The same can be said of the meaning of a work of the mind such as The Theory of Moral Sentiments. This is a basic fact of human affairs that it makes no sense to regret. 9 Secondly, i submit that a good criterion for comparing the merits of various interpretations of a superior intellectual work is the extent to which they make sense of all the aspects, facets, and details of the work in question, even those that appear. On this score it seems to me that the French intersubjectivist interpretation fares fairly well. To be sure, only a systematic confrontation with other interpretations could allow us to so conclude, especially with the more recent English-speaking scholarship 3 3 In the vast, generally excellent recent literature. This is not a task that i am now in a position to carry out, as the priority seems to offer the English-speaking readership a preview of an interpretive tradition that they have had so far no access to 4 4 I am summing up here. Adam Smiths third party : the spectator 10 In the case of Adam Smiths theatrical rendering of social life, the role of the mediator is obviously played by the character Smith calls the spectator impartial, or not.
Adam Smith 's, moral and Political Philosophy (Stanford
6 Indeed, Francisco varela and I concluded the introductory essay to our volume Understanding Origins with the following words : we thus submit that essay order and its origin may be thought of in a way that escapes both the temptation of ultimate grounding as reporting exogenous references. The key is in the discovery, for each case and in each domain but sharing in a common logic, of a morphogenetic process capable of self-grounding and self-distinction. An origin which is neither non-existent or elusive, nor ultimate ground or absolute reference dupuy and Varela, 1992,. . 7 Bringing those two defining characteristics together, the French intersubjectivists have been able to show that the triangular model can generate the kind of morphogenetic processes that are capable of self-grounding and self-distinction. As far as human affairs are concerned, we went even so far as to surmise that the converse is true, namely that the triangular model is the only one that has this capability ; in other words, a necessary condition to escape the subject-object dichotomy. 8 On all this it clearly appeared to us that Smiths social and moral philosophy was an extremely brilliant and profound precursor. The reading i am going to propose of a specific but crucial point in The Theory of Moral Sentiments is consistent with both the triangular model of human desire and the autopoietic conception of the social order. Naturally it could be objected that we are reading an eighteenth century work through the lenses of theories that were born two centuries later. To this two responses can be put forward. Firstly, in intellectual history as well as in factual history, the future bestows meaning on the past and new ideas or facts inevitably create or fashion their own precursors. As long as human history continues, sartre once wrote, the meaning of the French revolution will always be in suspense.
In particular, it has welcomed the Chilean school of autopoiesis, especially one of its founders, the late Francisco varela. Varela and I have elaborated a critique of primordial online thinking, of which Elias Khalil 2003,. . 7 wrote, reading it in light of John Deweys transactional view: Varela and Dupuy argue that the source of primordial thinking is the obsession with origins. The most interesting idea of Varela/Dupuy is that the emergent unit or totality is neither reducible to, nor separable from, the components. They view the organism as involved in self-production, what they call autopoiesis, in the sense that organisms construct their own organization. They maintain that the self-referential character of the organism is also found in the social order, monetary system, living entities, cognition, and language. Varela/Dupuys idea of emergent organization seems to avoid the quest for primordial entities along the self-actional or interactional approaches.
We often call this third party the mediator. The triangular (or mimetic) structure of human desire is not an origin, and the vertices of the triangle the subject, the mediator, and the object are not pre-existing entities. It is only through their transactions that they mutually shape one another, giving the false impression that they were fully constituted from the start. The triangle is neither a reality nor a gestalt. It is a structural model of intersubjectivity, and cannot purport to be a grounding of sort. 5 That leads me to the second defining feature of the French school. The latter has been instrumental in developing and refining the theory of self-organizing systems as a way to bring closer social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences at a structural level.
Hume, david, internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Anglo-American counterparts should be mentioned at the outset, as they may explain the reason why French scholars have been more sensitive than others to some aspects of Smiths highly complex argumentation. 3, the first characteristic that professional defines the French school is its highly interdisciplinary concern to never separate social sciences from their historical, anthropological and philosophical conditions of possibility. The French intersubjectivists have situated themselves in the tradition of social anthropology that was brought to a premature halt by decades of structuralism and post-structuralism, and most especially, the French sociological school launched. Emile durkheim and Marcel mauss. In particular, they have been deeply influenced by the work of one of the latest representatives of this tradition, rené girard 1965 ; 1979 ; 1986. The latters fundamental anthropology is marked by its insistence on the role of the imitative nature of human desire in the constitution of social phenomena.
Seen in this light, it appears that the original sin of mainstream economics is its putting at the beginning the subjectobject relationship, as if the object was always already fully constituted when the always already fully constituted subject approaches. The relation between subject and object is seen as a straight line. To be fair, economics is not alone in this respect. Rousseaus notion of amour de soi, the hegeliano-marxist concept of need, the Freudian object-related libido, analytic philosophy of action and many more, all partake of the same conception. 4 The French intersubjectivists have challenged this conception. Human desire, they claim, is essentially triangular. It is always mediated, that is, imitated on someone elses desire.
Part V: Of the Influence of Custom and Fashion upon the sentiments of Moral Approbation and Disapprobation. I: Of the Influence of Custom and Fashion upon our Notions of beauty and Deformity. II: Of the Influence of Custom and Fashion upon Moral Sentiments. Part VI: Of the Character of Virtue section i of the Character of the Individual, so far as it affects his own Happiness; or of Prudence Introduction Section ii of the Character of the Individual, so far as it can affect the happiness of other. Mimetic desire and social autopoiesis 1, adam Smith is a universal genius and as such his legacy belongs to the whole world. Unfortunately, the diverse national traditions of commentary of his work have to a large extent remained opaque to one another.
The dominance of the English-speaking world in the Smith scholarship is a fait accompli for reasons easy to understand. However, as is well known, it was German philosophy that raised the issue of the compatibility between. The Theory of Moral, sentiments and, the wealth of Nations under the name das Adam, smith Problem. As for French social thought, it has always been very active in the discussion of Smith, but, especially as regards its more recent manifestations, it seems that very little of it has transpired in the English-speaking world if one is to judge from the almost. I should like to present here a novel interpretation of a key point of, the Theory of Moral Sentiments that is the result of the work of the so-called French Intersubjectivist School of Economics 2 2 This is the name given the French school by the. Two features characteristic of the French school by contrast with its.
Economists Forgot Smith and Darwin's Message: Society
Ii : Of the love of Praise, and of that of Praise-worthiness; and of the dread of Blame, and of that of Blame-worthiness. Iii: Of the Influences and Authority of Conscience. IV: Of the nature of Self-deceit, and of the Origin and Use of general reviews Rules. V: Of the influence and authority of the general Rules of Morality, and that they are justly regarded as the laws of the deity. VI: In what cases the sense of Duty ought to be the sole of our conduct; and in what cases it ought to concur with other motives. Part IV: Of the Effect of Utility upon the sentiment of Approbation. I: Of the beauty which the appearance of Utility bestows upon all the productions of art, and of the extensive influence of this species of beauty. II: Of the beauty which the appearance of Utility bestows upon the characters and actions of men; and how far the perception of this beauty may be regarded as one of the original principles of approbation.
Iii: Of the utility of this constitution of Nature. Section iii: Of the Influence of Fortune upon the sentiments of Mankind, with regard to the merit resume or Demerit of Actions. Introduction, i: Of the causes of this Influence of Fortune. II: Of the extent of this Influence of Fortune. Iii: Of the final cause of this Irregularity of Sentiments. Part iii: Of the foundation of our Judgments concerning our own Sentiments and Conduct, and of the sense of Duty. I : Of the Principle of Self-approbation and of Self-disapprobation.
that, in the same manner, whatever appears to be the proper object of resentment appears to deserve punishment. II: Of the proper objects of gratitude and resentment. Iii: That where there is no approbation of the conduct of the person who confers the benefit, there is little sympathy with the gratitude of him who receives it: and that, on the contrary, where there is no disapprobation of the motives of the person. IV: Recapitulation of the foregoing chapters. V: The analysis of the sense of Merit and Demerit. Section II: Of Justice and Beneficence. I: Comparison of those two virtues. II: Of the sense of Justice, of Remorse, and of the consciousness of Merit.
Introduction, i: Of the passions which take their origin from the body. II: Of those passions which take their origin from a particular turn or habit of the Imagination. Iii: Of the unsocial Passions, iv: Of the social Passions, v: Of the selfish Passions. Section iii: Of the Effects of Prosperity and Adversity upon the judgment of Mankind with regard to the Propriety of Action; and why it is more easy to obtain their Aprobation in the one state than in the other. I: That though our sympathy with sorrow is generally a more lively sensation than our sympathy with joy, it commonly falls much more short of the violence of what is naturally felt by the person reviews principally concerned. II: Of the origin of Ambition, and of the distinction of Ranks. Iii: Of the corruption of our moral sentiments, which is occasioned by this disposition to admire the rich and the great, and to despise or neglect persons of poor and mean condition.
Locke, john: Political Philosophy internet Encyclopedia
The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith 1759. Adam Smith 1759, part I: Of the Propriety of Action. Section I: Of the sense of Propriety. I: Of Sympathy, ii: Of the Pleasure of mutual Sympathy. Iii: Of the manner in which we judge of the propriety or impropriety of the affections of other men, by their concord or dissonance with out own. IV: The paper same subject continued, v: Of the amiable and respectable virtues. Section II: Of the degrees of the different Passions which are consistent with Propriety Introduction.