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The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy

Oxford University Press (2007)

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  1. The Contribution of Empathy to Ethics.Sarah Songhorian - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):244-264.
    ABSTRACTEmpathy has been taken to play a crucial role in ethics at least since the Scottish Enlightenment. More recently, a revival of moral sentimentalism and empirical research on moral behavior has prompted a renewed interest in empathy and related concepts and on their contribution to moral reasoning and to moral behavior. Furthermore, empathy has recently entered our public discourse as having the power to ameliorate our social and political interactions with others.The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent (...)
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  • Relaxing a Tension in Adam Smith's Account of Sympathy.John W. McHugh - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):189-204.
    This paper attempts to relax the tension between Adam Smith's claim that sympathy involves an evaluative act of imaginative projection and his claim that sympathy involves a non-evaluative act of imaginative identification. The first section locates the tension specifically in the two different ways Smith depicts the stance adopted by the sympathizer. The second section argues that we can relax this tension by finding an important role for a non-evaluative stance in Smith's normative account of moral evaluation. This solution protects (...)
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  • Reinterpretación del espectador imparcial: impersonalidad utilitarista o respeto a la dignidad.María A. Carrasco - 2014 - Critica 46 (137):61-84.
    Durante la Ilustración escocesa se legitimó la “perspectiva del espectador imparcial” como garantía de juicios morales imparciales. Esta escuela de pensamiento se ha considerado tradicionalmente como la antesala del utilitarismo. Sin embargo, actualmente se sostiene que, aunque Hutcheson y Hume sí son protoutilitaristas, la teoría de Smith es la primera gran crítica al utilitarismo. En este ensayo atribuyo esta diferencia a la posición desde la que juzga el espectador —tercera o segunda persona— de la que se derivan estructuras metaéticas distintas (...)
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  • Sentimentalist Contractualism—the First Steps.Nenad Miscevic - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):427-446.
    The paper connects two central ethical views, both with a rich tradition, sentimentalism and contractualism. From the former, it also borrows the response-dependentist metaphysics. The idea of combining the two has been sketched before, but not systematically and explicitly; for instance, in various comments on classical authors, especially on Kant and elsewhere, most prominently in Habermas. Here is the kernel of the present proposal. Our initial practical intuitions are emotion-based and the values, when detected, are response-dependent. This is the starting (...)
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  • Ways of Desiring Mutual Sympathy in Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy.John McHugh - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (4):614-634.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I address the question of what we are really after when we seek Smithian mutual sympathy; I also show how the answer I propose can be used to illuminate a crucial feature of Smith's moral philosophy. The first section develops a Smithian response to egoistic interpretations of the desire for mutual sympathy. The second section identifies a number of different self- and other-relevant ways in which one could desire mutual sympathy. Some of these different ways of desiring (...)
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  • The Inexorable Sociality of Commerce: The Individual and Others in Adam Smith.David Bevan & Patricia Werhane - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 127 (2):327-335.
    In this paper we reconsider Adam Smith’s ethics, what he means by self-interest and the role this plays in the famous “invisible hand.” Our efforts focus in part on the misreading of “the invisible hand” by certain economists with a view to legitimizing their neoclassical economic paradigm. Through exegesis and by reference to notions that are developed in Smith’s two major works, we deconstruct Smith’s ideas of conscience, justice, self-interest, and the invisible hand. We amplify Smith’s insistence, through his notions (...)
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  • X-Phi and Impartiality Thought Experiments: Investigating the Veil of Ignorance.Norbert Paulo & Thomas Pölzler - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):72-89.
    This paper discusses “impartiality thought experiments”, i.e., thought experiments that attempt to generate intuitions which are unaffected by personal characteristics such as age, gender or race. We focus on the most prominent impartiality thought experiment, the Veil of Ignorance, and show that both in its original Rawlsian version and in a more generic version, empirical investigations can be normatively relevant in two ways: First, on the assumption that the VOI is effective and robust, if subjects dominantly favor a certain normative (...)
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  • David D. Raphael's The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 143 Pp. [REVIEW]Neven Leddy - 2009 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):125.
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  • Handbook of Philosophy of Management.Cristina Neesham & Steven Segal (eds.) - 2019
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  • Developing and Measuring the Impact of an Accounting Ethics Course That is Based on the Moral Philosophy of Adam Smith.Daniel P. Sorensen, Scott E. Miller & Kevin L. Cabe - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 140 (1):175-191.
    Accounting ethics failures have seized headlines and cost investors billions of dollars. Improvement of the ethical reasoning and behavior of accountants has become a key concern for the accounting profession and for higher education in accounting. Researchers have asked a number of questions, including what type of accounting ethics education intervention would be most effective for accounting students. Some researchers have proposed virtue ethics as an appropriate moral framework for accounting. This research tested whether Smithian virtue ethics training, based on (...)
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  • Adam Smith om markedet og om selvet.Erik Lundestad - 2020 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 55 (2-03):113-125.
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  • ‘Mere Poverty Excites Little Compassion’: Adam Smith, Moral Judgment and the Poor.Kate Ward - 2016 - Heythrop Journal 61 (1):97-114.
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  • Adam Smith, Ethicist.Christina McRorie - 2015 - Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (4):674-696.
    This essay argues that Adam Smith's political economy is premised upon a moral anthropology, and that greater attention to Smith from religious ethicists may both improve Smith scholarship and deepen dialogue on economic themes within the field of religious ethics. It does so first by surveying common readings of Smith and noting that engagement of his work within religious ethics and theology tends to rely on misconceptions prevalent in these readings. It then outlines the moral psychology that links Smith's Theory (...)
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  • 'Explicating Ways of Consensus-Making: Distinguishing the Academic, the Interface and the Meta-Consensus.Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In Carlo Martini (ed.), Experts and Consensus in Social Science. Berlin: Springer. pp. 71-92.
  • Responsible Innovation: A Smithian Perspective.Matthias P. Hühn - 2018 - Philosophy of Management 17 (1):41-57.
    Adam Smith’s is often falsely portrayed as having argued that radical selfishness is a force for the good and that this “invisible hand’ is his market mechanism. This paper argues that Smith’s real market mechanism, the sympathy manoeuvre, is a viable alternative to Schumpeterian and mainstream models of innovation in economics and also could help build a firmer theoretical basis for other approaches such as Responsible Innovation. To Smith all human activity was social and must be understood and explained in (...)
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  • Beyond the Opposition Between Altruism and Self-Interest: Reciprocal Giving in Reward-Based Crowdfunding.Kévin André, Sylvain Bureau, Arthur Gautier & Olivier Rubel - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 146 (2):313-332.
    Increasingly, frontiers between business and philanthropy seem to be blurred. Reward-Based Crowdfunding platforms contribute to this blurring of lines since they propose funders to support both for-profit and philanthropic projects. Our empirical paper explores the case of Ulule, the leading crowdfunding platform in Europe. Our results, based on a statistical analysis of more than 3000 projects, show that crowdfunding platforms foster specific kinds of relationships relying on reciprocal giving, beyond the usual opposition between altruistic and selfish motivations. We use the (...)
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  • The Unreality Business - How Economics (and Management) Became Anti-Philosophical.Matthias P. Hühn - 2015 - Philosophy of Management 14 (1):47-66.
    This paper argues that economics, over the past 200 years, has become steadily more anti-philosophical and that there are three stages in the development of economic thought. Adam Smith intended economics to be a descriptive social science, rooted in an understanding of the moral and psychological processes of an individual’s decision-making and its connection to society in general. Yet, immediately after Smith’s death, economists made a clean cut and invented a totally new discipline: they switched towards a physicalist understanding of (...)
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  • A Defense of Modest Ideal Observer Theory: The Case of Adam Smith’s Impartial Spectator.Nir Ben-Moshe - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):489-510.
    I build on Adam Smith’s account of the impartial spectator in The Theory of Moral Sentiments in order to offer a modest ideal observer theory of moral judgment that is adequate in the following sense: the account specifies the hypothetical conditions that guarantee the authoritativeness of an agent’s (or agents’) responses in constituting the standard in question, and, if an actual agent or an actual community of agents are not under those conditions, their responses are not authoritative in setting this (...)
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  • Philosophy and Science in Adam Smith’s ‘History of Astronomy’: A Metaphysico-Scientific View.Kwangsu Kim - 2017 - History of the Human Sciences 30 (3):107-130.
    This article casts light on the intimate relationship between metaphysics and science in Adam Smith’s thought. Understanding this relationship can help in resolving an enduring dispute or misreading concerning the status and role of natural theology and the ‘invisible hand’ doctrine. In Smith’s scientific realism, ontological issues are necessary prerequisites for scientific inquiry, and metaphysical ideas thus play an organizing and regulatory role. Smith also recognized the importance of scientifically informed metaphysics in science’s historical development. In this sense, for Smith, (...)
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  • Reasoning About Development: Essays on Amartya Sen's Capability Approach.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - Dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Over the last 30 years the Indian philosopher-economist Amartya Sen has developed an original normative approach to the evaluation of individual and social well-being. The foundational concern of this ‘capability approach’ is the real freedom of individuals to achieve the kind of lives they have reason to value. This freedom is analysed in terms of an individual’s ‘capability’ to achieve combinations of such intrinsically valuable ‘beings and doings’ (‘functionings’) as being sufficiently nourished and freely expressing one’s political views. In this (...)
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  • De Hutcheson a Smith: Un Sentimentalismo 'Sofisticado'.María Alejandra Carrasco - 2009 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 65:81-96.
    Francis Hutcheson es un reconocido proto-utilitarista. Sin embargo, Adam Smith, su discípulo más prominente y sucesor en la cátedra de Filosofía Moral de la Universidad de Glasgow, tomó otros aspectos de la ética sentimentalista de su maestro y fundó, sobre la base del mismo sentimentalismo, una teoría moral completamente distinta. En este trabajo exploraré qué rasgos de la ética de Smith -en particular, los de la simpatía y espectador imparcial- se encuentran ya en germen en la ética de Hutcheson y (...)
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  • Sentimentalism and Metaphysical Beliefs.Noriaki Iwasa - 2010 - Prolegomena 9 (2):271-286.
    This essay first introduces the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith, and clarifies important differences between them. It then examines whether moral judgment based on the moral sense or moral sentiments varies according to one's metaphysical beliefs. For this, the essay mainly applies those theories to such issues as stem cell research, abortion, and active euthanasia. In all three theories, false religious beliefs can distort moral judgment. In Hutcheson's theory, answers to stem cell research, abortion, (...)
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  • On Three Defenses of Sentimentalism.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (1):61-82.
    This essay shows that a moral sense or moral sentiments alone cannot identify appropriate morals. To this end, the essay analyzes three defenses of Francis Hutcheson's, David Hume's, and Adam Smith's moral sense theories against the relativism charge that a moral sense or moral sentiments vary across people, societies, cultures, or times. The first defense is the claim that there is a universal moral sense or universal moral sentiments. However, even if they exist, a moral sense or moral sentiments alone (...)
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  • Adam Smith on Philosophy and Religion.Craig Smith - 2018 - Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (3):23.
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  • Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):323-352.
    Examining the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith from the perspective of the is-ought problem, this essay shows that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. According to one interpretation, Hume's or Smith's theory is just a description of human nature. In this case, it does not answer the question of how we ought to live. According to another interpretation, it has some normative implications. In this case, it (...)
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  • In Adam Smith’s Own Words: The Role of Virtues in the Relationship Between Free Market Economies and Societal Flourishing, A Semantic Network Data-Mining Approach.Johan Graafland & Thomas R. Wells - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 2020 (1):31-42.
    Among business ethicists, Adam Smith is widely viewed as the defender of an amoral if not anti-moral economics in which individuals’ pursuit of their private self-interest is converted by an ‘invisible hand’ into shared economic prosperity. This is often justified by reference to a select few quotations from The Wealth of Nations. We use new empirical methods to investigate what Smith actually had to say, firstly about the relationship between free market institutions and individuals’ moral virtues, and secondly about the (...)
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  • The Usefulness of Social Norm Theory in Empirical Business Ethics Research: A Review and Suggestions for Future Research.Allen D. Blay, Eric S. Gooden, Mark J. Mellon & Douglas E. Stevens - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 152 (1):191-206.
    In response to recent calls to extend the underlying theories used in the literature :375–413, 2005; Craft in J Bus Ethics 117:221–259, 2013), we review the usefulness of social norm theory in empirical business ethics research. We begin by identifying the seeds of social norm theory in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Glasgow Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1759/1790) seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Next, we introduce recent theory in social norm activation by Bicchieri and (...)
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  • Beyond Sympathy: Smith’s Rejection of Hume’s Moral Theory.Paul Sagar - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4):681-705.
    Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments has long been recognized as importantly influenced by, and in part responding to, David Hume’s earlier ethical theory. With regard to Smith’s account of the foundations of morals in particular, recent scholarly attention has focused on Smith’s differences with Hume over the question of sympathy. Whilst this is certainly important, disagreement over sympathy in fact represents only the starting point of Smith’s engagement with – and eventual attempted rejection of – Hume’s core moral theory. (...)
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  • Will the Real A. Smith Please Stand Up!Matthias P. Hühn & Claus Dierksmeier - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 136 (1):119-132.
    In both the public and the business world, in academe as well as in practice, the ideas of Adam Smith are regarded as the bedrock of modern economics. When present economic conditions and management practices are criticised, Adam Smith is referred to by defenders and detractors of the current status quo alike. Smith, it is believed, defined the essential terms of reference of these debates, such as the rational pursuit of self-interest on part of the individual and the resultant optimal (...)
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  • Společné Dobro - Realita, Nebo Fikce?Marek Loužek - 2012 - E-Logos 19 (1):1-22.
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  • Strengthening “Giving Voice to Values” in Business Schools by Reconsidering the “Invisible Hand” Metaphor.Mollie Painter-Morland & Rosa Slegers - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (4):807-819.
    The main contention of this paper is that our ability to embed a consideration of values into business school curricula is hampered by certain normative parameters that our students have when entering the classroom. If we don’t understand the processes of valuation that underpin our students’ reasoning, our ethics teaching will inevitably miss its mark. In this paper, we analyze one of the most prevalent metaphors that underpin moral arguments about business, and reveal the beliefs and assumptions that underpin it. (...)
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  • Las nociones de simpatía y de valor en paralelo. El problema de la sociedad pequeña y la sociedad universal en Adam Smith.Pilar Piqué - 2018 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 55:99-126.
    El presente trabajo se propone mostrar los puntos de contacto existentes entre el desarrollo de la noción de simpatía en La Teoría de los Sentimientos Morales y el desarrollo de la noción de valor en La Riqueza de las Naciones. En cada una de sus dos obras, Smith elige a la noción de simpatía y a la noción de valor como principios fundamentales para la armonía de la conducta social y del sistema de intercambio mercantil, respectivamente. Pero, en ambos casos, (...)
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  • Boys Do Cry: Adam Smith on Wealth and Expressing Emotions.Maria Pia Paganelli - 2017 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 15 (1):1-8.
    Recent studies on crying show that crying is more common in happier, freer, and richer countries than in poorer and less free countries. These results can sound counterintuitive and contradict the hypothesis that crying is more observable in countries where people experience more distress. Adam Smith may offer an explanation: In the severe hardship of poverty, showing emotion and distress can be read as a sign of weakness, attracting no sympathy and compromising survival. As a result, emotional displays are avoided. (...)
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  • Adam Smith: 18th Century Sentimentalist or 20th Century Rationalist?Matthias Hühn - forthcoming - Business Ethics Journal Review:22-27.
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