Adam Smith's Simplified Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 5, Chapter 1a: The Influence of custom on beauty

Chapter 1a: The Influence of customs on beauty

1 The principles of custom and fashion also have a considerable influence on mankind's moral sentiments.


2When two objects have frequently been seen together, the imagination acquires a habit of passing easily from the one to the other.

When there is any natural propriety in the union, custom increases our sense of it.Where the conjunction is improper, custom reduces or removes our sense of the impropriety.  

3 Fashion is different from custom.


4 Everyone allows dress and furniture to be entirely under the dominion of custom and fashion.

Clothes and furniture are not very durable.

The productions of the other arts are much more lasting.

Few men see the fashion in these arts change very considerably in their lifetime.

5 For example, can any reason be assigned why:


The propriety of each of those appropriations can be founded only on habit and custom.

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Next: Chapter 2: Influence of Custom on the Arts