§ "Anger is the whetstone of courage." (Political Discourses.)
§ "Avarice, the spur of industry."
§ "Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them."
§ "No criticism can be instructive which is not full of examples and illustrations." (Essays and Treatises.)
§ "Men are not impelled by any reasoning or process of the understanding, but rather from Custom or Habit. ... Custom, then, is the great guide of human life." (Enquiry.)
§ "Men do not normally reason with one another, men impact on one another as billiard balls do; it is custom that leads men to do things as they do; it is custom, often concealed from the actor, which drives him to do things of which he is naturally ignorant as to why and for what purpose he does them." (Enquiry.)
§ "Some exalt our species to the skies, and represent man as a kind of human demigod, who derives his origin from heaven, and retains evident marks of his lineage and descent. Others insist upon the blind sides of human nature, and can discover nothing, except vanity, in which man surpasses the other animals, whom he affects so much to despise. If an author posses the talent of rhetoric and declamation, he commonly takes part with the former: if his turn lie towards irony and ridicule, he naturally throws himself into the other extreme." ("Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature," Essays.)
§ "He would stand, like the Schoolman's Ass, irresolute and undetermined, betwixt equal Motives." (An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals.)
§ "Everything in the world is purchased by labour, and our passions are the only causes of labour." (Political Discourses.)
§ "Excessive severity in the laws is apt to beget great relaxation in their execution." (Political Discourses.)
§ "In general, it may be affirmed that there is no such passion in human minds, as the love of mankind, merely as such, independent of personal qualities, or services, or of relation to ourselves."
Moral Sentiment Theory and Self Love:-
§ "That species of self-love, which displays itself in kindness to others, you must allow to have great influence over human actions, and even greater, on many occasions, than that which remains in its original shape and form. For how few are there, who, having a family, children, and relations, do not spend more on the maintenance and education of these than on their own pleasures? This, indeed, you justly observe, may proceed from their self-love, since the prosperity of their family and friends is one, or the chief of their pleasures, as well as their chief honour. Be you also one of these men, and you are sure of everyone's good opinion and good will; or not to shock your ears with these expressions, the self-love of everyone, and mine among the rest, will then incline us to serve you, and speak well of you." ("Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature," Essays.)
§ "Politics consider men as united in society, and dependent on each other." (As found in the introduction of A Treatise of Human Nature.)
§ "The balance of power is a secret in politics." (Essays and Treatises.)
§ "Reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."
§ "Necessity calls, fear urges, reason exhorts." (Political Discourses)
§ "Opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a quarreling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy."
§ "The best taxes are such as are levied upon Consumptions, especially those of luxury." (Essays and Treatises.)
§ "National debts cause a mighty confluence of people and riches to the capital." ("Of Public Credit," Political Discourses.)
§ "Taxes when carried too far, destroy industry, by engendering despair." (Political Discourses.)
§ "There is a certain Delicacy of Passion, to which some People are subject, that makes them extremely sensible to all the Accidents of Life. And when a Person, that has this Sensibility of Temper, meets with any Misfortune, his Sorrow or Resentment takes entire Possession of him." (Essays.)