Adam Smith's Ethics and the “Noble Arts”
AbstractAdam Smith's character-based ethical system lays the foundation for his vision of the social and economic good. Within this system, the arts perform a critical role. Smith's essays “Of the Imitative Arts” and his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres are useful companions to The Theory of Moral Sentiments in analyzing the mechanisms whereby literature and the arts excite moral development. The arts stretch the boundaries of imagination and perspective, stimulating self-awareness and self-reflective growth. When combined with rational thought, decision-making takes place through an internal dialogue in which this wider perspective weighs upon one's “impartial spectator” and becomes the background for action. According to this view, the arts provide positive externalities for society and should be encouraged through public policy. The arts promote a conversation that becomes part of the common goods of society, including that of science.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.
Volume (Year): 64 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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- McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
- Jerry Evensky, 1993. "Retrospectives: Ethics and the Invisible Hand," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 197-205, Spring.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Changing Lives through Literature
by Jonathan B. Wight in Economics and Ethics on 2012-02-17 14:01:24
- Mark White, 2010.
"Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant: On Markets, Duties, and Moral Sentiments,"
Forum for Social Economics,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 53-60, January.
- Mark White, 2010. "Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant: On Markets, Duties, and Moral Sentiments," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 53-60, April.
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