The impartiality of Smith’s spectator: The problem of parochialism and the possibility of social critique

@article{Golemboski2018TheIO,
  title={The impartiality of Smith’s spectator: The problem of parochialism and the possibility of social critique},
  author={David Golemboski},
  journal={European Journal of Political Theory},
  year={2018},
  volume={17},
  pages={174 - 193}
}
Amartya Sen has argued that contractarian theories of justice inevitably fall victim to the problem of parochialism, for the reason that they rely on a problematically narrow conception of impartiality. Sen finds a corrective model of impartiality in Adam Smith’s figure of the impartial spectator. In this essay, I argue that Sen’s invocation of the spectator to resolve the problem of parochialism is unfounded, as the impartial spectator is fundamentally a product of socialization that serves to… Expand
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