Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 46, number 137, agosto 2014
Reinterpretación del espectador imparcial: impersonalidad utilitarista o respeto a la dignidad
[Reassessing the Role of the Impartial Spectator: Utilitarian Impersonality or Respect for Dignitiy]
María A. Carrasco
Facultad de Filosofía
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

mcarrasr@uc.cl

Abstract: During the Scottish Enlightenment, the “point of view of the spectator” was considered to be the adequate standpoint from where to make impartial moral judgments. This school of thought has often been seen as anticipating Utilitarianism. However, many interpreters are now saying that, despite their similar approaches to ethics, Hutcheson’s and Hume’s theories are proto-utilitarian while Smith’s is not. Indeed, Smith was the first important critic of Utilitarianism. In this paper I provide further reasons for Smith’s critical attitude to Utilitarianism by tracing it back to his specific account of the position of the impartial spectator: either a third-person or a second-person standpoint. This position generates different meta-ethical structures that determine, among other things, the meaning of the notion of impartiality.
Keywords: moral systems, second-person perspective, third-person perspective, Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith

Abstract in Spanish | PDF en Spanish (154 Kb)