Symposium: My Understanding of Adam Smith's Impartial Spectator
The mysterious impartial spectator is addressed by leading Smith scholars: What is the impartial spectator, in Smith’s highest sense of that expression? Does the impartial spectator have knowledge that is super-human? Is it universal? How does the impartial spectator relate to “the man within the breast”? To the being whose hand is invisible? To God?
Adam Smith's Impartial Spectator
Adam Smith claims that humans naturally sympathize with others and seek their approval. The process of matching our sentiments with others’ sentiments forms the basis of our moral judgment. But what do we do when sentiments conflict? Smith saw that we need to move beyond literal impartial spectators to reach some ideal by which we can judge others’ sentiments and our own. That ideal is a category that we develop inductively.
Adam Smith as a Moral Philosopher
"... we explain Adam Smith as a moral philosopher of the Enlightenment and discuss how to understand his theory of moral sentiments in the context of socioeconomics."