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Theory of Moral Sentiments Paperback – July 28, 2008
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"One of the truly outstanding books in the intellectual history of the world...A global manifesto of profound significance to the interdependent world in which we live. It is indeed a book of amazing reach and contemporary relevance."
-Amartya Sen, from the Introduction --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) lays the foundation for a general system of morals, and is a text of central importance in the history of moral and political thought. By means of the idea of sympathy and the mental construct of an impartial spectator, Smith formulated highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment and the virtues. This volume offers a new edition of the text with helpful notes for the student reader, together with a substantial introduction that sets the work in its philosophical and historical context. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
First of all the book. I am reading Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments the second time and the second time preparing my MyeBooks notes on it. It will be interesting to compare those two in my system of no less than the Revolution in Learning. As professor of economics I have also read Adam Smith's even more famous book The Wealth of Nations, even if half a century later than I should have. His easily recognizable very personal way of writing and suffocating the reader with, least to say, proliferous zunami of detailed text is at the same time entertaining and really suffocating. But also completely convincing. They say about some political leaders that they have the Nile or an Amazon of thoughts. Adam Smith, too. He would deserve of being a big political boss. As he in reality also is. The best economic policy is conducted on the basis of his still valid thoughts on economics, which in turn are based on his Theory of Moral Sentiments presented in this book. No need, and no competence to go into the mydiad of details here. Overwhelming.
Secondly, some words about my first experience with Amazon's new improvements of Kindle. During the five years I have been using Kindle, it has changed, improved a lot. Many times I have had the feeling that Amazon has taken into account the suggestions I have made in my feedback. Perhaps, perhaps not needed, because they have been so obvious that anybody could have requested them and Amazon's skilled programmers could have worked on their own.
Two big improvements I see first time in this book. I do not know the proper term, but name it the 'surrounded screen'. And the X-ray property. By introducing the ingenious toggling between full screen and surrounded screen has brought to the ebook one of the still missing properties of paper book: 'leafing around'. Making the reading a cosy event. I would say that I alternate big screen and surrounded about half and half of the time. It is astonishing that the surrounded can really be read without trouble although it is given with remarkably smaller font. l use the surrounded for speedy reading, seem to grasp the whole screen with one glance, somehow picking the beef quicly, or use surrounded for speeding uninteresting spots of text.
The X-ray property is an excellent supplement for constant looking up in Wiki. An improvement to lookups, because there are summaries of several lookups and sorted list of persons, events etc. But Amazon could easily take a couple of further cock steps forwards. Google maps could be provided in connection to place names. With the fine properties of measuring distance, showing road and giving prepared information in pictures and summaries.
But then there is not but a cock step, but a big leap to be made by Amazon to make Kindle another Revolution of Learning. Not just looking up words in dictionaries but also saving for future needs and memorizing the word definitions just as I have made in MyeBooks. [...]
Five stars without any hesitation.
Though several examples of his brilliance have been mentioned by other comments, two uncited instances/traits of this book are probably worth mentioning:
1.) His insights on the system of sympathy. His analysis on sympathy is about as clear and concise as one could get, and is definitely enlightening to those not well learnt in moral philosophy. Symphathy, accordingly, is the basis for much of human emotions, and he argued forcefully on how the system of sympathy works in shaping our bahaviors and emotions, and how sympathy works differently when perceived situations changed. However, his usage of the word `sympathy' seems to cover the domain of both `compassion' and `sympathy' in normal man's vocabulary, indirectly suggesting that both are actually the same sentiment but differed because of different standpoints. Though so, one of his greatest contributions to moral philosophy is in the construction of this descriptive system of sympathy.
2.) His ability to strip twisted logics into manageable pieces and reconstruct them into good logic. For example, he explained that the doctrine of Bernard Mandeville, who "by means of this sophistry that he establishes his favorite conclusion, that private vice is public benefits." It is obvious from Adam Smith's point of view that private vice is not equal to public benefit, but because of the sophistication of the logical deduction involved, the less skillful or diligent minded people will fall prey to it. A quote from Part VI Section VII "These, described and exaggerated by the lively and humorous, though coarse and rustic eloquence of Dr Mandeville, have thrown upon his doctrines an air of truth and probability which is very apt to impose upon the unskillful."
Anyway, there's lots of wisdom in this book, so read it slowly and only when you could focus your attention on it. There are some who find this book too long, but frankly it is not. Every sentence makes a point.
Lastly, a favorite quote for your enjoyment:
"Though none but the weakest and most worthless of mankind are much delighted with false glory, yet, by a strange inconsistency, false ignominy is often capable of mortifying those who appear the most resolute and determined."
I think that you guys should decide whether you are really sellng real book or not, and/or divide them from this kind of book jokes. out together by people who have no idea what they are doing.
So, as you can see my order this time was not satisfactory at all. One book did not arrive, another was of inferior quality.