The Moral Sense

The Moral Sense, written by James Q. Wilson, disagrees with previous philosophers such as Marx and Hobbes as it illustrates that all humans are capable of potential good.On the other hand, Marx and Hobbes pointed out that any acts of kindness come from the self interest of the individual.Wilson believes that humans have a connection between their morals and their human nature.This connection opposes that of previous philosophers for they separated the theories of human nature and morals.This conclusion by Wilson expresses his belief that all individuals have the skills and talents to be an all-round good person.
Wilson introduces the four moral sentiments of sympathy, fairness, self-control, and duty.However, sympathy is the strongest sentiment for it is the basis for the other three sentiments to be formed.Following Adam Smith, Wilson favers that sympathy serves both as an important standard for moral judgments and as a motive for moral action:feeling another's pain, we find ourselves compelled to alleviate his suffering or take revenge on his persecutor.Wilson identifies sympathy as "the human capacity for being affected by the feelings and experiences of others" (Wilson 30).Sympathy can be seen as a device to moderate human brutality and offensiveness.Situations like an old lady being robbed, excites sympathy and not just the thought of sympathy causes reaction.Humans have to feel an obligation to the situation in order to feel any sympathy for the situation.Without sympathy all the other sentiments would be extremely complicated and near close to impossible.For example, is someone was ignorant to the feelings and concerns of others, he would not strive for fairness, nor would he feel obligated to have self-control.Influencing Wilson, Adam Smith feels sympathy is the source of the human moral sense.Smith elaborates by stating that "the compassion of the spectator must arise alto…

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