Political Theory

The Confucian and Scottish Traditions on Moral Emotions and Responsibility


This conference compared the role of the passions in relation to character and self-cultivation in the Scottish Enlightenment and Chinese moral philosophy.


From Liberty Fund

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

by By Adam Smith
Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from…

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Additional Readings

Xunzi. A Translation and Study of the Complete Works, Volumes 1-3. Edited by John Knoblock. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988, 1990, 1994.

Confucius. Analects (with selections from traditional commentaries). Translated by Edward Slingerland. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2003.

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Hutcheson, Francis. An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. Edited by Wolfgang Leidhold. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2004.

Mengzi [Mencius (with selections from traditional commentaries)]. Translated by Bryan W. Van Norden. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2008.