POT3302 - Notes (02-05)

POT3302 Notes - POT3302 Political Ideologies Notes February 5th 2009 Adam Smith The central premise of Adam Smith also a central premise of

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POT3302 – Political Ideologies Notes – February 5 th , 2009 Adam Smith The central premise of Adam Smith, also a central premise of mainstream liberalism, is that man is both egoistic and altruistic. Smith believes that man’s natural sociability is the product of a mechanism at work. This mechanism he calls the sympathy mechanism. The Sympathy Mechanism: Sympathy – Smith sees sympathy as the parallel of compassion. In other words, he sees compassion as feeling “for” someone (I feel “for” you). Sympathy is feeling “with” someone (being in someone’s shoes, “fellow feeling”). Smith says that through sympathy the passions of one human being are transferred to another by the force of imagination at work. Imagination – One has to imagine how another person feels. Propriety – Propriety is the sentiment of seeking that our actions be suited to their intention. We want our actions to reflect our intentions; it saddens us when our actions do not reflect our intentions. If you have no concern whether your actions match your intentions, then you have no control over your actions. Approbation – Those who are contemplating our actions approve of them. That the invisible humanity that we create condones, or approves, of what we are doing. The ground of moral action and perception is the inner constitution of human nature. Instincts, sentiments, and mechanisms of sympathy (our desire for approbation; our insistence on propriety) are the efficient causes of human behavior. We are moral beings, according to Adam Smith. Our moral reasoning is the fundamental pillar of our existence as human beings. Smith believes that these moral ideas are more pressing than any human desire.
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2010 for the course POT 3302 taught by Professor Gutierrezboronat during the Spring '09 term at FIU.

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POT3302 Notes - POT3302 Political Ideologies Notes February 5th 2009 Adam Smith The central premise of Adam Smith also a central premise of

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