaginary circumstance may 
^ftltSJ!' ^ cither case have been supposed either to be 
present, past, or future. 


fiiampie, ^^ rettim to* the example exhibited in the 
S^m'Jhf preceding chapter. 

last chap- jQ Xyrrel intended to shoot in th6 direction 
in which he shot; but he did not know that 

^nVI^^ViP^I^^ lUiMI I ■ ■^>^>wii m^ wwK,^ .n m»" ^- • W ^W ^•.^li^«^«*"~^9mR^F^ 


the king was lidiiig 30 near that way. In .tMs cbmjp^. 
cafle the act he performed. in shooting, th^ act 
of shooting, wasfvimadvised, with respect to the 
CMstence of the circumstance of the king's being 
so. near ridmg that way% 

IL He knew that the king was riding that 
way: but at the distance at which, the king 
was, he knew not of the probability there 
was that the arrow w^uld reach him. : In this 
case the act was omaid vised, with respect to the 
materiality of the ciroamstance. • . ^> 

12.' Somebqdy had dipped the arrow in poi- 
son, without Tyrrei's knowing of it. In ^ this 
case the act was unadvised, with respect to the 
existence of a pmt circumstance. 

13j At the very instant t^at Tyrrel drew the 
bow, the king, being screened from his view by 
the foliage of some bushes, was riding foriously, 
in sueh manner za^ t^ meet tlie arrow in a direct 
line: which circumstance was^also more than 
Tyrrel knew of. vln thiacase the act was un* 
advised^ with respect >to the exi^tenceof ap^e- 
^ml circumstance." i^^ 

'>14iiTh6 king, being at a distance from court, 
could ^get nobody to dress his WQund till the 
next day; of which circumstance Tyrre} was 
not aware. ^ In this case the act was unadvised, 
with, respects to what was then a futwpe cir- 
cilm&tance.c - ; 

45. Tyrrel knew of the king's being riding that 


9*^ ^^: way, lof his being so near, and so forth;, bat 
bdng deceived by the foliage of the bushes, he 
thought he saw a bank between the spot from 
which he «h6t, and that to which the king was 
riding. In this case the act was nus-advised^ 
proceeding on the mis^supposal of a preventive 

16. Tyrrel knew that every thing was as 
above, nor was he deceived by the supposition 
of any preventive circumstance. But he be- 
lieved the king to be an usurper : and supposed 
he was coming up to attack a peirson whom 
Tyrrel believed to be the rightful king, and wha 
was riding by Tyrrel's side. In this case the 
act was also mis-advised, but proceeded on the 
miS'Supposal of a compensative circumstance. . 

In what Let US obscrvc the connexion there is be- 

C&S6 COD* 

sciousness twccu intcntionality and consciousness. When . 
imentiun- thc act itsclf is intentional, and with respect to 
the^actto the cxisteuce of all the circumstances advised, 
qucnceT as also with respect to the materiality of those 
circumstances, in relation to a given conse- 
quence, and there is no mis-supposal. with re- 
gard to any preventive circumstance, that con- . 
sequence must also be intentional: in other 
words; advisedness, with respect to. the cir- 
cumstances, if clear from the mis-supposal of 
any preventive circumstance, extends the inten- 
tionality from the act to the consequences. 


Those consequences may. be either ddreotly in«- cmap^^^; * 
trational/ or only obliquely so : but at any rate 
they cannot but be intentional. 


To go on with the example. If Tyrrel in- Example 

*■ *' oontiaued. 

tended to shoot in the direction in which the 
king was riding up, and knew that the king was 
coming to meet the arrow, and knew the pro- 
bability there was of his being shot in that same, 
part in which h^ .was shot, or in another as 
dangerous, and with that same tlegreeof force, 
and so forth, and was not misled by the erro-. 
neous supposition of a circumstance by which 
the shot would have been prevented from taking 
place, or any such other preventive circum- 
stance, it is plain he could not but have intended 
the king's death. Perhaps he did not positively 
wish it ; but for all that, in a certain sense he 
intended it. 


What heedlessness is in the case of an unad- a misad- 
vised act 

vised act, rashness is in the case of a misadvised viay be * 

*■ rash or not 

one. A misadvised act then may be either "^sh. 
rash or not rash. It may be termed rash, when 
the case is thought to be such, that a person of 
ordinary prudence, if prompted by an ordi- 
nary share of benevolence, would . have em- 
ployed such and so much attention and .reflec- 
tion to the imagined circumstance, as, by disco- 
vering to him the non-existence, improbability. 


^gy^;^^/ or immateriality of it, would have effectually 
disposed him to prevent the mik^evoua inci** 
dent fix)m taking place* 


TheiottD- In ordinary discourse, when a man does an 
fcuod or bad act of wfaich the consequences . prove mischie* 
depeud- ~ vous, it is a common thing tp speak of him as 
theLuive having acted with; a good intention or with a 
the even- bad intentioii, of his intentions being a good 
quences. ~ OBC Of a bad oue. . The epithets good . and bad 
are all this while appUed, we see^ to ,the inten- 
tion: but the application of them is mosixom^ 
monly governed by a supposition fonned with 
regard to thel jua^ure of the motive. < The act, 
tiiough eventually it pr0VB> mischievous, is said done with a .good intention, when it is 
supposed to issue from a ^motive which is 
looked upon as a ^good motive : with a.bad in- 
tention, when it is supposed to be the result of 
a motive which is looked upon as a bad motive. 
But the nature of the consequences intended, 
> amd the natudre of the . motive which gate birth 
to the; intention, are objects which,, though, in^ 
timately connected, are perfectly . distinguish- 
able. The intentionmight therefore witlkperfect 
propriety be. styled a> good one, whatever were 
the motive. It might be styled a good one, 
when .not only .the c<msequenc^ of the act 
prwe mischievous^ but the> motive which gave 
birth todttodur what is called a bad. one. Ta 

not to 


warrant the speaking of the intention as being 9"^^^^ 
a good one, it is sufficient if the consequences 
of ^ the act, had they proved what to the agent 
they seemed Kkely to be, umUd have been of a 
beneficial natiire. And in the same manner the 
intention may be bad, when not only the con- 
sequences of th^ act prove beneficial, but the 
motive which gave birth to it was a good one. 


Now, when a man has a mind to speak of it is better 
your hUention ^is being good or bad, with refer- hit^tL^ii 
ence to the consequences, if he speaks of it at SJ!XV rf** 
all he must use the word intention, for there is rLd'"^ 
no other. But if a man means to speak of the say,' the 
motive from ^hich your intention originated, as *^'*'''* 
being a good or a bad one, he is certainly not 
obliged to use the word intention : it is at least 
as well to use the word motive. By the sup- 
poi^ition he means the motive ; and very likely 
he may not mean the intention. For what is 
true of the one is very often not true of the 
other. The motive may be good when the in- 
tention is bad : the intention may be good when 
the motive is bad : whether th^y are both good 
or both bad, or the one good and the other bad, 
makes, as we shall see hereafter, a very essen- 
tial difference with regard to the consequences.* 
It is therefore much better, when motive is 
meant, never to say intention. 

^ See ch. xii. [Consequences.] 


Example. Au example will make this clear. Out of. 
malice a man prosecutes you for a crime of. 
which.he believes you to be guilty , but of which 
in fact you are not guilty. Here the. conse- 
quences of his conduct are mischievous : for they 
are mischievous to you at any rate, in virtue of 
the shame and anxiety which you are made to 
suffer while the prosecution is depending: to 
which is to be added, in case of your being 
convicted, the evil of the punishment. To you 
therefore they are mischievous; nor is >there 
any one to whom they are beneficial. The 
man's motive was also what is called a bad one : 
for malice will be allowed by every bqdy to be 
a bad motive. However, the consequences of 
his conduct, had they proved such as he be- 
lieved them likely to be, would have been good : . 
for in them would have been included the pu- 
nishment of a criminal, which is a benefit to aU 
who are exposed to suflfer by a crime of the 
like nature. The intention therefore, in this 
case, though not in a common way of speaking 
the motive, might be styled a ^ocm/ one. But 
of motives more particularly in the next 


jntention, In the samc sense the intention, whether it 

in what 

^**hri ^ positively good or no, so long as it is not 
noccnt. bad, may be termed innocent. Accordingly, 




let the consequences have proved mischievous, ^^!!^^ 
and let the motive have been what it will, the 
intention may be termed innocent in either of 
two cases : L In the case of «^w-advisedness 
with respect to any of the circumstances on 
which the mischievousnes&of the consequences 
.depended: 2. In the case of wis-advisedness 
with respect to any circumstance, which, had 
it been what it appeared to be, would have 
served either to prevent or to outweigh the 


A few words for the purpose of applying intenHon- 
what has been said to the Roman law. Unin- consdow- 
tentionauty> and innocence of intention, seem spoken of 
both to be included in the case of infortunium, maa Uw. 
where there is neither dolus nor culpa. Un- 
advisedness coupled with heedlessness, and 
mis-advisedness coupled with rashness, cor- 
respond to the. culpa sine dolo. Direct inten- 
tionality corresponds to dolm. Oblique inten- 
t tonality seems hardly to have been distin- 
guished from direct ; were it to occur, it would 
|>robably be deemed also to correspond to dolus. 
The division into culpa, lata, levis, and levissifna, 
i s such as nothing certain can correspond to. 
What is it that it expresses ? A distinction^ not 
in the case itself but only in the sentiment&f 
which any person (a judge, for instance) may 
find himself disposed to entertain with relation 


S^^^' ^^ to it: supposing it already distinguished into 
three subordinate cases by other mea^s. 

The word ^a/t^^ seems iU enough contrrwd: 
the word culpa as indifferently. Dolus; upon 
any other occasion, would be underi^ood to 
imply deceit, concealment,* clandestinity : f but 
here it is extended to open force. CkUpa, updn 
any other occasion, would be understood to 
extend to blame of. every kind. It would 
therefore include doltcs. J 

* See B. I. tit. [Theft] verbo [amenable.] 

f Dolus, an virtus quis in hoste requirit ? Viroil* 

X I pretend not here to give any determinate explanation 
of a se\ of \^ords, of which the great misfortune is, that th% 
, import of them is confused and indeterminate. 1 speiJc onljr 
by approximation. To attempt to determine the precis^ im- 
port that has been given them by a hundredth part of the 
authors that have used them, would be an endless task. 
Would any one talk intelligibly on this subject ih Latin } let 
him throw out dolus altogether :' let hind keep culpa, for the 
purpose of expressing not the case itself^ but the sentiment 
that is entertained concerning a case described by other 
means. For intentionality^ let him coin a word boldly^ and 
say intentionalitas : for unintentionality^ non^tetmonalitas. 
For unadvisedness, he has fillready the' word ihsniia: though 
the words imprudentia, wobservdhtia, were it not'foir ihe 
other senses they are used in, wdnld do better : for unad- 
Tisedness coupled with heedlessness^ let him say' tMcUia 
cu^folnlis: for unadvisedness without heedlessness, insdtiBi 
inctt^lxMUs : for , mb-advisedness coupled with rashness, 
error k^lpabilitt error temer^us, 6t ^rmr'cim tmerUate : ior 
mis-adyisedness without lashii'^, eirwr incH^paHliSf error iion- 
temerariiu, w error sine temmtate. 



XVIII. Chap. IX, 

The^above-^meHtioned definitions and distino^ ^^e of thu 

and the 

tions are far from beiiig m^re matters of speei»- preceding 

. 1 1 i» 1 • chapter. 

lation. They are capable of the most extensiye 
and constant application^ as well to moiral di&h 
course as to legislative practice. Upon the 
degree and bias of a man's intention, upon the 
absence or presence of consciousness or mis- 
supposal, depend a great part of the good and 
bad, more especially of the bad consequences 
of an act^ and on this, as well as other grounds, 
a great part of the demand for punishment.* 
The presence of intention with regard to such 
or such a consequence, and of consciousness 
with regard to such or such a circumstance, of 
the act, will form so many criminative circum- 
stances, f or essential ingredients xji the com- 
position of this or that offence : applied to other 
circumstances, consciousness will form a ground 
of aggravation, annexable to the like offence. J 
In almost all cases, the absence of intention 

It is not unfreqaent likewise to meet with the phrase^ malo 
animo : a phrase still more indeterminate, if possible, than 
any of the former. It seems to have reference either to in^ 
tentionality, or to consciousness, or to the motive, or to the 
disposition, or to any two or more of these taken together 3 
nobody can tell which : these being objects which seem to 
have never hitherto been properly distinguished and defined. 

* See ch. xiii. [Cases unmeet.] 

f See B. I. tit. [Circumstances influencing.] 

I See B. I. tit. [Aggravations.] 




Chap. IX. ^itij regard to certain consequences, and the 
absence of consciousness, or the presence of 
mis-supposal, with regard to certain circum- 
stances, will constitute so many grounds of 
extenuation. * 

' * See B. I. tit. [Extenuations.] 


[161 ] 



It is an acknowledged truth, that every kind of Motives, 

o ' - '^ why consi- 

act .whatever, and consequently every kin4 of ^«r«i- - 
offence,, is apt to . assume a different character, attended with different effects, accord- 
ing to the nature of the motive which gives birth 
to it. This makes, it requisite to take a view of 
the several motives by which human conduct is 
liable to be influenced. 

By a motive, ia the most extensive sense in Purely spe- 
v^hich. the word is ever used with reference to a motives 
thinking being, is meant any thing that can t^n^to'do 
contribute to give birth to, or even to prevent, 
any kind of action. Now the action of a .think- 

♦ Note by the author, July 18«2. 

For a tabular simultaneous view of the whole list of 
MOTIYE8, in conjunction with the correspondent p^ea^ures and 
pains, interests and desires, see,, by the same author;* Table of 
the Springs of Action, &c. with Explanatory Notes and Obser- 
vatiqns. London 1817, Hunter^ St. PauVs Church Yard, 8vo. 
pp. 32. 

The word inducement has of late presented itself, as being 
in its signification more comprehensivie than the word motive, 
«ad on some occasions more apposite. 

VOL. I. M 


£"^J' ^: ing being is the act either of the body, or only 
of the mind : and an act of the mind is an act 
either of the intellectual faculty, or of the will. 
Acts of the intellectual faculty will sometimes 
rest in the understanding merely, without ex- 
erting any influence in the production of any 
acts of the will. Motives, which are not of a 
nature to influence any other acts than those, 
may be styled purely speculative motives, or 
motives resting in speculation. But as to these 
acts, neither' do* the^ exercise any influence 
oVei' external acts; oV oveir their donsequences, 
ndr'cbnseiiueYitly dveV any pain or any' pleasure 
that may bfe in the number of such conse- 
quences. Now it is only oti account of iJieir 
tendency to produce dither pain or pleasure, 
that any acts Can be material. With acts, 
therefore, that rest purely in th6 utiderstaild- 
ing, we have not here any concern : nor there- 
fore With any obj edi, if any Such there^be, 
whicfr, in the^ chailacter of a motive, can have 
no influence on any other acts than those. 


Motives to The motives with which alone we have any 

the wiU. , ' - ^ 

concern, are such as are of a nature to act 
upon the will. By a motive then, in this sense 
of the word, is to be understood any thing 
whatsoever, which, by influencing the will of 
a sensitive being, is supposed to serve as a 
means of determining him to act, or voluntarily 

mmt9mmw9mm^^nmmm^n^mB^t9m&v^fmmmMmtm k^^w" "V' 

■ ■•'■a 


to foFbear to act,* upon any occasion. Motives ^h^^ 
of this sort, in contradistinction to the former, 
may be styled practical motives, or motives ap- 
plying to practice. 

IV. - 

Owing to the poverty and unsettled state of Figurative 
language, the word motive is employed indiscri- gurative 
mmately to denote two kinds of oqjects, which, the word, 
for the better understanding of the subject, it is 
necessary should be distinguished. On some 
occasions it is employed to denote any of those 
really existing incidents from whence the act 
in question is supposed to take its rise. The 
sense it bears on these occasions may be styled 
its literal or unfigurative sense. On other oc- 
casions it is employed to denote a certain ficti- 
tious entity, a passion, an affection of the mind; 
an ideal being which upon the happening of any 

«* I > I » n 

* Wheii the efifect or tendency of a motive irf to'detsmiitfe 
a man to forbear. to act, it may seem improper to .make Ue^ 
of the term motive : since motive^ properly speaking, means 
that which disposes an object to move. We must however 
use that improper term,' or a term which, though proper 
enough, is scarce in use, the word determinative. By way of 
justification,. or at least apology, for the popular usage in this 
behalf, it may be observed, that even forbeanmce to act, or 
the ne^tion of motion (that is, of bodily motion) suppose^^ 
an act done, when such forbearance is voluntary. It sup- 
poses, to wit, an act of the will, which is as much a positive 
act, as much a motion, as any other act of the thinking sub* 
•tance. ' 

If S 



^^- ^; such incident is considered as operating upon 
the mind^^and prompting it to take that course, 
towards which it is impelled by the influence 
of such incident. Motives of this class are 
Avarice, Indolence, Benevolence, and so forth ; 
' as we shall see more particularly farther on. 
This latter may be styled the Jigurative sense of 
the term motive. 


Motives in. As to the real incidents to which the name 

terior and /. . . • /» 

exterior, of motivc IS also givcu, thesc too are of two very 
different kinds. They may be either, 1 . The 
iwferwa/ perception of any individual lot of plea- 
sure or pain, the expectation of which is looked 
upon as calculated to determine ■ you to act in 
such or such a manner ; as the pleasure of ac- 
quiring such a sum of money, the pain of ex- 
erting youi'self on such an occasion, and so 
forth : Or, 2. Any external event, the happening 
whereof is regarded as having a tendency to 
bring about the perception of such pleasijre. or 
such pain : for instance, the coming up of a lot- 
tery ticket, by which the possession of the 
money devolves to you ; or the breaking out 
of a fire in the house you are in, which makes 
it necessary for you to quit it. The former kind 
of motives may be termed interior, or internal : 
the latter exterior, or external. 

Motive m Xwo othcr scnscs of the term motive need also 

prospei <— 
motive in ttse. 


■— iww— ii Li i mji Mi w t a 9Km^^mi^st^s^'^'^mmmmmmitmm9^:;^W^'^^''mfimf^i9i'mmKimB^ 


to be distiaguished. Motive refers necessarily chaf. x. . 
to action. It isa pleasure, pain, orother event, • 
that prompts :to action. Motive then^ in' one 
sense of the word, must be previous to such 
event. But, for a man to be governed by any 
motive, he must in every case look beyond that 
event which is called his action; he must look 
to the consequences of it: and it is only inthis^ 
way that the idea' of pleasure, of pain, or of any 
other event, can give birth to it. He must look, 
therefore, in every case, to some event poste- 
rior to the act in contemplation : an event which 
as yet exists not, but stands only in prospect. 
Now, as it is in all cases difficult, arid in most 
cases unnecessary, to distinguish between ob- 
jects so intimately connected, as the posterior 
possible object which is thus looked forward to, 
and the present existing object or event which 
takes place upon a man's looking forward to the 
other, they are both of them' spoken of under 
the same appellation, motive. To distinguish 
them, the one first mentioned may be termed a 
motive in prospect, the other a motive in esse: 
and under each of these denominations will come 
as well exterior as internal motives. A fire 
breaks out in your neighbour's house : you are 
under apprehension of its extending to your 
own : you are apprehensive, that if you stay in 
it, you will be burnt: you accordingly run out 
of it. This then is the act : the others are all 

166 or llOtlVES. 

9"*^' ^: motives to it. The event of the Are s breaking 
out in your neighbour's house is an external 
motive, smd that in esse: the idea eg* belief of 
the probability of the fire's extending to your 
Otwn house, that of your being burnt if you-con- 
tinue, and the pain you feel at the thought <^ 
such -a catastrophe, are all so many internal 
events, but still in ^sse : the event of the fire's 
actually extending to^our own house, and that 
of your being actually burnt. by it, external 
motives in prospect : the paii^ you would feel at 
seeing your> house a burning, and the pain you 
would feel while you yourself were burning, in- 
ternal motives, in prospect : which events, ac- 
cording as the matter turns out, may come to 
|>e»in €ssf: but then- of course they will cease 
to act as motives* 


Motives Ofsdl these ^notives, which stand nearest to 
ISc^re-*" the act, to the production of which they all con- 
tribute> is that internal motive in e^^e which 
consists in the expectation of the internal mo- 
tive in prospect : the pain or uneasiness you 
feel at the thoughts of being burnt,* All other 


• Whether it be the expectation of bemg burnt^ or the pain 
tW accoiupanies t&at expectation^ tliat is the immediate in- 
teraal motive spoken of, may be difficult to determine. It may 
even be questioned^ perhaps^ whether they are distinct entities. 
Both questions^ however^ seem to be mere questions of words^ 



niotives are more or less remote : the motives 5"*J- ^; 
in pi^spect^ in proportion as the period at which 
they. .are expected to Jiappen is more distant 
|rom the period at, which the act takes pjiace, 
and consequently latejr^ in point of time : the 
motives in esse, in proportion as they also are 
more distant from that period^ and consequently 
earlier in point of time,* 

viir. . 
It has already been observed, t^at with mo- Motives to 
tivcs of which the influence terminates alto- i^tog!'" the understanding, ,w.e have nothing maySaL 
here to do. If then, amongst objects that are tm!^* 
spoken of as motives with reference to the 
understanding, there be any which concern us 

and the solution of them altogether immaterial. Even the 
other 'kinds of motives/ though for some purposes they de- 
mand a separate consideration, are> however^ so intimately 
allied> that it vnll often be scarce practicable^ and not always 
material, to avoid confounding them, as they have always 
hitherto /been confounded. 

* Under the teritt esse must be included as well past exist- 
^ence", with reference to a given period, as present. They are 
equally real^ in comparison with what is as yet but future. 
LaJiguage is materially deficient, in not enabling us to dis** 
tinguish with precision between existence as opposed to un- 
reality, and present existence as opposed to past. The word 
existence in English^ and esse^ adopted by lawyers from the 
Latin, have the inconvenience of appearing to confine the 
eaufltence in question to some single period considered a& 
being present. 


Chap. X. 

here, it is only in as fiur as such objects inayr 
through the medium of the understanding, ex- 
efcise an influence over the will. It is in this 
way, and in this way only, that any objects, 
in virtue of any tendency they may have to in- 
fluence the sentiment pf belief, may in a practi- 
cal sense act in the character of motives. Any 
objects, by tending to induce a belief concern- 
ing the existence, actual, or probable, of a prac- 
tical motive; that is, concerhiuj^ the probabi- 
lity of a motive in prospect, or the existence of 
a motive in esse; may exercise an influence on 
the will, and rank with those other motives that 
have been placed under the name of practical; 
The pointing out of motives such as these, is 
what we frequently mean when we talk of 
giving reasons. Your neighbour's house is on 
fire as before, I observe to you, that at the 
lower part of your neighbour's house is some 
wood-work, which joins on to your's; that the 
flames have caught this wood- work, and so forth ; 
which I do in order to dispose you to believe as 
I believe, that if you stay in your house much 
longer you will be burnt. In doing this, then, I 
suggest motives to your understanding ; which 
motives, by the tendency they have to give birth 
to or strengthen a pain, which operates upon 
you in the character of an internal motive in 
esse; join their force, and act as motives upiwa 
the will. 

^ i^mmmmmm^m^ifmi^tmmi^^m9mmmm^m'^i^9^''f^mmm^Kmimmm^mtmmm9im^mmmmmtmmmmmmmmfmmmm 

or MOTIVES. 169 

^ 2. No motives either constantly good, or con- 9^^^- ^\ 
starUly bad. 


In all this chain of motives, the principal or Nothing 
original link seems to be the last internal motive useif^ag ^a 
in pr&spect; it is to this that all the other Se Ideas of 
motives 'in prospect owe their materiality : and \t^^^^ "^^ 
the immediately acting motive its existence. 
This motive in prospect, yre see, is always some 
pleasure, or some pain ; some pleasure, which 
the act in question is expected to be a means of 
continuing or producing : some pain which it 
is expected to be a means of discontinuing or 
pieventing. A motive is substantially nothing 
more than pleasure or pain, operating in a cer- 
tain manner. 


Now, pleasure is in itself b. good : nay, even ^o^j'^JigUf 
settirig aside immunity from pain, the only itself a bad 
good : pain is in itself an evil ; and, indeed, 
without exception, the only evil; or else the 
words good and evil have no meaning. And this 
is alike true of every sort of pain, and of every 
sort of pleasure. It follows, therefore, immedi* 
ately and incontestibly, th^t there is no such thing 
as any sort of motive that is in itself a bad oneJ'^ 

* Let a man's mbtive be ill-will ^ call it even malice^ Cikvy, 
cruelty ; it is still a kind of pleasure that is his motive : the 
pleasure be takes at the thought of the pain which he sees^ 



Chap. X. 


ittaccuracy It is commoii, howcver, to speak of actions 

sfons^i^'*' as proceeding from good or bad motives: in 

ZvMi^^ which case the motives meant are such as are 

ffies*"* internal. The expression is far from being an 

accurate one ; and as it is apt to occur in the 

consideration of almost every kind of offence, it 

will be requisite to settle the precise meaning 

of it, and observe how for it quadrates with 

the truth of things. 


» - • 

Any sort of With rcspcct to gooducss and badness, as it 
^▼c "birtb^ is with every thing else that is not itself either 
of art^ ^^ pain or pleasure, so. is it with motives. If they 
are good or bad, it is only on account of their 
effects : good, on account of their tendency to 
produce pleasure, or avert pain: bad, on ac- 
count of their tendency to produce pain, or 
avert pleasure. Now the case is, that from one 
and the same motive, and from every kind of 
motive, may proceed actions that are good, 
others that are bad, and others that are indif- 
ferent. This we shall proceed to shew with 
respect to all the different kinds of motives, as 

or expects to ^ee, his adversary undergo. Kow even this 
wretched pleasure^ taken by itself^ is good : it may be faint 3 
it may be short : it must at any rate be impure : yet while it 
lasts, and before any bad consequences arrive, it is as good as 
any other that is not more intense. See ch. iv. [Value.] 



determined by the various kinds of pleasures ICbap^ 

and pains. 


Such an analysis, useful as it is, will be found Difficaities 

, which 

to be a matter of no small difficulty ; owing, m stand in the 

way of an 

great measure, to a certam perversity of struc- analysis of 
ture which prevails more or less throughout all 
languages^ To speak of motives, as of any 
thing else, one must call them by their names. 
But the misfortune is, that it is rare to meet 
with a motive of which the name expresses that 
and nothing more. Commonly along with the 
very name of the motive, is tacitly involved a 
proposition imputing to it a certain quality ; a 
quality which, in many cases, will appear to 
include that very goodness or badness, concern- 
ing which we are here inquiring whether, pro- 
perly speaking, it be or be not imputable to 
motives. To use the common phrase, in most 
cases,. the name of the motive is a word which 
is».employed either only in a good sense, or else 
only, in a bad sense. Now, when a word is 
spoken of as J3eing used in a good sense, all 
that as necessarily meant is this: that in con- 
junctioujwith the idea of ,the object it is put to 
signify,. it conveys an idea of approbation : that 
is,- of a pleasure . or satisfaction, entertained 
by the person who employs the term at the 
thoughts of such object. In like manner, when 
a word is spoken of as being used in a bad 


chap^x. sense, ail that is necessarily meant is this :- 
that, in conjunction with the idea of theob-- 
ject it is put to signify, it conveys an idea of 
disapprobation : that is, of a displeasure enter- 
tained by the person who employs the tetm 
at the thoughts of such object. Now, the 
circumstance on which such approbation is 
grounded will, as naturally as any other, be the- 
opinion of the goodness of the object in ques- 
tion, as above explained : such, at least, it 
must be, upon the principle of utility : so, on 
the other hand, the circumstance on which 
a.y such disapprobation is grounded, wiU, as 
naturally as any other, be the opinion of the 
badness of the object: such, at least, it must 
be, in as far as the principle of utility is taken 
for the standard. 

Now there are certain motives which, unless 
in a few particular cases, have scarcely any 
other name to be expressed by but such a word 
as is used only in a good sense. This is the 
case, for example, with the motives of piety 
and honour. The consequence of this is, that 
if, in speaking of such a motive, a man should 
have occasion to apply the epithet bad to any 
actions which he mentions as apt to result from 
it, he must appear to be guilty of a contradic- 
tion in terms. But the nSmes of motives which 
have scarcely any other name to be expressed 
by, but such a word as is used only in a bad 



&ense, are many, more.* This is the ease, for chap. x. 
example, with the motives of lust and avarice. 
And accordingly, if in speaking of any such 
motive, a man should have occasion to apply 
the epithets good or indifferent to any actions 
which he mentions as apt to result from it, he 
must here also appear to be guilty of a similar 


This perverse association of ideas cannot, it 

is evident, but throw great difficulties in the 
way of the inquiry now before us. Confining 
himself to the language most in use, a man can 
scarce avoid running, in appearance, into per- 
petual contradictions. His propositions will 
appear, on the one hand, repugnant to truth; 
and on the other hand, adverse to utility. As 
paradoxes, they will excite contempt : as mis- 
chievous paradoxes, indignation. For the truths 

* For the reason, see chap. xi. [Dispositions.] par. xvii. note. 

t To this imperfection of language, and nothing more, are 
to be attributed, in great measure, the violent clamours that 
have from time to time been raised against those ingenious 
moralists, who, travelling out of the beaten tract of specu- 
lation, have found more or less difficulty in disentangling 
themselves from the shackles of ordinary language : such as 
Rochefoucault, Mandeville, and Helvetius. To the unsound- 
ness of their opinions, and, with still greater injustice, to the 
corruption of their hearts, was often imputed, what was most 
commonly owing either to a want of skill, in matters of lan- 
guage on the part of the author, or a want of discernment, 
possibly now and then in some instances a want of probity, 
. on the part of the- commentator. 


F"^^- ^\ he labours to convey, however important/ and 
however salutary, his reader is never the better : 
and he himself is much the worse. To obviate 
this inconvenience, completely, he has but this 
one unpleasant remedy; to lay aside* the old 
phraseology and invent a new one. Happy the 
man whose language is ductile enough to per- 
mit him this resource. To palliate the incon^ 
venience, whefre that method of obviating it is 
impracticable, he has nothing left for it but to 
enter into a long discussion, to state the whole 
matter at large, to confess, that for the sake of 
promoting the purposes, he has violated the 
established laws of language, and to throw him^ 
sdtf upon the mercy of his readers.* - 


^;*.Happilyj language is^ opt always so intractable^ but fbat 
by making use qf two words instead of one, a man may avoid 
the inconvenience of £eibricating words that are absolutely new. 
Thus instead of the word lust, by putting together two words 
in common use» he may frame the neutral expression, sexual 
desire : instead of the word avarice, by putting together two 
other words also in common use, he may frame the neutral 
expression, pecuniary interest. This, accordingly, is the 
course which I have taken. In these instances, indeed, even 
the combination is not novel : the only novelty there is con- 
sists in the steady adherence to the one neutral expression, 
rejecting altogether the terms, of which the import is infected 
by adventitious and unsuitable ideas. 

In the catalogue of motives, corresponding to the several 
sorts of pains and pleasures, I have inserted such as have 
occurred to me. I cannot pretend to warrant it complete. 
To make sure of rendering it so, the only way would be, to 


Crap. X. 

§ 3, Catalogue of motives corresponding to that of 
Pleasures and Pains. 



From the pleasures of the senses, considered Physical 

desire cor~ 

in the gross, results the motive which in a respoodm; 
neutral sense, may be termed physical desire : S'lcDse in 
in a bad i^ense, it is termed sensuality. Name f*"*** * 
used in a good sense it has none. Of this, no- 
thing can be determined, till it be considered 
separately, v^ith reference to the several species 
o£ pleasures to which it corresponds. 


In particular, then, to the plea!sur6s of the The motive 


taste or palate corresponds a motive, which in ponding u> 

the plea^ 

a neutral sense having received no name that suresdfthe 

•- • 11 11 palate. 

can serve' to express it m all cas6s, can only be 
termed, by circumlocution, the love of the plea- 
sures of the palate. In particula): cases it is 
styled hunger : in others, thirst.f The loVe of 
good cheer expresses this motive, but seems' to 
^o beyond : intimating, that the pleasure is to be 

turn over the dictionary from beginning to end : an operation 
wtdch, in a view to perfection^ would be necessary for more 
purposes than this. See B. I. tit. [De^Eimation.] and Append, 
tit. [Composition.] .« 

f Hunger and thirsty considered in ihe light of motives^ 
import not so much the desire of a particular kind of plea^ 
sure^ as the desire of removing a positive kind of pain. They 
do not extend to the desire of that kind of pleasure which 
depends on the choice- of foods and liquors. 


^^^^^ partaken of in company, and involving a kind 
of sympathy. : In a bad sense, it is styled in 
some cases greediness, voraciousness, gluttony r 
in others, principally when applied to children, 
lickerishness. It may in some cases^ also be 
represented by the word daintiness; Name 
used in a good sense it has none. 1. A boy, 
who does not want for victuals, steals a cake 
out of a pastry-cook^s shop, and eats it. In 
this case his motive will be universally deemed 
a bad one : and if it be asked what it is, it may 
be answered, perhaps, lickerishness. 2. A boy 
* buys a cake out of a pastry-cook's shop, and 
eats it. In this case his motive can scarcely be 
looked upon* as either good or bad, unless his 
master should be out of humour with him ; and 
then perhaps he may call it lickerishness, as 
before. In both cases, however, bis motive is 
the same. It is neither more nor less than the 
motive corresponding to the pleasures of the 


Sexual de- To thc plcasurcs of the sexual sense corre- 
responding spouds the motivc which, in a neutral sense, 
tothejpiea- jjjj^yjj^ ^^^01^^ scxual dcsirc. In a bad sense, it 
is spoken of under the name of lasciviousness. 

sure o 

* It will not be worth while, in every case, to give, an 
instance in which the action n^ay be indifferent: if good as 
weU as bad actions may result from the same motive, it is 
easy to conceive, that also may be indifferent. . 



and a variety of other names of reprobation. 
Name used in a good sense, it has none.* 

!• A man ravishesL a virgin. \n this case the 
motive is, without scruple, termed by the name 
of lust, lasciviousness, and so forth ; and is uni- 
versally looked upon as a bad one. 2. The 
same man, at another time exercises the rights 
of marriage with his wife. In this case the 
motive is accounted, perhaps, a good one, or 
at least indiflTerent: and here people would 
scruple to call it by any of those names. In 
both cases, however, the motive may be pre- 
cisely the same. In both cases it n^ay be neither 
more nor less than sexual desire. 


To the pleasures of curiosity corresponds curiosity, 
the motive known by the same name : aiid spoDdin^to 
which may be otherwise called the love of suresofcu- 
novelty, or the love of experiment ; and, on "**** ^' 

* LoTe indeed includes sometimes this idea : but then it 
can n^ver answer the purpose of exhibiting it separately :* 
since there are three motives, at least, that may all of them 
be included in it, besides this : the love of beauty correspond- 
ing to* the pleasures of the eye, and the motives correspond- 
ing to those of amity and benevolence. We speak of the 
love ai children, of the love of parents, of the love of Crod. 
These pious ^ses protect the appeUation, and preserve it* 
from the ignominy poured forth upon its profane associates. 
Even sensual love would not answer the purpose; since that 
would include the lore of beauty. ' 

VOL. I. N 




^^' ^; paitictdar occasions, sport, and sometimes 


1. A boy, in order to divert himo^f, reads an 

improving book: the motive is accounted, 

perhaps, a good one : at any rate not a bad 

one. 2. He sets his top a spinning : the motive 

is deemed, at any rate, not a bad one* 3. He 

^sets loose a mad ox among a crowd; bis motive 

•s now, perhaps, termed an abominabte one. 

Yet in all three eases the motive may be the 

very same : it may be neither more nor k£» 

than euiiosity. . * 


None to As to the Other pleasures of seg^e tbey are 
pieafluresof ^£ ^^^ j-^j^ consequenco to havc given any 

separate denomixKations to the corresponding 

To the pleasures of wealth corresponds the 
sort of motive which, in a neutral sense, may 
be termed pecuniary interest : in a bad sense, 
. it is termed, in some cases, avarice, covetous- 
ness, rapacity, or lucre : in other cases, nig- 
gardliness : in a good sense, but only in par- 
ticular cases, economy and frugality ; and in 
some cases the word industry may be applied 
to it : in a sense nearly indifferent, but rather 
bad than otherwise, it is styled, though only 
in particular cases, parsimony, 

1. For money you gratify a man's hatred, by 

interest to 
the plea- 
sures of 

f ''i*^j^ *jm^meBr^^''^'^^^^^^''^^^^9mmii^^m^^^mmi^mmmmm9mmmmmf'mmmmmmmmmmmtKtm^ 



putting his adversary to death. 2. For money ^^^^^^ 
you plough his field for him.-^Ia the first case 
your motive is termed lucre, and is accounted 
corrupt and abominable : and in the second, for . 
want of a proper appellation, it is styled in- 
dustry; and is looked upon as innocent at 
least, if not meritorious. Yet the motive is in 
both cases precisely the same : it is. neither 
more nor less than pecuniary interest. 


The pleasures of skill are neither dustinct Nohetothe 
enough, nor of consequence enough, to have fidih"'^^*** 
given any name to the corresponding motive* 


To the pleasures of amity corresponds a Tothepiea- 
motive which, ih a neutral sense, may be amity tbe 
termed the desire of ingratiating one s self. In gratStin" " 
a bad sense it is in certain cases, styled ser- ®"**** • 
vility : in a good sense it has no name that is 
peculiar to it : in the cases in which it has 
been looked on with a favourable eye, it has 
seldom been distinguished from the motive of 
sympathy or benevolence, with which, in such 
cases, it is commonly associated. 

-1. To acquire the afiections of a woman 
b^ore marriage, to preserve them afterwards, 
you do every thing, that is a)nsi8tent with 
other duties, to make her happy : in this case 
your motive is looked upon as laudable, though 
there is no name for it. 2. For the same 

N 2 • 


P,H^' ^; purpose^ you poison a woman with whom she 
is at enmity :' in this case your motive is looked 
upon as abominable, though still there is no 
name for it. 3. To acquire or preserve the 
favour of a man who is richer or more powerful 
than yourself, you make yourself subservient to 
his pleasures. Let them even be lawful plea- 
sures, if people choose to attribute your be- 
haviour to this motive, you will not get them 
to find any other name for it than servility. 
Yet in all three cases the motive is the. same : 
it is neither more nor less than the desire of 
ingratiating yourself. 


To the To the pleasures of the moral sanction, or, as 

a irood ^ they may otherwise be called, the pleasures of 

name, the , , a* i. • v • ' 

lore of re- a good name, corresponds a motive which, m a 
putatioD. jj^^jj^ sense, has scarcely yet obtained any 

adequate appeHative. It may be styled, the 
love of reputation. It is nearly related to the 
motive last preceding : being neither more nor 
less than the desire of ingratiating one's self 
with, or, as in this case we should rather say, 
of recommending one's self to, the world at 
large. In a good sense, it is termed honour, 
, or the sense of honour : or rather, the word 
honour is introduced somehow or other upon 
. . the occasion of its being brought to view : for 
in strictness the word honour is put rather to 
signify that imaginary object, which a man is 

P|^pp|qpip^q;;Qimpi^^p*Mi^|H^P9ggi||V'^^v^>"^i^^wiWn UM II PPi «.!■■■.. I I nil aiLi na u . 

or MOTIVES. 181 

spoken of as possessing upon the occasion of ch^jJ; 
his obtaining a conspicuous share of the plea- 
sures that are in question. In particular cases, 
it is styled the love of glory. In a bad sense, 
it is styled, in some cases, false honour; in 
others, pride; in others, vanity. In a sense 
not decidedly bad, but rather bad than other- 
wise, ambition. In an indifferent sense, in 
some cases, the love of fame : in others, the 
sense of shamd. And, as the pleasures be- 
longing to the moral sanction run undistinguish- 
ably into the pains derived from the same 
source,* it may also be styled, in some cases, 
the fear of dishonour, the fear of disgrace, the 
fear of in&my, the fear of ignominy, or the 
fear of shame. 

1. You have received an affront from a man : 
according to the custom of the country, in 
order, on the one hand, to save yourself from 
the sluune of being thought to bear it patiently ;t 

* See Chap. vi. [Pleasures and Pains.] par. xxiv. note, 
t A man's bearing an affront patiently> that is, without 
taking this method of doing what is called wiping it off*^ is 
thought to import one or other of two things \ either that 
he does not possess that sensibility to the pleasures and pains 
of the mordl sanction, which^ in order to render himself a 
respectable member of society, a man ought to possess : or> 
that he does not possess courage enough to stake his life for 
the chance of gratifying that resentment which a proper 
sense of the value of those pleasures and those pains it is 
thought would not &il to inspire. True it la, that there are 


chap^. on the other hand^ to obtain tke feputatioii t>f 
courage ; you challenge him to fight with sunr- 

tal weapons. In this case your motive wiU by 

,1 , . - ■ - ■ ■ ■ * 

divers other motives^ by any of which the same conduct 
might equally be produced : the motives corresponding to 
the religious sanction, and the motives that come under Hbtt 
head of benevolence. Fiety towards God^ the inractice m 
question being generally looked upon as repugnant to the 
dictates of the religious sanction: sympathy for your an- 
tagonist himself, whose life would be put to hazard at the 
same time with your own; sympathy fbr his connexfOttS^ 
the persons who are dq>endent on him in the way of ittppert, 
or connected with him in the way of sympathy : sympathy 
for your own connexions : .and even sympathy for the public, 
in cases where the man Is such that the public appears to 
have ^ material interest in his life. But in comparison with 
the love of life, the influence of the rdigioti9 sanction Is 
known to be in general but weak : especitily laitong paofde 
of those classes w^ are here in question : a sure proof of 
which is the prevalence of this very custom. Where it is so 
strong as to preponderate, it is so rare, that^ perhaps, it gives 
a man a place fn the calendar : and, at any rate> exalte him. 
to the rank of martyr. Moreover, the instances m wfaicii 
either private benevolence or public spirit predominate over 
the love of life, will also naturally be but rare : and, owing 
to the general propensity to detraction, it will also be much 
rarer for them to be thought id do so. Now, when three or 
more motives, any one of -them capable of producing a given 
mode .of conduct, apply at once, that which appears to be 
the most powerfi^l, is that which will of course tie deemed to 
have actually done the most: and, as the bulk of mankind, 
on this as on other occasions, are disposed to decide peremp^ 
torily upon superficial estimates, it will generally be looked 
upon as having done the whole. 
^ The consequence is, that when a man of a certain rank 



some people be accounted laudable^ and styled ^SH^ 
hoDdfwt: by others it will be accounted blame- 
able^ and these> if they call it honour, will, 
prefix an epithet of improbation to it, and call 
it &]se honour. 2. In cnrder to obtain a post 
of rank and. dignity, and thereby to increase 
the respects paid yon by the public^ you bribe 
the electors who are to confer it, or the judge 
before whom the title to it is in dispute. In 
this case your motive is commonly accounted 
corrupt and abominable, and is styled^ perhaps, 
by some such name as dishonest ot corrupt 
ambition, as there is no single name for it^ 
3. In order to obtain the good-wiU of the 
pubfic^ you bestow a large sum in works of 
private charity or public utility. In this case 
people wiU be apt not to agree about your 
motive. Your enemies will put a bad colour 
upon it, and call it ostentation : your fidends^ 
to save you from this reproach, will choose 
to impute your conduct not to this motive but 
to s(»ne other: such as that of charity (the 
denomination in this case given to private 
sympathy) or that of public spirit. 4. A kii^, 
for the sake of gaining the admiration annexed 

forbears to take this chance of reveiiging an affix>nt, hb 
conduct vnHLX, by most people^ be imputed to the love of life : 
which^ when it predominates oyer the love of reputation, is^ 
by a not unsalutary asscfciation of ideas^ stigmatized with the 
reproachlbl name of cowardice. 


g"f^' ^ to the name of conqueror (we will* suppose 
power and resentment out of the question) 
engages his kingdom in a bloody war. His 
motive, by the multitude (whose sympathy for 
millions is es^sily overborne by the pleasure 
which their imagination finds in gaping at any 
novelty they observe in the conduct of a single 
person) is deemed an admirable one. Men of 
feeling, and reflection, who disapprove of the 
dominion exercised by this motive on this oc- 
casion, without always perceiving that it is the 
same motive which in other instances meets 
with their approbation, deem it an abominable 
one ; and because the multitude, who are the 
manufacturers of language, have not given them 
a simple name. to call it by, they will call it by 
some such compound name as the love of false 
glory or false ambition. Yet in all four cases 
. the motive is the same : it is neither more nor 
less than the love of reputation. 


To the To the pleasures of power corresponds the 

pleasures . , . . 

of power, motive which^ in a neutral sense, may be termed 

the love of 

power. the love of power. People, who are out of 
humour with it sometimes, call it the lust of 
power. In a good sense, it is scarcely pro- 
vided with a name. In certain cases this 
motive, as well as the love of reputation, are 
confounded under the same name, ambition. 
This is not to be wondered at, considering the 



intimate connexiqii there is between the two g^^ 
motives in many cases : since it commonly 
happens^ that the same object which affords 
the one sort of pleasure, affords the other sort 
at the same time: for instance, offices, which 
are at once posts of honour and places of trust : 
and since at any rate reputation, is the road 
to power. 

. 1. If, in order to gain a place in adminis- 
tration, you poison the man who occupies it. 
2. If, in the same view, you propose a salutary 
plan for the advancement of thev public welfare ; 
your motive is in both cases the saime. Yet 
in . the first case it is accounted criminal and 
abominable : in the second case allowable, and 
even laudable. 


To the pleasures as well as to the pains of xhemotire 
the . religious sanction corresponds a motive to the reu- 
which has, strictly speaking, no perfectly neu- tion. 
tral name applicable to all cases, unless the 
word religion be admitted in this character; 
though the word, religion, strictly speaking, 
seems to mean not so much , the motive itself, 
as a kind of fictitious personage, by whom, the 
motive is. supposed to be created, or an assem- 
blage of acts, supposed to be dictated by that 
personage : nor does it seem to be completely 
settled into a neutral sense. . In the same sense 
it is also, in some ca9es, styled religious zeal : 


Sll'i^ in other cases, the fear of God. The love of 
God, though commonly contrasted ynih the 
fear of God, does not come strictly under this 
head. *It coincides properly with a motive of 
a different denomination ; viz. a kind of .sym« 
pathy or good-will, which has the Deity for its 
object In a good sense, it is styled devotion, 
piety, and pious zeal. In a bad sense, it k 
styled, in some cases, superstition, or supersti- 
tious zeal : in other cases, fanaticism, or fanatic 
zeal : in a sense not decidedly bad, because not 
appropriated to this motive, enthusiasm, or en* 
thusiastic zeal. 

1. In order to obtain the favour of the Supreme 
Being, a man assassinates his lawful sove*' 
reign. In this case the motive is now almost 
universally looked upon as abominable, and is 
termed fanaticism : formerly it was by great 
numbers accounted laudable, and was by them 
called pious zeal. 2. In the same view, a mail 
lashes himself with thongs. In this case, in 
yonder house, the motive is accounted laud- 
able, and is called pious zeal : in the next hcruse 
it is deemed contemptible, and called supersti-' 
tion. 3. In the same view, a man eats a piece 
of bread (or at least what to external appear- 
anbe is a piece of bread) with certain cere-- 
monies. In this case, in yonder house, his mo- 
tive is looked upon as laudable, and is styled 
piety and devotion : in the next house it is 









deemed abominable, and styled superstition, as ^1^ 
before : perhaps even it is absurdly styled 
. impiety. 4. In the same view, a man holds 
a cow by the tail while he is dying. On 
the Thames the motive would in this case be 
deemed contemptible, and called ^ supersti- 
tion. On 'the Ganges it is deemed merito- 
nous, and called piety. 5. In the same view, 
a man bestows a large sum in works of charity, 
or public utility. In this case the motive is 
styled laudable, by those at least to whom the 
works in question appear to come under this 


description : and by these at least it would be 
styled piety. Yet in all these cases the motive 
is precisely the same : it is neither more nor 
less than the motive belonging to the religious 

To the pleasure of sympathy corresponds the ^^^^''^^If 
motive which, in a neutral sense, is termed ^ood-^ pieaiuresof 

^ sympatby« 

will. The word sympathy may also be used 
on tibds occasion : though the sense of it seems 


* I am aware, or at least I hope, that people in geaeral, 
when they see the matter thus stated, will be ready to ac- 
knowledge, that the motive in these cases, whatever be the 
tendency of the acts which it produces, is nbt a bad one : but 
abaa will not render ft the leas true, that hitherto, in popular 
dIseoorBe, it has been common for men to speak of acts, which 
they could not but acknowledge to have originated fi-om this 
source, as proceeding from a bad motive. The same obser- 
vation will applv to many of the other cases. 




5"^^' ^; to be rather more extensive. In a good sense^ 
it is styled benevolence : and in certgin cases, 
philanthropy ; and, in a figurative way, brotherly 
love ; in others, humanity ; in ot^iers, charity; in 
others, pity and compassion ; in others, mercy ; 
in others, gratitude ; in others, tenderness ; in 
others, patriotism ; in others, public spirit. Love 
is also employed in this as in so many other 
senses. In a bad sense, it has no name appli- 
cable to it in all cases : in particular cases it is 
styled partiality. The word zeal, with certain 
epithets prefixed to it, might also be employed 
[Sometimes on this occasion, though the sense 
of it be more extensive ; applying sometimes 
to ill as well as to good wilL It is thus we 
speak of party zeal, national zeal, and public 
zeal. The word attachment is also used with 
the like epithets : we also say family-attach- 
ment. The French expression, esprit de corps, 
for which as yet there seems to be scarcely any 
name in English, might be rendered, in some 
cases, though rather inadequately, by the terms 
corporation spirit, corporation attachment, or 
corporation zeal. 

1 . A man who has set a town on fire is appre- 
hended and committed : out of regard or com- 
pStssion for him, you help him to break prison. 
In this case the generality of people will pro- 
bably scarcely know whether to condemn your 
motive or to applaud it : those who condemn 

•jQ^wqnppppiBPIPMip^Hq^p^HpapviHmMM^M^pa ■■ viiun ■ ■ ■ m <■■ .1 1 ji 


Of MOTIVES. 189 

your conduct; will be disposed rather to im- ^^|^ 
pute it to some other motive : if they style it 
benevolence or compassion, they will be for pre- 
fixing an epithet, and calling it false benevo- 
lence or false compassion.* 2. The man is 
taken again, and is put upon his trial : to save 
him you swear falsely in his favour. People, 
who would not call your motive a bad one be- 
fore, will perhaps call it so now. 3. A man is 
at law with you about an estate: he has no 
right to it : the judge knows this, yet, having 
an esteem or affection for your adversary, ad- 
judges it to him. In this case the motive is by 
every body deemed abominable, and is termed 
injustice and partiality. 4. You detect a states- 
man in receiving bribes : out of regard to the 
public interest, ybu give information of it, and 
prosecute him. In this case, by all who ac- 

I ' , 

* Among the Greeks^ perhaps the motive^ and the conduct 
it gave birth to^ would^ in such a cas&, have been rather ap- 
proved than disapproved of. It seems to have been deemed 
an act of heroism on the part of Hercules^ to have delivered 
his friend Theseus from hell : though divine justice^ which 
held him there^ should naturally have been regarded as being 
at least upon a footing with human justice. But to divine 
justice, even when acknowledged under/ that character^ thoi 
respect paid at that time of day does not seem to have been 
very profound, or well-settled : at present, the respect paid 
to it is profound and settled enough, though the name of it 
is but too often applied to dictates which could have had no 
other origin than the worst sort of human caprice. 

i^ or MOTIVES, 

lES^^* knowledge your conduct to have originated from 
thi$ motive, your motive will be deemed a 
laudable one, and styled public spirit. But 
hi$ friends and adherents will not choose to ac* 
count for ypur conduct in any such manner : 
they will rather attribute it to party enmity* 
5. You find a man on the point of starving : you 
relieve him ; and save his life. In this case 
your motive will by every body be accounted 
laudable, and it will be termed compassion, 
pity, charity, benevolence. Yet in all these 
cases the motive is the same : it is neither more 
' nor less than the motive of good-will. 


iu-wiu,&c. To the pleasm*es of malevolence, or antipathy, 

to the plea- * . i . i . ^ i 

sures of an- corresponds the motive which, m a neutral 
*^ ^' sense, is termed antipathy or displeasure : and, 
in particular cases, dislike, aversion, abhorrence, 
and indignation : in a neutral sense, or perhaps 
a sense leaning a little to the bad side, ilUwill : 
and, in particular cases, anger, wrath, and en- 
mity. In a bad sense it is styled, in different 
cases, wrath, spleen, ill-humour, hatred, malice, 
rancour, rage, fury, cruelty, tyranny, envy, 
jealousy, revenge, misanthropy, and by other 
•names, which it is hardly worth while to endea« 
vour to collect* Like good-will, it is used 

' > ' T > .■■■..- I . .1 I f III I I II, I, X 

* Here, fka isihewhtr^, it may be observied^ that the mom 
words which ar« m^ntioaQd m nASies of motiyes, aire alio 

M^g-^ i ■■■ ^ 







with epithets expreie^sive of the persons who are chap^ 
the objects of the affection. Hence we hear of 
party enmity, party rage, and so forth. In a 
good sense there seems to be no single name 
for it. In compound expressions it may be 
spoken of in siich a sense, by epithets, such as 
jua and laudabk, prefixed to words that are 
used in a neutral or nearly neutral sense. 

L You rob a man : he prosecutes you, and 
gets you punished : out of resentment you set 
upon him, and hang him with your own hands. 
In this case your motive will universally be 
deemed detestable, and wUl be called malice, 
crudty, rev^ige, and so forth. 2. A man has 
stolen a little money from you: out of resent- 
ment you prosecute him, and get him hanged 
by course of law. In this case people will pro- 
bably be a little divided in their opinions about 
your motive : your friends will deem it a laud- 
able one, and call it a just or laudable resent- 
ment : your enemies will perhaps be disposed 
to deem it blameable, and call it cruelty, ma- 
lice, revenge, and so forth : to obviate which. 

1 » 1 1 ■ . 1 

• »)» ■ »■ 

laaoy of them names of passions^ appetites, aad affisctioos : 
'fictitious entities^ which are framed only by considering 
pleasures or pains in some particular point of view. Some 
'ai them are also names of moral qualities. This branch of 
nomenclature is r^onarkably entangled : to unravel it oom*- 
plftciy would iake up a wbole volume j not a syllable pf 
whidi would bfdang^ profHurly to the prepeut design. 



9"^^' ^: your friends will try perhaps to change the 
motive, and call it public spirit. 3. A man 
has murdered your father : out of resentment 
you prosecute him, and get him put to death 
in course of law. In this case your motive 
will be universally deemed a laudable one, and 
styled, as before, a just or laudable resentment : 
and your friends, in order to bring forward the 
more amiable principle from which the male- 
volent one, which was your immediate motive, 
took its rise, will be for keeping the latter out 
of sight, speaking of the former only, under 
some such name as filial piety. Yet in all these 
cases the motive is* the same : it is neither more 
nor less than the motive of ill-will. 


seif-preser. To the scvcral sorts of pains, or at least to 
the* several all such of 'them as are conceived to subsist in 
pains. ^ an intense degree, and to death,' which, as far 
as we can perceive, is the termination of all the 
pleasures, as well as all the pains we are ac- 
quainted with, corresponds the motive, which 
in a neutral sense is styled, in general, self- 
preservation : the desire of preserving one s self 
from the pain or evil in question. Now in many 
instances the desire of pleasure, and the sense 
of pain, run into one another undistinguishably. 
Self-preservation, therefore, where the degree 
of the pain which it corresponds to is but slight 
will scarcely be distinguishable^ by any precise 



Iinfe> from the motive& corresponding to th6 ciru^x. 
several sorts of pleasures. Thus in the case of 
the pains of hunger and thirst : physical want 
will in many cases be scarcely distinguishable 
from physical desire. In some cases it is styled, 
still in a neutral sense, self-defence* Between 
the : pleasures and the pains of the moral and 
religious sanctions, and consequently of . the 
motives that correspond to them, as likewise 
between the pleasures of amity, and the pains 
of enlnity, this Want of boundaries has already 
been taken notice of«* The case is the same 
between the pleasures of wealth, and the pains 
of privation corresponding to those pleasures. 
There are many cases, therefore, in which it 
will be difficult to distinguish the motive of 
sfelf-preservation from pecuniary interest, from 
the desire of ingratiating one s self, from the 
love of reputation, and from religious hope : in 
which cases, those more specific and explicit 
iiames will naturally be preferred to this general 
and inexplicit one. There are also a multitude 
of compound names, which either are already 
in use, or might be devised, to distinguish the 
specific branches of the motive of self-preser- 
iration from those several motives of a pleasur- 
able origin: stich as the fear of poverty, the 
fear of losiug such or such » man's regard, the 
fear of shame, and thfe fear X)f God. Moreover; 

■ I " ^M^-^^ ^fci ■■ 11^ iM^^^—i 1^ ■ ^ ^»^^— ^.^^^.^ ^^— m ■ ■ ■■<■ ■■■■■■^■■1 11 ■■■ 

♦ See chiV. iPleasure^ttid Patns.]'paf. xxiv. icxv. '^ 
VOL. I. O 


chav.x. to the evH of death corresponds, in a neutral 
sense, the love of life ; in a bad sense, cow- 
ardice : which corresponds also to the pains of 
the senses, at least when considered bb subsist* 
ing in an acute degree. There seems to be no 
name for the love of life that has a good sense ; un- 
less it be the vague and general name of prudence, 
1 . To save yourself from being hanged, pil- 
loried, imprisoned, or fined, you poison the only 
person who can give evidence against you. In 
this case your motive will universally be styled 
abominable : but as the term self-preservation 
has no bad sense, people will not care to make 
this use of it : they will be apt rather to change 
the .motive, and call it malice. 2. A woman^ 
having been just delivered of an illegitimate 
child, in order to save herself from shame, de^ 
istroys the child, or absmdons it. In this case* 
also, people will call the motive a bad one^ 
and, not caring to speak of it under a neutral 
name, they will be apt to change the motive^ 
and call it by some such name as cruelty. 
3. To save the expense of a halfpenny, you 
suffer a man, whom you could preserve at that 
expense, to perish with want, before your eyes^ 
In this case your motive will be universally 
deemed an abominable one ; and, to avoid call- 
ing it by so indulgent a name as self-preserva- 
tion, people wiU be apt to call it avarice acnd 
niggardliness, with which indeed in this case it 



W M " " 

0^ MGtlVES. 195 

indistibguififtia;bly coincides : for the sake of ^1!^3 
finding a mcHTC reproachful appellation^ they 
will be apt likewise to change the motive^ and 
term it cruelty. 4. To put an end to the pain 
of hunger, you steal a loaf of bread. In this 
case your motive will scarcely, perhaps, be 
deemed a very bad one ; and, in order to ex* 
press more indulgence for it, people will be apt 
to find a stronger name for it than self-preser^^ 
vation, terming it necessity. 5. To save youarself 
from drowning, you beat off an innocent man 
who has got hold of the same plank. In this 
case your motive will in general be deemed 
neither good nor bad, and it will be termed 
self-preservation, or necessity, or the love of 
life. 6. To save your life from a gang of rob- ^ 

bers, you kill them in the conflict. In this case 
the motive may, perhaps, be deemed rather 
laudable than otherwise, and, besides self-pre- 
servation, is styled also self-defence* 7. A sol^ 
dier is sent out upon a party against a weaker 
party of the enemy : before he gets up with them, 
to save his life, he runs away. In this case tk^ 
motive will universally be deemed a contempti** 
ble one, and will be called cowardice. Yet in aH 
these various cases, >the motive is still the same; 
It is neither more nor less than self-preservation. 


In particular, to the pains of exertion cor- To the 

paint •£ 

responds the motive, which, in a neutral sense# exero^n, 

O 2 ease. 

196 OF MOTXVK^.> 

-gg^ J; ^: inay be termed the love of ease, or by a longer 
circumlocution^ the desire of avoiding trouble. 
In a had sense, it is termed indolence.^ It 
seems to have no name that* carries with it a 
good sense. 

1. To save the trouble of taking care of it, a 
parent leaves his child to perish. In this case 
the motive will be deemed an abominable one, 
and, because indolence will seem too mild 
a name for it, the motive will, perhaps, be 
changed, and spoken of under some such term 
as cruelty . 2. To save yourself from an illegal 
slavery, you make your escape. In this case 
the motive will be deemed certainly not a bad 
one : and, because indolence, or even the love 
of ease, will be thought too unfavourable a 
•name for it, it will, perhaps, be styled the love 
-of^ liberty. 3. A ^Iecha^ic, in order to save 
his labour, makes an improvement in his ma- 
chinery. In this case, people will look upon 
his motive as a good one ; and finding no jiame that carries a good sense, they will be dis' 
posed to keep ;the motive out of sight ; they 
will speak rather of his ingenuity^ than of the 
motive which was the means of his manifesting 
diat quality^ Yet in all these cases the motive 

* It may seem odd at first sight to speak of the love o£ 
ease as giving birth to action : hut exertion is as natural aa 
effect of the love of ease as inaction is, when a smdher decree 
0( ticertion promises to exempta man ^from a greater* 

. > 

Ot MOTIVES. 197 

is the same : it is neither more . nor less thsixi the ^^^ 
loYp of ease.. 


It appears then that there is no such thing Motives 

, can onlv b« 

as any sort of motive which is a bad one in it- bad witb 


self : nor, conseqnently, any such thing as a to the most 

- . frequent 

sort of motive, which in itself is exclusively a compieKion 
good one. And as to their enects, it appears fects. 
too that these are sometimes bad, at other 
times either indifferent or good : and this ap- 
pears to be the case with every sort of motive; 
Ifunjf sort of motive then is either good or bad on 
the score of its effects, this is the case only on indi- 
vidual occasions, and with individual' motives ; and 
this is the case with one sort of motive as 
well as with another. If any- sort of- motive 
then can, in consideration of its e fects, be termed 
with any propriety a bad one, it can only be with 
reference to Ae balance of all the effects it may 
have had of both kinds within a given period, 
tbat is, of its most ususd tendency. 


What then? (it will be said) are not lust. How it is 
oruelty, avarice, bad motives ? Is there so much tiyes,™ach 
as any one individual occasion, in which motives avarice', 
like these can be otherwise than bad? No, constutiy 


certainly : and yet the proposition, that there 
is no one sort of motive but what will on many 
occasions be a good one, is nevertheless true. '-■ 
The fact is, that -these are pames which, if piro^ 


198 OF liaVlVSSw 


perly Upplied, are never applied but u 
cases where the motives they signify happen 
V to be bad. The names of these motives^ con- 
frideted apipirt from their effeels, are sexual 
desire, displeasure, and pecuniary intere&t^ 
To sexual desire, when the effects of it are 
looked upon as bad, is given the name of InsU 
Now lust is always a bad motive. Why ? Be- 
cause if the case be such, that the effects of the 
motive are not bad, it does not go, or at least 
ought not to go, by the name of lust. The 
case is, then, that when I say, '' Lust is a 
bad motive," it is a proposition that merely 
concerns the import of the word lust ; and 
which would be false if transferred to the 
other word used for the same motive, sexual 


desire. Hence we see the emptiness of all 
! those rhapsodies of common-place morality, 
which consist in the taking of such names as 
lusty cruelty, and avarice, and branding them 
with marks of reprobation: applied to -"the 
thingy they are false ; applied to the namey they 
are true indeed, but nugatory. WoulcJ you do 
a real service to mankind, shew them the 
cases in which sexual desire merits the name 
of lust ; displeasure, that of cruelty ; and pecu- 
niary interest, that of avarice. 


Under the If it wcrc neccssarv to apply such denomi- 

aboye re- ** *.*.•» 

strictioiig, nations as good, bad, and indifferent to motivea^j 


they might be daeaed in the following manner^ ^S^^^* 
kt consideration of the most frequent, eom-i tin^u^td" 
plexion of their effects. In the class of good b"ad/and* 
motives might be placed the articles o^ 1. Good- o"*^^^^^ 
will. 2. Love of reputation. 3. Desire of 
amity. And, 4. Religion. In the class of bad 
motives, 5. Displeasure. In the class of neu^ 
tral or indifferent motives, G. Physical desire. 
7.^ Pecuniary interest. 8. Love of power.. 
9. Self-preservation; as including the fear of 
the pains of the senses, the love of ease, and the 
love of life. 

. xxxii. 
This method of arrangement, however, can- loconve- 
isot but be imperfect y and .the nomenclature tbu dtttri- 
belonging to it is in danger of being fallacious. 
For by what method of investigation can a mw^ 
be assured^ that with rc^^ard^tx^ the motives, 
ranked imder the name of good, the good effects 
they have had, from the beginning of the world, 
have, in each of the four species comprised 
under this name, been superior to the bad ? 
still more difficulty would a man find in assur- 
ing hknself, that with regard to those which 
are ranked under the name of neutral or indif- 
ferent, the effects they have had have exactly 
balanced each other, the value of the good 
being neither greater nor less than that of the 
bad. It is to be considered, that the interesta 
of the persoD himself can no more be left out o£ 

800 or HOTIYBS; 

2l^^ tlie estimate, than those of the rest of "the codoEh 
munity. For what would become of the «pc-t 
ciesx if it were not for the motives of hungeif 
and thirst, sexual desire, the fear of pain, and 
the love of life ? Nor in the actual constitution 
of human nature is the motive of displeasure 
less necessary, perhaps, than any of the others r 
although a system, in which the business of 
life might be carried on .without it, might pos-; 
sibly be conceived. It seems, therefore, diat 
they could scarcely, without great danger of 
mistakes, be distinguished in this manner even 
with reference to each other. 


iidiwduai* "^^ ^^y ^^y^ ^* should seem, in which a 
that*^^ motive can with safety and jftropriety be Btyled 
tires can good Or bad, is with reference to its effects in 

be good or ® ' 

^^* each individual instance ; and principally ^^oni 
the intention it gives birth to : from which arise, 
as will be shewn hereafter, the most material 
part of its effects. A motive is good, when the 
intention it gives birth to is a good one; bad^ 
when the intention is a bad one : and an in- 
tention is good or bad, according to the mate- 
rial consequences that are the objects of it^ So 
far is it from the goodness of the intention'^ 
being to be known only from the species of the 
motive. JBut from one and the same motive/ 
as we have seen, may result intentions of every 
sort of complexion whatsoever^ This jcirctunv 


stance, therefore^ can afford no clue for the chapjc 
arrangement of the several sorts of motiveis. 


A more commodious method, therefore, it Motive* 

' ' distin- 

should seem, would be to distribute them ac- guished in- 
to social, 

cording to the influence which they appear to dissocial, 
have on the interests of the other members of regarding. 
the community, laying those of the party him- 
self out of the question : to wit, according to 
the tendency which they appear to have to . 
unite, or disunite, his interests and theirs. Oii 
this plan they may be distinguished mio sodal^ 
dmocial, and self-regarding. In the social class 
may be reckoned, 1. Good-will. 2. Love of 
reputation. 3. Desire of amity. 4. Religion^ 
In the dissocial may be placed, 5. Displeasure. 
In the self-regarding class, 6. Physical desire. 
7. Pecuniary interest. 8. Love of power. 
9. Self-preservation; as including the fear of 
the pains of the senses, the love of ease, and the 
love of life. 


With respect to the motives that have been --social, 
termed social, if any farther distinction should l!^ci£, and 
be of use, to that of good-will alone may be "^ 
applied the epithet of purely-social; while the 
love of reputation, the desire of amity, and the 
motive of religion, may together b^ comprised 
under the division of semi-social : tht social 
tendency being much more constant -and une- 


^uivoeal in the fomifir than in any oi the tbfetf 
latter. Indeed these last^ social as they may 
be termed, are self-regarding at the same 

§ 4. Ordkr of pre-eminence among motives. 



The die- Of all these sorts of motives, good-will is 

tates of , 

good-will that of which the dictates,! taken m a general 

are the . 

surest of yiew, are surest of coinciding with those of the 

coiacidiiig \ * 

with those principle of utility. For the dictates of utility 

of utility. '^ *^ "^ . /: 

are neither more nor less than the dictates of 
the most extensive X ^^d enlightened (that is 
well-advised^ benevolence. The dictates of the 
other motives may be comformable to those of 
utility, or repugnant, as it may happen. 


Yet do not In this, howcvcr, it is taken for granted^ that 

in *>n cases 

' in the case in question the dictates of benevo-^ 
lence are not contradicted by those of a more 
extensive, that is enlarged, benevolence. Now 
when the dictates of benevolence, as respecting 

, * *^ Religioa,** says the pious Addison^ somewhere hi the 

Spectator, '' is the highest species of self-love." 

JUvws and t When a man is supposed to be prompted by any motive 

conceived to engage, or not to engage, in such or such an action, it 

as issuing may be of use, for the convenience of discourse, to speak rf 

from mo- ' ' ^ 

tives. attch motive as giving birth to ,an imaginary kfaid of lam ov 

ij^taU, ii^joining him to engage, or not to engage, in i^ \[ 
X See ch. iv. [Value] and ch^ vi, [Sen^ibiUty.] w. 
§ See ch. ix. [Consciousness.] 

I See ch. i. 


0¥ MOTIVES. 303 

tke interests of a <;ertain set of persons^ are re- S"^^;.^: 
pttgnaHt to the dictates of the same xaotive, m 
respecting the more important:^ interests of ano- 
their set of persons, the former dictates^ it is evi* 
dent, are repealed, as it i;irere, by the ktter : and a 
man, were he to be governed by the former, cauld 
scarcely, with propriety, be said to be governed 
by the dictates of bene volence. On this account^ 
were the motives on both sides sure to be alike 
present to a man's mind, the case of such a 
repugnancy would hardly be worth distin^ 
guishing, since the partial benevolence^ might 
be considered as swallowed up in the more 
extensive : if the former prevailed, and governed 
the action, it must be considered as not owing 
its birth to benevolence, but to some other 
motive : if the latter prevailed, the former might 
be considered as having no effect. But the 
case is, that a partial benevolence may govern 
the action, without entering into any direct 
competition with the more extensive benevo- 
lence, which would forbid it; because the 
interests of the less numerous assemblage of 
persons may be present to a man's mind, at a 
time when those of the more numerous are 
either not present, or, if present, make no im- 
pression. It is in this way that the dictates of 
this motive may be repugnant to utility, yet 

• Or valuable. See ch. iV. LVaJue:] 

204 OF MOTlViiS. 

2i^ still bcv the dictates of benevolence. Whsif 
nmkes those of private benevolence conformable 
npon the whole to the principle of utilitf , is, 
that in general they stand unopposed by those 
of public : if they are repugnant to them, it is 
only by accident. What makes them the mor« 
conformable, is, that in a civilized society, in 
most x)( the cases in which they would of them-^ 
selves be apt to run counter to those of public 
benevolence, they find themselves opposed by 
stronger motives of the self-regarding class, 
which are played off against them by the laws ; 
and that it is only in cases where they stand 
unopposed by the other more salutary dictates, 
that they are left free. An act of injustice or 
cruelty, committed by a man for the sake of 
his lather or his son, is punished, and with 
reason, as much as if it were committed for his! 


Stm*comc After good- will, the motive of which the die- 
i^vrof re! *^*^s seem to have the next best chance for co- 
putation. inciding with those of utility, is that of the love 
of reputation^ There is but one circumstance 
which prevents the dictates of >this motive from 
coinciding in all cases with those of the former. 
This is, that men in their likings and dislikings, 
in the dispositions they manifest to annex tb 
any mode of conduct their approbation or their 
disapprobation, and in consequence to the per- 

I I iiiw M I iiiii _ — ^j m I I II I — rrm— i— m-fnp ■ m^i 


son who appears to practise it, their good or r-'!^-^:> 
their ill will, 4o not govern themselves exclu* 
sively by the principle of utility. Sometimes 
it is the principle of asceticism they are guided 
by : sometimes the principle of sympathy and 
antipathy* There is another circumstance, which 
diminishes, not their conformity to the principle' 
of utility, but only their efficacy in comparison 
with the dictates of the motive of benevolence; 
The dictates of this motive will operate as 
strongly in secret as in public : whether it ap-* 
pfears likely that thie conduct which they re- 
commend will be known or not : those of the 
love *of reputation will cpincide with those ^ 
benevolence only in proportion as a man's con^ 
duct seems likely to be known. This circum- 
stance, however, does not make so mxich differ- 
ence as at first sight might appear. Acts, in pro- 
portion as they are material, are apt to become 
known :* and in point of reputation, the slight* 
est suspicion often serves for proof* Besides, if 
an act be a disreputable one, it is not any assur- 
ance a man can have of the secrecy of the par- 
ticular act in question, that will of course sur- 
mount the objections he may have against 
engaging in it. Though the act in question 
should remain secret, it will go towards forming 
a habit, which may give birth to other acts, that 

. » ^ . , . . ■ ■ 

♦ See B. II. tit. [Evident'c.] " .. 

206 OF iiOTIVE^. 

Sf^^ib may not iaeet with the same good lenrtune; 
There is no human being, perhaps, who is at 
years of discretion, on whom coni^derations of 
this sort have not some weight : and they have 
title more weight upon a man, in proportion to 
the strength of his intellectual powers, and the 
firmness of his nund.^ Add to this, the in 
fluence which habit itself, when 4ance formed, 
has in restraining a man from acts towards which, 
from the view of the disrepute annexed to them, 
as well as from any other cause, he has con* 
tracted an aversion. The influence of habit, ill 
such cases, is a matter of fact, which, though not 
readily accounted for, is acknowledged and in- 


Next tbose After the dictates of the love of reputation 
sire of ami- comc, as it should seem, those of the desire of 


amity. The former . are disposed to coincide 
with those of utility, inasmuch as they are dis^ 
posed to coinpide with those of benevolence. 
Now those of the desire- of amity are apt also to 

I >— — ^». ■ ■■ I » III I II III II I ■ 

* See ch. vi. [Sensibility.] par. xii. xiii. 
f Strictly speakings habit, being but a fictitious entity, aaid 
not reaUy any thing distinct from the acts or perceptioiis by 
which it is said to be formed, cannot be the cause of any 
thing. The. enigma, however, may be satisfiictorily sobred 
upon the principle of association, of the nature and force of 
which a very satisfactory account may be seen in Dr. Priestley's 
edition of Hartley on Man, 

qpipqHiiqpii^^pavHHiv^i^imPHiva^mHPHpai^Mii^HHn^niBnawwiiv w iw- k « ■ ■iiimiiai ■■ nfwii h 


coincide^ in a certain sort, with those of bene- 
volence. But the sort of benevolence with 
the dictates of which tHe love of reputation - 
coincides, is the more extensive; that with 
which ihose of the desire of amity coincide, the 
less extensive. Those of the love of amity have 
still, however, the advantage of those of the self* 
regarding motives* The former, at one period 
or other of his life, dispose a man to contribute 
to the happiness of a considerable number of 
persons: the latter, from the beginning of life 
to the end of it, confine themselves to the care 
of that single individual. The dictates of the 
desire of amity, it is plain, will approach nearer 
to a coincidence with those of the love of repu- 
tation, and thence with those of utility, in pro- 
portion, cateris paribus, to the number of the 
persons whose amity a man has occasion to 
desire : and hence it is, for example, that an 
English member of parliament, with all his 
own weaknesses, andull the follies of the people 
whose amity he has to cultivate, is probably^ 
in general, a better character than the secre-* 
tary of a visier at Constantinople, or of a naib 
in Indostan. 


The dictates of religion are, under the in^ Difficult 
finite diversity of religions, so extremely vari* Si<SeS"rt 
able, that it is difficult to know what general "^*^"* 
account to give of tl^m, or in what rank to 


S^^^^' ^t place the motive they belongs to. Upon the 
, mention of relii^on, people's first thoughts turn 
naturally to the religion they themselves pro- 
fess. This is a great source of miscalculationy 
and has a tendency to place this sort of motive 
in a higher rank than it deserves. The dictates 
of religion would coincide, in all cases, with 
those of utility, were the Being, who is the ob- 
ject of religion, universally supposed to be a& 
benevolent as he is supposed to be wise and 
powerful ; and were the notions entertained of 
his benevolence, at the same time, as correct as 
those which are entertained of his. wisdom and 
his power. Unhappily, however, neither of 
these is the case. He is universally supposed 
to be iallr powerful : for by the Deity, what else 
does any man mean than the Being, whatever 
he be, by whom every thing is done ? And as 
to knowledge, by the same rule that he should 
know one thing he should know another. These 
notions seem to be as correct, for all material 
purposes, as they are xmiversal* But among^ 
the votaries of religion (of which number the 
multifarious fraternity of Christians is but a 
small part) there seem to be but few (I will not 
say how few) who are real believers in his bene- 
volence. They call him benevolent in words, 

*y but they do not mean that he is so in reality • 

They do not mean, that he is benevolent as man 
i^ conceived to be benevolent ^ they vdo not 


mean that he is benevolent in the only sense in 
which benevolence has a meaning. For if they 
did, they would recognise that the dictates of 
religion could be neither more nor less than the 
dictates of utility : not a tittle different : not a 
tittle less or more. But the case is, that on a 
thousand occasions they turn their backs on the 
principle of utility. They go astray after the 
strange principles its antagonists : sometimes it 
is the principle of asceticism: sometimes the 
principle of sympathy and antipathy.* Accord- 
ingly, the idea they bear in their minds, on such 
occasions, is but too often the idea of malevo- 
lence ; to which idea, stripping it of its own 
proper name, they bestow the specious appel- 
lation of the social :motive.t The dictates of 
religion, in short, are no other than the dictates 
of that principle which has been already meii- 
tioned under the name of the theological, prin- 

* Ch. ii. [Principles Adverse.] xviii. 
f Sometimes^ in order the better to conceal the cheat (firom 
their own eyes doubtless as well as from others) they set up 
a phantom of their own, which they jcall Justice : whose dic- 
tates are to modify (which^being explained, means to oppose) 
the dictates of benevolence. But justice, in the only sense in 
ivhich it has a meaning, is an imaginary personage, feigned 
for the convenience of discourse, whose dictates are the dic- 
tates of utility, applied to certain particular cases. J^ustlce, 
then, is. nothing more than an imaginary instrument, em- 
ployed to forward on certain occasions, and by certain means, 
the purposes of benevolence. The dictates of justice are no« 

VOL. I. P 

^10 Olr MOTIVES. 

c»»^ ciple.^ These* as has been observed, are just 
as it may happen, accordmg to the biases of 
the person in question, copies of the dictates of 
one or other of the three original principles : 
sometimes, indeed, of the dictates of utility : but 
frequently of those of asceticism, or those of 
sympathy and antipathy. In this respect they 
are only on a par with the dictates of the love 
of reputation: in anotiier they are below iti 
The dictates of religion are in all places inter- 
mixed more or less with dictates unconformable 
to those of utility, deduced from texts, well or 
ill interpreted, of the writings held for sacred 
by each sect : unconformable, by imposing prac- 
tices sometimes inconvenient to a man's self, 
sometimes pernicious to the rest of the com- 
munity. The sufferings of uncalled martyrs, 
the calamities of holy wars and religious pers6<* 
cutions, the mischiefs of intolerant laws, (objects 
which can here only be glanced at, not detailed) 
are so many additional mischiefs over and above 
the number of those which were ever brought 
into thQ world by the love of reputation. On 
the other hand, it is manifest, that with respect 
to the power of operating in secret, the dictates 
of religion have the same advantage over those 

thing fnore than a. part of the dictates of benevolence, which, 
on certain occasions^ are applied to certain subjects } to wit> 
to certain actions. 

* See cji. ii. [Principles Adverse, &c.l 

^ «-■' '^i^^^^^^^'^^mmimKmmmmmmmmmimsmfBmmmKam^^sssi'm^^^M'Um^^ 


«4r tbe love of reputation, and the desire of a^ity, 5»^' ^ 
as. is' possessed by the dictates ^ of ber^voleno^, 

• xxi.- . . ... ■•■;.. 
Happily, the dictates of religion seem to apr Tendency, 
proaoh nearer and nearer to a coini^idence with to improve, 
thoise of utility every day. But why ? Because' 
the dictates of the moral sanction do so : asnd 
those coincide with or are influenced by tbese^ 
Men of the worst religions, influcQced by the 
toice and practice of the surrounding world, 
borrow continually a new and a new leaf out of 
the book of utility : and with these, in order not 
to break with their religion, they endeavour, 
sometimes with violence enough, to patch toge- 
tiber and adorn the repositories of their faith. 


As to the self-regarding and dissocial v^o- Afterwards 
tives, ihe order that takes place among these, sd^regard- 
and the preceding one, in point of extra-regard- t!vM™^2nd, 
ing influence, is too evident to need insisting oTdwpkaV 
on. As to the order that takes place among 
the motives of the self-regarding class, consi- 
dered in comparison with one another, there 
se^^ms to be no difference which on this occa*. 
sion would be worth motioning. With respect 
to the dissocial motive> it makes a difference 
(with regard to its extra-regarding effects) from 
which of two sources it originates; whether 
from self-regarding or from social considera* 
tions. The displeasure you conceive against a 




Chap. X. 

man may be founded either on some act which 
offends you in the first instance, or on an act 
which offends you no otherwise than because 
you look upon it as being prejudicial to some 
other party on whose behalf you interest your- 
self: which other party may be of course either 
a determinate individual, or any assemblage of 
individuals, determinate or indeterminate-* It 
it is obvious enough, that a motive, though in 
itiself dissocial, may, by issuing from a social 
origin, possess a social tendency ; and that its 
tendency, in this case, is likely to be the more 
social, the more enlarged the description is of 
the persons whose interests you espouse. Dis- 
pleasure, venting itself against a man, on ac- 
count of a mischief supposed to be done by him 
to the public, may be more social in its effects 
than any good-will, the exertions of which are 
confined to an individual.! 

and re- 

4 5. Conflict among motives. 


When a man has it in contemplation to en« 
gage in any action, he is firequently acted upon 
at the same sime by the force of divers motives : 
one motive, or set of motives, acting in on^ 
direction; another motive, or set of motives^ 

* See cb. vi. {Seasibility.] par. zxi. 
t See tupra, par. xxxvil. 



OF MOTIVfcS. 213 

acting as it were in an opposite direction. The 5^^^-^: 
motives on one side disposing him to engs^e in 
the action : those on the other, disposing him 
not td engage. in it. Now^ any motive, the in- 
fluence: of which tends to dispose him to enn 
gage ia the- action in question, may be tennedan 
impelling motive : any motive,, the influence of 
which tends to dispose him not to engage ia it, 
a restraining motive. But these appellations^ 
may of course be interchanged, according as 
the act is of the positive kind, or the negative** 

It has been shown^. that there is no sort of ^bat are 

\ the motives 

motive but may give birth to any sort of action, mostfre- 

•^ ° ^ queotly at 

It follows, therefore, that there are no two mo- variance. 
tives but may come to be opposed to one an- 
other.. Where the tendency of the act is bad, 
the most common case is for it to have been 
dictated by a motive either of the self-regard- 
ing, or of the dissocial class. In such case- the 
motive of benevolence has commonly beea act* 
ing, though ineffectually, ia the oharactei of a 
restraining motive. 


An example may be of use, to show the variety Example 
of contending motives, by which a man may be trate a 
acted upon at the same time. Crilloh, a Catholic among 
(ai a time when it was generally thought merito- moUves!"^ 

See ch. vii. [Actions.] par. viiu 


chap^ rious among CathoJics to extirpate Protestepits) 
was ordered hy his kin^, Charles IX. of France, 
to fall privately upon Coligny, a Protestaat, and 
assassinate him : his answer W9s, '' £xcu<3e me» 
Sire ; but I 'li fight hkb with all m^y heart."^? 
Here then, were all the three forces above men* 
tioned, including that of the political sanction, 
acting upon him at once. By the politicai 
sanction, or at least so much of the force of it 
as s^uch a mandate, from such a sovereign, issued 
on such an occasion,' inight be supposed to carry 
with it, he was enjojned to put CoUgny to death 
in the way of assassination : by the religious 
sanction, that is, by the dictates of religious zeal, 
he was enjoined to put him to death in any way ; 
by the moral sanction, or in other words, by the 
dictates of honour, that is, of the love of reputa^ 
tion, he was permitted (which permission, when 
coupled with the mandatesof his sovereign, ope- 
lotted, he conceived, as an injunction) to fight the 
adversary upon equal terms : by the dictates of 
enlarged benevolence (supposing the inandate to 
be unjustifiable) he was enjoined not tP attempt 
his life in any way, but to remain at peace 
with him : supposing the mandate to be unjus- 
tifiable, by the dictates of private benevolence, 
he was enjoined not to meddle with him at any 

■ Iv. 

* The idea of the case here supposed is takea from an 
anecdote in real history, but varies from it in several 

OF MOTirSS*^ 915 

rate* Among thi« confusion of repugnant die- S"*^;^. 
tates, Crillon, it seems, gave the preference^ in 
the first place, to those of honour : in the next 
place, to those of benevolence. He would have 
fought, hsHl his offer been accepted ; as it was 
notti he remained at peace* 

Here a multitude of questions might arise. 
Supposing the dictates of the political sanction 
to follow the mandate of the sovereign, of what 
kind were the motives which they afforded him^ 
for compliance ? The answer is, of the self- 
regarding kind at any rate : inasmuch as, by the 
supposition, it was in the power of the sovereign 
to punish him for non-compliance, or reward 
^ him for compHanee. Did they afford hitii the 
motive of religion? (I mean independeMly of 
the circumstance of heresy above irientitined) 
the answer is,. Yes, if his notion was, that it was 
Ood's pleasure he should comply with them 'y. 
No, if it was not. Did they afford him the 
motive of the love of reputation ? Yes, if it was 
his notion that the world would exp^t and re^- 
quire that he should comply with them : No, if 
it was not* Did they afford h:hn that (y( bene- 
volence ? Yes, if it was his notion that the 
community would upon the whole be th6 better 
for his complpng with them : No, if it was not. 
But did the dictates of the political sanction, 
in the case in question, actually follow the man* 
dates of the sovereign : in other words, was 


£jj*^ such si mandate legal ? This we see is a mere 
question of local jurisprudence, altogether 
foreign to the present purpose. 


Practical \Vhat is hcrc said about the goodness and bad- 
use of the 

above dis- ncss of motivcs, is far from bemg a mere mat- 

quisitions , mi -n \ • t 

relative to tcr of words. There will be occasion to make 


use of it hereafter for various important pur- 
poses. I shall have need of it for the sake of 
dissipating various prejudices, which are pf dis- 
service to the community, sometimes by cherish- 
ing the flame of civil dissensions,* at other times, 
by obstructing the course of justice. It will be 
shown, that in the case of many offences,f the 

consideration of the motive is a most material 

* ■ 

one : for that in the first place it makes a Very 
material difierence in the magnitude of the mis- 
chief: J in the next place, that it is easy to be 
ascertained ; and thence may be made a ground 
for a difference in the demand for punishment : 
but that in other cases it is altogether incapable 
of being ascertained ; and that, were it capable 
pf being ever so well ascertained, good or bad, 
it could make no difference in the demand for 
punishment : that in all cases, the motive that 
may happen to govern a prosecutor, is a consi- 
deration totally immaterial : whence may be 

* See B.I. tit. [Reb^Uion.] 

f lb. tit. [Simp. corp. injuries.l lb. tit. [Homicide.] 

\ See ch. xi. [Dispositions.! 

- V 


seen the mischievousness of the prejudice that chap.x. : 
is so apt to be entertained against informers ; 
and the consequence it is of that the judge, in 
particular, should be proof against the influence 
of such delusions. 

Lastly, The subject of motives is one with 
which it is necessary to be acquainted, in order 
to pass a judgment on any means that may be 
proposed for combating offences in their source.* 

But before the theoretical foundation for these 
practical observations can be completely laid, 
it is necessary we should say something on the 
subject of disposition : which, accordingly, 'will 
iumish matter for the ensuing chapter. 

^ Seo Append. Ut. [Preventive Institutions.] 

[ «1« } 




Disposir ly the foregoing chapter it has been shown at 
large, that goodness or badness cannot, with 
any propriety, be predicated of motives, fc 
there nothing then about a man that can pro- 
perly be termed good or bad, when, on such or 
such an occasion, he suffers himself to be go- 
verned by such or such a motive? Yes, cer- 
tainly : his disposition. Now disposition is a 
kind of fictitious entity, feigned for the con- 
venience of discourse, in order to express what 
there is supposed to be permanent in a man's 
frame of mind, where, on such or such an oc- 
T^asion, he has bfeen influenced by such or such 
a motive, to engage in an act, which, as it ap- 
^peared to him, was of such or such a tendency. 

— kow far It is with disposition as with every thing else : 
to^he °p?e.* it will be good or bad according to its effects : 
ject! *"^' according to the effects it has in augmenting or 
diminishing the happiness of the community. 
A man's disposition may accordingly be con- 
sidered in two points of view : according to 

Ill" "III I " ■mil m^mtmmmmmm^i^mmmmmimmm 


the influence it has, either, 1 . on his own hap- ch ^^l 
piness: or, 2. on the happiness of others. 
Viewed in both these lights together, or in 
:either of them indiscriounately, it may be 
termed, on the one hand, good ; on the other, 
fead ; or, in flagrant cases, depraved.* Viewed 
in the former of tt^ese lights, it has scarcely 
any peculiar name, which has as yet been ap- 
propriated to it. It might be termed, though 
but inexpressively,, frail or infirm, on the one 
haiid : sound or firm, on the other. Viewed in 
the other light, it might be termed beneficent, 
or meritorious, on the one hand : pernicious or 
mischievous, on the other. Now of that brdnch 
of a man 8 disposition, the effects of which 
regard in the first instance only himself, there 
needs not much to be said here. To reform it 
when bad, is the business rather of the moralist 
> I I ■ ■ I > I . . ■ ■ ■»■. I 

* It might also be termed virtuous, or vicious. The only 
objection to the Use of those terms on the present occasion 
is, the great quantity of good and bad repute that respectively 
stand annexed to them. The inconvenience of this is, their 
being ^pt to annex an ill-proportioned measure of disrepute * 
to dispositions which are ill-constituted only with respect to 
the party himself : involving th^m in such a degree of ig*- 
nommy as should b^ appropriated to such dispositions only as 
are mischievous with regard to others. To exalt weaknesses 
to a level with crimes, is a way to diminish the abhorrence 
which ought to be reserved for crimes. To exalt small evils 
to a level with great ones, is the way to diminish the share 
of Qtl;entio^ wbidi ought to be pfvA to great ones. 



Chap. XL tj^^n the legislator: nor is it susceptible of 
those various modifications which make so ma- 
terial a difference in the effects of the other. 
Again, with respect ' to that • part of it, the 
effects whereof regard others in the first . in-^ 
stance, it is only in as far as it is of a mis- 
chievous nature that the penal branch of law 
has any immediate concern with it : in as ^ 
as it niay be of a beneficent nature, it belongs 
to a hitherto but little cultivated^ and as yet 
unnamed branch of law, which might be styled 
the remuneratory. 

A miflcfaie- A man then is said to be of a mischievous 
sUioii ; r disposition, when, by the influence of no matter 
miTdispo. what motives, he is presumed to be more apt to 
what!' engage, or form intentions of engaging, in acts 
which are apparently of a pernicious tendency, 
than in such as are apparently of a beneficial 
tendency : of a meritorious or beneficent dis- 
position in the opposite case. 

IV. / 

y^^ ^ I say presumed : for, by the supposition, all 
^siuon u, tl^^t appears is one single action, attended with 
SJSjter^of^ one single train of circumstances : but from 
presump. ^^^ degree of consistency and uniformity which 
experience has shown to be observable in the 
different actions of the same person, the pro- 
bable existence (past or future) of a number of 
acts of a similar nature, is naturally and justly 




inferred from the observation of one single one. S!li^'' 
Under such circumstances, such as the motive 
proves to be in one instance, such is the dis- 
position to be presumed to be in others. 

I say apparently mischievous : that is, appa- it depends 
rently with regard to him : such as to him the act ap- 

1 1 r r % pears to be 

appear to possess that tendency : for from the to himi 
mere event, independent of what to him it 
appears beforehand likely to be, nothing can 
be inferred on either side. If to him it appears 
likely to be mischievous, in such case, though 
in the upshot it should prove innocent, or even 
beneficial, it makes no difference ; there is not 
the less reason for presuming his disposition to 
be a bad one : if to him it appears likely to be 
beneficial or innocent, in sucb case, though in 
the upshot it should prove pernicious, there is 
not the more reason on that account for pre- 
suming his disposition to be a good one. And 
here we see the importance of the circum- 
stances of intentionality,* consciousness,']' un- 
consciousness,'!' and mis-supposal.']' 


The truth of these positions depends upon which po- 
two others, both of them sufficiently verified by ^o^dU 
experience : The one is, that in the ordinary facu^**i. 
course of things the consequences of actions spend 

The corre- 

* See ch. vui. f See eh. ix, ISence?**" 

fences : 


cbaf. xj. commdnly turn out conformlatble to iatedsitidlis.' 
A man who sets up a butcher's shop, and deidigi 
in beefy when he intends to knock down an ox, 
coihmonly does knock down an ox ; though by 
some unlucky accident he may chance to miss 
his blow and knock down a man : he who sets 
up a grocer s shop, and deal^ in sugar, when ke 
intends to sell sugar, commdnly does sell sugar r 
though by some unlucky ^cident he may chance 
to sell arsenic in the room of it. 

VII. , 

3. Between The Other is, that a man who entertains in- 

tbe inten- 
tions of the tentions o£ doing mischief at one time is: apt to 

iame per- , . * 

sonatdiffe- entertain the like intentions at another.* 

rent times. 


The dispo- There are two circumstances upon which the: 

•ition IS to '- 

beinfcrred, naturc of the disposition, as indicated by wny 
apparent act, IS Uablc to depend : 1. The apparent ten- r 

tendency of *■ ■ ax. 

the act: deucy of the act : 2. The nature of the motive 

K dlsposi- * To suppose a man to be of a gclod dispositioo, and al Ihe 
which'ipro- ^^^ *^™® likely, in virtue of that very disposition^ to eQgage. 
ceeds a ha- in an habitual train of mischievous actions^ is a contradiction 
mischief in terms : nor could such a proposition ever be advanced^ but' 
cannot be a f^Q^,^ the giving, to the thing which the word disposition is 
pitt for, a reality which does not belong to it. If then, for 
example, a man of religious disposition should, in Yirtue af , 
that very disposition, be in the habit of doing mischief, for 
instance, by persecuting his neighbours, the case must be, 
either that his disposition, though good in certain respects, is 
not good upon the whole : or that a religious disposition- is 
not in general a good one. 


^hich gave biirth to it. This dependency is ^Jjji^^- 
subject to different rules, accordinff to the na- 2.Prom tht 

^ » o nature of 

ture of the motive. In stating them, I suppose the motive. 
all along the apparent tendency of the act to be, 
as it commonly is, the same as the real. 

1. Where the tendency of the act is goody and Case i. 

^ -r Tendency^ 

the motive is of the self-^ega^ding kind. ' In this gpod^-^or^ 
case the motive affords no inference on either re^rdinp. 
side. It affords no indication of a good dispo- 
sition : but neither does it afford any indication 
of a bad one. 

A baker sells his bread to a hungry man who 
asks for it. This, we se6, is one of those acts 
of which, in ordinary cases, the tendency is un- 
quesdonably good. The baker's motive is the 
ordinary commercial motive of pecuniary in- 
/terest. It is plain, that there is nothing in the 
transaction, thus stated, that can afford the least 
ground for presuming that the baker is a better 
or a worse man than any of his neighbours^ 

2. Where the tendaicy of the act is body and Case 2. 
the motive, as before, is- of the self-regarding imd^mo* 
kind. In this case the dii^sition indicated is regardinp. 
a mischievous one. 

A man steals bread out of a baker's shop : this 
i0 one of those acts of which the. tendency will 
readily be acknowledged -to be bad^ Why, and 
ill what respects it is so, will be s^tated £su1;her 


chaf> XI . Qjj » jjjg motive, we will say, is that of pe- 
cuniary interest ; the desire of getting the value 
of the bread for nothing. His disposition, ac- 
cordingly, appears to be a bad one : for every 
one wiir allow a thievish disposition to be a bad 


due 3. 3. Where the tendency of the act is good, and 

^oorf-mo- the motive is the purely social one oi good-mil. 
will! In this case the disposition indicated is a bene- 
ficent one. 

A baker gives a poor man a loaf of bread. 
His motive is compassion ; a name given to the 
motive of benevolence, in particular cases of its 
operation. The disposition indicated by the 
baker, in this case, is such as every man will 
be ready enough to acknowledge to be a good 


!^«^ 4. Where the tendency of the act is bad, and 

bad-mo. the motive is the purely social one of good-will. 

tive, good- r ^ o 

wiu. ^ Even m this case the disposition which the mo- 
tive indicates is dubious: it may be a mis- 
chievous or a meritorious one, as it happens ; 
according as the mischievousness of the act is 
more or less apparent. 


This case It mav be thought, that a case of this sort 

not an im- *' o ' 

possible cannot exist ; and that to suppose it, is a con- 


* See ch. xii. [Consequences] and Code, B. I. tit. [Theft.] 


tradiction in terms. For the act is one, which, 

- by the supposition, the agent knows to be . a 
mischievous one. How then can it be, thjat 
good-will, that is, the desire of doing good, 
could have been the motive that led him into 
it ? To reconcile this, we must advert to tb^ 
distinctioi;! between enlarged benevolence and 
confined.* The motive that led him into it, 
was that of confined benevolence. Had he fol- 
lowed the dictates of enlarged benevolence, he 

. would not have done what he did. Now, al- 
though he followed the 'dictates of that branch 
of benevolence, which in any single instance of 
its exertion is mischievous, when opposed to 
the other, yet, . as the cases which call for the 
exertion of the former are, beyond comparison, 
more numerous than those which call for the 

. exertion of the latter, the disposition indicated 
by him, in following the impulse of the former, 

.will often be such as in a man, of the common 
run of men, may be allowed to be a good one 

. upon the whole. 


A man with a numerous family of children^ Example i. 
on the point of starving, goes into a baker's 
shop, steals aJoaf, divides it all among the chil- 
dren, reserving none of it for himself. It will 
be hard to infer that that man's disposition is a 


' II . ■ r - -■ 1 ~— — 

* See ch. x. [Motives.] 
VOL. I. *Q 

«26 hUmAN dispositions IN GENERAL. 


Chap. XI. mischicvous One upon the whole. Alter tlie 
case, give him but one child, and that hungry 
perhaps, but ill no imminent danger of starving : 
and now let the man set fire to a house full of 
people, for the sake of stealing- money out of it to 
buy the bread with. The disposition here indi^ 
cated will hardly be looked upon as a good one. 


Example- Auotitcr casc wiU appear more difficult to 
decide than either. Ravaillac assassinated one 
of the best and wisest of sovereigns, at a time 
when a good and wise sovereign, a blessing at 
all times so valuable to a state, was partica- 
larly precious : and that to the inhabitants of a 
populous iand extensive empire. He is taken, 
and doomed to the most excruciating tortures. 
His son, well persuaded of his being a sincere 
penitent, and that mankind, in case of his being 
at large, would have nothing more to fear from 
him, effectuates his escape : Is this then a sign 
of a good disposition in the son, or of a bad 
one ? Perhaps some will auswer, of a bad onie ; 
for, besides the interest which the nation has 
in the sufferings 6f such a criminal, on the score 
of the example, the future good behaviour of 
such a criminal is more than any one can hate 
sufficient ground to be persuaded of. 

XVI. ' 

Example Well then, let Ravaillac, the son, not faci- 
litate his father's escape ; but content hicaseH 

ti* ^.^j^^Bw^i^^H^nw^^wB^BP-. wm it'^^^r^^i^-^f^^^^^^^^^^m^^w^mm^ I ' ii"u»-wiiwiy 

ti* ^.^S^^BW^I^^H^HW^^WB^B^ . Wm ■■•^^^»^^|^-^5P^i^^^|^^^^P^^W-^«Hi|^-T»w— •"^WT»-»||W«™^||^^F-i»— ■■■— -^^^^MIMIlPWW^ll^BWiP^^^^^^ 

HtTMAUr ms^OSiflONS IN ©enteral. 227 

with conveying poison to him, that at the price < ^aAP.xf. 
of ain easier death- he may escape his torments. 
The decision will now^ perhaps, be more difii* 
cult. T^e ac^ is a wrotig <)ne,4et it be allowed, 
lukd sU<^h. as oug^ht by kll means to be punished : 
but is the ^i.$^;Yf9i^ manifested by at a bad 6iie1 
Because the youiig man breaks the laws in this 
one instance, is it probable,, that if let alone, he 
would break the laws in ordinary instances, for 
the satisfaction of any inordinate desires of his 
own ? The answer of most men would pro- 
bably be in the negative. 


5. Where the tendency of the act is good, and Case 5. 
the motive is a semi-social one, the love of repu-" good^mo- 
tatton. in this case the disposition indicated is reputation. 
a good one. 

In a time of scarpity, a baker, for the sake of 
gaining the esteem of the neighbourhood, dis- 
tributes bread gratis among the industrious poor. 
Lelthis be taken for granted : and let it b6 
allowed to be a matter of uncertainty, whether 
he had a^y real feeling for the sufferings of those 
whom he has relieved, or no. His disposition, 
for all that, cannot, with any pretence of reason, 
bs termed otherwise than a good and beneficent . 
one. It can only be in consequence of some very 
idle prejudice, if it receives a different name.* 

* The bulk of mankind, ever ready to depreciate the cha- The bulk of 
racter of their neighbotirs, in order; indirectly, to exalt their ^t^^^e- 

Q 2 preciate this motive. 



Chap^. XVIII, 

T^dlTn^, ^' Where the tendency of the act is bad, arid 
^1"w *^^ motive, as before, is a semi-social one, the 
love of reputation. In this case, the disposition 
which it indicates is more or less good or bad : 
in the first place, according as the tendency of 
the act is more or less mischievous : in the 

" — ■ 

own> wiU take Wcasion to refer a motive to the class of bad 
ones as often as they can find one still better^ to which the 
act might have owed its birth. Conscious that his own 
motives are not of the best class^ or persuaded that if they 
be, they will not be referred to that class by others ; afraid 
of being taken for a dupe, and anxious to show the reach of 
his penetration 5 each man takes care, in the first place, to 
impute the conduct of every .other man to the least laudable 
of the motives that can account for it : in the next place, when 
he has gone as far that way as he can, and cannot drive down 
the individual motive to any lower class, he changes his bat- 
tery, and attacks the very class itself. To the love of repu- 
tation he will accordingly give a bad naoae upon every occa- 
sion, calling it ostentation, vanity, or vain-glory. 
.' partly to the same spirit of detraction, the natural conse- 
quence of the sensibility of men to the force of the moral 
sanction, partly to the influence of the principle of asceticism, 
• may, perhaps, be imputed the great abundance of bad names 
of motives, in comparison of such as are good or neutral : 
and, in particular, the total want of neutral names ibr the 
motives of sexual desire, physical desire in general, and pecu- 
niary interest. The superior abundance, even of good names^ 
in comparison of neutral ones, would, if examined, be found 
rather to confirm than disprove the above remark. The lan- 
guage of a people on these points may, perhaps, serve in some 
measure as a key to their moral sentiments. But such specula- 
tive disquisitions are foreign to the purpose of the present work. 



next place, according as the dictates of the ^"^^ ^h 
moral sanction/ in the society in question, ap- 
proach more or less to^ a coincidence with those 
of utility. It does not seem probable, that in 
any nation, which is in a state of tolerable civi^ 
lization, in shart, in any nation in which such 
rules as these can come to be consultedi the 
dictates of the moral sanctiph will so far recede 
from a coincidence with those of utility (that is, 
of enlightened benevolence) that the disposition 
indicated in this case can be otherwise than a 
good one upon the whole. 


An Indian receives an injury, real or imaginary. Example i. 
from an Indian of another tribe. He revenges it 
upon the person of his antagonist with the most 
excruciating torments : the case being, that 
cruelties inflicted on such an occasion, gain him 
reputation in his own tribe. The disposition 
manifested in such a case can n^ver be deemed a 
good one, among a people ever so few degrees ad- 
vanced, in point of civilization, above the Indians. 


A nobleman (to come back to Europe) con- Example 
tracts a debt with a poor tradesman. The same 
nobleman, presently afterwards, contracts a 
debt, to the same amount, to another nobleman, 
at play. He is unable to pay both : he pays 
the whole debt to the companion of his amuse- 
ments, and no part of it to the tradesman. The 


Chap. Xf.. 

dispoBition manifested in* this case can scarcely 
bct^rmed other^cise than It is cer- 
tainly^ however, hot so bdd as if he had paid 
neidier. The principle of love of reputatioh^ 
or (as it is called in the case of this partial ap- 
plication of it) honour, is here opposied to the 
wc»rthier principle ck£ benevolence, and gets the 
better of it. But it gets the better also of the 
self-«regarding> principle of pecuniary interest* 
The disposition, therefore, whifch it indicates, 
although not so good a one as that in which the 
principle of benevolence predommates, is better 
than one in which the principle of self-interest 
predominates. He would be the better for having 
more benevolence: but would he be the better 
for having' no honour? This 4see]ns to admit of 
great dispute.* 


Tendency ^' Whcrc the tcudeucy of the act is goad, and 
^©orf— rto- tjjg motive is the semi-social one of re%iow. 

live, piety.^ o 

In this case, the disposition indicated by it (con- 
sidered with respept totheinfluenceof it onthe 
man's conduct towards l)thers) is manifestly a 
beneficent and meritorious one. • 

A balder distributes bread gfatis among the 
industrious poor. It is not that he feels for 
their distresses : nor is it for the sake of gaMng 
reputation among his neighbours. It is for the 
sake of gaining the favour of the Deity : to whom, 

* See the case of Duels discussed in B; I. tit.ilfomic^de.j 


he lakes for granted^ such conduct will be ac- ^hap.xl 
ceptable. The disposition manifested by such 
conduct is plainly what every man would call 
^ good one. 


8. Where the tendency of the act is bad. and J^T ^' 

J- ' Tendeucy, 

the motive is that of religion, as before. In had— mo^ 
this case the disposition is dubious. It is good ^^i^- 
or bad, and more or less good or bad, in the 
first place, as the tendency of the act is more or 
less mischievous ; in the next place, according 
as the religious tenets of the person in question 
approach more or less to a coincidence with 
the dictates of utility. 

It should seem from history, tha,t even in Thedispo- 
nations in a tolerable state of civilization in bebad^in^ 
other respects, the dictates of religion have 
b^en found so far to recede from a coincidence 
with those of utility; in other words, from 
those of enlightened benevolence; that the 
disposition indicated in this case may even be 
a bad one upon the whole. This however is • 
np objection to the inference which it affords 
^i a good disposition in those countries (such 
%B perhaps ;eire most of the countries of Europe 
at present) in which its dictates respecting the 
conduct of a man towards other men approach 
very nearly to a coincidence with those of 
utijiity. The dictates of religiop^ in their ap- 


Chap. XI . plication to the conduct of a man in what coii-* 
(ierns hhnself alone, seem^in most Europ^tn 
nations to savour a good deal of the ascetic 
principle : but the obedience to such mistaken 
dictates indicates not any such disposition as 
is likely to break out into acts of pernicious 
tendency with respect to others. Instances in 
yirhich the dictates of religion lead a man into 
acts which are pernicious in this latter view; 
seem at present to be but rare : unless it be 
acts of persecution, or impolitic measures on 
the part of government, where the law itself is 
either the principal actor or an accomplice in 
the mischief. Ravaillac, instigated by no other 
motive than this, gave his country one of the 
most fatal stabs that a country ever received 
from a single hand : but happily the Ravaillacs 
are but rare. ' They have been more frequent, 
however, in France than in any other country 
during the same period :< and it is remarkable, 
that in every instance it is this motive that 
has produced them. ' When they do appear, 
however, nobody, I suppose, but such as them- 
selves, will be for terming a disposition, such 
as they manifest, a good one. It seems hardly 
to be denied, but that they are just so much the 
worse for their notions of religion; and that 
had they been left to the sole guidance of 
benevolence, and the love of reputation, with- 
out any religion at all, it would have been but 



SO much the better for mankind. One may say c^^^-^*- 


nearly the same thing, perhaps; of those persons 
who, without any particular obligation, have 
taken an active part in the execution of laws 
made for the punishment of those who have the 
misfortune to differ with the magistrate in 
matters of religion, much more of the legislator 
himself, who has put it in their power. If 
Louis XIV. had had no religion, France would 
hot have lost 800,000 of its most valuable sub- 
jects. The same thing may be said of the aii- 
thors of the wars called holy ones ; whether 
waged against persons called Infidels, or persons 
branded with the still more odious name of 
Heretics. In Denmark, not a great many years 
ago, a sect is said to have arisen, who, by a 
strange perversion of reason, took it into their 
heads, that, by leading to repentance, murder, 
or any other horrid crime, might be made the 
road to heaven. It should all along, however, 
be observed, that instances of this latter kind 
were always rare : and that in almost all the 
countries of Europe, instances of the former 
kind, though once abundantly frequent, have 
for some time ceased. In certain countries, 
however, persecution at home, or (what pro- 
duces a degree of restraint, which is one part 
of the mischiefs of persecution) I mean the 
disposition to persecute, whensoever occasion 
happens, is not yet at an end : insomuch that 


^^' ^l if there i^ no actual persecution, it is only 
because there kre no heretics ; and if there axe 
no heretics, it is only because there are no 


r^tn' ^* ^'^^^^ *^® tendency of the act is good, 
good--m^ and the motive (as before) is the dissocial one 

ttve, male- \ • 

voience. of iU-wilL In this case the itiotive ^eems not 
to afford any indication on either side. It is 
no indication of a good disposition ; but neither 
is it any indication of a bad one. 

Example. You havc detected a baker in selling short 
weight : you prosecute him for the cheat. It 
is not for the sake .of gain that you engaged in 
the prosecution ; for there is nothing to be got 
by it : it is not from public spirit : it is not for 
the sake of reputation ; for there is no repu- 
tation to be got by it : it is not in the view of 
pleasing the Deity : it is merely on account of 
a quarrel you have with the man you pro- 
secute. From the transaction, as thus stated^ 
there does not s^em to be any thing to be said 
either in favour of your disposition or against 
it. The tendency of the act is good : but you 
would not have engaged in it, had it not bee^ 
from a motive which there seems no particulax 
reason to conclude will ever prompt you to 
engage in an act of the same kind again. Your 

■* — ■ B— — yi -i-ji ._ ji^,jL_i iL»- -L _ j-r- -\j-m — i ■— r^^~~^^~^^ 

• See B. I. tit [Offences iigaiost Religion.] 


motive is of that sort which may, with least Cha^xi. 
impropriety, be ternied a bad one : but the act * 
is of that sort, which, were4t engaged in evei^ 
so often, could never have any evil tendency ; 
nor indeed any other tendency than a good 
one. By the supposition, the motive it hap- 
pened to be dictated by was that of ill-will : 
but the act itself is of such a nature as to have 
wanted nothing but sufficient discernment on 
your part in order to have beien dictated by the 
most enlarged benevolence. Now, from a man's 
having suffered himself to be induced to gratify 
his resentment by means of an act of whiich 
the tendency is good, it by no means follows 
that he would be ready on another occasion, 
through the influence of the same sort of mo- 
tive, to engage in any act of which the tendency 
is a bad one. The motive th^t impelled you 
was a dissocial one : but what social motive 
could there have been Jto restrain you ? None, 
but what might have been outweighed by a 
more enlarged motive of the same kind. Now, 
because the dissocial motive prevailed when it 
stood alone, it by no means follows that it would 
pfevail when it had a social one to combat it. 


10. Where the tendency of the act is bad, case lo. 
and the motive is the dissocial one of malevo^ 6arf— mo-' 
lence. In this case the (disposition it indicates voience. 
is of Course a; mischievous one. 


The man who stole the bread from the bakerj, 
as before, did it with no other view than merely 
to impoverish and afflict him: accordingly, 
when he had got the bread, he did not eat^ or 
sell it ; but destroyed it. That the disposition, 
evidenced by such a transaction, is a bad 6ne, 
is what every body must perceive inimediately. 


Problem— Thus much with respect to the circumstances 
the depra. from which the miscmcvou^ness or meritorious- 
m^'Tdu- ness of a man s disposition is to be inferred in 
posiiion. thg gTQgg . y^^ come now to the measure of that 

mischievousness or meritoriousness, as resulting 
from those circumstance^. Now with merito- 
rious acts and dispositions we have no direct 
concern in the present work. All that penal 
law is concerned to do, is to measure the depra- 
vity of the disposition wher« the act is mis- 
chievous. To this object, therefore, we shall 
here confine ourselves. 


A man's It is evident, that the nature of a man's dis- 

dispotition • • i •• /» 

isconsti- positiou must - depend upon the nature of the 

tutedbythe ^ . . , . ^ , . , 

sum of his motives he is apt to be influenced by : m other 

iDtentions : 

words, upon the degree of his sensibility to the 
force of such and such motives. For his dispo- 
sition is, as it were, the sum of his intentions : 
the disposition he is of during a certain period, 
the sum or result pf his intentions during that 
period. If, of tl^e acts he has been intending 


to engage in during the supposed period, those .^"ap- xi. 
which are apparently of a mischievous ; ten- 
dency, bear a large proportion to those which 
appear to him to be of the contrary tendency, 
his disposition will be of tiie mischievous cast : 
if but a small proportion, of the innocent or 


Now intentions, like every thing, else, are —which 

•^ ° owetheii 

produced by the things that are thieir. causes : birth to 

*•'*=' motives.' 

and the causes of intentions are motives. If, on 
any occasion, a man forms either a good or a 
bad intention, it must be. by the influence of 
some motive. 


When the act, which a motive prompt? a a gedudog 

^ • 1 • ^ o** corrupt- 

man to engage m, is of a mischievous mature, iD^motive, 

it may, for distinction's sake, be termed a se- tateUry or 

t , . . ^ . • 1 • 1 1 preservato- 

ducing or corrupting motive : m which cstse.also rymoUve. 
any motive which, in opposition to the former, 
acts in the character of a restraining motive, 
may be styled 3r tutelary, . preservatory, or pre- 
serving motive. 


Tutelary motives may again be.distinguished Tu^iary 
into standing or constant, and occasional. By «^^*»«f. 

° •' staodmg or 

standing tutelary motives, I mean ^uch as act occasional. 
with more or less force in all, or at least in 
most cases, tending to restrain a man from any 
mischievous, act^ he may be prompted to en- 


cha». XL gage in ; and that with a force which depend* 
tipon the general nature of the act, rather thail 
upon any accidental qircumslslnce with which 
any individual act of that sort may happen to 
be accoiiipanied. By occasional tutelary jno- 
tivesj I mean such motives as may chance to 
» act in this direction or not, according^ to the 
nature of the act, and of the particular occasion 
oh which the engaging in it is brought into con- 


standing Now it has been shown, that there is iio sort 


motivei of motive by whiqh a man iriay not be prompted 
Good-wiu. to engage in acts that are of a mischievous iia- 
ture ; that is, which may not come to act in 
the capacity of a seducing motive. It has been 
shown, on the other hand,- that therfe are some 
motives which are remarkably less likely to 

• • • • . .r 

operate in this way thian others. It has also 
been shown, that the least likely of all is that 
of benevolence or good- will : the most com- 
mon tendency of which> it has been shown, is 
to act in the character of a tutelary motive. It 
has also been shown, that even when by acci- 
dent it acts in one way in the character of a 
. seducing motive, still in another way it acts in 
the opposite character of a tutelary one. The 
motive of good- will, in as far as it respects the 
interests of one set of persons, may prompt a 
tnun to engage m sLcts which ate productive of 



mischief to another and more extensive set: Chap.^. 
but this is only because his good- will is imper- 
fect and confined : not taking into contempla- 
tion the interests of all the persons whose ih- 
tertests stre at stake. The same motive, were 
the afiection it issued from more enlarged, 
would operate effectually, in the character of a 
constraining motive, against that very act to 
which, by the supposition, it gives birth. This 
same sort of motive may therefore, without any 
real contradiction or deviation from truth, be 
ranked in the number of standing tutelary mo- 
tives, notwithstanding the occasions in which it 
may act at the same time in the character of a 

seducing one. 


The same observation, nearly, may be applied 2. The love 
to the semi-social motive of love of reputation, tion. 
The force of this, like that of the former, is 
liable to be divided against itself. As m the 
case of good-will, the interests of some of the 
persons, who may be the objects of that senti- 
inent, are liable to be at variance with thbse of 
others : so in the case of love of reputation, thfe 
sentiments of some of the piersons, whose good 
opinion is desired, may be at variance with the 
sentiments of other persons of that hiifeber. 
Now in the case of an act, which is reflly of a 
niiscluevous nature, it can scarcely happen thstt 
'tlifere ^haH be no persons whatever who will 



^"^^'^; look upon it with an eye of disapprobation. It 
can scarcely ever happen, therefore, that an act 
really mischievous shall not have some part at 
least, if not the whole, of the force of this mo- 
tive to oppose it ; nor, therefore, that this 

motive should not act with some degree of force 

\in the character of a tutelary motive. This, 

therefore, may be set down as another article 

[ in the catalogue of standing tutelary motives. 

\ ... ... 


3.Thcde- The same.observatioh may be applied to the 
sire of ami- ^^g- j.^ ^£ amity, though not in altogether equal 

measure. For, notwithstanding the mischiev- 
ousness of an act, it may happen, withoxit 
much dijfictilty, that all the persons for whose 
amity a man entertains any particular present 
desire which is accompanied with expectation, 
may concur in regarding it with an eye rather 
of approbation than the contrary. This is but 
too apt to be the case among such fraternities 
as those of thieves, smugglers, and many other 
denominations of offenders. This, however, is 
not constantly, nor indeed most commonly the 
^ case : insomuch, that the desire of amity may 
still be regarded, upon the whole,^ as a tutelary 
motive, were it only from the closeness of its 
connexion with the love of reputation. And 
it may be ranked among standing tutelary 
motives, since, 'where it does apply, the force 
with, which it acts, depends not upon the occa- 

■w^^»»w»i«w^wipwpiip^wpip"^^p»w»wir»"'"»'»"w>wi»»^wr^— 1 ■■•II •"■^B— <w^piw 


sional circi^mstances of the act which it op^ Chak xi. 
poses/ but upon principles as general as those 
Upon which depend the action of the other semi* 
social motiyes. 


The motive of religion is not altogether in the 4. The mo- 
same case with the three former. The force of £,2! "" 
it is not^ like theirs, liable to be divided against 
itself. I mean' in the civUized nations of mo- 
dem times, among whom" the notion of the 
unity of the Godhead is universal. In times of 
classical antiquity it was otherwise. If a man 
got Venus on his side, Pallas was on the other: 
ir :^olus was for him, Neptune was against 
him. ^ jflEneas, with all his piety, had but a par^- 
tial interest at the court of heaven. That matter 
stands upoii a different footing now-a-days. 
In any given person, the force of religion, what- 
ever it be, is now all of it on one side. It may 
balance, indeed, on which side it shall declare 
itself r and it may declare itself, as we have 
seen already in but too many instances, on the 
wrong as well as on the right. It hais been, at 
least till lately, jperhaps is still, accustomed so 
much to declare itself on the wrong side, and 
that in such material instances, that on that 
account it seemed not proper to place it, in 
point of social' tendency, on a level altogether 
with the motive of benevolei^ce. Where it does 
act, however, as it does in by far the greatest 

VOL. I. R 


2lt^' Hwnber of ib«$ds, in opposition to the t»-dinary 
seducing motires^ it acts, like the motive of 
beaevolehce, in an tiniform manner, not der 
pending upon the particular circumstanceib that 
may attend the commission of the act ; but 
t^idihg to oppose it^ merely on acoaunt of its 
mischieyousness.; aiid therefore, with equal 
force, in itrhatsoeVec circumfitances it may be 
pmposed to be committed. This, therefore^ 
may also ht added to the catalo^e. of standing 
tutelary motives. 

Occasional ; As to the motivcs which may operate occa* 
ma^^b*' ^ionally in the (Character of ttltelary motives^ 
whatso- these, it has beten already intimated, are of 
radons sorts,, and various degrees of sttehgth 
in various offences: depending not only upon 
^ the nature of the offence, but upon the ac- 
cidental circumstances in which the ideft of en« 
gaging in it may come in contemplation. Nor 
is there any sort of ^tive which may not come 
to operate in this character ; as may be easily 
conceived. A thief, for instance, may be pre- 
vented from engaging in ^ projected scheme of 
hous^-breaking, by sitting too ]ong over his hot* 
tie,* by a visit frqm his doxy^ by the occasion 
he may have to go elsewhere^ in order to receive 
his dividend of a former booty ;t and so on. 

^ Love of the pleasures of tbe palate* 
t Pecnniary interest. 

»■ ■ .JU . ^ 









Hhete are some motiveB^liowwer, which seem Motives 

tuftt Are 

mct^ apt to act ift thi3 <iharacter fhai^ others ; particuur- 

* ' ly apt to 

edpeGiallv as thincrs are now eooatitated^ ncvw act in this 

^ ■ Cuftractcr 

that the law has everv Adhere epposed ±6 the are, 

•^ ri .1. Love of 

force of the principal sedocing motiTra, artificial ease, 
tutelary motives of its own creation. Of the servatioo. 
motives here m^ant it will be necessary to take 
a general view. They seran to be reducible 
to two heads ; viz, L The love of ease ; a mo- 
tive put into action by the pTosfiect of the trou- 
ble of the attempt ; that is^ the trouble which it 
may be necessary to bestow, in overcoming the 
physical difficulties that mky- acoompany it. 
2. Self-preservation, as opposed to tte dangers 
to which a man may be exposed in the prose- 
cution of it, 


These dangers may be cither, L Of a purely I^Jj^^*^^ 
physical nature : or, 2« Dangers re»idting £rom pK<erva. 
moral agency ; in other words, from the conduct *p* »» V*** 

^ "^ case to nave 

of any such persons to whom the act^ if knowa, «apect,afe, 
may be expected to prove obnoxious. But moral inirei^phy- 
agency supposes knowledge with respect tp the ^ nan^rs 
circumstance that are to have the effect of ex- on (ietec 


ternal motives in giving birth to it. Now the 
obtaining such knowledge, with respect to the 
commission of any obnoxious act, on the part 
of any persons who may be disposed to make . 
ike agent suffer for it, is csAed detection ; aiid 

B 2 i. 


Chap. XI . jj^^ agent concerning whom stich knowledge is 
obtained, is said to be detected. The dangers, 
tb^erefore, which may threaten an offender from 
this quarter, depend, whatever they may be, on 
the event of his detection ; and may, therefore, 
be all of ihexa comprised under the article of 
the danger of detection. 


Danger de- The daugfer depending upon detection may. 

dctecUon bc divided ag:ain into two branches : 1. That 

may result . ^ 

from, which may result from any opposition that may 
tion on the bc made to the enteiprise by persons on the 
2. subst- spot ; that is, at the very time the enterprise is 

quent pu- ^ 

nishment. Carrying ou I 2. That which respects the legal 
punishment, or other suffering, that may await 
at a distance upon the issue of the enterprise. 


The force It may be worth calling to mind on this occa- 

of the twp. • . 1 ^ t 1 . i r 1 

standing siou, that amoug the tutelary motives, which 
moures of bave been styled constant ones, there are two 
putation, of which the force depends (though not so en- 
ofami^, tirely as the force of the occasional ones which 
^pirafdetec- have been just mentioned, yet in a great mea- 
sure) upon the circumstance of detection. These j 
it may be remembered, are, the love of reputa- 
tion, . and the desire of amity. In proportion, 
ther^ore, as the chance of being detected ap- 
pears greater, these motives will apply with the 
greater force: with the less force, as it appe^irs 
lesff. This is not the case with the tWo other 




standing tutelary motives, that of benevolence, c^j^^^' 
and that of religion. 

We are now in a condition to determine, with ^^J^Spto-^^ 
some degree of precision, what is to be undci> ^^^Xj 
stood by the strength of a temptation, and what ^^ 
indication it may give of the degree of mischievr 
Qusness in a mail's disposition in the cas^ of any 
offence. When a man is prompted to engage 
in any fnischievous act, we will say, for shqrt- 
ness, in an oflTence, the strength of the tempta^- 
tion depends upon the ratio between the force 
of the seducing motives on the one hand, and 
such of the odcasional tutelary ones, as the cir- 
cumstances of the case call forth into action, on 
the other. The temptation, then, may be said 
to be strong, when the pleasure or advantage 
to be got from the crime is such as in the. eyes 
of the offender must appear great in comparison 
of the trouble and danger that appear to him 
to accompany the enterprise : slight or weak, 
when that pleasure or advantage is such as must 
appear small in comparison of such troublp and 
such danger. It is plain the strength of the 
temptation depends not upon the force of the 
impelling (that is of the seducing) motives alto- 
gether : for let the opportunity be more favour- 
ablie, that is, let the trouble, or any branch of 
the danger, be made less than before, it will he 
acknowledgedj that the temptation is made so 


Chaf. XI. xniieh the stronger : and on the other band, let 
the opportunity become less favourable, or, in 
other words, let the trouble, or any branch of 
the danger, be made greater than before, the 
temptation will be so much the weaker. 

Now, after taking account of such tutelary 
motives ^ have been styled occasional, the only 
ttitelary motives that can remain are those which 
have been termed standing ones. . But those 
^hich have been termed the standing tutelary 
motives, are the same that we have been styling 
social. It follows, therefore, th&t the strength 
of the temptation, in any case, after deducting 
ihe force of the social motives, is as the sum of 
the .forces of the seducing, to the sum of the 
forces of the occasional tutelary motives. 


iffoM^dT It remains to be inquired, what indication 
tills And concerning the mischievousness or depravity of 
cumstaDces a man's disposition is afforded bv the strength 
the depra- of the tcmptatiou, in the case where any oflfence 

vity of an * ' •' 

offender's happens to have been committed. It appears, 

dlSpOSltoOD. V • i 1 1 

then, that the weaker the temptation is, by which 
a man has been overcome, the more depnved 
and mischievous it shows his disposition to have 
been. For the goodness of his disposition is 
measured by the degree of his sensibility to the 
action of the social motives : * in other \wrds. 

■ «■ 

• Supra, jiar, xxviL xxvili. 


I . » 



by the strength of the influence which those cha». xi . 
motives have over him : now, the less consider- 
able the force is by which their influence on hun 
has been overcome, the more convincing is the 

proof that has been ^ven of the weakness of that 

Again, The degree of a man'ifc sensibility to 
the force of the social motives being given; it ig 
plain that the force with which those m^Ktives 
tend to restrain him from engaging in uny mis- 
chievous enterprise, will be as the apparent miq^ 
chievousness of such enterprise, that i$, as the 
degree of mischief with which it appears to him 
likely to be attended. In other words, the less 
mischievous the offence appears « to him to be, 
the less averse he will be, as far as he is guided 
by social considerations, to engage in it; the 
inore' mischievous, the more averse. If then the 
nature of the ofience is such as must appear to 
him highly mischievotis, and yet he engages in 
it notwithstanding, it shows, that the degree of 
his sensibility to the force of the social motives 
is but slight ; and consequently that his diisposi^ 
tion is proportionably depraved. Moreover, the 
less the strength of the temptation was, the more 
pernicious and depraved does it show his dis- 
position to have been. For the less the strength 
of the temptation was, the less was the force 
which the influence of those motives bad to 
overcome : the cleaier therefore is the proof 





g"^^' ^^ that has been given of the weakness of that 


Rules for From what has been - said^ it seems, that, for 

measuring , •■•/¥• 

the depra- ludgfins: of the indication that is afforded con- 
position IB- cemino: the depravity of a mans disposition by 

dicatedby , , 5 , . if 

an offence, the Strength of the temptation, compared with 
the mischievousness of the enterprise,, the fol- 
lowing rules may be laid down : 

Rule 1 . The strength of the temptation being 
given, the mischievousness of the disposition mani- 
fested by the enterprise, is as the apparent mis- 
chievousness of the act. 

Thus, it would show a more depraved dis- 
position, to murder a man for a reward of a 
guinea, or falsely to charge him with a rob- 
bery for the same reward, than to obtain the 
same sum from him by simple theft : the 
trouble he would have to take, and the risk he 
would have to run, being supposed to stand on 
the same footing in the one case as in the other. 

Rule 2, The €tpparent mischievousness of the act 
being given, a mans disposition is the more depraved, 
the slighter the temptation is by which he has been 

* ' ■• 

Thus, it shows a more depraved and dan- 
gerous disposition, if a man kill another out 
of mere sport, as the Emperor of Morocco, 
Muley Mahomet, jis said to have done great 
numbers, than out of revenge, as Sylla aixd 


Marius did thousands^ or in the view of self- Chap.jh. 
preservation, as Augustus killed many, or even 
for lucre, as the same EniperOr is said to have 
killed some. Aiid the effects of such a depra- 
vity, on that part of the pubUc which is ap- 
prized of it, run in the same proportion. From 
Augusitus, some persons only had to fear^ 
under some particular circumstances. From 
Muley Mahomet, every man had to fear at 
all times. : 

Ruled. The apparent mischievousness of the act 
being given, the evidence which- it affiyrds of the de- 
pravity of a marCs disposition is the less c&nclusive, 
the stronger the temptation is by which he has been 

Thus, if a poor man, who is ready to die with 
hunger, steal a loaf of bread, it is a less explicit 
sign of depravity, than if a rich man were t6 
commit a theft to the same amount. It will be 
observed, that in this rule all that is said is, that 
the evidence of depravity is in this case the less 
conclusive : it is not said that the depravity- 
is positively the less. For in this case it is 
possible, for any thing that appears' to thte cour 
trary, that the theft might have been com- 
mitted^ even had the temptation been not so 
strong. In this case, the alleviating circum- 
^stance is only a matter of presumption ; in the 
former, the aggravating circumstance is a matter 
of certainty. 

* N. 


chap^, Hule 4, Where the raotm is rf the dissocial hini, 
the apparent misckievQUsness of the act, ami the 
strength of the temptaiion, being given, the de- 
pravity is as the degree of deliSeration mth tohich 
it is accompanied. 

For in every man» be his dispo^tibn ever so 
depraved^ the social motives are those which^ 
wherever the self*regarditig ones stand netiter^ 
regulate and determine the general tei^or of 
his life. If the dissocial motives are put in 
action, it is only in particular circumstances, 
and on particular occasions; tllie gentie but 
constant force of the social motives, being for 
a while subdued. The general and s^tanding 
bias of every man's nature is, therefore, to- 
wards that side to which the force of the social 
motives would determine him io adhere. This 
being the case> the force of the social mo* 
tive& tends continually to put an end to that oi 
the dissocial ones ; as, in natural bodies, the 
force of friction tends to put an end to that which 
is generated by impulse. Time, then^ which 
wears away the force of the dissocial motivesi, 
adds to that of the social. The longer, there- 
fore, a man continues^ on a giVen occasion, 
under the dominion of the dissocial motives, 
the more convincing k the proof that has been 
given of his insensibility to the force of the 
social ones. 
Thus, it shows a worse disposition, where a 


inan lays a deliberate plan for beating Ms ant a- C"AF^xf. 
gonist^ and beats him accordingly^ than if he 
were to beat him upon the spot, in consequence 
of a sudden quarrel: and worse again, if, after 
having had him a long while together in his 
power, he beats him at intervals, and at his 
leisure.* ** • - 

XLIII. UseofthU 


The depravity of disposition, indicated by an 
act, is. a material consideration in several re- 
spects. Any mark of extraordinary depravity, 
by adding to the terror already inspired by the 
crime, and by holding up the oflfender as a per- 
son from whom there may be more mischief to 
be apprehended in future, adds in that way to 
the demand for punishment. By indicating a 
general want of sensibility on the part of the 
offender, it may add in another way also to the 
demand for punishment. The article of dispo- 
sition is of the more importance, inasmuch as, 
in measuring out the quantum of punishment, 
the principle of sympathy and antipathy is apt to 
look at nothing else. A man who punishes be- 
cause he hates, and only because he hates, such 
a man, when he does not find any thing odious 
in the disposition, is not for punishing at all ; 
and when he does, he is not for carrying the 
punishment further than his hatred carries him* 

^-ii»»ir-fMr I ■■ ■111 i^jMiir— ■ I 

* See B. I. tit. [Confinement.] 



^'^^' ^' Hence the aversion we find so frequently ex- 
pressed against the maxim^ that the punish- 
ment must rise with the strength of the tempta- 
tion;, a.maxim^ the contrary of which, as we 
shall see, would be as cruel to offenders them- 
selves, as it would be subversive of the pur- 
. poses of punishment. 

P^l»^^— i^^p^wi i w ii j .p ail I I iii m i^ ^ i i.^^»^p^w II ^1 I ^^^^F^^^<i^P^^^»^g|P||^^i*i»^P|^^^PF"»— TP»^»^P^— ^W^ P I I ^ 

I 253 ] 



^ 1. Shapes in which the mischief of an act may 

^how itself. 

Hitherto we have been speaking of the va- Recapitu- 

^ ^ lation. ■ 

rious articles or objects on which the conse- 
quences or tendency of an act may depend : of 
the bare act itself: of the circumstances it may 
have been, or may have been supposed to be, 
accompanied with : of the conscicmsness a man 
may have had with respect to any. such cir- 
cumstances: of the intentions that may have 
preceded the act : of the motives that may have 
given birth to those intentions : and of the 
disposition that may have been indicated by the 
connexion between such intentions and such 
motives. We now come to speak of conse- 
quences or tendency: an article which forms 
the concluding link in all this chain of causes 
and effects, involving in it the materiality of 
the whole, No\^ such part of this tendency 
as is of a mischievous nature, is all that we 
have any direct concern with ; to that, there- . 
fore, we shall here confine ourselves. 


Chap. XII. ^j^ 

Mischief of The tendency of an act is mischievous when 

an act, the ^ 

«fF*ff»** the consequences of it are mischievous : that is 

of Its mis- ^ • 

chievous to sav, either the certain consequences or the 

coQse- •' ~ *■ 

quences. probabl?. The consequences, how many and 
whatsoever they may be, of an act, of which 
the tendency is mischievous, may^ sucb^of them 
as are mischievous^ be^ conceived to constitute 
one aggregate body, which may be termed the 
mischief of the act. 

]wef^f in ^^"^^ mischief may frequently be distin-* 
raa' *^or »c- S^^^hcd, as it wcrc, into two shares or parcels : 
condarjr. the ouc Containing w^hat may be called the pri- 
mary mischief; the other, what may be called 
the secondary. That share may be termed the 
'primary y which is sustained by an assigniable 
individual, or a multitude of assignable indi- 
viduals. That share may be termed the ^- 
condatify which, taking its origin from the 
former, extends itself either over the whole 
community, or over some' other multitude of 
unassignable individuals. 


Primary- The primary mischief of an act may again 
dK^ve? t^ distinguished into two branches : 1. The 
original: and, 2. The derivative. By the ori- 
ginal branch, I mean that which alights upon 
and is confined to any person who is a sufferer 
in the first instance, and on his own accoanC : 




the ^ersbn, for instancie^ wh6. is beaten, robbed, ^^^ ^7' 
or murdered. By the derivative branch, I mean 
4iiiy &hare of mischief which may befai any 
other assignable persons in consequence of his 
being a suflFerer, and no otherwise. These 
persons must, of course, be persons who in 
some way or other are connected with him. 
Now the ways in which one person may be 
connected with another, have been already 
^een : they may be connected in the way of 
intsixst (meaning self^regarding interest) ot 
merely in the w;ay of sympathy. And again, 
persons connected with a given person, in the 
way of interest, may be connected with him 
either by affording support to him, or by de- 
riving it froit> him.* 



The secondary mischief, again, may fre- xhe 
qucntly be seen to consist of two other shares ?"^J^jn . 
or parcels : the first consisting of pain ; the p^; ^- ^^'^ 
other oi danger. The pain, which it produces 
is a pain of apprehension : a pain groimded on 
tile apprehension of suffering such mischiefs 
or inconveniencies, whatever they may be, as 
it is the nature of the primary mischief to 
produce. It may be styled, in one word, the 
alarum. The danger is the chance, whatever it 
may be, which the multitude it concerns may 

* See ch. vi. [Sensibility.] 


chap^xii . ju consequence of the primary mischief, stand 
exposed to, of suffering such mischiefs or in- 
conveniencies. For danger is nothing but the. 
chance of pain, or, what comes to the same 
thing, of loss of pleasure. 

VI. ..•..* 

Example. An example may serve to make this clear. 
A man attacks you on the road, and robs you. 
You suffer a pain on the occasion of losing so 
. much money :* you also suffered a pain at the 
thoughts of the personal ill-treatment you ap-: 
prehended he might give you, in case of your 
not happening to satisfy his demands.f These 
together constitute the original branch of the 
primary mischief, resulting from the act of 
robbery. A creditor of your's, who expected 
you to pay him with part of that money, and 
a son of your's, who expected you to have 
• given him another part, are in consequence, 
disappointed. You are obliged to have re- 
course to, the bounty of your father, to make 
good part of the deficiency. These mischiefs 
together n^ake up the derivative branch. The 
report of this robbery circulates from hand to 
hand, and spreads itself in the neighbourhood. 

• I 

* Viz. a pain of privation. See ch. v. [Pleasures and Pains.] 

f Viz. a pain of apprehension, grounded on tbe prospect of 
organical pain, or whatever other mischiefs mit^ht have en- 
sued from the ill treatment, lb. xxx. 

^.. — 'W ^ ' 



It finds its way into the newspapers, and is c^^^ j^^^J - 
propagated over the whole country. Various 
people, on this occasion, call to mind the 
danger which they and their friends, as it ap- 
pears from this example, stand exposed to in . 
travelling ; especially such as may* have occa- 
sion to travel the same road. On this occa- 
sion they naturally feel a certain degree of 
pain: slighter or heavier, according to the 
degree of ill-treatment they may understand 
yoi^ to have received; the frequency of the 
occasion each person may have to travel in 
that same road, or its neighbourhood ; the vi^^ 
cinity of each person to the spot ; his personal 
courage ; the quantity of money he may have 
occasion to carry about with him ; and a va- 
riety of other circumstances. This constitutes 
the first part of the secondary mischief, re- 
sulting from the act of robbery ; viz. the alarm. 
But people of one description or other, nyt 
only are disposed to conceive themselves to 
incur a chance of being robbed, in consequence 
of the robbery committed upon you, but (as 
will be shown presently) they do really incur 
such a chance. And it is this chance which 
constitutes the remaining part of the secondary 
mischief of the act of robbery ; vi«. the danger. 

VII. " 

Let us see what this chance amounts to; The dan- 
and whence it comes. How is it, for instance, >» anse*— 

a past of- 
VOL. I. 8 fence affords no direct motive to a future. 


.chaf, xn. tiiat one robbery can contribute to produce 
another? In the first place, it is certain that 
it cannot : create any direct motive. A motive 
must be the prospect of some pleasure, or other 
advantage, to be enjoyed in future : but the 
robbery in question is past : nor would it fur- 
nish any such prospect were it to come : foi' 
it is not one robbery that will furnish pleasure 
to , him who may be about to commit another 
robbery. The consideration that is to operate 
upon a man, as a motive or inducement to 
commit a robbery, must be the idea of the 
pleasure he expects to derive from thie fruits of 
that very robbery : but this pleasure exists in- 
dependently of any other robbery. 

VIII. , 

But it »uj- The means^ then, by which one robbery 

pests feasi- • i i i i • 

biiitv, Md tends, as it should seem, to ' produce another 

weakeos , Tk 

the force of i^obbcry, are two. 1. By suggestmg to a person 
moUves; exposcd to the tcmptatiou, the idea of com- 
mitting such another robbery (accompanied, per- 
haps, with the belief of its facility). In this case 
the influence it exerts applies itself, in the first 
place, to the understanding. 2. By weakening 
the force of the. tutelary motives which tend to 
restrain him from such an auction, and thereby 
adding to the strength of the temptation.* In 
this case the influence applies itself to the will. 
These forces are, 1. The motive of benevol^ice, 

» See ch. xi. {Dispositions.] xl; 

'> — .>^ j i"iii ■ II i w i m » i in ^^mm^mmmmammmmmm^mmmmmF''mmmmmmHmmff9fm9mmmmsmm9mKi^ 


OF A MlSCHIEVaUB' At:,T. . 259 

wfaicli acts asa branch.of the physical sauctiou.^ cbap^^i. 

2. The. motive of: self-?preservatioi^» as against 

the pumshment ; that may stand provided by 

the political sanction, r 3. The fear of, shame ; 

a motive belonging to the.. moral sanction. 

4. The fear of the divine displeasure ; a motive 

belonging to the religious sanction. On the ' 

first and last of. these forces it has^ perhaps, 

no influence w^orth insisting on : but it has on 

the other two. 

' The way in which a past robbery , may Jiin^Tum 
weaken the force with which the political c^ ^^'^l' 
sanction tends to prevent a future, robbery, may 
be thus conceived. The way in which this 
sanction tends to prevent a robbery, is by de- 
nouncing some particular kind of punishment 
against any who shall be guilty of it: the 
real value of which punishment. will of coarse 
be diminished by the real uncertainty: as also, 
if there be any- difference, the apparent L\dX\xQ 
by the /ippar^w^ uncertainty. Now this r un- 
certainty is proportionably increased by every 
instance in which a man is known to. commit 
. the offence, without undergoing the punish- 
ment. This, of course, will be the case, with 

* To wjt^ in virtue of the paiii it may give a maato be a 

. witness to, or otherwise conscious of, the .sufferings of a-fel- 

low-creature : especiaUy when he is himself the cause of 

theD[i : in a word, the pain of sympathy. See ch. v. [Plca-^ 

sureff and Pains.] xxvi. 

« 2 


Chap, xti . every offence for a oertain time ; in shorty 

until the punishment allotted to it takes place. 

If punishment takes place at last» this branch 

. of the mischief of the offence is then at last^ 

but not till then, put a stop to. 

2.Thoseis. The way in which a past robbery may 
the moraT wcakcu the force with which the moral sanction 
tends to prevent a future robbery, may be thus 
conceived. The way in which the moral sanction 
tends to prevent a robbery, is by holding forth 
the indignation of mankind as ready to £atll 
upon him who shall be guilty of it. Now this 
indignation will be the more formidable, accord* 
ing to the number of those who join in it : it wUl 
be the less so, the fewer they are who join in 
it. But there cannot be a stronger way of 
showing that a man does not join in whatever 
indignation may be entertained against a pracr 
tice, than the engaging in it himself. It shows 
not only t&at he himself feels no indignation 
against it, but that it seems to him there is 
no sufficient reason for apprehending what in* 
dignation may be felt against it by others. 
Accordingly, where robberies are frequent, and 
unpunished, robberies are committed without 
shame. It was thus amongst the Grecians for- 
merly.^ It is thus among the Arabs still. 

* See Horn. Odyss. L. xix. L 395. ib. L. ill. I. 71. Flalo 
de Rep. L. i. p. 576. edit. Ficin. Tbttcyd. L. L— «nd lee B. I. 
tit. [Offeacef against external security.] 



In whichever way then a past offence tends it is said to 

. - /• 1 • • i» rf» operateby 

to pave the way for the commission of a future the inHu- 
offence, whether by su^esting the idea of com* ample. 
mitting it, or by adding to the strength of the 
temptation, in both cases it may be said to ope- 
rate by the force or ii^uence of ejvampk^ 


The two braoches of the seeondary mischief The aiarnr 
of an act, the alarm and the danger* must not dan^ert 
be confounded : though intimately connected^ coonected,. 
they are perfectly distinct r either may subsist guishabi^ 
wiUiout the other. The neighbourhood may 
be alarmed with the report of a robbery, when/ 
in fact, no robbery, either has been committed or 
is in a way to be committed : a neighbourhood 
may be on the point of being disturbed by rob** 
beries, without knowing any thing of the mat-* 
ter. Accordingly, we shall sdon perceive, that 
some acts produce alarm without danger: others^' 
danger without alarm. 


As well the danger as the alarm may again Both may ' 

have PC* 

be divided, each of them, into two branches: spccttotiM 
the first, consisting of so much of the alarm or !o^,^rto 
danger as may be apt to result from the future ^ 
behaviour of the same agent : the second^ con* 
sisting of 80 much as may be apt to result from 
the behaviour of other persons : such others, to 


cbaf/xil ^jj.^ j^g jj^g^y ^01116 to Bugdige in acts of the same 
sort and tendency.* 


The pri- The distinction between the primary andrthe 

se^uenc^' secondaiy consequences of an act, must be care- 

ma^mi . fully attended to. It is so just, that the latter 

and thrse- may oftcu bc of a directly opposite nature to 

::S^*- the former. In some cases, where the primary. 

consequences of the act are attended with a 

mischief, the secondary consequences may be 

benefical, and that to such a degree, as even 

greatly to outweigh the mischief of the primary. 

This is the case, for instance, , with all acts.of 

punishment^ when properly applied. Of these, 

the primary mischief being never intended to fall 

but upon such persons as may happen to have 

committed some act which it is expedient to. 

prevent, the secondary mischief, that is, the: 

alarm and the danger, extends no farther thaa 

to ^such persons as are under temptation to com-v 

•mit it : in which case, in as far as it tends to. 

restrain them from committing such acts,. it is^ 

of a beneficial nature. 

' XV. .. 

Analysis of Thus much with regard to acts that produce 

the differ- '-' * 

ent shapes positivc paiu, and that immediately. This case/ 

the miR- 

chief of an * To the former of these branches is opposed so much of 

show^rudf. t^® ^^^^ °^ *^y piinishment, as is said to operate in the way 
of reformation: to the latter^ so much as is 6aid to operate in 
the way of example. See ch. xiii. [Cases unmeet] |i. note. 

■'■ ■' "■ " " ^^^v^^^^Miwp^^viliwviMMMmPMPaHviipnnaH 



by reason of its simplicity, seemed the fittest chap^3pl 
to take the lead. But acts may produce mis-- 
chief in various other ways ; which, together 
with those already specified, may all be com- 
prized by the following abridged analysis. 

Mischief may admit of a division in any one 
of three points of view. 1 . According to its 
own nature. 2. According to its came. 3. Ac- 
cording to the person, or other party, who is the 
object of it.* With regard to its nature, it may 
be either simple or complea?r\ when simple, it 
inay either be positive or negative : positive, c6n- 
sisting of actual pain : negative, consisting of 
the loss of pleasure. Whether simple or com- 
plex, and whether positive or negative, it may 
be either certain or contingent. When it is ne- 
gative, it consists of the loss of some benefit or 
advantage : this benefit may be material in both 
or either of two ways : 1 . By affording actual 
pleasure : or, 2. By averting pain or danger, 
which is the chance of pain : that is, by afford- 
ing security. In as far, then, as the benefit which 
a mischief tends to avert, is productive of secii- 

*. There may be other points of view, according to which 
mischief might be divided^ besides these : but this does not. 
prevent the division here given from being an exhaustive one. 
A line may be divided in any one of an infinity of ways, and 
yet without leaving in any one of those cases any remainder. 
Sec ch. xvi. [division.] i. note. - . 

t ^b. v. [Pleasures and Fains., i. 

904^ OF THi; CONS£aUSN(;£S 

iy ^™ * rity, the tendency of such mischief is to pror 
duce imecurity. 2. With regard to its ca^se^ 
mischief may be produced either by one swgk 
^ctioi;!, or not without the concurrence of other 
actions : if not without the concurrence of other 
actions^ these others may be the actions either 
of the same person^ or of other persons : in either 
case, they may be either acts of the same kind as 
that in question^ or of other kinds. 3. Lastly^ 
with regard to the party who is the object of 
tJ^e mischief, or, in other words, who is in a way 
to be affected by it^ such party may be either 
an assignable* individual, or assemblage of in* 
di vidualSf, or else a multitude of unassignable in^ 
dividuals* When the object is an assignable 
individual, this individual may either be the 
person himself who is the author of the mis* 
chief, or some other person. When the indivi* 
duals, who are the objects of it, are an unassign- 
able multitude, this multitude may be either 
the whole political community or state, or some^ 
subordinate division of it* Now when the object 
Qf the mischief is the author himself, it may be 
styled self-regarding: when any other party is the 
object, ejetra-regarding : when such other party 
is an individual, it may be stjl^d. private : when 
a subordinate branch of the community, semi-- 
public: when the whole community, /mi&r. ,Here^ 
for the present, we must stop. To pursue tJie 

* See ch. xvi. [Division.] !▼• note. 

" ■ ■*►••■» — w V mv •» ■ ■ — ' 


mibject through its inlerior dktinciions, will be ^!^^}' 
the business of the chapter which exhibits the 
division of offences.* 

The'cases which have been already illustrated, —applied 
are those in which the primary mischief is not c^r 


necessarily otherwise than a simple one, and 
that positive : present, and therefore certain : 
producible by a single action, without any ne- 
cessity of the concurrence of any other action, 
either on the part of the same agent, or of 
others ; and having for its object an assignable 
individual, or, by accident, an assemblage of 
assignable individuals: extra-regarding there- 
fbre, and private. Tliis primary mischief is ac- 
companied by a secondary : the first branch of 
which is sometimes contingent and sometimes 
certain, the other never otherwise than contin^* 
^ent: both extra-regarding and semi-public: 
In other respects, pretty much upon a par with 
the primary mischief: except that the first 
branch, viz. the alarm, though inferior in mag^ 
nitude to the primary, is, in point of extent, 
iamd therefore, upon the whole, in point of mag*- 
hitude, much superior. 


Two instances more will be sufBcient to illus- — ^^ «»««»- 
trate the most material of the modifications other cases 

- , •, . , where the 

above exhibited. mischief is 

less con- 

' ■■ i — ■ . ■ . . . spicuout* 

• Ch. xvi. 


c^HAP^. ^ jjijg^ drinks d, certain quantity of liquor, ^ 
An"cf of^' stud intoxicates himself. The intoxication in this 
cttio^^"" particular instance does him no sort of harm : 
or^ what comes to the same thing, none that is 
perceptible. But it is probable, and indeed, 
next to certain, that a given number of acts of 
th^ same kind would do him a very considerable 
degree of harm : more or less according to his 
constitution and other circumstances : for this is, 
no more than what experience manifests every 
day. It is. also certain, that one act of this sort, 
by one nieans or other, tends considerably to' 
encrease the disposition a man may be in to; 
practise other acts of the same sort : for this 
also is verified by experience. This, therefoi;e, 
is one instance where the mischief producible 
by the act is contingent: in other words, in 
which) the tendency of the act is no ptherwise 
mischievous than in virtue of its producing ^ 
chance of mischief. This chance depends upon 
the concurrence of other acts of the same kind.} 
and those such as must be practised by the same 
person. The object of the mischief is that very 
person himself who is the author of it, aiid he 
only, unless by accident. The mischief is there- 
fore private and self-regarding. 

As to its secondary mischief, alarm, it pro7 
duces none : it produces indeed a pertain quan- * 
tity of danger by the influence of example : but ' 

j««*««w^«vw«B-^>«**^B**wiV^''"^*^ w ^nw^^am^ 


it is not often that this danger will amount to a S!!^j;^\^^ 
quantity worth regarding. 


Again. A man omits paying his. share to a Example 
public tax. This we see is an act of the nega- payment of 
tive kind.* Is this then to be placed upon the *^*' 
Ust of mischievous acts? Yes, certainly. Upon 
what grounds ? Upon the following. To defend 
the community against its external as well as 
its internal adversaries, are tasks, not to men^ 
tion plliers of a less indispensable nature, which 
cannot be fulfilled but at a considerable ex- 
pense. But whence is. the money for defraying 
this expense to come ? It can be obtained in 
no .other manner than by contributions to be 
collected from individuals ; in a word, by taxes.. 
The produce then of these taxes is to be looked, 
upon as a kind of benefit which it is necessary 
the governing part of the communit^^ should 
receive for the use of the whole. This produce,; 
before it can be applied to its destination, re- 
quires that there should be certain persons com- 
missioned to receive and to apply it. Now if 
these persons, had they received it, would have 
applied it to its proper destination, it would 
have been a benefit : the not putting them in b, 
way to receive it, is then a mischief. But it is 
possible, that if received, it might not have been. 

■ '■ ■ I ■ ■ I ■» » I !■ ■ 1 I II ■ I I „ 


* See, ch. yii. [Actioi^.] viii. 



Chap. XI r. i^ppijed to its proper destination; or that the 
services, in consideration of which it was be- 
stowed, might not have been performed. It is 
possible^ that the under-officer, who collected 
the produce of the tax, might not have paid it 
over to his principal: it is possible that the 
principal might not have forwarded it on ac* 
cording to its &rther destination ; to the judge^ 
for instance, who is to protect the community 
against its clandestine enemies from within, or 
the soldier, who i» to protect it against its open 
enemies from without : it is possible that the 
judge, or the soldier, had they received it, would 
not however have been induced by it to fulfil 
their respective duties : it is possible, that the 
judge would not have sat for the punishment of 
criminals, and the decisi^on of controversies : it 
is possible that the soldier would not have drawn 
his sword in the defence of the community. 
These, together with an infinity of other inter- 
mediate acts, which for the sake of brevity I 
pass over, form a connected chain of duties, the 
discharge of which is necessary to the preserva^ 
tion of the community. They must every one 
of them be discharged, ere the benefit to which 
they are contributory can be produced. If they 
are all discharged, in that case the benefit sub- 
sists, and any act, by tending to intercept that 
benefit, may produce a mischief. But if any of 
them are not, the benefit fails : it fails of itself: 
it would not have subsisted, although the act 


in question (the act of non-payment) had not ^"^p-xn. 
been committed. The benefit is therefore con- 
tingent; and, accordingly, upon a. certain sup^ 
position, the act which consists in the averting 
of it is not a mischievous one. But this sup^ 
position, in any tolerably-ordered government,* 
will rarely indeed be verified. In the very 
worst-ordered government that exists, the 
greatest part of the duties that are levied are 
paid over according to their destination : and, 
with regard to any particular sum, that is at^ 
tempted to be levied upon any particular person 
upon any particular occasion, it is therefore 
manifest, that, unless it be certain that it will not 
be so disposed of, the act of withholding it is a 
mischievous one. 

The act of payment, when referable to any 
particular sum, especially if it be a small one, 
might also have failed of proving beneficial on 
another ground : and, consequently, the act of 
non-payment, of proving mischievous. It is 
possible that the same services, precisely, might 
have been rendered without the money as with 
it. If, then, speaking of any small limited sum, 
such as the greatest which any one person is 
called upon to pay at a time, a man were to 
say, that the non-payment of it would be at- 
tended with mischievous consequences ; this 
would be far from certain : but what comes to 
the same thing as if it were, it is perfectly cer 



^jAP^j. tain :^hen applied to the whole. It is ceFtaiQ, 
that if all of a sudden the payment- of all taxes 
was to cease, there would no longer be aiiy 
thing eflFectualdone, either for the maintenance 
of justice, or for the defence of the community 
against its foreign adversaries : that ther^efore 
the weak would presently be oppressed and 
injured in all manner of ways, by. the strong at 
home, and both together overwhelmed by op- 
pressors from abroad. Upon the whole, there- 
fore, it is manifest, that in this cai^e, thoughthe 
mischief is remote and contingent, thoughr in its 
first appearance it consists of nothing more 
than the interception of a benefit y and though the 
individuals, in whose favour that benefit would 
have been reduced into the explicit form of 
pleasure or security, are altogether unassign- 
able, yet the mischievous tendency of the act 
is not on all these accounts the less Indisputable. 
The mischief, in point of intensity and duraiimr. 
is indeed unknown : it is uncertain :■ it is remote. 
But in point of ej'tent it is immense ; and in 
point of fecundity, pregnant to a degree that 
baffles calculation. 


No alarm. It mav uoW bc time to observe, that it is only 

assignable in the case where the mischief is extra-regard- 
person is * 

the object, ing, and has an assignable person or persons for 
its object, that so much of the secondary branch 
of it as consists in alarm can have place. 



When the Individuals it affects' are uncertain, Chap.xil 
and altogether out of sight, no alarm can be pro- 
duced : as there is nobody whose suflFerings you 
can see, there is nobody, whose suflFerings you 
can be alarmed at. No alarm, for instance, is 
produced by non-payment to a tax. If at any 
(distant and uncertain period of time such oflFence 
should chance to be productive of any kind of 
alarm, it would appear to proceed, as indeed 
immediately it would proceed, from fit very dif- 
ferent cause. It might be immediately refer- 
able, for example, to the act of a legislator, who 
should deem it necessary to lay on a new tax, 
in order to make up for the deficiency occa- 
sioned in the produce of the old one. Or it 
might be referable to the act of an enemy, who, 
under favour of a deficiency thus created in the 
fund allotted for defence, might invade the 
country, and exact from it much heavier contri- 
butions than those which had been thus with- 
holden from the sovereign.* 

* The investigation mighty by a proceas rendered obvious 
by analogy^ be extended to the consequences of an act of a 
beneficial nature. In both instances a third order of conse- 
quences may be reckoned to have taken place> when the in- 
fluence of the act, through the mediuioa of the passive faculty 
of the patient, has come to affect his active faculty. In this 
way, I. Evil may flow out of evil: — ^instance ; the exertions 
df industry put a stop to by. the extinction of inducement, re- 
sulting from a continued chain of acts of robbery or extor- 
tion. 2. Good out of evil : — instance ; habits of depredation 



cj< AP.xir . ^g t^ j^jjy alarm which such an otfence might 
raise among the few who might chance to re* 
gard the matter with the eyes of statesmen, it 
is *of too slight and uncertain a nature to be 
Worth taking into the account. 

§ 2. How Intentkmaliti/, Sgc. may it^uence the 

mischief of an Act^ 


Secondary 1iVe havc scen the nature of the secondary mis- 
il^^uenced chief^ which is apt to be reflected, as it wefCi 
orthr^* from the primary, in the cases where the iirfi. 
^nd. ^ viduals who are the objects of the mischief are 
assignable. It ia now time to eicamine into th$ 
circumstances upon which the production 6C 
sucb secondary mischief depends.^ These cir« 
cumstances are no others than the *four articles 
which have formed the subjects' of the four last 
preceding chapters : riz. 1 . The intentionality ^ 
2. The consciousness. 3. The motive. 4. The 
disposition. It is to be observed all along^ 
that it is only the danger that is immediately 
governed by the real state of the mind in re- 
spect to those articles : it is by the apparent state 


put a stop to by a irteady coarse of punishmenit. 3. Evil ok< 
of good : — instance ; habits of iiiijustry pat a stop to fay an ex- 
eessive course of gratuitous bouhty. 4. Good out of good, -"-^ 
instance ; a constant and increasing coi^n^ of industry, ex- 
cited and kept up by the rewards afforded by a regular and 
ittcreastng market for the fruits of it. 


of it that the ahrm is governed. It is governed ^^H^^^^- 
by the real only in as far as the appatetot hap- 
pens, as in most bases it may be expected t6 
do, to quadrate wilii the real. The different in- 
fluences of the articles of intentioiiality and con- 
Seibuihe^is may be represeiited in the several 
cteei foIldWihg. 


Cise 1. Where the kct is s6 completely tin- ^V* }' •"" 
ihtiE^htional; is to be altogether involmtnry, Iri "«"• 
tbid case it \k isLttended with no secoildkry mis- 

A bricklayer is at work upon a house : a pas- 
sen^r Is walking iii the street below. A fellow- 
workmtn cbnies and gives the bricklayer a 
vioteht phsh; ih cohseqiierice of which he fall^ - 
npoh the passenger, and hurts him. It is plairi 
there is flolhJri^ in this evetit that can give other 
pieple, \^h6 iaofay^ha^peti to be in the street, th6 
least reason to apprehend any thing in future 
on the part of the man who fell, whatever tbete 
may be with regard t6 ihe man who pushed him. 


tJieise 2. Where the act, though h6t unin-^ ?«^«2Un.i 
ten^orial, is unddvt^iS; insomuch that the mis- f^ty with' 

. . , hcQdless- 

chievotis part of th6^ consetjuences is uninteii- ««"• 
tibnal, but the unadvis^dhess i^ attended >ViVh 
heedUs^ness. lit tMs^^ ca6e the^ att is attended 
with sionie small degree df secondary miscliief; 
in proportion ib the degfre6 of hieedlessness. 

VOL. I. T 

274 OF. THE, C0NS£QU£1?GBS 

^^:^' A groom being on horseback, .ayid Tiding 
through a frequented street, turns a corner at 
a full pace, and rides over a passenger, who 
happens to be going by.; . It is plain, by -this 
behaviour of the groom, sonae degree of j^larm 
may be produced, less or greater, according to 
the degree of heedlessness betrayed by him : 
according to the quickness of his pace, the fuU- 
, ness of the street, and so forth. He has done 
'mischief, it may be, said, by his carelessness^ 
already : who knows but that on other occasions 
the like cause may produce the like. effect f ; 

XXII. i 


Cases. Case 3. Where the act is misadvised with tq- 
sal of a gpect to a circumstance, which, -had it existeid, 

complete ^. * . - • ' ' * - » 

justifica- would fully havc excluded or (what comes to 

tion, with- I - - / - , -f . . . - ^ < ' 

out lash- the same thing) outweighed, the pj;imary <mi^- 
chief : and there is no rashness in the case. -In 
this case the act is attended with. no. secondary 

mischief at all. 

, < - • - 

It is needless to multiply examples any farther. 


Case 4. Casc 4. Where the act is misadvised with 

Missuppo- . 1.1 "111 

sal of a par. respect to a circumstance which would have 
cation, excludcd or counterbalanced the primary mis- 

witbout ■ , " ' ^ . !.< . .-•' 

rashness. chie{ in part, but not entirely : and still there. is 
no rashness. In this case the act is attend^ 
with some degree of secondary mischief, inpr% 
portion to that part of the pri|mary wliicbre; 
mains unexcluded or uncoiinterbalaat^ed.. 


\ : 



.^ .» 

Casfer 5. Where the act is misadvised with j^j^^se^^;^ 
respect to a circiimstance; which, had it existed, saU^^th 
would have 'excluded or counterbalan(jed the 
primary mischief entirely, or in part: and there 
is a degree of r^r^Aww in tliei supposal. In this' 
case, i:fee' act is also attended witK a farther de- 
gree of secondary mischief, in proportion to the 
degree of rashness. 

XXV. . 

Case 6. Where' the consequences are com- ^^^^£^^' 

„, T- sequences 

jofete^ intentional, and there is no missupposal f^^JP^fJ^J^^ 
in the case. In this case the secondary mischief J^ ^^^^. 

•^ ^ from mis- 

is at the highest. ' supposai. 


Thus much with regard to intentionality and The nature 
consciousness. We now come to consider in takesupt 
what manner the secondary mischief is aflfected mischief of 

- - ' ^ , , the second- 

by the nature of the motive. ary conse- 

TT7-L 1 • . ••'••* • quences. 

Where an act is pernicious m its primary 
consequences, the secondary mischief is not 
obliterated by the goodness of the motive; though 
the motive be of the best kiiid. For, notwith- 
standing the goodness of the motive, an act of 
which the primary consequences are pernicious, 
is produced by it in the instance in question, 
by the supposition. It may, therefore, in other 
instances : although this is not so likely to hap- 
pen from a good motive as from a bad one.* 

* An act of homicide^ for instance, is not rendered iniio- 


Chap. XII. 


• • • 

nefldaf-^*" Au act, ^^WcJ^ though peruicio^^ i|^ its.p^- 
mi^y Qpi^figue^pes^ i$. reii^4ere4. i^ other i^r 
i^^tfi benefice ijpon the whole, by vi^tpe of itf 
9eicoqdafy cpna^cjpei^ce^ k^ i^c^ chajiged b^fJ^ 
n^n^ ahdrre^derecipeiftuciQU^^up^i^ .th<.vf)iQle 
by the badness of the moliye : although the ma-: 
tive be of the wpri^t.kind,* 

» , V - < 

cent^ much less beneficial, merely by its proceeding from a 
principle of religion^ of honour (that is^ of loy^pf r^puta^n) . 
or even of benevolence. When Ravaillac assassinated Qenry 
IV. it was from a principle of religion. Bat this did not so . 
much as abate from the mischief of the act. It even rendered 
the act still more mischievous . for a reason thai vi^e shall see 
presently^ than if it had originated from a principle of revenge. 
\yhen the.conspirators against the late king of Portugal, ^t- 
tempted to assassinate hitn^ it is said to liave been &om a 
principle of honour^ But this, whether it abated or no, will 
certainly not be thought tc( have outweigh^, the mischief of 
the act. Had a son of Ravaillac* s. a$ in the case before, fup* 
posed, t merely on the score of filial affection, and nqt in con- 
sequence of any participation in his crime, put him to death 
in order to rescue him from the severer hands of justice, the 
motive, although it should not be thought to afford any proof 
of a mischievQiif di^positipp, ai^d should, even. in. case :of 
punishment, have made such rescuer an ol^ject of pity^ wftuld 
hardly have made the act pf rescue a beneficial one. 

* The prosecution of offences, for instance, proceeds most 
commonly from one or other, or both together, of two mo-, 
tlyes, the one of which is of the self-regarding, the other of 
the dissocial^ kind : viz. pecuniary inter^^st, and ill-will : from 
pecuniary interest, for instance, whener^r tljiQ obtoinipg^epur. 

^ Cb. xi. COispomtiott.} xr. 

OF A M8<3HI5V.Oys AQT> 277 

But wjiien not only tfcp^ primary t^n^quences »«* >» may 


of an ajpt aare, pernicious^ biat, inyottef respects, the mu- 
the secondary likewise, . th^ secondary mischief ness, where 

tbcy are 

B*ayi be aggrap0tf^ by the njat^re of the motive : mischie- 
SQ HHich of thatn^sphiefc to mt^ ai^ respects: the 
^ fvjtu;^ behayic^w of thft se^me person, . 

It is not from the worst kind of n\otive, how- Bat not the 

most m the 

ever, that the secondary mischief of an act re- cM«of ^^^ 

•^ worst raoi- 

ceives its greatest aggr«,vatioiu ^v««- 

* x^x. 

Th.9 a^rays^tion which the secondary mis- it.doet the. 
chij^f of an act, iii: as fai* asjt r^peets the future morecoaTi- 
behaviour of the same pep^pn,, receives from the te^ency of 
nature of a motive in^ an. individual case, is as to^produce 

such acts. 

ni^y mi^d; for da^^^ auffbret} is one end of the prosecution. 
It is cQin^mon enough it^ed to bear men ^pealc of prosecu-, 
lions un4erta3ien from public spirit ; which is a branch, as we. 
have seen^* of the principle of benevolence. Far be it from 
me to deny but that such a principle may very frequently be an 
iogrcdiait in the sum of. motived, by which men are eng^^d 
in aprqc^dingof this nature.; Bui; whenever f such a pso- c^ngi^^ in from the sole influence of public spirit, 
uncombined with, the least tincture pf self interest^ or ill-will^ 
it must be acknowledged to be a proceeding of the heroic 
kind. Now acts of Jieroism are, in the very essence of them, 
but jrare :. for If they were common, they would DOt be . acts 
of he^ism. Bi|t prosecutions 'fo«! crkne« are vei^ firequenf^ l^M}, 
yet^ unless in very particular circumstances indeed, they are otherwise than beneficial.. 

* 8t» ch. x« CM«tivt».] xzr. 



Chap, xil jj^^ tendency of the motive to produce, on the 
part of the same person, acts of the like bad 
tendency with that of the act in question. 


—which The tendency of a motive to produce acts of 

• • • - • ' • 

Ltreoffth th^ Mke kind, on the part of any given person, 
tiuic^r is as the strength and constancy of its influence 

on that person, as applied to the production of 

such effects. 


General cf- Thc tcndcncy of a species of motive to give 
species of birth to acts of any kind, among persons 'in 

niotive,how i • ..i > -t ^ 

measured, general, IS as the strength, constancy, and ea;teHr 
siveness* of its influeixce, as applied to the pro- 
duction of such effects. 

XXXIII, ' : 

A mischie- Now the motivcs, vrhereof the influence is at 
more^M," once most powerful, most constant, and most 
kig^ from'^a extensive, are the motives of physical desire, 
ing'thS*^^' the love of wealth, the love of ease, the love of 
Tdfa^oclar life> and , the fear of pain : all of them self- 
motive.^ regarding motives. The motive of displeasure, 
whatever it may be in point of strength and 
extensiveness, is not near so constant in its in- 
fluence (the case of mere antip9.ihy excepted) 
as any of the other three. A pernicious act, 
therefore, when committed through vengeance,, 
or otherwise through displeasure, is not near 

so mischievous as the same pernicious act, 

■ — . ■ — i . ' — , ' - 

• Ch. iv. [Value.] 



when committed by force of any one of those chap.xii . 
other motives.* 


. As to the motive of relisrion, whatever it may —**^ *^®'* 

^, •^ when issu- 

soihetimes prove to be in point of strength and ingfrom 

* . . . ^ . ^ . the motive 

constancy, it is not in point of extent so univ^r- of religion. 
sal, especially in its application to acts of a mis-. 
chieVous nature, as any of the three preceding 
motives. It may, however, be as universal in a 
particular state, or in a particular district of a 

It is for this reason that a threat, or other personal out- 
ra^e> when committed on a stranger, in pursuance of a scheme 
of robbery, is productive of more mischief in society, and 
accordingly is, perhafis, every where more severely punished, 
than an outrage of the. same kind o£Pered to an acquaintance, 
in prosecution of a scheme of vengeance. No 'man is always 
in ^rage. But, at all times, every man, more or less/ loves 
money. Accordingly, although a man by bis quarrelsome- 
ness should for once have been engaged in a bad action, he 
may nevertheless remain a long while, or even his whole life- 
time, without engaging in another bad action of the same 
Icind : for he may very Veil reitiain his whole life-time with- 
out ^engaging in so violent a quarrel : nor at any rate will he 
quarrel with more than one« or a few people at a time. But 
if a man, by his love of money, has once been engaged in a 
bad action, such as a scheme of robbery, he may at any time, 
bjr the influence of the same motive, be engaged in acts of the 
same degree of enormity. For take men throughput, if a 
man loves money to a certain degree to-day, it is probable 
that he will love it, at least in equal degree, to-morrow. And 
if a man is disposed to acquire it in that way, he wiU find in- 
ducement to rob, wheresoever and whensoever there are 
people to be robbed. 


ch/ip ^xii , particular state. It is liable inkleed to be very ir* 
regular in its operations. It is apt, hoNveveiv to 
be frequently as powerful as the motive of ven- 
geaace^ or indeed any oth^r motive wbat^eter. 
It will sometimes even be more powerful tlaam 
any other motive. It is at any rate much more 
constant.* A pernicious act, thek^efere, wbea 
committed thi'ough the motive of religion, is 
more mischievous than when <5ommitted through 
the motive Qf iU-wilL 


How th« Lastly, The secondary mischief^ to wit!^ so 
miicw^'^is ttiuch of it as hath respect to the future be- 
b^dts^ii- haviour of the same person, is aggravated or 
^^^^' lessened by the apparent depravity or benefit 
cence of his disposition : and that in the pro- 
portion of such appareiit de|>ravity or bene- 

Connexion The cousequeuces we have hitherto been 
the 8uX' speaking of, are the fi^/ifr^ censequ^ncesy of 

ceedinp . . ■ ■ • ■ ' 

chapter. * If a man happen to take it Into his head to a^soffiiDate 

with his own hands^ or with the sword of justice, those wlyink 
he calls heretics^ that is> people who thinks or perhaps only 
speak, differently upon a subject which neither party under- 
stands, he will be as much inclined to do this at one time lis 
at another. Fanaticism never sleeps : it is never glutted : 
it is never stopped by philanthropy ^ ibr it makes a merit of 
trampling on philanthropy : it is never stopped by conscience ; ' 
for it has pressed conscience into its service. Avarice, lust, 
and vengeance, have piety, benevolence, honour > fanaticism 
has nothing to oppose it. 



which the act, and the other articles we have Chaf.jui. 
been considering, are the causes : consequences 
that result from th^ behaviour of the individual, . 
who is the offending agent, without the inter- 
ference of political authority. We now come 
to speak of punishment : which, in the sense in 
which it is here considered, is an artificial con- 
sequence, annexed by political authority to an 
offensive act, in one instance ; in the view of 
putting a stop to the production of events simi- 
lar to the obnoxious part of its natural conse- 
quences, in other instances. 


VOL. I. 


* * 

£. Bensley, Bolt-eourt, Fleet-Oreet, 

« _