The purpose of this research is the problematisation in Adam Smith's moral philosophy of a classical question in the history of thought: what does it mean ‘to be human’ from a moral standpoint? In particular, I explored the relationship between the concepts of ‘human nature’ and ‘the self’ in order to reconstruct Smith’s theory of subjectivity, in the light of which I tried to show what it means ‘to be moral human beings’ in Smith’s philosophy. After providing a systematic reconstruction of Adam Smith’s conception of ‘human nature’ and ‘the self’ – exploring some aspects of Smith’s philosophy (e.g., sympathy, nature, human nature) and their empirical expressions (e.g., conduct) – I argued that, in Adam Smith’s work, the meaning of ‘moral human beings’ depends on the human being’s effort to live in harmony with oneself and the others. For Smith, this harmony can be reached by developing responsibly/morally one’s selfhood and satisfying «the most ardent desire» of human nature in society: the consciousness of being beloved or deservedly approved by oneself and the others. Finally, in Smith, ‘harmony with oneself and the others’ would be achieved in relation to a certain kind of awareness that can be possible when the human being tries to judge the conduct and tries to act according to the impartial spectator.

What does it mean ‘to be human’? Human nature and the self in Adam Smith’s moral philosophy.

BONFIGLIOLI, RICCARDO
2022

Abstract

The purpose of this research is the problematisation in Adam Smith's moral philosophy of a classical question in the history of thought: what does it mean ‘to be human’ from a moral standpoint? In particular, I explored the relationship between the concepts of ‘human nature’ and ‘the self’ in order to reconstruct Smith’s theory of subjectivity, in the light of which I tried to show what it means ‘to be moral human beings’ in Smith’s philosophy. After providing a systematic reconstruction of Adam Smith’s conception of ‘human nature’ and ‘the self’ – exploring some aspects of Smith’s philosophy (e.g., sympathy, nature, human nature) and their empirical expressions (e.g., conduct) – I argued that, in Adam Smith’s work, the meaning of ‘moral human beings’ depends on the human being’s effort to live in harmony with oneself and the others. For Smith, this harmony can be reached by developing responsibly/morally one’s selfhood and satisfying «the most ardent desire» of human nature in society: the consciousness of being beloved or deservedly approved by oneself and the others. Finally, in Smith, ‘harmony with oneself and the others’ would be achieved in relation to a certain kind of awareness that can be possible when the human being tries to judge the conduct and tries to act according to the impartial spectator.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Tesi di dottorato_Riccardo Bonfiglioli.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: What does it mean ‘to be human’? Human nature and the self in Adam Smith’s moral philosophy.
Tipologia: Tesi di dottorato
Dimensione 2.59 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.59 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/348737
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact