His purpose was to defend what may be called a humanist position in moral philosophy; that is, to show that morality was not an affair of mysterious innate principles, or abstract relations, or supernatural sanctions, but depended on the familiar conditions of personal and social welfare.
Thus it is, we study, plan and prepare ourselves for a task, and when the hour for action arrives, we find that the system we have followed with such labour and pride does not fit the occasion; and then there's nothing for us to do but rely on something within us, some innate capacity for knowing and doing, which we did not know we possessed until the hour of our great need brought it to light.
Comte does not recognize that this process is aided by any increase of innate capacity; on the contrary, progress is to him the unfolding of fundamental faculties of human nature which always pre-existed in a latent condition; yet he may perhaps be said to have prepared the way for the new conception of human progress by his inclusion of mental laws under biology.
The attitude was innate in most human beings.
If, as Hegel asserted, our experience is all knowledge, and if knowledge is indefinitely transformed by the conditions of knowing, then we are tempted to regard the object as superfluous, and to treat our innate conviction that knowledge has reference to objects as a delusion which philosophical reflection is destined to dispel.
It was consistent with the innate conservatism of farmers.
His statement of the latter doctrine so aroused the alarm of certain clergymen of the Church of Scotland that he found it necessary to withdraw what was regarded as a serious error, and to attribute man's delusive sense of freedom, not to an innate conviction implanted by God, but to the influence of the passions.
No doubt it depended on the innate force and firmness' of a man's soul whether his reason was effectually exercised; but moral responsibility was saved if the vicious act proceeded from the man himself and not from any external cause.
Pascal and other members of Port Royal openly expressed their doubts about the place allowed to God in the system; the adherents of Gassendi met it by resuscitating atoms; and the Aristotelians maintained their substantial forms as of old; the Jesuits argued against the arguments for the being of God, and against the theory of innate ideas; whilst Pierre Daniel Huet (1630-1721), bishop of Avranches, once a Cartesian himself, made a vigorous onslaught on the contempt in which his former comrades held literature and history, and enlarged on the vanity of all human aspirations after rational truth.
The personality trait was innate in the two men.