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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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5526. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued] .
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5526. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued] .

Self-interest, or rather
self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted
as the basis of morality. But I consider
our relations with others as constituting the
boundaries of morality. With ourselves we stand
on the ground of identity, not of relation, which
last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love
confined to a single one. To ourselves, in
strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation
requiring also two parties. Self-love,
therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed it
is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist
of virtue, leading us constantly by
our propensities to self-gratification in violation
of our moral duties to others. Accordingly, it
is against this enemy that are erected the batteries
of moralists and religionists, as the only
obstacle to the practice of morality. Take from
man his selfish propensities, and he can have
nothing to seduce him from the practice of
virtue. Or subdue those propensities by education,
instruction, or restraint, and virtue remains
without a competitor.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 349.
(M. 1814)