Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 (5):525-529 (2015)

Eric Bredo
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Aspects of Adam Smith’s thought are introduced to help evaluate Weinstein’s reconsideration. Where Newton sought universal principles to explain planetary movement, Smith sought universal principles to explain human conduct. His theory of moral sentiments considered the role of sympathetic responses to others, and the resulting desire to harmonize responses in differing relationships, as a motive for moral thinking and conduct. His theory of reasoning explored the roles of pleasure, surprise, and wonder in sequential phases of thinking. Weinstein finds the pluralism and emotional sensitivity of Smith’s approach appealing, as do I. However, Weinstein seems too quick to reject logic and replace it with rhetorical narrative, and to view imagination and emotion as “true.” Clearer and more consistent use of key concepts would also be helpful
Keywords Smith  Moral sentiments  Conduct  Reason  Weinstein
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-015-9479-y
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