The philosophy of Adam Smith : imagination and speculation

Abstract : In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith establishes a pluralist scheme to explain moral approbation, with four kinds of moral judgments: 1) regarding the motives of the agent, the judgment determines its propriety or impropriety; 2) regarding the immediate effects of the action, the judgement determines its merit or demerit; 3) analyzing if this act is a particular case of a general rule, the judgement determines if the agent has acted according to his duty; and 4) regarding the remote effects of the action, that is, the way this action is a part of the global operations of society (a judgement that Smith calls the appearance of utility). These four kinds of moral judgments are grounded in imagination and form the totality of the principle of approbation that structure the speculative part of his moral philosophy.
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Leonardo André Paes Müller. The philosophy of Adam Smith : imagination and speculation. Philosophy. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA01H200⟩. ⟨tel-01398360⟩

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