Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Max Scheler and Adam Smith on Sympathy

Abstract
Abstract

Recent efforts to theorize the role of emotions in political life have stressed the importance of sympathy, and have often recurred to Adam Smith to articulate their claims. In the early twentieth-century, Max Scheler disputed the salutary character of sympathy, dismissing it as an ultimately perverse foundation for human association. Unlike later critics of sympathy as a political principle, Scheler rejected it for being ill equipped to salvage what, in his opinion, should be the proper basis of morality, namely, moral value. Even if Scheler's objections against Smith's project prove to be ultimately mistaken, he had important reasons to call into question its moral purchase in his own time. Where the most dangerous idol is not self-love but illusory self-knowledge, the virtue of self-command will not suffice. Where identification with others threatens the social bond more deeply than faction, “standing alone” in moral matters proves a more urgent task.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Max Scheler and Adam Smith on Sympathy
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Max Scheler and Adam Smith on Sympathy
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Max Scheler and Adam Smith on Sympathy
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael L. Frazer , The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Bryan Garsten , Saving Persuasion: A Defense of Rhetoric and Judgment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006)

Donald Winch , Adam Smith's Politics: An Essay in Historiographic Revision [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978], 160

Jeffrey Verhey , The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth and Mobilization in Germany [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000]

Zachary Davis , “The Values of War and Peace: Max Scheler's Political Transformations,” Symposium 16, no. 2 (2012): 128–49

Karol Wojtyla ( Pope John Paul II), The Acting Person (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1979)

Remy Debes , “From Einfühlung to Empathy,” in Sympathy: A History, ed. Eric Schliesser (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 286321

Elisa Aaltola , “Varieties of Empathy and Moral Agency,” Topoi 33, no. 1 (2013): 243–53

Zachary Davis , “A Phenomenology of Political Apathy: Scheler on the Origins of Mass Violence,” Continental Philosophy Review 42, no. 2 (2009): 149–69

Christel Fricke and Dagfinn Føllesdal , Intersubjectivity and Objectivity in Adam Smith and Edmund Husserl: A Collection of Essays (Frankfurt: Ontos, 2012)

Matt Zwolinski , “The Separateness of Persons and Liberal Theory,” Journal of Value Inquiry 42, no. 2 (2008): 147–65

Samuel Fleischacker , “Adam Smith and Cultural Relativism,” Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 4, no. 2 (2011): 33

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Review of Politics
  • ISSN: 0034-6705
  • EISSN: 1748-6858
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 69 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 136 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 4th July 2017 - 25th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.