•  8
    Here is an appealing position: one reason to pursue interaction with people from backgrounds that differ from our own is that doing so can improve our moral judgment. As some scholars have noticed, this position seems pedigreed by support from the famed philosophers of human sociability, David Hume and Adam Smith. But regardless of whether Hume or Smith personally held anything like the appealing position, neither might have had theoretically grounded reason to do so. In fact, both philosophers …Read more
  •  26
    Working Out the Details of Hume and Smith on Sympathy
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (4): 683-696. 2018.
    many scholars have had interesting things to say about the relationship between Adam Smith's and David Hume's theories of sympathy. The diversity of angles taken in these discussions demonstrates how fertile a topic of investigation this relationship is. There have been excellent discussions of the role that sympathy plays in each philosopher's account of moral judgment,1 of how sympathy functions in their attacks on egoism,2 of how to situate their theories in relation to the concept of empathy…Read more
  •  1
    Francis Hutcheson: Selected Philosophical Writings (edited book)
    Imprint Academic. 2014.
    Known today mainly as a teacher of Adam Smith and an influence on David Hume, Francis Hutcheson was a first-rate thinker whose work deserves study on its own merit. While his most important contribution to the history of ideas was likely his theory of an innate sense of morality, Hutcheson also wrote on a wide variety of other subjects, including art, psychology, law, politics, economics, metaphysics, and logic. Spanning his entire literary career, this collection brings together selections from…Read more
  •  30
    Ways of desiring mutual sympathy in Adam Smith's moral philosophy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (4): 614-634. 2016.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I address the question of what we are really after when we seek Smithian mutual sympathy; I also show how the answer I propose can be used to illuminate a crucial feature of Smith's moral philosophy. The first section develops a Smithian response to egoistic interpretations of the desire for mutual sympathy. The second section identifies a number of different self- and other-relevant ways in which one could desire mutual sympathy. Some of these different ways of desiring m…Read more
  •  64
    Relaxing a Tension in Adam Smith's Account of Sympathy
    Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2): 189-204. 2011.
    This paper attempts to relax the tension between Adam Smith's claim that sympathy involves an evaluative act of imaginative projection and his claim that sympathy involves a non-evaluative act of imaginative identification. The first section locates the tension specifically in the two different ways Smith depicts the stance adopted by the sympathizer. The second section argues that we can relax this tension by finding an important role for a non-evaluative stance in Smith's normative account of …Read more