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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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    Available in PDF Format | The Theory of Moral Sentiments.pdf | English
    Adam Smith(Author)
2011 Reprint of 1790 London Edition. Today Adam Smith's reputation rests on his explanation of how rational self-interest in a free-market economy leads to economic well-being. It may surprise those who would discount Smith as an advocate of ruthless individualism that his first major work concentrates on ethics and charity. In fact, while chair at the University of Glasgow, Smith's lecture subjects, in order of preference, were natural theology, ethics, jurisprudence, and economics, according to John Millar, Smith's pupil at the time. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith wrote: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it." The Theory of Moral Sentiments establishes the intellectual framework for all of Smith's later work, including the monumental Wealth of Nations.

"A worthy and distinctive addition to Adam Smith scholarship and an excellent presentation of the authentic Adam Smith to a wide audience for the 21st century. It is beauty presented, and the editorial work by Ryan Hanley is of the very highest standard. The introduction by Amartya Sen, as always, is excellent and should appeal for its clarity to a wide audience."-Gavin Kennedy, Emeritus Professor, Heriot-Watt University"One of the truly outstanding books in the intellectual history of the world...A global manifesto of profound significance to the interdependent world in which we live. It is indeed a book of amazing reach and contemporary relevance."-Amartya Sen, from the Introduction"One of the truly outstanding books in the intellectual history of the world...A global manifesto of profound significance to the interdependent world in which we live. It is indeed a book of amazing reach and contemporary relevance."-Amartya Sen, from the Introduction --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Book details

  • PDF | 358 pages
  • Adam Smith(Author)
  • Gutenberg Publishers (26 Mar. 2011)
  • English
  • 5
  • Business, Finance & Law

Review Text

  • By Guest on 6 June 2017

    Thank you

  • By Mr. C. L. Newman on 17 August 2013

    Like few others both before or after him, Adam Smith stands out as a writer of both practical common sense and more philosophical and thought provoking argument and judgement.Some ideas and views are never good for any time; few stand the test of time. Adam Smith's both stand as good - and pass the test - possibly for all time.

  • By Haraldo Wenceslas on 31 January 2013

    I've no doubt that 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments' is a seminal text, but for the love of the almighty, get a different edition to this one. Herein lies numerous spelling and grammatical errors, as it seems to have been based upon a third-rate scanning of another edition of the text.You have been warned.

  • By PlayerPianoPlayer on 1 February 2014

    This books is a masterpiece, not only of philosophical ethics, but also of social psychology. It recasts ethics by examining the psychology of why people think some actions good and other actions bad. It's examination of these psychological factors is both incisive and pretty exhaustive.At times, it contains pre-echoes of the ideas of modern evolutionary psychologists, as in the following passage: "Thus self-preservation, and the propagation of the species, are the great ends which Nature seems to have proposed in the formation of all animals. Mankind are endowed with a desire of those ends, and an aversion to the contrary; with a love of life, and a dread of dissolution; with a desire of the continuance and perpetuity of the species, and with an aversion to the thoughts of its intire extinction. But though we are in this manner endowed with a very strong desire of those ends, it has not been intrusted to the slow and uncertain determinations of our reason, to find out the proper means of bringing them about. Nature has directed us to the greater part of these by original and immediate instincts." These instincts are brought to bear in explaining, among other things, why parents are more likely to be excessive than deficient in love for their children, and why we are horrified by the deficiency, but tolerant of the excess. That's classic Evo Psych, a hundred years before Darwin.Apart from a very wide ranging survey of ethical topics, there is also an essay on aesthetics, which again is very much in tune with modern psychology, a discussion of economic behaviour (not surprising, given that Adam Smith pretty much invented modern economics), a discussion of cultural differences in ethics, an examination of some topics in politics, and an interesting reassessment of then-existing theories of ethics in the light of Adam Smith's psychological theory.Not only does the book give an excellent overview of ethical topics and a very well thought out and interesting theory, it's also an enjoyable read, and full of interesting thoughts on psychology. I'm inclined to think that a social psychologists could make a whole career by going through this book chapter by chapter and basing research projects around the ideas contained therein. It could also be used as a moral guide. It deserves to be very widely read.

  • By D. W. Reap on 17 October 2012

    How regrettable that I have only just absorbed this wonderful work. It should be compulsory reading for all students and intellectuals no matter what age whether studying economics or not.

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