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Adam Smith in His Time and Ours: Designing the Decent Society

Princeton University Press (1995)

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  1. Adam Smith: A Relational Egalitarian Interpretation.Kathryn E. Joyce - unknown
    In this thesis I argue that Adam Smith is committed to moral egalitarianism, which extends to his theory of political economy. While Smith’s work is often used to justify economic inequality in society, I show that his political theory is best understood as a kind of relational egalitarianism. Using Elizabeth Anderson’s Democratic Equality as a model, I examine Smith’s commitment to equality in the space of social relationships. In particular, I argue that Smith’s focus on eliminating inequalities that cause oppression (...)
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  • Concepts and Consequences of Liberty: From Smith and Mill to Libertarian Paternalism.David Meskill - 2013 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 25 (1):86-106.
    Isaiah Berlin distinguished between negative liberty, which is freedom from external coercion, and positive liberty, the freedom to master oneself. But the schema is too simple. Adam Smith thought that God had harmoniously arranged the world in such a way that the freedom provided by our negative liberty tended to redound to the public good. Mill, worried about the deleterious effects of public ignorance, accorded elites a prominent role in ensuring that negative liberty would lead to positive results. More recently, (...)
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  • The Genesis of Employment Ethics.Harry J. Van Buren & Michelle Greenwood - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 117 (4):707-719.
    Given the growing interest in religion and spirituality in the community and workplace, we consider what light one of the oldest sources of human ethics, the Torah, can throw on the vexing issues of contemporary employment ethics and social sustainability. We specifically consider the Torah because it is the primary document of Judaism, the source of all the basic Biblical commandments, and a framework of ethics. A distinctive feature of Jewish ethics is its interpretive approach to moral philosophy: that is, (...)
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  • ‘Mere Poverty Excites Little Compassion’: Adam Smith, Moral Judgment and the Poor.Kate Ward - 2016 - Heythrop Journal 61 (1):97-114.
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  • Adam Smith on Markets and Justice.Lisa Herzog - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (12):864-875.
    This paper discusses Adam Smith's views of social justice. It first describes Smith's optimistic view of markets, for example with regard to the absence of negative externalities, which implies that he considered certain normative problems to be the exception rather than the rule. Then, Smith's views on redistribution are discussed: although he is sympathetic to progressive taxation, his main focus remains on free markets, which can partly be explained by his distrust of politicians. If one takes a closer look as (...)
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  • The Unreality Business - How Economics (and Management) Became Anti-Philosophical.Matthias P. Hühn - 2015 - Philosophy of Management 14 (1):47-66.
    This paper argues that economics, over the past 200 years, has become steadily more anti-philosophical and that there are three stages in the development of economic thought. Adam Smith intended economics to be a descriptive social science, rooted in an understanding of the moral and psychological processes of an individual’s decision-making and its connection to society in general. Yet, immediately after Smith’s death, economists made a clean cut and invented a totally new discipline: they switched towards a physicalist understanding of (...)
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  • ‘Things Familiar to the Mind’: Heuristic Style and Elliptical Citation in The Wealth of Nations.Geoffrey Kellow - 2011 - History of the Human Sciences 24 (1):1-18.
    Despite an initially warm reception, over the past two centuries assessments of the literary character of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations have gradually but unmistakably turned negative. This transformation in the public reception of Smith’s text began during his lifetime and culminated in Heilbroner’s assertion that Smith wrote with ‘an encyclopedic mind, but not with the precision of an orderly one’. However, where Heilbroner and many of his predecessors saw obscurity and tedious attention to minor detail, recent scholarship has (...)
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  • Higher and Lower Virtues in Commercial Society: Adam Smith and Motivation Crowding Out.Lisa Herzog - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (4):370-395.
    Motivation crowding out can lead to a reduction of ‘higher’ virtues, such as altruism or public spirit, in market contexts. This article discusses the role of virtue in the moral and economic theory of Adam Smith. It argues that because Smith’s account of commercial society is based on ‘lower’ virtue, ‘higher’ virtue has a precarious place in it; this phenomenon is structurally similar to motivation crowding out. The article analyzes and systematizes the ways in which Smith builds on ‘contrivances of (...)
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  • Reflection on Rules in Science: An Invisible-Hand Perspective.Thomas C. Leonard - 2002 - Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (2):141-168.
    Can successful science accommodate a realistic view of scientific motivation? The Received View in theory of science has a theory of scientific success but no theory of scientific motivation. Critical Science Studies has a theory of scientific motivation but denies any prospect for (epistemologically meaningful) scientific success. Neither can answer the question because both regard the question as immaterial. Arguing from the premise that an adequate theory of science needs both a theory of scientific motivation, and a theory of scientific (...)
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  • Capitalism and the Jewish Intellectuals.Jeffrey Friedman & Shterna Friedman - 2011 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 23 (1-2):169-194.
    In Capitalism and the Jews, Jerry Z. Muller attempts to resolve Milton Friedman's paradox: Why is it that Jewish intellectuals have been so hostile to capitalism even though capitalism has so greatly benefited the Jews? In one chapter Muller answers, in effect, that Jewish intellectuals have not been anticapitalist. Elsewhere, however, Muller implicitly explains the leftist tendencies of most intellectuals?Jewish and gentile?by unspooling the anticapitalist thread in the main lines of Western thought, culminating in Marx but by no means ending (...)
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  • Adam Smith, Anti-Stoic.Michele Bee & Maria Pia Paganelli - 2019 - History of European Ideas 45 (4):572-584.
    ABSTRACTCommerce changes the production of wealth in a society as well as its ethics. What is appropriate in a non-commercial society is not necessarily appropriate in a commercial one. Adam Smith criticizes Stoic self-command in commercial societies, rather than embracing it, as is often suggested. He argues that Stoicism, with its promotion of indifference to passions, is an ethic appropriate for savages. Savages live in hard conditions where expressing emotions is detrimental and reprehensible. In contrast, the ease of life brought (...)
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  • Will the Real A. Smith Please Stand Up!Matthias P. Hühn & Claus Dierksmeier - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 136 (1):119-132.
    In both the public and the business world, in academe as well as in practice, the ideas of Adam Smith are regarded as the bedrock of modern economics. When present economic conditions and management practices are criticised, Adam Smith is referred to by defenders and detractors of the current status quo alike. Smith, it is believed, defined the essential terms of reference of these debates, such as the rational pursuit of self-interest on part of the individual and the resultant optimal (...)
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  • Seduced by System: Edmund Burke's Aesthetic Embrace of Adam Smith's Philosophy.Michael L. Frazer - 2015 - Intellectual History Review 25 (3):357-372.
  • Theology and Ethics in Adam Smith: A Case for Islamic Economics.Mohammad Wasim Naser - 2018 - Intellectual Discourse 26:309-332.
    : This study is an analysis of the theological and ethical dimensions inthe writings of Adam Smith. It deals with aspects of philosophy and intellectualhistory. By revealing the theological and ethical roots of Smith’s writings in theformation of modern economics, arguments for an economics that is based onIslamic foundations become stronger. The study will therefore lay out the basicmoral project of Smith and then contextualize it in the Western Enlightenmenttradition. It shows how religious discourses were instrumental in shaping thethoughts and (...)
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  • Social Entrepreneurship: The Role of Institutions.Mukesh Sud, Craig V. VanSandt & Amanda M. Baugous - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 85 (S1):201 - 216.
    A relatively small segment of business, known as social entrepreneurship (SE), is increasingly being acknowledged as an effective source of solutions for a variety of social problems. Because society tends to view "new" solutions as "the" solution, we are concerned that SE will soon be expected to provide answers to our most pressing social ills. In this paper we call into question the ability of SE, by itself, to provide solutions on a scope necessary to address large-scale social issues. SE (...)
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  • ‘Mere Inventions of the Imagination’: A Survey of Recent Literature on Adam Smith.Vivienne Brown - 1997 - Economics and Philosophy 13 (2):281-312.
    As late twentieth-century discourses of modernity and postmodernity invoke their Enlightenment heritage in a search for the origins of their present achievements and predicaments, Adam Smith's works are still seen as a canonic representative of that heritage. Smith has long been evoked as the ‘father’ of economics and the original proponent of laissez-faire capitalism, but the political changes in recent decades have reconstituted his iconic status. With the full range of Smith's published and unpublished writings and lectures now widely available, (...)
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  • Adam Smith’s Vision of the Ethical Manager.George Bragues - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 90 (S4):447-460.
    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 (...)
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