Front Page Titles (by Subject) introduction - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 1 The Theory of Moral Sentiments
introduction - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 1 The Theory of Moral Sentiments 
The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie, vol. I of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).
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- Key to Abbreviations and References
- Works of Adam Smith
- 1.: Formation of the Theory of Moral Sentiments
- 2.: Evolution
- 3.: Reception
- 4.: The Text
- Editorial Policy
- Part I: Of the Propriety of Action Consisting of Three Sections
- Section I: Of the Sense of Propriety
- Chap. I: Of Sympathy
- A Chap. II: Of the Pleasure of Mutual Sympathy
- Chap. III: Of the Manner In Which We Judge of the Propriety Or Impropriety of the Affections of Other Men, By Their Concord Or Dissonance With Our Own
- Chap. IV: The Same Subject Continued
- Chap. V: Of the Amiable and Respectable Virtues
- Section II: Of the Degrees of the Different Passions Which Are Consistent With Propriety
- Chap. I: Of the Passions Which Take Their Origin From the Body
- Chap. II: Of Those Passions Which Take Their Origin From a Particular Turn Or Habit of the Imagination
- Chap. III: Of the Unsocial Passions
- Chap. IV.: Of the Social Passions
- Chap. V: Of the Selfish Passions
- Section III: Of the Effects of Prosperity and Adversity Upon the Judgment of Mankind With Regard to the Propriety of Action; and Why It Is More Easy to Obtain Their Approbation In the One State Than In the Other
- Chap. I: That Though Our Sympathy With Sorrow Is Generally a More Lively Sensation Than Our Sympathy With Joy, It Commonly Falls Much More Short of the Violence of What Is a Naturally a Felt By the Person Principally Concerned
- Chap. II: Of the Origin of Ambition, and of the Distinction of Ranks
- A Chap. III: Of the Corruption of Our Moral Sentiments, Which Is Occasioned By This Disposition to Admire the Rich and the Great, and to Despise Or Neglect Persons of Poor and Mean Condition
- Part II: Of Merit and Demerit; Or, of the Objects of Reward and Punishment Consisting of Three Sections
- Section I: Of the Sense of Merit and Demerit
- Chap. I 1: That Whatever Appears to Be the Proper Object of Gratitude, Appears to Deserve Reward; and That, In the Same Manner, Whatever Appears to Be the Proper Object of Resentment, Appears to Deserve Punishment
- Chap. II: Of the Proper Objects of Gratitude and Resentment
- Chap. III: That Where There Is No Approbation of the Conduct of the Person Who Confers the Benefit, There Is Little Sympathy With the Gratitude of Him Who Receives It: and That, On the Contrary, Where There Is No Disapprobation of the Motives of the Perso
- Chap. IV: Recapitulation of the Foregoing Chapters
- Chap. V: The Analysis of the Sense of Merit and Demerit
- Section II: Of Justice and Beneficence
- Chap. I: Comparison of Those Two Virtues
- Chap. II: Of the Sense of Justice, of Remorse, and of the Consciousness of Merit
- Chap. III: Of the Utility of This Constitution of Nature
- Section III: Of the Influence of Fortune Upon the Sentiments of Mankind, With Regard to the Merit Or Demerit of Actions
- Chap. I: Of the Causes of This Influence of Fortune
- Chap. II: Of the Extent of This Influence of Fortune
- Chap. III: Of the Final Cause of This Irregularity of Sentiments
- Part III: Of the Foundation of Our Judgments Concerning Our Own Sentiments and Conduct, and of the Sense of Duty a Consisting of One Section a
- B Chap. I B: C of the Principle of Self–approbation and of Self–disapprobation C
- A Chap II: Of the Love of Praise, and of That of Praise–worthiness; and of the Dread of Blame, and of That of Blame–worthiness
- A Chap. III: Of the Influence and Authority of Conscience
- A Chap. IV: Of the Nature of Self–deceit, and of the Origin and Use of General Rules
- A Chap. V A: of the Influence and Authority of the General Rules of Morality, and That They Are Justly Regarded As the Laws of the Deity
- A Chap. Vi A: In What Cases the Sense of Duty Ought to Be the Sole Principle of Our Conduct; and In What Cases It Ought to Concur With Other Motives
- Part IV: Of the Effect of Utility Upon the Sentiment of Approbation a Consisting of One Section a
- B Chap. I B: of the Beauty Which the Appearance of Utility Bestows Upon All the Productions of Art, and of the Extensive Influence of This Species of Beauty
- A Chap. Ii A: of the Beauty Which the Appearance of Utility Bestows Upon the Characters and Actions of Men; and How Far the Perception of This Beauty May Be Regarded As One of the Original Principles of Approbation
- Part V: Of the Influence of Custom and Fashion Upon the Sentiments of Moral Approbation and Disapprobation a Consisting of One Section a
- B Chap. 1 B: of the Influence of Custom and Fashion Upon Our Notions of Beauty and Deformity
- A Chap. Ii A: of the Influence of Custom and Fashion Upon Moral Sentiments
- A Part VI: Of the Character of Virtue Consisting of Three Sections
- A a Section I: Of the Character of the Individual, So Far As It Affects His Own Happiness; Or of Prudence a
- Section II: Of the Character of the Individual, So Far As It Can Affect the Happiness of Other People
- Chap. I.: Of the Order In Which Individuals Are Recommended By Nature to Our Care and Attention
- Chap. II: Of the Order In Which Societies Are By Nature Recommended to Our Beneficence
- Chap. III: Of Universal Benevolence
- Section III: Of Self–command
- Conclusion of the Sixth Part
- Part VII: Of Systems of Moral Philosophy Consisting of Four Sections
- Section I: A of the Questions Which Ought to Be Examined In a Theory of Moral Sentiments a
- Section II: A of the Different Accounts Which Have Been Given of the Nature of Virtue a
- Chap. I: Of Those Systems Which Make Virtue Consist In Propriety
- Chap. II: Of Those Systems Which Make Virtue Consist In Prudence
- Chap. III: Of Those Systems Which Make Virtue Consist In Benevolence
- Chap. IV: Of Licentious Systems
- Section III: Of the Different Systems Which Have Been Formed Concerning the Principle of Approbation
- Chap. I: Of Those Systems Which Deduce the Principle of Approbation From Self–love
- Chap. II: Of Those Systems Which Make Reason the Principle of Approbation
- Chap. III: Of Those Systems Which Make Sentiment the Principle of Approbation
- Section IV: Of the Manner In Which Different Authors Have Treated of the Practical Rules of Morality
- Appendix I: Minor Variants
- Appendix II: The Passage On Atonement, and a Manuscript Fragment On Justice
- Addendum to Introduction, Pp. 32–3
1Whatever praise or blame can be due to any action, must belong either, first, to the intention or affection of the heart, from which it proceeds; or, secondly, to the external action or movement of the body, which this affection gives occasion to; or, lastly, to the good or bad consequences, which actually, and in fact, proceed from it. These three different things constitute the whole nature and circumstances of the action, and must be the foundation of whatever quality can belong to it.
2That the two last of these three circumstances cannot be the foundation of any praise or blame, is abundantly evident; nor has the contrary ever been asserted by any body. The external action or movement of the body is often the same in the most innocent and in the most blameable actions. He who shoots a bird, and he who shoots a man, both of them perform the same external movement: each of them draws the trigger of a gun. The consequences which actually, and in fact, happen to proceed from any action, are, if possible, still more indifferent either to praise or blame, than even the external movement of the body. As they depend, not upon the agent, but upon fortune, they cannot be the proper foundation for any sentiment, of which his character and conduct are the objects.
3The only consequences for which he can be answerable, or by which he can deserve either approbation or disapprobation of any kind, are those which were someway or other intended, or those which, at least, show some agreeable or disagreeable quality in the intention of the heart, from which he acted. To the intention or affection of the heart, therefore, to the propriety or impropriety, to the beneficence or hurtfulness of the design, all praise or blame, all approbation or disapprobation, of any kind, which can justly be bestowed upon any action, must ultimately belong.
4When this maxim is thus proposed, in abstract and general terms, there is nobody who does not agree to it. Its self–evident justice is acknowledged by all the world, and there is not a dissenting voice among all mankind. Every body allows, that how different soever the accidental, the unintended and unforeseen consequences of different actions, yet, if the intentions or affections from which they arose were, on the one hand, equally proper and equally beneficent, or, on the other, equally improper and equally malevolent, the merit or demerit of the actions is still the same, and the agent is equally the suitable object either of gratitude or of resentment.
5But how well soever we may seem to be persuaded of the truth of this equitable maxim, when we consider it after this manner, in abstract, yet when we come to particular cases, the actual consequences which happen to proceed from any action, have a very great effect upon our sentiments concerning its merit or demerit, and almost always either enhance or diminish our sense of both. Scarce, in any one instance, perhaps, will our sentiments be found, after examination, to be entirely regulated by this rule, which we all acknowledge ought entirely to regulate them.
6This irregularity of sentiment, which every body feels, which scarce any body is sufficiently aware of, and which nobody is willing to acknowledge, I proceed now to explain; and I shall consider, first, the cause which gives occasion to it, or the mechanism by which nature produces it; secondly, the extent of its influence; and, last of all, the end which it answers, or the purpose which the Author of nature seems to have intended by it.