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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2008

Willie Henderson

This is an interesting collection by scholars who defended their theses between 2002 and 2004. It is focused on Adam Smith and treats Smith in a number of interesting…

Abstract

This is an interesting collection by scholars who defended their theses between 2002 and 2004. It is focused on Adam Smith and treats Smith in a number of interesting though, perforce, loosely organized contexts. Part one gathers together three essays, by Hanley, on “Smith and Aristotle,” Kuiper, on Smith's “feminist contemporaries,” and Mitchell, on eighteenth century notions of “systems,” under the heading “Adam Smith, his sources and influence.” Part two contains five essays: Forman-Barzilai, on “connexion”; Von Villiez on a comparison of Smith and Rawls; Frierson on “Smithian environmental virtue ethics”; Brubaker on the “wisdom of nature”; and, lastly, Flanders, on “moral luck,” all under the heading “Adam Smith and Moral Theory.” Part three organized under “Adam Smith and economics” contains three essays, one each by Hurtado-Prieto, on Smith and Mandeville, Montes (one of the joint editors) on “Smith and Newtonianism,” and Paganelli, on “vanity” and “paper money.” The last section, part four, contains three essays one each by Smith, on “progress,” Trincado, on “Smith's criticism of the doctrine of utility,” and Schliesser (the other joint editor), on Smith's “conception of philosophy.” The range of the contributions illustrates both the revival of serious intellectual interest in Smith as a philosophe and in the context of eighteenth century studies or of the enlightenment more generally. The Routledge series “Studies in the History of Economics” has always been prepared to be innovative and the re-contextualization of Smith's work in the variety of contexts presented here maintains the series’ reputation for changing frameworks within which to view the intellectual history of economics.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-904-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

David John Farmer

This paper explores the relevance of Adam Smith’s invisible hand and the remainder of his legacy for public management. The paper’s central claim is that, by approaching…

Abstract

This paper explores the relevance of Adam Smith’s invisible hand and the remainder of his legacy for public management. The paper’s central claim is that, by approaching Adam Smith and his legacy, public managers can assist themselves to do what they should do - examine their latent assumptions. The first of three challenges in approaching Adam Smith’s ideas is to get Smith right, because he has been widely misunderstood. The second is to question Smith’s account of conceptual space; it is desirable to go beyond him. The third challenge is to explore in specific terms the potential for public management of an understanding of Smith and his legacy

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2010

Mats Forsgren and Mo Yamin

A close reading of Adam Smith’s works, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” indicates that he would not…

Abstract

A close reading of Adam Smith’s works, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” indicates that he would not support the advocacy of free markets wholeheartedly. His view on market systems, although “free,” implies strong institutions and regulations. Adam Smith would have been particularly concerned with the fact that the large multinationals are as much political actors as they are economic actors. He would have argued that there may be ‘moral‘ limits to globalization. In his view, the general rules of morality are (in modern parlance) ‘socially embedded.’ Thus, sympathy and fellow‐feeling mostly operate at ‘close quarters’ and, in particular, they may not be effective at a transnational level.

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Multinational Business Review, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2014

Maria Pia Paganelli

Entangled Political Economy, the idea that the economy and the polity are a nexus of interrelations often with unplanned outcomes, is close to the concept of economics…

Abstract

Entangled Political Economy, the idea that the economy and the polity are a nexus of interrelations often with unplanned outcomes, is close to the concept of economics that Adam Smith presents, a concept which was not shaped by strict discipline barriers. I show that Adam Smith analyzes the nature and causes of the wealth of nations by analyzing the interaction of the economy with politics, ethics, and the law. In particular, Smith presents each of these systems as a network of relations with all the other systems: the economy is entangled not just with the polity, but also with other systems of behavior such as the law and morality. Adam Smith may help expand the horizons of the entangled political economy analysis and the explanatory powers of economics.

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Entangled Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-102-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

David John Farmer

This paper encourages an examination of the conceptual space which Adam Smith’s work and legacy present and which conditions thinking about governmental and societal…

Abstract

This paper encourages an examination of the conceptual space which Adam Smith’s work and legacy present and which conditions thinking about governmental and societal organization and management. The paper, situating Smith in his eighteenth‐century context, distinguishes between the historical Smith and his legacy. It analyzes the invisible hand doctrine, showing that the doctrine should be understood in the context of Smith’s other writings and arguing that Smith himself would reject the version which many suppose to constitute the Smithian legacy. It emphasizes the importance of the Smithian legacy, and it argues that Smith’s readers should go beyond Smith by recognizing the socially constituted character of the conceptual space which Smith’s writings and legacy have provided to contemporary society. A central implication is that, by exploring Adam Smith and his legacy, governmental and other thinkers and managers can do what they should do ‐ examine their latent assumptions.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Philosophy, Politics, and Austrian Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-405-2

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Balbir S. Sihag

The purpose of this paper is to explore the origin of economics as a separate science.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the origin of economics as a separate science.

Design/methodology/approach

A very comprehensive approach is presented for determining the origin of economics as a science. Three kinds of inter‐related issues are discussed: how to interpret and evaluate earlier, particularly ancient, writings, the specification of the requirements for declaring economics as a science and the definition, scope and methodology of economics.

Findings

Application of the most stringent requirements for declaring economics as a separate science to Kautilya's Arthashastra validated A.K. Sen's claim that it is the first book on economics.

Research limitations/implications

According to Kautilya, economics is a separate science but not independent of other disciplines and particularly of ethics. Whereas, most of the current research ignores this inter‐dependence and consequently does not fully capture reality.

Practical implications

It implies that the inter‐dependence between economics and other disciplines should be encouraged and vigorously explored.

Originality/value

It validates Redman's assertion, “The history of economics as a science is, in my view, still waiting to be properly written”.

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Humanomics, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Histories of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-997-9

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Jan Toporowski

For approximately a century and a half after their dramatic deflation, the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles of 1710–1720 had discredited finance. With the exception of…

Abstract

For approximately a century and a half after their dramatic deflation, the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles of 1710–1720 had discredited finance. With the exception of government bond markets and a few chartered companies, the rapid rise and fall of fortunes associated with the South Sea Company, in Britain, and the Mississippi Company in France, had made the joint stock system of corporate finance almost synonymous with fraud and financial debauchery. (The most authoritative account of these schemes is given in Murphy, 1997.) The joint stock system of finance was seen as seriously flawed, and an indictment of the theories on credit money of the schemes’ instigator, John Law. During those one hundred and fifty years, classical political economy rose and flowered. Not surprisingly finance then came to be considered for its fiscal and monetary consequences. This pre-occupation left its mark on twentieth-century economics in an attitude that the fiscal and monetary implications of finance, eventually its influence on consumption, are more important than its balance sheet effects in the corporate sector. This attitude is apparent even in the work of perhaps the pre-eminent twentieth century critical finance theorist, John Maynard Keynes.

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-089-0

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