Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Impartial Spectator and Moral Judgment

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Abstract

This paper addresses the impartial spectator and moral judgment in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments in terms of the framework of the sociality of mankind. It considers important revisions across the editions of The Theory of Moral Sentiments to both the impartial spectator model and the appraisal of Stoicism. It argues that understanding the impartial spectator model in terms of ethical dialogism, or a process of moral deliberation, regarding the attempt to reconcile personal sentiment with impersonal impartiality, helps to resolve some much debated questions about the impartial spectator.