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Author Stueber, Karsten R.
Source Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Content type Text
Publisher Mimesis Edizioni, Milano
File Format HTM / HTML
Date Created 2015-09-09
Copyright Year ©2015
Language German ♦ English ♦ Italian
Subject Domain (in LCC) B
Subject Keyword Moral Sentimentalism ♦ Empathy ♦ Philosophy. Psychology. Religion ♦ Adam Smith ♦ Michael Slote ♦ Jesse Prinz ♦ David Hume
Abstract Moral sentimentalism has seen a tremendous rise in popularity in recent years within contemporary meta-ethical theory, since it promises to delineate the normative domain in a naturalistically unobjectionable manner. After showing that both Michael Slote and Jesse Prinz’s sentimentalist positions fall short of fulfilling this promise, this essay argues that contemporary sentimentalists are advised to take their clues from Adam Smith rather than David Hume. While Hume was absolutely right in emphasizing the importance of empathy in the moral context, his official description of the mechanisms of empathy as articulated in the Treatise falls fundamentally short for this purpose. Adam Smith’s conception of empathy, a conception that in fact is closer to some of Hume’ remarks in the Enquiry rather than the Treatise, as essentially involving perspective taking and his appeal to the impartial spectator perspective proves to be more fertile. Only in this manner do sentimentalists have any hope of accounting for the intersubjective normative and obligatory dimension of moral judgments.
ISSN 20394667
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2015-04-01
e-ISSN 20394667
Journal Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 1
Page Count 13
Starting Page 24
Ending Page 36


Source: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)