Business ethics and the origins of contemporary capitalism: Economics and ethics in the work of Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 24 (3):185 - 198 (1991)
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Both Adam Smith and Herbert spencer, albeit in quite different ways, have been enormously influential in what we today take to be philosophies of modern capitalism. Surprisingly it is Spencer, not Smith, who is the individualist, perhaps an egoist, and supports a "night watchman" theory of the state. Smith's concept of political economy is a notion that needs to be revisited, and Spencer's theory of democratic workplace management offers a refreshing twist on contemporary libertarianism.



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Patricia Werhane
DePaul University

References found in this work

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Wealth of Nations.Adam Smith - 1976 - Hackett Publishing Company.
The Politics of Stakeholder Theory.R. Edward Freeman - 1994 - Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):409-421.

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