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Adam SmithSystematic Philosopher and Public Thinker$
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Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190690120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190690120.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 April 2021

Passionate Human Nature

Passionate Human Nature

(p.25) 2 Passionate Human Nature
Adam Smith

Eric Schliesser

Oxford University Press

The aim of this chapter is to offer a detailed survey of the main elements of Smith’s understanding of human nature in order to understand his views on human flourishing as it is fleshed out in his moral psychology, his moral theory, his philosophy of science, and his political economy. In addition this chapter offers a succinct introduction to “Smithian social explanation.” This chapter also introduces Smith’s account of the passions. In TMS Smith treats primarily of moral sentiments—that is, only a subset of all the passions. This chapter argues that in addition to the moral sentiments, Smith recognizes other sentiments: the so-called natural sentiments and the intellectual sentiments. This chapter embeds Smith’s theory of the passions in his understanding of the historical development of human propensities, including language, cognition, and reason.

Keywords:   Smith, Smithian social explanation, intellectual sentiments, natural sentiments, moral sentiments

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