Ulrich Beck's best selling Risk Society established risk on the sociological agenda. It brought together a wide range of issues centering on environmental, health and personal risk, provided a rallying ground for researchers and activists in a variety of social movements and acted as a reference point for state and local policies in risk management. The Risk Society and Beyond charts the progress of Beck's ideas and traces their evolution. It demonstrates why the issues raised by Beck (...) reverberate widely throughout social theory and covers the new risks that Beck did not foresee, associated with the emergence of new technologies, genetic and cybernetic. The book is unique because it offers both an introduction to the main arguments in Risk Society and develops a range of critical discussions of aspects of this and other works of Beck. (shrink)
Adam Smith’s account of sympathy or ‘fellow feeling’ has recently become exceedingly popular. It has been used as an antecedent of the concept of simulation: understanding, or attributing mental states to, other people by means of simulating them. It has also been singled out as the first correct account of empathy. Finally, to make things even more complicated, some of Smith’s examples for sympathy or ‘fellow feeling’ have been used as the earliest expression of emotional contagion. The aim of (...) the paper is to suggest a new interpretation of Smith’s concept of sympathy and point out that on this interpretation some of the contemporary uses of this concept, as a precursor of simulation and empathy, are misleading. My main claim is that Smith's concept of sympathy, unlike simulation and empathy, does not imply any correspondence between the mental states of the sympathizer and of the person she is sympathizing with. (shrink)
This article leverages insights from the body of Adam Smith’s work, including two lesser-known manuscripts—the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Lectures in Jurisprudence —to help answer the question as to how companies should morally prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and stakeholder claims. Smith makes philosophical distinctions between justice and beneficence and perfect and imperfect rights, and we leverage those distinctions to speak to contemporary CSR and stakeholder management theories. We address the often-neglected question as to how far a (...) company should be expected to go in pursuit of CSR initiatives and we offer a fresh perspective as to the role of business in relation to stakeholders and to society as a whole. Smith’s moral insights help us to propose a practical framework of legitimacy in stakeholder claims that can help managers select appropriate and responsible CSR activities. (shrink)
The second edition of Andrew Skinner's essays has been updated to take account of his latest thinking on Adam Smith's system of social and moral science and his experience of teaching Smith to a student audience. The material from the first edition has been extensively rewritten in the light of recent scholarship, and four new essays have been included. Each essay can be read as a self-contained unit, supported by a full bibliography and notes; the book as a whole (...) expounds a single coherent argument which demonstrates how Smith's works are inter-related. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a (...) transcendent sanction. (shrink)
In this paper we reconsider Adam Smith’s ethics, what he means by self-interest and the role this plays in the famous “invisible hand.” Our efforts focus in part on the misreading of “the invisible hand” by certain economists with a view to legitimizing their neoclassical economic paradigm. Through exegesis and by reference to notions that are developed in Smith’s two major works, we deconstruct Smith’s ideas of conscience, justice, self-interest, and the invisible hand. We amplify Smith’s insistence, through his (...) notions of the virtues, that as human beings, and by analogy, organizations, we are intrinsically social, rather than selfish and or egoistically self-centered. Thus, we have responsibilities to and because of others. We conclude that such a managerialist preoccupation with shareholder value is challenged, if not completely refuted, by taking seriously the social character of Smith’s complex vision of commerce. (shrink)
What role should a motivation to do the right thing, read de dicto, play in the life of a virtuous agent? According to a prominent argument from Michael Smith, those who are only motivated by such a desire are moral fetishists. Since Smith’s argument, a number of philosophers have examined what role this desire would play in the life of the morally virtuous agent. My primary aim in this paper is an historical one. I will show that much of this (...) discussion can be found in Adam Smith’s The Theory of the Moral Sentiments (1764), published over two hundred years before Michael Smith’s The Moral Problem. I will then argue that there is an important insight to be found in Adam Smith’s book that is missing from the contemporary discussion. According to Adam Smith, while a de dicto desire to do the right thing can play an important role in the life of a virtuous agent, the person who is only ever motivated by this desire will often be epistemically disadvantaged compared to the person who possesses the appropriate sentiments. I will argue that Adam Smith’s claim is plausible given his own view of the moral sentiments as providing the foundation of morality. In addition, there is good reason to accept Smith’s claim even for those who do not accept his view of the foundational role of the moral sentiments. (shrink)
1. Introduction Geoff Cockfield, Ann Firth and John Laurent -/- 2. The Role of Thumos in Adam Smith’s System Lisa Hill -/- 3. Adam Smith’s Treatment of the Greeks in The Theory of Moral Sentiments: The Case of Aristotle Richard Temple-Smith -/- 4. Adam Smith, Religion and the Scottish Enlightenment Pete Clarke -/- 5. The ‘New View’ of Adam Smith and the Development of his Views Over Time James E. Alvey -/- 6. The Moon Before the (...) Dawn: A Seventeenth-Century Precursor of Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments Jack Barbalet -/- 7. Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy as Ethical Self-formation Ann Firth -/- 8. Science and its Applications in The Theory of Moral Sentiments David Thorpe -/- 9. Adam Smith, Charles Darwin and the Moral Sense John Laurent and Geoff Cockfield. (shrink)
n recent years, there has been a resurgence of academic interest in Adam Smith. As a consequence, a large number of PhD dissertations on Smith have been written by international scholars - in different languages, and in many diverse disciplines, including economics, women’s studies, philosophy, science studies, political theory and english literature: diversity which has enriched the area of study. In response to this activity, and in order to making these contributions more easily accessible to other Smith scholars, Leonidas (...) Montes and Eric Schliesser have edited this important new book. Of interest to Smith scholars and those interested in the history of economic thought in general, the contributions to this book are self-consciously interdisciplinary and skilfully employ many different methodologies. (shrink)
There are two competing approaches to sustainability in agriculture. One stresses a strict economic approach in which market forces should guide the activities of agricultural producers. The other advocates the need to balance economic with environmental and social objectives, even to the point of reducing profitability. The writings of the eighteenth century moral philosopher Adam Smith could bridge the debate. Smith certainly promoted profit-seeking, private property, and free market exchange consistent with the strict economic perspective. However, his writings are (...) also consistent with many aspects of sustainable agriculture. For example, Smith argued that people ought to exercise restraint in their pursuit of self-interest, and he believed in balancing economic with environmental and social considerations. If both sides of the debate more fully regard the work of Adam Smith, then proponents of the strict economic perspective might be more appreciative of the concerns raised within the sustainable agriculture community, while advocates of sustainability might be more effective in achieving the objective of a sustainable agriculture. (shrink)
Adam Smith is respected as the father of contemporary economics for his work on systemizing classical economics as an independent field of study in The Wealth of Nations. But he was also a significant moral philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, with its characteristic concern for integrating sentiments and rationality. This article considers Adam Smith as a key moral philosopher of commercial society whose critical reflection upon the particular ethical challenges posed by the new pressures and possibilities of commercial (...) society remains relevant today. The discussion has three parts. First I address the artificial separation between self-interest and morality often attributed to Smith, in which his work on economics is stripped of its ethical context. Second I outline Smith’s ethical approach to economics, focusing on his vigorous but qualified defence of commercial society for its contributions to prosperity, justice, and freedom. Third I outline Smith’s moral philosophy proper as combining a naturalistic account of moral psychology with a virtue ethics based on propriety in commercial society. (shrink)
Smith's famous invocation of the invisible hand -according to which self-interest promotes the greater good — has popularly been seen as a fundamental challenge to business ethics, a field committed to the opposite premise that the public interest cannot be advanced unless economic egoism is restrained by a more socially conscious mindset, one that takes into account the legitimate needs of stakeholders and the reciprocity inherent in networked relationships. Adam Smith has been brought into the discipline to show that (...) his authority cannot be summoned to fully support the free market sceptics of business ethics. Little has been done, however, to illustrate that Smith's moral writings actually contain the fundamentals of a business ethics teaching for managers who necessarily work within a variety of networks. This article analyses his moral thought to infer a Smithean framework of business ethics for managers. Smith believes that self-interest should be subordinated to moral imperatives, even in the business world. However, Smith rejects the principles of corporate social responsibility on the argument that benevolent impulses cannot be expected to prevail in the commercial arena. Instead of consciously trying to advance the social good, Smith's ideal manager will endeavour to personally live up to the standards enforced by an impartial spectator of his conduct, a theoretical entity reflecting the ethical requirements posed by the manager's social networks and stakeholder relationships. While this internalized onlooker expects a limited degree of benevolence, the overriding demand is for the manager to abide by the dictums of justice and prudence. (shrink)
The invisible hand image is at the centre of contemporary debates about capacities of markets, on which discussion of many other topics in business ethics rests. However, its meaning in Adam Smith's writings remains obscure, particularly the religious associations that were obvious to early readers. He drew on Isaac Newton's theories of divine action and providence, mediated through the moderate Calvinism of the eighteenth century Scottish circles in which he moved. I argue within the context of Smith's general providential (...) account of markets, the invisible hand operates restrain inequality and capital flight, thereby stabilizing the market system. Such an understanding of the invisible hand raises questions for contemporary religious and secular discussions of the capacities of markets in the wake of the global financial crisis. (shrink)
This study analyses the influence that Adam Smith's philosophy had on his Wealth of Nations, and reveals the unity in Smith's extensive system of morals, politics, and economics. It concludes that Smith was motivated by a political ideal, which was moral liberalism.
This innovative volume, by Michael Shapiro, is not about Adam Smith in the sense in which 'about' is usually understood, for it is neither a comprehensive explication of his views nor a careful tracing of the sources of them. Instead it is a confrontation. This is a book about modernity whose vehicle is a reading of Adam Smith—it is an enactment of the convention that despite the contribution Smith made to creating and legitimating the conceptual space for modern, (...) commercial, liberal, and democratic society, his views are inadequate for those who want an effective, politicized understanding of the present. Shapiro's ultimate goal in this examination is to 'exemplify a way of doing political theory—one that challenges some traditional ways of constructing and celebrating the 'political theory cannon.'. (shrink)
The problem of the rightness of moral judgment is central for ethics. The main point of this article is Adam Smith´s answer to this problem. I am going to argue that Smith did not think that moral judgment depends on private sentiments, but on the judgment of the impartial spectator. I will defend that the smithian´s answer is beetwen the humean scepticism and the kantian criticism.
Adam Smith argued in The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments that in order to create an effective and productive capitalist system, individuals must pursue interests of both the self and society. Despite this assertion, modern economic theory has become tightly focused on the pursuit of economic self-interests at the expense of other, higher order motives. This paper will argue that the tendency to employ such an egocentric strategy often generates externalities and inequalities that serve to (...) detract from the greater welfare of society. However, by tempering these economic self-interests with non-economically motivated considerations, this paper will suggest that individuals may create tremendous benefits to society, precisely as Smith outlined more than two centuries ago. In defense of this assertion, this paper will review an array of theoretical arguments and empirical findings that suggest that today''s entrepreneurs are not only seeking to satisfy both selfish and ethical motivations, but in so doing they are also contributing substantially to the overall welfare of society through job creation, wealth redistribution, and a lack of discrimination. As such, it appears that spirit and impact of the capitalist system that Smith envisioned is being realized through entrepreneurship. (shrink)
This paper examines Origen's views of “Adam” and considers whether aspects of Origen's views might prove helpful in contemporary debates about Adam and original sin. The question “who was Adam” presents difficult issues for Christian theology. In response to these concerns, many contemporary theologians suggest that “Eastern” traditions, which are less connected to the “Western”/Augustinian view of original sin, can more easily manage these tensions. These gestures towards “Eastern” thought are helpful in the sense that they do (...) highlight the “mythic” dimensions of the Biblical creation narratives and the irreducibly social construction of human identity. They tend, however, towards broad generalizations that often do not account for the more nuanced and complex philosophical matrix that informed many of the Eastern Church Fathers as they thought about creation, humanity, and the Fall. In this regard, Origen is an interesting figure to study because of the historic anathemas against his supposedly aberrant neo-Platonic views about the pre-existence of souls. Origen did indeed draw heavily on Platonism, but his views about Adam and the Fall were far more subtle than is often supposed. Elements of Origen's views could be useful to a contemporary Christian theology of Adam and original sin. (shrink)
Leonidas Montes presents a new reading of Adam Smith's legacy. The classical influences, the meaning of some key concepts, and what other authors were saying at the time, are fundamental to understand what Smith really said. Starting with the famous Das Adam Smith Problem, Montes investigates the causes and the context of the Problem, and proposes the importance of the moral triad of the supposed impartial spectator, propriety and self-command for understanding Smith's broad concept of sympathy. Smith's virtues (...) are fundamental to his moral thought, and the nature of the meaning of self-command and propriety have important philosophical implications, reflecting the relevance of moral autonomy in Smith's thought. The concluding chapter gives an example of the mistake of simply looking at a problem through the eyes of today. It questions the popular version of Smith as a forerunner or founder of general economic equilibrium theory by investigating the real nature of Smith's Newtonianism. (shrink)
This paper is both a response to the four reviewers in a special symposium on my book Adam Smith’s Pluralism and a substantive discussion of philosophy of education. In it, I introduce what I call “the educative critique,” a mode of analysis similar to Marxist, feminist, or postcolonial critiques, but focusing on the educative role of a text. I argue that choosing education as a theme is itself a solution to interpretive difficulties, not an add-on that only concerns pedagogues (...) and policy-makers. (shrink)
This paper aims to study the concept of “fact of reason”, with the assistance Beck as North on the stage of transcendental philosophy, more specifically its basic Kantian approach, continuing to explore the potential of the above since the contributions of Guido de Almeida and Loparic.
Each time patients and their families are asked to make a decision about resuscitation, they are also asked to engage the political, social, and cultural concerns that have shaped its history. That history is exemplified in the career of Claude S. Beck, arguably the most influential researcher and teacher of resuscitation in the twentieth century. Careful review of Beck’s work discloses that the development and popularization of the techniques of resuscitation proceeded through a multiplication of definitions of death. (...) CPR consequently remains unique among medical treatments, because it is indicated precisely when a person dies, depending always on how each event of death becomes defined practically by patients, families, and medical professionals present at the time. It is therefore as an occasion to manage a surplus of definitions of death, and not as an occasion to determine the physiological efficacy of resuscitation, that one should approach analysis of contemporary challenges in decision-making about resuscitation. (shrink)
Ce texte examine d'abord en détail la typologie des signes proposée par Adam Schaff. D'un point de vue critique, il fait valoir qu'une classification qui se veut cohérente dans la perspective matérialiste du marxisme ne l'est pas nécessairement du point de vue sémiologique. Il conteste le spécificité absolue conférée aux signes verbaux par cet auteur, il thématise toute une série de problèmes liés à cette conception, et il propose finalement une classification proprement sémiologique expurgée de tout postulat idéologique centré (...) sur l'opposition "matérialiste" vs "idéaliste". (shrink)
Una perspectiva del pensamiento de Adam Smith ha pasado desapercibida para la historia: su Teoría de los sentimientos morales. Si se revisa la teoría filosófica del padre del neoliberalismo, no parece tan claro que sea el monstruo que proclama la vigencia del libre mercado y concibe al ser humano como un ser esencialmente egoísta. Para Smith, en realidad, la naturaleza humana se mueve en un delicado equilibrio entre razón y emoción: tenemos una disposición natural para acoger moralmente al otro. (...) De acuerdo con esta idea de lo humano, los criterios para juzgar con la mayor corrección posible la conducta de los otros son la simpatía basada en la imaginación y la figura del espectador imparcial. Preocupándose por estos mecanismos morales, Smith cree que nuestras sociedades funcionarán como una buena orquesta, en la cual nuestras vidas serán bellas y armoniosas; no seremos una sociedad de solistas eternos que solo abogan por el interés propio. Este texto presenta un esbozo general de la ética de Smith y sus dos propuestas centrales: la simpatía y el espectador imparcial. A partir de estos conceptos, se desarrolla la idea de que la moral no es exclusivamente racional, sino que depende de la interacción social y de la experiencia. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a speculative answer to the question why Adam Smith, who burned nearly all of his papers, arranged for posthumous publication for a number of his essays. I rely on a number of hints in those essays and put them in the context of eighteenth century natural philosophy. I argue that those hints trace back to John Toland and Spinozism.
La financiarisation du marché est associée à un déficit démocratique, à un accroissement des inégalités et à un contexte mondial d’incertitude et de crises. Dans le présent article, nous revisitons les vues d’Adam Smith au xviiie siècle sur ces sujets, au-delà de sa caricature néolibérale. Nous suggérons que le père de l’économie moderne, sur qui l’on fonde l’idéologie de la « main invisible » en économie et le « laissez-faire » pour les entreprises, recommandait en fait l’instauration de régulations (...) strictes des banques et de la finance. Après avoir présenté les régulations que Smith a proposées en son temps, nous tirons de son œuvre plusieurs suggestions de réforme pour les secteurs bancaire et financier, contribuant ainsi au débat actuel sur ces questions, tout en l’enracinant dans son contexte historique. (shrink)
Durante el período Ilustrado hubo un discurso difundido que aclamaba la supremacía de la esfera económica sobre lo político y lo ético. Adam Ferguson, destacado filósofo de la Ilustración escocesa, no lo compartía, juzgándolo monolítico y reductor. Pensaba que la llegada de la sociedad comercial –del mercado-, decisiva para el progreso económico, fue también factor de desequilibrios que amenazaban el porvenir de la sociedad. Lo político era un elemento fundamental de la reproducción social. Se confrontaban dos modelos: uno basado (...) en el principio que parecía guiar, universalmente, las relaciones entre los hombres: el intercambio económico; y una representación de la sociedad civil basada en la virtud del ciudadano. Ferguson defendió el segundo: un hombre virtuoso no es el que serenamente contempla lo que pasa a su alrededor, sino aquel que ejerciendo su virtud activa mira a lo político. En esta perspectiva, lo virtuoso y lo político se encuentra estrechamente enlazados. (shrink)
This essay argues that Adam Smith's political economy is premised upon a moral anthropology, and that greater attention to Smith from religious ethicists may both improve Smith scholarship and deepen dialogue on economic themes within the field of religious ethics. It does so first by surveying common readings of Smith and noting that engagement of his work within religious ethics and theology tends to rely on misconceptions prevalent in these readings. It then outlines the moral psychology that links Smith's (...) Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations and explains the importance of this moral psychology for Smith's ambivalent analysis of commercial society. Reflecting on the case of Smith's work, it concludes by arguing that attention from religious ethicists may also improve contemporary political economic debates, given that they are often premised upon latent assumptions about moral anthropology. (shrink)
Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James (...) Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. Amrozowicz: Adam Smith: History and Poetics 8: C. Jan Swearingen: Adam Smith on Language and Rhetoric: The Ethics of Style, Character, and Propriety Part Three: Adam Smith and Moral Philosophy 9: Christel Fricke: Adam Smith: The Sympathetic Process and the Origin and Function of Conscience 10: Duncan Kelly: Adam Smith and the Limits of Sympathy 11: Ryan Patrick Hanley: Adam Smith and Virtue 12: Eugene Heath: Adam Smith and Self-Interest Part Four: Adam Smith and Economics 13: Tony Aspromourgos: Adam Smith on Labour and Capital 14: Nerio Naldi: Adam Smith on Value and Prices 15: Hugh Rockoff: Adam Smith on Money, Banking, and the Price Level 16: Maria Pia Paganelli: Commercial Relations: from Adam Smith to Field Experiments Part Five: Adam Smith on History and Politics 17: Spiros Tegos: Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption 18: David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart: Adam Smith and the State: Language and Reform 19: Fabrizio Simon: Adam Smith and the Law 20: Edwin van de Haar: Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations Part Six: Adam Smith on Social Relations 21: Richard Boyd: Adam Smith, Civility, and Civil Society 22: Gavin Kennedy: Adam Smith on Religion 23: Samuel Fleischacker: Adam Smith and Equality 24: Maureen Harkin: Adam Smith and Women Part Seven; Adam Smith: Legacy and Influence 25: Spencer J. Pack: Adam Smith and Marx 26: Craig Smith: Adam Smith and the New Right 27: Tom Campbell: Adam Smith: Methods, Morals and Markets 28: Amartya Sen: The Contemporary Relevance of Adam Smith. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Adam Smith contains essays by some of the most prominent philosophers and scholars working on Adam Smith today. It is a special issue of The Adam Smith Review, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. Introduction Part 1: Moral phenomenology 1. The virtue of TMS 1759 D.D. Raphael 2. The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the inner life Emma Rothschild 3. The standpoint of morality in Adam Smith and Hegel Angelica (...) Nuzzo Part 2: Sympathy and moral judgment 4. Smith and Rousseau in dialogue: sympathy, pitié, spectatorship and narrative Charles L. Griswold 5. Adam Smith’s concept of sympathy and its contemporary interpretations Bence Nanay 6. Smith’s ambivalence about honour Stephen Darwall 7. Sentiments and spectators: Adam Smith’s theory of moral judgment Geoffrey Sayre-McCord 8. Smith’s anti-cosmopolitanism Fonna Forman-Barzilai 9. Resentment and moral judgment in Smith and Butler Alice MacLachlan Part 3: Economics, religion, aesthetics and value theory 10. Adam Smith’s problems: individuality and the paradox of sympathy Robert Urquhart 11. Scepticism and naturalism in Adam Smith Ryan Patrick Hanley 12. Adam Smith’s solution to the paradox of tragedy Arby Ted Siraki 13. Smithian intrinsic value Patrick Frierson Memoir on Adam Smith’s life 14. Adam Smith’s smile: his years at Balliol College, 1740–6, in retrospect Ian Simpson Ross. (shrink)
The paper is aiming to present and analyse the notions used by Adam Smith: ‘instinct’ and ‘ appetites’. They appear in two of the Scottish philosopher’s works: in ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’ and in an essay ‘ Of the External Senses’. Smith noticed that there are certain inborn mechanisms that suggest the existence of crucial needs and means leading to satisfy those needs. That concerns, mostly, hunger and thirst, but also sex drive. He regarded the need of self-preservation (...) and of caring for one’s own well-being as crucial for a man’s behaviour. The essay ‘ Of the External Senses’ mentions instinctive correlation of the objects of sight with the objects of touch as crucial for the human survival, basing on George Berkeley’s theory of vision. Smith’s remarks on appetites give a new perspective on how the mechanisms given us by Nature influence moral and social individuals, at the same time completing the philosopher’s theory. The need to care for self ’s prosperity and survival can be regarded not only as an instinct, but also as actions leading to realisation of the virtue of prudence. Moreover, we learn how to fulfil our instinctive needs and appetites within the society, searching for acceptable means. In the paper Smith’s view of instincts and appetites is also being briefly confronted with David Hume’s and Thomas Hobbes’ remarks on the subject. (shrink)
Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be (...) of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy. (shrink)