Television Pros And Cons Essay

argumentative Essay
1083 words
1083 words

Present Adam Smith's view of the human person and compare and contrast his view with that of any other moral philosopher

Stephen Magri
Master of Arts in Business Ethics
1st Year

Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) is a Scottish moral philosopher who wrote many books including the ‘Wealth of Nations’ and the ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’. The moral theory of Smith is derived from empiricists such as David Hume. Dr Edward W Younkins in his extract on ‘Adam Smith’s moral and economic system’ states that the book ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’ presents and examination of the process by which the person judges himself and other people. In this book Smith states that there is more to life than economics and politics and that man should give due importance to moral sentiments and sympathetic feelings abandoning self centredness. In other words Smith is implying that man should live a virtuous life. Smith divides virtues in two levels:
• Self interested: like industry, constancy etc
• Primary virtues: like generosity, pity, love etc
Smith states that there are four virtues in one’s life – justice, prudence, benevolence and self-command. Man must strive to win over his egoism and become more accustomed to the primary virtues.
According to Smith emotions are the basis of moral judgement implanted in man by a higher beneficial diety (probably implying God yet according to Jacob Viner the term ‘God’ is substituted to ‘the great Architect of the Universe’, the ‘invisible hand’ or ‘nature’) to bring about the happiness of mankind. The human being according to Smith is a social creature with a moral code from experiences founded on moral feelings that the same human was born with. These feelings are both for the person’s self and for the other person. Smith states that through mutual sympathy of sentiments people in society gain happiness Eg. If a friend feels a feeling

In this essay, the author

  • Compares adam smith's view of the human person with that of any other moral philosopher.
  • States that adam smith's moral theory is derived from empiricists such as david hume. theory of moral sentiments examines the process by which the person judges himself and others.
  • Explains that sympathy means compassion, pity, and joy. approval is a feeling when the person can project himself and sympathize with the act done.
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