[영한] Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner.

아무리 이기적이라 해도 한 인간의 본성 안에는 어떤 명백한 원리가 있는데, 그 본성상의 원리 덕에 한 인간은 타인의 행운과 불운에 대해 관심을 갖고, 설령 타인의 행복을 바라보는 즐거움 말고는 자신에게 아무것도 생기는 게 없음에도, 타인의 행복이 자신에게도 필요하다고 여기게 된다. 이런 종류 중 하나인 연민과 동정은 타인의 비참함에 대해 느끼는 감정으로서, 그 비참한 모습을 보거나 아주 생생하게 그것을 인식할 때 생긴다.

··· Pity and compassion are words appropriated to signify our fellow-feeling with the sorrow of others. Sympathy, though its meaning was, perhaps, originally the same, may now, however, without much impropriety, be made use of to denote our fellow-feeling with any passion whatever.

연민과 동정은 타인의 슬픔을 나누려는 우리의 동류감정을 가리키기에 적합한 말이다. 애초 같은 뜻이었는지 모르지만, 공감이란 말은 이제 모든 정념에 대한 우리의 동류감정을 드러내는 데 사용되며, 그것이 그리 부적절한 일은 아닌 것 같다.

··· On the other hand, what noble propriety and grace do we feel in the conduct of those who, in their own case, exert that recollection and self-command which constitute the dignity of every passion, and which bring it down to what others can enter into! We are disgusted with that clamorous grief, which, without any delicacy, calls upon our compassion with sighs and tears and importunate lamentations. But we reverence that reserved, that silent and majestic sorrow, which discovers itself only in the swelling of the eyes, in the quivering of the lips and cheeks, and in the distant, but affecting, coldness of the whole behaviour. It imposes the like silence upon us.

한편, 자신들이 닥친 일을 곱씹고 절제하고자 애를 쓰며, 모든 정념을 고귀하게 만들고 감정을 누그러뜨려 타인이 관여할 수 있게끔 이끄는 이들의 행위는 얼마나 고매하며 영예로운가! 사려깊음 따위는 전혀 없이, 탄식과 눈물, 끈덕진 울부짖음으로 동정을 유발하려는 요란한 비탄에 우리는 역겨움을 느낀다. 그러나 우리는 절제된, 차분하고 장엄한 슬픔을 존중한다. 그 슬픔은 부은 눈과 파르르 떨리는 입술과 뺨으로 그 모습을 드러낼 뿐이며, 모든 행동거지에 냉정을 잃지 않기에 오히려 감명을 준다. 우리는 그것을 보며 침묵에 휩싸인다.

··· And hence it is, that to feel much for others and little for ourselves, that to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature; and can alone produce among mankind that harmony of sentiments and passions in which consists their whole grace and propriety.

그리하여 타인에 대해서는 더 많이 느끼고 우리 자신에 대해서는 덜 느끼면, 우리의 이기적 감정은 자제하고 우리의 이타적 감정은 방임하면, 인간 본성은 완성에 이를 것이다. 그러면 인류 사이에는 감정과 정념이 조화를 이룰 것이며 전 인류에게 영예롭고 적정한 상태가 조성될 것이다.

In any such case, what is needed for there to be some correspondence of sentiments between the spectator and his companion is for the spectator to try his hardest to put himself in the other man’s situation and to bring home to himself every little detail of distress that could possibly have occurred to the sufferer. He must adopt the situation of his companion with all its tiniest details, and try to make as perfect as possible the imaginary change of situation on which his sympathy is based.

Even after all this, the spectator’s emotions won’t be as violent as the sufferer’s. Although people are naturally sympathetic, they never respond to what has happened to another person with the level of passion that naturally animates that person himself. [A couple of dozen times Smith refers to the latter as ‘the person principally concerned’. This will usually be replaced by the shorter ‘the sufferer’, a label that Smith also uses quite often.]

The imaginary change of situation on which their sympathy is based is only momentary. The thought of their own safety, the thought that they aren’t really the sufferers, continually pushes into their minds; and though this doesn’t prevent them from having a passion somewhat analogous to what the sufferer feels, it does prevent them from coming anywhere near to matching the level of intensity of his passion. The sufferer is aware of this, while passionately wanting a more complete sympathy. He longs for the relief that he can only get from the perfect concord of the spectators’ affections with his own. . . . But his only chance of getting this is to lower his passion to a level at which the spectators are capable of going along with him. He must flatten (if I may put it this way) the sharpness of his passion’s natural tone so as to bring it into harmony and concord with the emotions of the people he is with. What they feel will always be in some respects different from what he feels. Compassion can never be exactly the same as original sorrow, because the sympathizer’s secret awareness that he is only imagining being in the sufferer’s position doesn’t just lower the degree ·of intensity· of his sympathetic sentiment but also makes it somewhat different in kind. Still, it’s clear that these two sentiments correspond with one another well enough for the harmony of society. They won’t ever be unisons, but they can be concords, and this is all that is wanted or required. In order to produce this concord, nature teaches the spectators to take on the situation of the sufferer, and teaches the sufferer to go some way in taking on the situation of the spectators. Just as they are continually placing themselves in his situation and thereby experiencing emotions similar to his, so he is as constantly placing himself in their situation and thereby experiencing some degree of the coolness that he’s aware they will have regarding his fortune. They constantly think about what they would feel if they actually were the sufferers, and he is constantly led to imagine how he would be affected if he were one of the spectators. . . . The effect of this is to lower the violence of his passion, especially when he is in their presence and under their observation.

A result of this is that the mind is rarely so disturbed that the company of a friend won’t restore it to some degree of tranquillity. The breast is somewhat calmed and composed the moment we come into our friend’s presence. . . . We expect less sympathy from an ordinary acquaintance than from a friend; we can’t share with the acquaintance all the little details that we can unfold to a friend; so when we are with the acquaintance we calm down and try to fix our thoughts on the general outlines of our situation that he is willing to consider. We expect still less sympathy from a gathering of strangers, so in their presence we calm down even further, trying—as we always do—to bring down

The Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith 1: The Propriety of Action our passion to a pitch that the people we are with may be expected to go along with. We don’t just seem to calm down. If we are at all masters of ourselves, the presence of a mere acquaintance really will compose us more than that of a friend; and the presence of a gathering of strangers will compose us even more.

So, at any time when the mind has lost its tranquillity, the best cures are •society and •conversation. They are also the best preservatives of the balanced and happy frame of mind that is so necessary for self-satisfaction and enjoyment.

Scholarly recluses who are apt to sit at home brooding over either grief or resentment, though they may have more humaneness, more generosity, and a more delicate sense of honour, seldom possess the evenness of temperament that is so common among men of the world.