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By Fonna Forman-Barzilai

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This 2010 textual content pursues Adam Smith's perspectives on ethical judgement, humanitarian care, trade, justice and foreign legislations either in ancient context and during a twenty-first-century cosmopolitan lens, making this an immense contribution not just to Smith reviews but additionally to the background of cosmopolitan inspiration and to modern cosmopolitan discourse itself. Forman-Barzilai breaks flooring, demonstrating the spatial texture of Smith's ethical psychology and the methods he believed that actual, affective and cultural distance constrain the identities, connections and moral tasks of contemporary advertisement humans. Forman-Barzilai emphasizes his resistance to this type of relativism, ethical insularity and cultural chauvinism that too usually accompany localist evaluations of cosmopolitan proposal this present day. it is a interesting, revisionist examine that integrates the views of highbrow heritage, ethical philosophy, political idea, cultural conception, diplomacy thought and political economic system, and may charm around the humanities and social sciences.

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Additional info for Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Theory (Ideas in Context)

Sample text

Modernity was never easy or uncomplicated for him. He did believe that a free market economy, supplemented by appropriate political and social institutions and policies, was modernity’s best hope for general well-being. 13 But he also elaborated the dangers of commercial culture in detail and intensity matched only by Karl Marx himself. 14 But at the same time, he echoed JeanJacques Rousseau’s counter-Enlightenment claims about the hypocrisies of modern happiness, charging that commercial life rested on a pervasive self-deception about our needs and our happiness, that it tended to corrupt our moral sentiments by encouraging vanity and conspicuous greed, and that it sapped our magnanimity and public-spiritedness.

Much like cosmopolitans today, he was uncomfortable with a thickly cultural view of morality, especially when particular moral cultures produced conventions that disturbed him – he frequently pointed to the examples of infant exposure, slavery and empire; and he linked the problems of “civil and ecclesiastical” faction and fanaticism to the same sort of cultural pathology. But he also seemed to include the lesser vices of modern profligacy and corruption in his list of disturbing cultural habits.

In other words, 44 45 A note of gratitude to Bill Connolly for being first to suggest that I pursue the “cultural” implications of Smith’s project. See Fonna Forman-Barzilai, “Smith on ‘Connexion’, Culture and Judgment,” in New Voices on Adam Smith, ed. Leonidas Montes and Eric Schliesser (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 89–114. For help in conceptualizing Smith’s cultural anthropology I am indebted to Samuel Fleischacker, On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), pp.

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