Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Fair and Impartial Spectator

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Abstract

Adam Smith’s metaphor of the impartial spectator is an essential element in understanding his model of the maturation process whereby people learn to follow general rules that honor the human sentiments of gratitude and resentment in others. Through the impartial spectator human action, subject to error, is governed by self-command. Smith’s model is presented in the form of a series of propositions.