The Impartial Spectator in Adam Smith and Jane Austen


This conference compared Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments with special attention to the idea of the impartial spectator compared to the partial narrative offered by Elizabeth Bennet.


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

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Edited by Donald Gray. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.