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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A faculty of the soul, whereby it perceives external objects by means of impressions made on the organs of the body. Moral Sense is said to be an apprehension of that beauty or deformity which arises in the mind by a kind of natural instinct, previously to any reasoning upon the remoter consequences of actions. Whether this really exists or not, is disputed. On the affirmative side it is said, that,

1. We approve or disapprove certain actions without deliberation.

2. This approbation or disapprobation is uniform and universal. But against this opinion it is answered, that,

1. This uniformity of sentiment does not pervade all nations.

2. Approbation of particular conduct arises from a sense of its advantages. The idea continues when the motive no longer exists; receives strength from authority, imitation, &c. The efficacy of imitation is most observable in children.

3. There are no maxims universally true, but bend to circumstances.

4. There can be no idea without an object, and instinct is inseparable from the idea of the object.

See Paley's Moral Philosophy, vol. 1. chap. 5:; Hutcheson on the Passions, p. 245, &c.; Mason's Sermons, vol. 1: p. 253.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Sense'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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