Adam Smith's Sentimentalist Conception of Self-Control

The Adam Smith Review 12:7-27 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

A recent wave of scholarship has challenged the traditional way of understanding of self-command in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments as ‘Stoic’ self-command. But the two most thorough alternative interpretations maintain a strong connection between self-command and rationalism, and thus apparently stand opposed to Smith’s overt allegiance to sentimentalism. In this paper I argue that we can and should interpret self-command in the context of Smith’s larger sentimentalist framework, and that when we do, we can see that self-command is ‘sentimentalized’. I offer an interpretation of Smithian self-command, arguing that self-command has its motivational basis in the natural desire for the pleasure of mutual sympathy; that self-command is guided by the sentimental standard of propriety; and that self-command works through the psychological mechanism of the ‘supposed’ impartial spectator. And I show that Smithian self-command is a home-grown, sentimentalist virtue and not an awkward rationalistic transplant.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Adam Smith: Self-Command, Practical Reason and Deontological Insights.Maria A. Carrasco - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):391-414.
Adam Smith: Self-Command, Practical Reason and Deontological Insights.Maria Alejandra Carrasco - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):391-414.
Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life.James R. Otteson - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Smith contra Slote.Michael L. Frazer - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):319-327.
Adam Smith on Morality and Self-Interest.Thomas R. Wells - 2013 - In Christoph Luetge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 281--296.
¿Es posible formular un juicio moral válido? La respuesta de Adam Smith.Enrique Ujaldón - 2005 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 36:117-130.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-01-18

Downloads
337 (#52,229)

6 months
183 (#11,702)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lauren Kopajtic
Fordham University

Citations of this work

La peine et la perte chez Adam Smith.Claire Etchegaray - 2023 - Archives de Philosophie 86 (1):167-188.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Skepticism about practical reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):5-25.
A progress of sentiments: reflections on Hume's Treatise.Annette Baier - 1991 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Hume.Don Garrett - 2015 - New York: Routledge.
Hume's reason.David Owen - 1999 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 25 references / Add more references