Francis W. Hirst (essay date 1904)
SOURCE: "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," in Adam Smith, Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1904, pp. 46–67.
[In the following excerpt from a chapter on The Theory of Moral Sentiments in Hirst's full-length study of Smith's career, Hirst focuses on Smith's notion of virtue, discussing the primary components of his system of ethics, sympathy, and the conscience.]
… With all its faults, the Theory of Moral Sentiments is still one of the most instructive and entertaining of all our English treatises on ethics. There is plenty of warmth and colour. The argument is never bare; you follow its thread through a wondrous maze, till your perplexities are solved, and...
(The entire section is 5109 words.)