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The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) Paperback – May 4, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0521779241 ISBN-10: 0521779243 Edition: First Edition
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Editorial Reviews


“Historian Haakonssen has assembled arguably the most wide-ranging perspective yet published on the social vision of Adam Smith.” -- Choice

Book Description

Adam Smith is best known as the founder of scientific economics and as an early proponent of the modern market economy. Political economy, however, was only one part of Smith's comprehensive intellectual system. This Companion volume provides an examination of all aspects of Smith's thought.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (March 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521779243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521779241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of essays on Adam Smith.All of the essays ,either explicitly or implicitly,emphasize the fundamental importance of the Theory of Moral Sentiments(TMS,1959;6th edition,1790) in Smith's thought.The Wealth of Nations is an application of the TMS in the same way that Keynes's General Theory (GT;1936) is an application of the A Treatise on Probability (1921;TP).

The following general conclusions are arrived at .First,Smith never intended to break ethics and moral philosophy away from political economy and form economics as a separate field.There is no normative versus positive economics question for Smith.It is Jeremy Bentham who attempted,successfully, to remove ethics and morals from political economy and base economics on Benthamite Utilitarianism alone.Modern (Benthamite Utilitarian) economics is exactly the opposite of what Smith intended.Second,there is no Adam Smith problem at all.The alleged conflict between the Wealth of Nations and the Theory of Moral Sentiments is due strictly to an attempt by the economics profession to try to read into Smith their own biased Benthamite Utilitarian decision making calculus which Smith completely rejected.Finally,Smith's concepts of sympathy,an impartial spectator as a stand in for one's conscience,the importance of rules,and last, but not least,the emphasis on virtue,shows that the claims, that Smith meant by self interest greed,avarice,or selfishness have no foundation in any thing written by Smith in his life time.Self interest represents the virtue of self love.Before you can help others you must first help yourself so that you can attain a position of wealth to help others.
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