Adam Smith on morality, justice andthe political constitution of liberty

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (2):135-156 (2008)
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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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Author's Profile

María Alejandra Carrasco
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Two kinds of respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Impartiality and friendship.Marcia Baron - 1991 - Ethics 101 (4):836-857.

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