Smith_Feb2

Smith_Feb2 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Adam Smith Key Points: ± Explain how the notion of sympathy forms the foundation for Smith’s theory of society. ± How does Smith’s conceptualization of human nature and social order compare with that of Hobbes and Rousseau?
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2 Brief biography of Adam Smith ± Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in 1723 ± ± Became Chair of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow ± Published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 ± Gave up professorship and toured Europe as a tutor ± Published The Wealth of Nations in 1776 ± Became member of Royal Society ± Died in Edinburgh in 1790 Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) ± Smith considered the Theory of Moral Sentiments as important as his Wealth of Nations. Continued to revise throughout his life (last [sixth] edition: 1790) ± Key question in TMS: How may a society freed from the fetters and controls of feudalism and the church achieve moral order? Smith’s theory of human nature ± “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.” ± Sympathy vs empathy vs compassion ± Sympathy = “changing places in fancy” ± Natural “fellow-feeling” (sympathy) is the basis of morality--not reason.
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3 Imagination and Fellow-Feeling ± “As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations.” The workings of sympathy
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 313 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Smith_Feb2 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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