Smith’s approach to moral philosophy has a number of advantages over those of his fellow moral sentimentalists. In addition, none of Smith’s predecessors developed such an essentially social conception of the self. Smith explicitly criticizes Epicurus, the great classical ancestor of utilitarianism, for trying “to account for all appearances from as few principles as possible”. Smith explicitly rejects the idea that our assessments or decisions should aim at the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Smith clearly rejects any local limit to the reach of moral demands. Moral philosophers need not be concerned solely with the grounds of morality, however. There are indeed philosophers who reject the very idea that philosophy is well-suited to offer justifications. Smith was a moral phenomenologist, and at that he was as good as any philosopher before him or since.