Hume and Smith on sympathy, approbation, and moral judgment

Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):208-236 (2013)
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David Hume and Adam Smith are usually, and understandably, seen as developing very similar sentimentalist accounts of moral thought and practice. As similar as Hume's and Smith's accounts of moral thought are, they differ in telling ways. This essay is an attempt primarily to get clear on the important differences. They are worth identifying and exploring, in part, because of the great extent to which Hume and Smith share not just an overall approach to moral theory but also a conception of what the key components of an adequate account of moral thought will be. In the process, I hope to bring out the extent to which they both worked to make sense of the fact that we do not merely have affective reactions but also, importantly, make moral judgments



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Geoffrey Sayre-McCord
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

Sentientism, Motivation, and Philosophical Vulcans.Luke Roelofs - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (2):301-323.
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An Adam Smithian account of moral reasons.Nir Ben-Moshe - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):1073-1087.

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