David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Recently, economists have re-discovered the fact of the cultural embeddedness of institutions. This raises the question whether there are transcultural universals of institutions and institutional design. The paper proposes that such universals cannot possibly be empirical givens, but have to be continuously created through transcultural discourse. I take a first step by putting family resemblances in the moral and social philosophy of Adam Smith and the Conficians into the context of the evolution of Western culture and economics. The tour d'horizon starts with the thesis that the biased perception of Smith (neglecting the moral philosopher) in economics mirrors its cultural embeddedness into what sociologist Norbert Elias has called the homo clausus construct in Western societies. I continue with a survey of most recent research in behavioral, institutional, and evolutionary economics which clearly prove the fallacies of the homo clausus assumptions of individual autonomy. This explains the recent revival of interest in the Theory of Moral Sentiments on part of economists. Indeed, many Smithian insights can be supported by the recent advances in economic research. One fascinating implication is that opening up a transcultural discourse between Western and Eastern moral philosophy might show the way towards a transcultural foundation of institutions. A number of family resemblances between Smith and Confucius are presented. I conclude by highlighting some contentious issues between China and the West in the global economy, where the transition to a moral economy with Smithian and Confucian foundations might help to find workable solutions.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Harvey Siegel (1999). Multiculturalism and the Possibility of Transcultural Educational and Philosophical Ideals. Philosophy 74 (3):387-409.
Seumas Miller (2010). The Moral Foundations of Social Institutions: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge University Press.
Adam Smith (1948). Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy. New York, Hafner Pub. Co..
Adam Smith (1790/2006). The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Dover Publications.
Wei-Bin Zhang (1999). On Adam Smith and Confucius: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Analects. Nova Science Publishers.
David Wilson & William Dixon (2011). Das Adam Smith Problem - A Critical Realist Perspective. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):251-272.
Patrick R. Frierson (2006). Adam Smith and the Possibility of Sympathy with Nature. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):442–480.
Peter Minowitz (1993). Profits, Priests, and Princes: Adam Smithʼs Emancipation of Economics From Politics and Religion. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #181,438 of 1,696,461 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?