What does the phrase "a certain love" mean here?
"If, as Smith says, the ‘sole use and end’ of ‘all constitutions of government’ is ‘the happiness of those who live under them’, why aren’t we led to perfect those constitutions simply out of a desire to promote that happiness? This is because we are often misled by a taste for ‘system’, ‘a certain love of art and contrivance’."
- busterwasmycatLv 72 months agoFavourite answer
the word "certain" is often used in that fashion, to mean a particular aspect of the thing that exists but only applies in the specific situation. Some of the group, but only a particular some, not just a random some.
It is a way to say "an oddity of sorts" without declaring it as odd, without being judgemental. Certain people are dishonest. Certain weather can be risky to drive through. A certain type of person seems to be drawn to a cult.
- jehenLv 72 months ago
In this context "a certain love" is a preference for what is (the current system of governance), rather than what could be. I imagine the writer is paraphrasing Jefferson when he wrote in the declaration of Independence "..that mankind are more disposed to suffer, when evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms [of governemnt] to which they are accustomed"
- Spock (rhp)Lv 72 months ago
love of the familiar is what comes up for me, although it has been decades since i read Adam Smith
- Anonymous2 months ago
A certain way of doing things, and seeing no reason to change or adapt.
An accepted way of doing things, becomes in time the normal way, requiring no fine tuning or questioning.
For example art which Hitler and the Nazi classed "degenerate" represented for the rest of the world who tolerated it the freedom of self expression.
Whenever a country decides to go to war, it's always the other side who is coined "evil", "provocative" to justify an engagement. In simple terms us = good versus them = bad.
So the media get on board promoting that view. Those voices who oppose are silenced or marginalized. Ignoring the wisdom of The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
- What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
- Land-sharkLv 72 months ago
We have a predisposition for making artificial representations of things. We are 'wired' to want to do it, just as we are to look for a god as a comforter.