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Adam Smith’s Politics: An Essay in Historiographic Revision

Cambridge University Press (1978)

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  1. Empire and Liberty in Adam Ferguson’s Republicanism.Elena Yi-Jia Zeng - forthcoming - History of European Ideas:1-21.
    Adam Ferguson’s imperial thought casts new light on the age-old republican dilemma of the tension between empire and liberty. Generations of republican writers had been haunted by this issue as the decline of Rome proved that imperial expansion would eventually ruin the liberty of a state. Many eighteenth-century Scottish thinkers regarded this as an insoluble conundrum and thus became critics of empire. Ferguson shared their basic views but, paradoxically, was still able to defend the British Empire in the debates over (...)
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  • Independent and Servile Manners in Adam Smith.Spiros Tegos - 2018 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 16 (3):255-260.
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  • Utility, Progress, and Technology: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies.Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.) - 2021 - Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing.
    This volume collects selected papers delivered at the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which was held at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in July 2018. It includes papers dealing with the past, present, and future of utilitarianism – the theory that human happiness is the fundamental moral value – as well as on its applications to animal ethics, population ethics, and the future of humanity, among other topics.
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  • Broken Promises – The Probable Futurity of the Laboring Class.Michael S. Aßländer - forthcoming - Humanistic Management Journal:1-17.
    Over the past two decades, work relations have changed dramatically. New phenomena like “gig-economy” or “crowd work” not only constitute precarious working conditions but also contradict with our social esteem of work resulting from the social theories of the classical economy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The central focus of classical economists on building an educated and disciplined workforce provided not only the base for the upcoming industrial society but also resulted in a work-based society where “being employed” became (...)
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  • Adam Smith's Republican Moment: Lessons for Today's Emancipatory Thought.David Cassass - 2013 - Economic Thought 2 (2):1.
    This paper places Adam Smith within the long republican tradition, and offers an emancipatory reflection on the possible space of republican freedom within societies that harbour certain degrees of market activity. In doing so, it seeks to offer some criteria on the kind of political-institutional action that can be taken in modern societies in order to constitute markets that respect, and even promote, republican freedom. The paper is divided into four sections. Section 1 shows why Adam Smith's ethical-political analysis, which (...)
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  • La teodicea social de Adam Smith.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2010 - Empresa y Humanismo 13 (1):333-374.
    I argue the existence of two tensions in Smith's system of ideas: the first is that between the postulate of an invisible noumenal order of the universe and the imaginary principles by means of which we connect the phenomena; the second is a tension between the noumenal order of the world where 'is' and 'ought' converge, and the various partial orders that may be reconstructed in social phenomena that leave room for irrationality and injustice. My first claim is that these (...)
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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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  • Hands Invisible and Intangible.Geoffrey Brennan & Philip Pettit - 1993 - Synthese 94 (2):191 - 225.
    The notion of a spontaneous social order, an order in human affairs which operates without the intervention of any directly ordering mind, has a natural fascination for social and political theorists. This paper provides a taxonomy under which there are two broadly contrasting sorts of spontaneous social order. One is the familiar invisible hand; the other is an arrangement that we describe as the intangible hand. The paper is designed to serve two main purposes. First, to provide a pure account (...)
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  • Adam Smith. Skeptical Newtonianism, Disenchanted Republicanism, and the Birth of Social Science.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 1989 - In Marcelo Dascal & Ora Gruengrad (eds.), Knowledge and Politics: Case Studies on the Relationship between Epistemology and Political Philosophy. Boulder, Co, USA: Westview Press. pp. 83-110.
    Both Adam Smith's epistemology and his politics head to a stalemate. The former is under the opposing pulls of an essentialist ideal of knowledge and of a pragmatist approach to the history of science. The latter still tries to provide a foundation for a natural law, while conceiving it as non-absolute and changeable. The consequences are (i) inability to complete both the political and the epistemological works projected by Smith; (ii) decentralization of the social order, giving rise to several partial (...)
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  • Honour, Face and Reputation in Political Theory.Peter Olsthoorn - 2008 - European Journal of Political Theory 7 (4):472-491.
    Until fairly recently it was not uncommon for political theorists to hold the view that people cannot be expected to act in accordance with the public interest without some incentive. Authors such as Marcus Tullius Cicero, John Locke, David Hume and Adam Smith, for instance, held that people often act in accordance with the public interest, but more from a concern for their honour and reputation than from a concern for the greater good. Today, most authors take a more demanding (...)
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  • Adam Smith's View of History: Consistent or Paradoxical?James E. Alvey - 2003 - History of the Human Sciences 16 (2):1-25.
    The conventional interpretation of Adam Smith is that he is a prophet of commercialism. The liberal capitalist reading of Smith is consistent with the view that history culminates in commercial society. The first part of the article develops this optimistic interpretation of Smith's view of history. Smith implies that commercial society is the end of history because (1) it supplies the ends of nature that he identifies; (2) it is inevitable; and (3) it is permanent. The second part of the (...)
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  • Adam Smith as Globalization Theorist.Fonna Forman‐Barzilai - 2000 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 14 (4):391-419.
    In the Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith observed that we live in a fundamentally conflictual world. Although he held that we are creatures who sympathize, he also observed that our sympathy seems to be constrained by geographical limits. Accordingly, traditional theories of cosmopolitanism were implausible; yet, as a moral philosopher, Smith attempted to reconcile his bleak description of the world with his eagerness for international peace. Smith believed that commercial intercourse among self?interested nations would emulate sympathy on a global (...)
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  • Indirect Utility, Justice, and Equality in the Political Thought of David Hume.Mark E. Yellin - 2000 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 14 (4):375-389.
    Abstract Differing interpretations of the political thought of David Hume have tended to emphasize either conservative, gradualist elements similar to Burke or rationalist aspects similar to Hobbes. The concept of indirect utility as used by Hume reconciles these two approaches. Indirect utility is best illustrated by Hume's conception of justice, in contrast to his conception of benevolence, which yields direct benefits. This understanding of Hume's consequentialism also helps underscore certain egalitarian aspects of Hume's thought.
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  • Adam Smith's Invisible Hand Argument.John D. Bishop - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (3):165 - 180.
    Adam Smith is usually thought to argue that the result of everyone pursuing their own interests will be the maximization of the interests of society. The invisible hand of the free market will transform the individual''s pursuit of gain into the general utility of society. This is the invisible hand argument.Many people, although Smith did not, draw a moral corollary from this argument, and use it to defend the moral acceptability of pursuing one''s own self-interest.
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  • Adam Smith's Theory of Absolute Advantage and the Use of Doxography in the History of Economics.Reinhard Schumacher - 2012 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 5 (2):54.
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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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  • El problema de Smith y la relación entre moral y economía.José Atilano Pena López & José Manuel Sánchez Santos - 2007 - Isegoría 36:81-103.
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  • Political Economy: History with the Politics Left Out?Roger Backhouse - 2012 - Historical Materialism 20 (3):24-38.
    This paper argues that Milonakis and Fine, in their bookFrom Political Economy to Economics, offer an account of history that systematically omits discussion of how economics has been shaped by the political and social context in which it developed. This contrasts with work by intellectual historians who have argued that such factors were crucial to understanding the history of economic ideas. It is ironic given that Milonakis and Fine are criticising economists for excluding the political and the social from economics.
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  • Rethinking the Culture - Economy Dialectic.Lajos L. Brons - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Groningen
    The culture-economy dialectic (CED) – the opposition of the concepts and phenomena of culture and economy – is one of the most important ideas in the modern history of ideas. Both disciplinary boundaries and much theoretical thought in social science are strongly influenced or even determined by the CED. For that reason, a thorough analysis and evaluation of the CED is needed to improve understanding of the history of ideas in social science and the currently fashionable research on the cultural (...)
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  • Signifying Voices: Reading the “Adam Smith Problem”: Vivienne Brown.Vivienne Brown - 1991 - Economics and Philosophy 7 (2):187-220.
    The “Adam Smith problem” has traditionally been concerned with the issue of authorial integrity: the issue of how a single author, Adam Smith, could have written two such apparently dissimilar, even contradictory, works as The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations. As the problem to be resolved was the single authorial origin of two such works, the perceived incompatibilities between them were explained in terms of Smith's intellectual biography – for example, Smith's travels to France, Smith's meetings (...)
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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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  • The Idea of Utility in Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments.F. Rosen - 2000 - History of European Ideas 26 (2):79-103.
  • J. G. A. Pocock's Republicanism and Political Theory: A Critique and Reinterpretation.Ian Shapiro - 1990 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 4 (3):433-471.
    A growing sense of the exhaustion of both liberalism and Marxism has fueled a revival of interest in civic republicanism among historians, political theorists, and social commentators. This turn is evaluated via an examination of the normative implications off. G. A. Pocock's account of civic republicanism. Arguing that what is at issue between liberals and republicans has been misunderstood by both sides in the debate, the author shows that the turn to republicanism fails to address the most vexing problems liberalism (...)
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