returns are that great, they will not put everything they already have at risk. Passions directed toward the self are joy and grief. Because other people are less interested in our affairs than we are, we often must temper our sentiments in order for other people to be able to sympathize with them. Mere Poverty Excites Little Compassion: Adam Smith, Moral Judgment and the Poor. Sen and Mead on Identity, Agency, and Economic Behavior. Smith classifies people's feelings, or passions, as follows: passions of the body; passions from habits of the imagination; unsocial passions; social passions; and selfish passions. As noted above, our admiration for them leads us to have a distorted view of morality, because we are liable to approve of almost anything that they.
Adam smith theory of moral sentiments essay
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Though one could argue that his idea of perfect concord between observer and agent is what we commonly call "empathy it is more likely the case that Smith simply does not believe in empathy. Since sympathy is our main way of relating to others, this could also explain why we fear death: it is a loss of the ability to be related to, and a severance of the bond the between self and others. Summary: In Part I, "Of the Propriety of Action Smith lays the groundwork for his moral theory by describing at length the sympathetic nature of human beings. When the sympathy of the observer is perfect, the observer's sentiments are in concord with the sentiments of the person observed; it is from this concord that moral approbation arises. The most logically-accessible point in this first section is the fear of death. As Smith says, the actual concept of death cannot reasonably be feared in the way that most people fear it because, at the point of death, the world which is now so significant to us is no longer an imposition upon. Yet we know some people to be what are called "empaths capable of deeply experiencing the emotions of others. Crossref Citations, calvo, Patrici 2018. We are more disposed to sympathize with joy than with sorrow, at least when envy does not interfere. People of low rank are willing to work tirelessly to cultivate skills and virtues, and to put themselves in any position where they can demonstrate these abilities and be acknowledged. This is also why we almost worship the rich, and are so impressionable when it comes to the fashions and philosophies of the wealthy. One could also consider in this framework the point that, when someone is dead, it is impossible for us to sympathize with him or her any longer because the person in question no longer exhibits agency.
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