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By Charles L. Griswold Jr.

Even though Adam Smith is frequently considered at the present time as an economist, he used to be in truth (as his nice contemporaries Hume, Burke, Kant, and Hegel famous) an unique and insightful philosopher whose paintings covers a big territory together with ethical philosophy, political economic system, rhetorical concept, aesthetics, and jurisprudence. Charles Griswold has written the 1st accomplished philosophical learn of Smith's ethical and political inspiration. Griswold units Smith's paintings within the context of the continued debate concerning the nature and survival of the Enlightenment, and relates it to present discussions in ethical and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation in addition to feedback of historic philosophy, and his conscientiously balanced protection of a liberal and humane ethical and political outlook, also are explored. it is a significant reassessment of a key determine in modernity that would be of specific curiosity to philosophers and political and criminal theorists, in addition to historians of principles, rhetoric, and political economic climate.

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1-14. READING SMITH: INTERPRETIVE ASSUMPTIONS 27 possess organic unity. This is not to say that his works are miraculously detached from history. My principle of interpretation is not circular; it is falsifiable in specific cases and compatible with the observation that at a particular juncture Smith is uncritically echoing some social or historical tradition, or has made a mistake, or simply has not made up his mind. Although I shall argue that there are such junctures, my approach also opens up the possibility that what seems to be a mistake, or a historical reflex, or an ambiguity is in fact an interesting conceptual or argumentative move on Smith's part.

Fleischacker, A Third Concept ofLiberty:Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith (Princeton: Princeton University Press, in press) will make an important contribution. 26 INTRODUCTION ciation of the ironies and dissatisfactions associated with them and that, in his virtues and shortcomings, he is important to our understanding of modernity and of ourselves. I undertake this study of Adam Smith against the backdrop of the Enlightenment and indicate, where appropriate, connections with classical as well as current concerns.

Stewart (New York: St. Martin's, 1986), p. 30. 2O INTRODUCTION unintended result of a doctrine of sympathy, which was originally intended to produce social cohesiveness. Smith's analysis of sympathy, imagination, and the emotions helps us to understand the possible internal instability of sympathy and what is required to avoid that instability. Because of his own keen awareness of the ironies and shadows of the Enlightenment, Smith is in a position to offer us valuable insights into the reasons why liberal Enlightenment social and institutional arrangements and ideals are not altogether at odds with the tradition of the virtues and of the communities based on virtues.

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