Article ID: CBB287885002

Charles Darwin’s Theory of Moral Sentiments: What Darwin’s Ethics Really Owes to Adam Smith (2017)

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When we read the Origin, we cannot help but hear echoes of the Wealth of Nations. Darwin's "economy of nature" features a "division of labour" that leads to complexity and productivity. We should not, however, analyze Darwin's ethics through this lens. Darwin did not draw his economic ideas from Smith, nor did he base his ethics on an economic foundation. Darwin's ethics rest on Smith's notion from the Theory of Moral Sentiments of an innate human faculty of sympathy. Darwin gave this faculty an evolutionary interpretation and built on this foundation an ethics far removed from what is commonly supposed.

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Authors & Contributors
Allhoff, Fritz
Preece, Rod
Engels, Eve-Marie
Desmond, Adrian J.
Moore, James
Ward, Lee
Journals
History of European Ideas
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Journal of the History of Ideas
Annals of the History and Philosophy of Biology
Zygon
Journal of the History of Biology
Publishers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Lexington Books
Palgrave Macmillan
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
University of Chicago Press
Concepts
Moral philosophy
Science and ethics
Science and religion
Evolution and ethics
Vivisection
Darwinism
People
Darwin, Charles Robert
Huxley, Thomas Henry
Smith, Adam
Locke, John
Diderot, Denis
Moore, G. E.
Places
Great Britain
England
France
Times
19th century
21st century
18th century
20th century
20th century, early
17th century
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