- Christopher J. Berry
Adam Smith published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759. What the book sets out to do is investigate or analyse how, in practice, judgments and decisions about what is right or wrong are made. ‘Sympathetic spectators’ first discusses empiricism, a particular tradition of moral philosophy that was especially strong in Scotland. It goes on to consider the views of Francis Hutcheson and David Hume on moral sense and sympathy. It then examines Smith’s thoughts on sociality, morality, negotiated discord, self-interest, the impartial spectator and conscience (an internalized standard or benchmark of what is right or wrong), relativism, and moral judgment.