Sophie de Grouchy's Letters on Sympathy: A Critical Engagement with Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments

ISBN : 9780190637095

Sophie de Grouchy
192 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Adam Smith, in his The Theory of Moral Sentiments, largely left his readers to develop his argument's full implications. Many philosophers famously did so, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and John Millar, among others, but less known are Sophie de Grouchy's own contributions, presented here alone in translation. Grouchy (1764-1822) published her Letters on Sympathy in 1798 together with her French translation of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. While Grouchy's Letters mainly engage critically with Smith's philosophical analysis of sympathy, they offer valuable perspectives and original thoughts about the relationship of emotional and moral development to legal, economic, and political reform. In particular, Grouchy sought to understand how the mechanisms of sympathy could help the development of new social and political institutions after the revolution. Her Letters further contain profound reflections on the dangers of demagoguery, the nature of tragedy, and the roles of love and friendship.

Though ostensibly a commentary on Smith, the Letters stand in their own right as significant and original contributions to political philosophy. This new translation by Sandrine Berges of a text by a forgotten female philosopher illuminates new inroads to Enlightenment and feminist thought and reveals insights that were far ahead of their time. The volume includes a critical introduction, explanatory notes, and a glossary of terms to provide critical and historical analysis for the novice reader.


Series Editors' Foreword
I. Preface and Acknowledgments
II. Note on the text and translation
III. Introduction
1. Life and Context
2. The Text
IV. Translation
4. Letter I
5. Letter II
6. Letter III
7. Letter IV
8. Letter V
9. Letter VI
10. Letter VII
11. Letter VIII
V. Glossary
VI. Further readings
VII. Bibliography


Sandrine Berges is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Bilkent University in Ankara. Her books include: The Routledge Companion to Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (2013) and A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics (Palgrave, 2015). She is also co-editor of The Social and Political Philosophy of Mary Wollstonecraft (Oxford University Press, 2017) and the forthcoming The Wollstonecraftian Mind with Eileen Hunt Botting and Alan Coffee (Routledge). Eric Schliesser is Professor of Political Science at The University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on early modern philosophy and sciences, including political economy as well as recent philosophy of economics. He is author of Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker (2017) and editor of Sympathy: A History (2015), The Oxford Handbook of Isaac Newton (forthcoming), and Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy (2016), all for Oxford University Press.