Buben undertakes the ambitious project of providing "a compelling framework for understanding the ways in which philosophy has discussed death". This is a tall order for 136 pages of text, all the more so since he argues that the thinkers of western philosophy before Kierkegaard's and Heidegger's innovative existential philosophy of death can be broadly categorized into a Platonic strain, and an Epicurean strain. The Platonic strain suggests that death should not be feared, as the soul will survive the death (...) of the body. Thinkers such as the Apostle Paul, Plotinus, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, and Pascal are briefly discussed as examples. Membership in the Epicurean strain is marked by the conviction... (shrink)
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified (or absolutely warranted), i.e., justified to a degree that entails their truth and precludes their falsity. Though rationalist infallibilism is indisputably running its course, adherence to at least one of the two species of infallible a priori justification refuses to disappear from mainstream epistemology. Among others, Putnam (1978) still professes the a priori infallibility of some category (i) propositions, while Burge (...) (1986, 1988, 1996) and Lewis (1996) have recently affirmed the a priori infallibility of some category (ii) propositions. In this paper, I take aim at rationalist infallibilism by calling into question the a priori infallibility of both analytic and synthetic propositions. The upshot will be twofold: first, rationalist infallibilism unsurprisingly emerges as a defective epistemological doctrine, and second, more importantly, the case for the a priori infallibility of one or both categories of propositions turns out to lack cogency. (shrink)
Minimalism is currently the received deflationary theory of truth. On minimalism, truth is a transparent concept and a deflated property of truth bearers. In this paper, I situate minimalism within current deflationary debate about truth by contrasting it with its main alternative―the redundancy theory of truth. I also outline three of the primary challenges facing minimalism, its formulation, explanatory adequacy and stability, and draw some lessons for the soundness of its conception of truth.
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified, i.e., justified in a way that is truth-entailing. In this paper, I examine the second thesis of rationalist infallibilism, what might be called ‘synthetic a priori infallibilism’. Exploring the seemingly only potentially plausible species of synthetic a priori infallibility, I reject the infallible justification of so-called self-justifying propositions.
According to Field’s influential incompleteness objection, Tarski’s semantic theory of truth is unsatisfactory since the definition that forms its basis is incomplete in two distinct senses: (1) it is physicalistically inadequate, and for this reason, (2) it is conceptually deficient. In this paper, I defend the semantic theory of truth against the incompleteness objection by conceding (1) but rejecting (2). After arguing that Davidson and McDowell’s reply to the incompleteness objection fails to pass muster, I argue that, within the constraints (...) of a non-reductive physicalism and a holism concerning the concepts of truth, reference and meaning, conceding Field’s physicalistic inadequacy conclusion while rejecting his conceptual deficiency conclusion is a promising reply to the incompleteness objection. (shrink)
Linguistic competence, in general terms, involves the ability to learn, understand, and speak a language. The nativist view in the philosophy of linguistics holds that the principal foundation of linguistic competence is an innate faculty of linguistic cognition. In this paper, close scrutiny is given to nativism's fundamental commitments in the area of metaphysics. In the course of this exploration it is argued that any minimally defensible variety of nativism is, for better or worse, married to two theses: linguistic competence (...) is grounded in a faculty of linguistic cognition that is (i) embodied and (ii) whose operating rules are represented in the brains of human language users. (shrink)
The superassertability theory of truth, inspired by Crispin Wright (1992, 2003), holds that a statement is true if and only if it is superassertable in the following sense: it possesses warrant that cannot be defeated by any improvement of our information. While initially promising, the superassertability theory of truth is vulnerable to a persistent difficulty highlighted by James Van Cleve (1996) and Terrence Horgan (1995) but not properly fleshed out: it is formally illegitimate in a similar sense that unsophisticated epistemic (...) theories of truth are widely acknowledged to be. Sustained analysis reveals that the unrestricted formal legitimacy argument is firmly grounded in first person conceivability evidence. (shrink)
The weak deflationist about truth is committed to two theses: one conceptual, the other ontological. On the conceptual thesis (what might be called a ‘triviality thesis’), the content of the truth predicate is exhausted by its involvement in some version of the ‘truth-schema’. On the ontological thesis, truth is a deflated property of truth bearers. In this paper, I focus on weak deflationism’s ontological thesis, arguing that it generates an instability in its view of truth: the view threatens to collapse (...) into either that of strong deflationism (i.e., truth is not a property) or that of some form of inflationism (i.e., truth is a substantial property). The instability objection to weak deflationism is sketched by way of a truth-property ascription dilemma, the two horns of which its proponent is at pains to circumvent. (shrink)
While education in ethics and the responsible conduct of research is widely acknowledged as an essential component of graduate education, particularly in the STEM disciplines, little consensus exists on how best to accomplish this goal. Recent years have witnessed a turn toward the use of games in this context. Drawing from two NSF-funded grants, this paper takes a critical look at the use of games in ethics and RCR education. It does so by: setting the development of research and engineering (...) ethics games in wider historical and theoretical contexts, which highlights their promise to solve important pedagogical problems; reporting on some initial results from our own efforts to develop a game; and reflecting on the challenges that arise in using games for ethics education. In our discussion of the challenges, we draw out lessons to improve this nascent approach to ethics education in the STEM disciplines. (shrink)
The Samenleving and Bedrijf (S&B) network of Dutch organizations seeks to embed corporate social responsibility (CSR) within business practices but faces challenges with regard to how to do so across various organizational practices, processes, and policies. The integration of CSR demands cultural change driven by senior management and other change agents, who push CSR principles throughout the organization. This study examines the change processes that S&B member organizations have initiated, with a particular focus on the role of high potentials—those persons (...) who have been selected for the fast track into senior management. Interviews with nine S&B organizations document their levels of CSR integration and implementation, the role of senior managers, and the effects of high potentials’ competencies on the realignment process. High potentials have the ability and opportunity to act as CSR change agents, but organizations’ expectations of their purposes as future senior managers prevented them from doing so. In the existing organizational cultures, leadership focused on economic success, and the CSR implementation process had just initiated. Therefore, a measure of CSR embeddedness might refer to the performance measurement and expectations of high potentials as potential CSR change agents. (shrink)
We (your guest editors) have established a productive professional and personal relationship through discussions of the role of experience and, in particular, basic learning processes in shaping sexuality in humans and animals. We are grateful to Harold Mouras as well as our contributors for allowing us to organize this special issue of Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology , which highlights what we believe to be an underrepresented perspective in the scientific study of sexual behavior and psychology. Craig (1912, 1918) suggested, and (...) Zitovitch (as cited by Pavlov, 1928) as well as - more recently - Hall, Arnold and Myers (2000) have demonstrated that behaviors as straightforward as approaching food, and water require learning. Surely (human) sexuality, for which the approach is even more complicated, is shaped by experience. We offer nine papers from leading researchers in the field that we hope will inspire divergent thinking and scholarship regarding the evolution and development of sexual preferences in both humans and animals. (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17415 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17415. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac. -- 1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation -- 2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann. -- 3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann -- 4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann -- 5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann -- 6. Ockham's Razor (...) and Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann, Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter -- 7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann -- 8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann -- 9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf -- 10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann -- 11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry -- 13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann -- 14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann -- 17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann -- 18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann, -- Part 3: Art and Science -- 19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann -- 20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann -- 21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 4 Chemical Education -- 22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann -- 23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola -- 24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire -- Part 5 Ethics in Science -- 25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann -- 26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann -- 27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann -- 28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann -- Index. (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 paper examines how the concepts of utility, impartiality, and universality worked together to form the foundation of Adam Smith's jurisprudence. It argues that the theory of utility consistent with contemporary rational choice theory is insufficient to account for Smith's use of utility. Smith's jurisprudence relies on the impartial spectator's sympathetic judgment over whether third parties are injured, and not individuals' expected utility associated with individuals' expected gains from rendering judgments over innocence or guilt.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
El artículo analiza el papel del resentimiento en la Teoría de los sentimientos morales de Adam Smith y su conexión con el proceso de la simpatía mutua por medio del cual el “espectador imparcial” asume plenamente el resentimiento de la víctima, al considerar que su pasión se rige por los principios de la propiedad y la justicia. Se sostiene que el resentimiento no solo cumple un rol central en la teoría del castigo de Adam Smith, en la medida (...) en que permite retribuir, disuadir y rehabilitar al victimario sino que, además, aporta a la discusión contemporánea sobre el perdón y la reconciliación, pues convoca la posibilidad de superar el resentimiento y restablecer las relaciones sociales entre el agresor y la víctima. (shrink)
This paper looks at the critical reception of two central claims of Peter Auriol’s theory of cognition: the claim that the objects of cognition have an apparent or objective being that resists reduction to the real being of objects, and the claim that there may be natural intuitive cognitions of nonexistent objects. These claims earned Auriol the criticism of his fellow Franciscans, Walter Chatton and Adam Wodeham. According to them, the theory of apparent being was what had led Auriol (...) to allow for intuitive cognitions of nonexistents, but the intuitive cognition of nonexistents, at its turn, led to scepticism. Modern commentators have offered similar readings of Auriol, but this paper argues, first, that the apparent being provides no special reason to think there could be intuitions of nonexistent objects, and second, that despite his idiosyncratic account of intuition, Auriol was no more vulnerable to scepticism than his critics. (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)
_ Source: _Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 211 - 228 In this Reply, I argue that _pace_ Knud Haakonssen it is dubious that Adam Smith managed to ‘blow up’ Hugo Grotius’s universalist system of natural jurisprudence. Rather, Smith emerges as a closet rationalist who put forward crypto-normative universalist claims himself and found that he could not in the end improve upon Grotius’s system. Grotius was not seen by Smith as a ‘casuist’ _tout court_. I try to give an explanation (...) for the tensions introduced into Smith’s work by his incorporation of key aspects of Grotius’s theory of justice. Furthermore, I try to clarify in what regard Grotius should be seen as a novel and original thinker. Lastly, I argue in favor of according ideas and arguments their own weight, against a facile contextualism that is always in danger of falling prey to the genealogical fallacy. (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)
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)
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)
A substantial portion of Adam Smith's discussion of Stoicism in TMS VII is dedicated to the Stoic “principle of suicide,” according to which suicide is sometimes morally required. While scholars agree that Stoicism exercised considerable influence over Smith, no recent work has explored his views on suicide, despite the central role it plays in his treatment of Stoicism. I argue that Smith opposes the principle of suicide on both epistemic and moral grounds, providing an important critique of Stoicism. I (...) also show how Smith departs from other early modern accounts of suicide by offering a notably humane analysis of this tragic act. I conclude by considering what Smith's discussion of Stoicism and suicide tells us about his moral theory, and I forward a reading of Smith as a skeptic. (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)
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)
Adam Smith and J-J Rousseau share some common ground when it comes to religion, namely that they were born into and educated in cultural contexts deeply shaped by Reformed Christianity. However, close consideration of their writings on religion reveal marked difference. This paper explores those differences and finds that Rousseau and Smith are radically at odds on this score. Smith has almost nothing to say about personal spirituality, and locates the significance of religion in its social role. Rousseau, on (...) the other hand, accords religion no social role whatever, and finds its value to be purely of a personal and spiritual nature. This difference is not without some contemporary relevance, since it highlights some of the issues surrounding the distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ in modern secularized societies. (shrink)
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)
It has been claimed that Adam Smith, like David Hume, has a ‘reflective endorsement’ account of the authority of morality. On such a view, our moral faculties and notions are justified insofar as they pass reflective scrutiny. But Smith's moral philosophy, unlike Hume's, is also peppered with references to God, to divine law, and to our being ‘set up’ in a specific way so as to best attain what is good and useful for us. This language suggests that there (...) is another strategy available for accounting for the authority of morality, one that would align Smith with teleological accounts of human nature and theological accounts of morality. The authority of Smith's impartial spectator would, on such an account, be derivative – it would be derived from the supreme authority of God. Such a view poses a serious challenge for contemporary interpreters of Smith who seek to read him as an empiricist, naturalist, and sentimentalist moral philosopher. This paper examines the textual evidence for this view, focusing on the role of the explicitly religious language found in a key section of Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. I argue that this language should neither be interpreted as merely ornamental, nor as providing a theological justification of morality. Rather, it is part of Smith's illustration of the psychological influence of religious beliefs, especially the beliefs in an all-seeing judge and in a just afterlife where all human actions will be accounted for and appropriately rewarded or punished. (shrink)
Adam Smith’s ‘natural price’ has long been interpreted as a ‘normal price’ or ‘centre of gravitation price’ based on the famous gravitation metaphor of the Wealth of Nations I.vii, natural in the sense that it is the price that would … More ›.
Why be moral? Why, in the language of Adam Smith, act on what you think is praiseworthy even when it does not get you praise from other people? Because, answers Smith, you love praiseworthiness. But what is this love of praiseworthiness, and where does it come from? In this article, 1) I argue that we start to love praiseworthiness when we redirect our love of praise away from other people toward the ‘impartial spectator’-aspect of ourselves, and 2) show how (...) this fits with evidence that the rudimentary moral compass which guides us early in childhood needs correction through socialisation to develop into a mature moral conscience. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
El presente artículo proporciona un marco para una lectura unificada del pensamiento de Adam Smith. Se basa en la síntesis de dos líneas de investigación que aún no se han unido convincentemente: la que ha esclarecido la metodología newtoniana de la parte económica de su producción y la que ha recurrido al modelo dramático para interpretar su pensamiento ético. Como estrategia expositiva en él se subsume el modelo newtoniano bajo el modelo dramático y se identifica como referente para Smith (...) el análisis de la fábula trágica desarrollado por Aristóteles en su Poética. Con ello se destaca la centralidad de la imaginación productiva en su propia obra, tanto en la construcción de sus objetos como en la organización didáctica de sus textos, concluyéndose que la creatividad estética fue para él la metodología básica que subyacía al rigor científico. (shrink)
The article aims to present the concepts of Adam Smith which are important considering the current disputes over liberalism, as well as the challenge that is the maintenance of the world’s economic order. Firstly, the article analyses the significance of the division of labour which is perceived as a fundamental premise for transitioning from small communities and face-to-face exchanges to the impersonal exchange and the expanded social order in which relations with strangers become meaningful. Secondly, the present work indicates (...) that Smith did not neglect the matter of justice when proclaiming the need for freedom. He believed that efficient functioning of the market depends on the political system and a man’s ethical system, and his criticism of interventionism was not directed against the state as an institution co-creating the social order, but against the act of granting special privileges to certain interest groups. Thirdly, the article refers to the concept of coordination described by Scottish moral philosophers and the so-called Smith Problem. In this context, the article presents arguments against the assumption that John Nash’s theory provided proof of the erroneous nature of Adam Smith’s concepts. Arguments in favour of the timelessness of the economic philosophy of the father of economics are also drawn from Vernon Smith’s experimental economy and the research of evolutionary psychologists. (shrink)