On the Other (Invisible) Hand..
AbstractThe invisible hand as it appears in the Theory of Moral Sentiments is commonly treated as an afterthought in discussions of the version in the Wealth of Nations, but it deserves attention in its own right. I will argue that there is an entirely coherent (if not entirely plausible) economic argument underpinning the invisible hand of the Theory of Moral Sentiments. It is quite different from the invisible hand argument of the Wealth of Nations, not because of any conflict but because they address different questions. The argument in the Theory of Moral Sentiments allowed Smith to maintain an ironic distance from the inequality and greed that he saw around him while arguing that it did no harm, and allowed him to resolve, at least to his own satisfaction, an age-old debate about the ethical and political consequences of luxury consumption. Some of these themes were further developed in the Wealth of Nations, but without the phrase 'invisible hand', which was switched to a different part of the argument.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (Fall)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Duke University Press 905 W. Main Street, Suite 18B Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
insivible hand; Theory of Moral Sentiments; Wealth of Nations;
Other versions of this item:
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:ner:lselon:http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47483/ is not listed on IDEAS
- Lisa Hill, 2001. "The hidden theology of Adam Smith," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 1-29.
- Brewer, Anthony, 1998. "Luxury and Economic Development: David Hume and Adam Smith," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 78-98, February.
- repec:ebl:ecbull:v:2:y:2006:i:2:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
- Anthony Brewer, 1997. "An eighteenth-century view of economic development: Hume and Steuart," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-22.
- Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-46, October.
- Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
- N. Emrah Aydinonat, 2006. "Is the Invisible Hand un− Smithian? A Comment on Rothschild," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 2(2), pages 1-9.
- Caroline Gerschlager, 2012. "Agents of change," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 413-441, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.