Adam Smith on morality, justice andthe political constitution of liberty

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (2):135-156 (2008)
This paper proposes that the particular moral point of view embodied in Adam Smith's ethics, which ultimately follows a model based on the determination of justice, enables him to introduce impartiality as a measure for every virtue, and to posit the equal dignity of all human beings as the justification of his ethics. This moral viewpoint, which I here call the `sympathetic-impartial perspective', is naturally learned by human beings in the course of socialization through the ongoing interaction between the innate impulse to sympathize and practically-informed reason. Moreover, this particular perspective creates a bridge between Smith's moral and political theories, shedding new light upon the moral foundations of his `system of natural liberty'
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DOI 10.3366/E1479665108000183
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