David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History of the Human Sciences 12 (3):71-86 (1999)
Smith is generally regarded as an individualist without qualification. This paper argues that his predominantly individualist policy prescription is rooted in a more complex philosophy. He sees nature, including human nature, as a vast machine supervised by God and designed to maximise human happiness. Human weaknesses, as well as strengths, display the wisdom of God and play their part in this scheme. While Smith pays lip service to justice, it is really social order that pre-occupies him, and within that, the defence of property. Individuals are valued as bearers of property. As persons, individuals are deceived by nature into acting in a socially beneficial way. In different ways Smith systematically denies the autonomy of the individual with respect to the whole of which he is part. For Smith, individual liberty is, not the end, but the means, of sustaining social order and property.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
A. Denis (2000). Epistemology, Observed Particulars and Providentialist Assumptions: The Fact in the History of Political Economy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (2):353-361.
Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson (2002). Perspectives and Parameterizations Commentary on Benjamin Kerr and Peter Godfrey-Smith's ``Individualist and Multi-Level Perspectives on Selection in Structured Populations''. Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):529-537.
Edward W. Coker (1990). Adam Smith's Concept of the Social System. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):139 - 142.
Amos Witztum (2005). Property Rights and the Right to the Fruits of One's Labor: A Note on Adam Smith's Jurisprudence. Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):279-289.
Adam Smith (1980). The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith: Iii: Essays on Philosophical Subjects: With Dugald Stewart's `Account of Adam Smith'. Oup Oxford.
David Wilson & William Dixon (2011). Das Adam Smith Problem - A Critical Realist Perspective. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):251-272.
Andy Denis (2005). The Invisible Hand of God in Adam Smith. Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 23 (A):1-32.
Craig Smith (2006). Adam Smith's Political Philosophy: The Invisible Hand and Spontaneous Order. Routledge.
Patricia H. Werhane (2000). Business Ethics and the Origins of Contemporary Capitalism: Economics and Ethics in the Work of Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 24 (3):185 - 198.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads28 ( #70,373 of 1,410,304 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #52,180 of 1,410,304 )
How can I increase my downloads?