The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Adam Smith


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Best known for his revolutionary free-market economics treatise ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Adam Smith was first and foremost a moral philosopher. In his first book, ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’, he investigated the interest of the greater good. Smith’s classic work advances ideas about conscience, moral judgment, and virtue. He outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment distinguishes right from wrong in any given situation. Man, by nature, pursues self-interest, according to Smith. This makes independence or self-command an instinctive good, and neutral rules as difficult to craft as they are necessary. But society is not held together merely by neutral rules; it is held together by sympathy. Smith argues that we naturally share the emotions and to a certain extent the physical sensations we witness in others.

This volume also includes some of Smith’s other essays:
– Astronomical Inquiries
– Formation of Languages
– History of Ancient Physics
– Ancient Logic and Metaphysics
– The Imitative Arts
– Music, Dancing, Poetry
– The External Senses
– English and Italian Verses


Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 6.25 × 9.5 × 1.5 in

Bound in USA since 1975