Seeing ourselves as others see us: The place of reason in Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments

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Title: Seeing ourselves as others see us: The place of reason in Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments
Authors: Casey, Gerard
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Date: Dec-2012
Online since: 2014-02-20T15:41:35Z
Abstract: In making a feeling or sentiment such as sympathy foundational to his ethical analysis Adam Smith appears to set himself on a collision course with those ethical theories in which reason plays a central role. I shall claim, contrary to appearances, that reason has an important part to play in Smith’s final account of ethics; that what Smith rejects when he appears to reject reason, is a kind of austere ultrarationalism (a la Cudworth, Plato or the Stoics) that would make reason the original independent source of our ethical judgements; and that, in the end, Smith does not reject reason but rather develops a complex theory of morality which permits reason to play a significant role in man’s moral life.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield (Lexington Books)
Copyright (published version): 2012, Lexington Books
Keywords: EthicsEthical analysisJudgementMoralityPhilosophy
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Ricca Edmondson, Karlheinz Huelser (eds.). Politics of Practical Reasoning: Integrating Action, Discourse and Argument
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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