David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (4):339-355 (2012)
An individual is in the lowest phase of moral development if he thinks only of his own personal interest and has only his own selfish agenda in his mind as he encounters other humans. This lowest phase corresponds well with sixteenth century British moral egoism which reflects the rise of the new economic order. Adam Smith (1723–1790) wanted to defend this new economic order which is based on economic exchange between egoistic individuals. Nevertheless, he surely did not want to support the moral theory of British egoism. His book The Wealth of Nations suits well into the world view of British moral egoism, but in the book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he presents a moral theory which is the total opposite of moral egoism. Contemporary German intellectuals saw contradiction in Adam Smith’s moral (social) philosophy which they called as Das Adam - Smith - Problem . Smith himself didn’t think that there is any contradiction in a situation where in economic sphere (civil society) individual act egoistically and in ethical sphere (encounter with the imagined Other) he feels humanity and compassion toward his fellow men. Hegel was a passionate reader of Adam Smith and he acknowledged Das Adam - Smith - Problem . He set the task of his social philosophy to overcome this paradox. He wanted to create a theory of a social totality where economic egoism and feelings of humanity are not in contradiction. In the same time Hegel wanted to create a theory on Bildung process where human spirit develops from moral un-freedom (heteronomy) to moral freedom and maturity (autonomy) taking care both aspect of love and reason. In certain Hegel’s texts notion of recognition plays crucial role. That is why modern Hegelians Ludwig Siep, Axel Honneth and Robert Williams consider the notion of recognition to be elementary in Hegel’s threefold theory of developing human spirit from family via civil society to sittliche state . For Hegel family is a sphere where people love their “concrete other” and where feeling surpasses reason. Civil Society is a sphere of private contracts and economic exchanges where cold egoistic and calculative reason surpasses feelings. In the sphere of State the contradiction between family and Civil Society ( Das Adam - Smith - Problem ) is solved by “rational feeling”. According to Hegel State should protect citizens from alienating effect of egoistic reason of Civil Society and cultivate “family-feelings” to rational feelings which integrate citizen into “sittliche community” through reciprocal process of recognition. In this article I want to consider Hegelians Honneth’s and Williams’s relevance to the theory of moral development.
|Keywords||Axel Honneth Robert Williams Development of human morality|
|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
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (2000). Foundations of Natural Right: According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre. Cambridge University Press.
G. W. F. Hegel (1979). Phenomenology of Spirit. OUP Oxford.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1948/1988). Early Theological Writings. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1971). Hegel's Philosophy of Mind: Being Part Three of the 'Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences' (1830). Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Wilson & William Dixon (2011). Das Adam Smith Problem - A Critical Realist Perspective. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):251-272.
Robert Fudge (2009). Sympathy, Beauty, and Sentiment: Adam Smith's Aesthetic Morality. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):133-146.
D. D. Raphael (2007/2009). The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Sholomo Avineri (1986). The Paradox of Civil Society in the Structure of Hegel's Views of Sittlichkeit. Philosophy and Theology 1 (2):157-172.
Bart van Leeuwen (2006). Social Attachments as Conditions for the Condition of the Good Life? A Critique of Will Kymlicka's Moral Monism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (3):401-428.
Scott L. Newbert (2003). Realizing the Spirit and Impact of Adam Smith's Capitalism Through Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Ethics 46 (3):251 - 261.
Alejandra Mancilla (2009). Nonhuman Animals in Adam Smith's Moral Theory. Between the Species 9.
Sungmoon Kim (2010). Beyond Liberal Civil Society: Confucian Familism and Relational Strangership. Philosophy East and West 60 (4):476-498.
Noriaki Iwasa (2011). Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (33):323-352.
Knud Haakonssen (1981). The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith. Cambridge University Press.
Gerald F. Gaus (2010). The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World. Cambridge University Press.
Edward W. Coker (1990). Adam Smith's Concept of the Social System. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):139 - 142.
Maria A. Carrasco (2012). Adam Smith: Self-Command, Practical Reason and Deontological Insights. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):391-414.
Added to index2011-11-08
Total downloads10 ( #137,947 of 1,096,442 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #87,121 of 1,096,442 )
How can I increase my downloads?