Smith, Friedman, and Self-Interest in Ethical Society

Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (3):659-674 (2000)
Abstract
We examine the writings of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman regarding their interpretation and use of the concept of self-interest.We argue that neither Smith nor Friedman considers self-interest to be synonymous with selfishness and thus devoid of ethicalconsiderations. Rather, for both writers self-interest embodies an other-regarding aspect that requires individuals to moderate theiractions when others are adversely affected. The overriding virtue for Smith in governing individual actions is justice; for Friedman it isnon-coercion
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