Adam Smith and the Family
AbstractThis paper examines Adam Smith’s vision of family life and the role of the family in society as it stems from the Theory of Moral Sentiments. We first discuss textual evidences of Smith’s vision of gender differences and of the relationships between the sexes. Then we turn to TMS’s analysis of marriage and family life, exploring the importance of sentiments in strengthening family bonds and in fostering individuals’ moral education. Then we enlarge our perspective, considering Smith’s view on the role of the family within society, especially as market and non market relationships are concerned. Finally, we focus on Smith’s vision of the possible threats which life in Commercial societies may impose to family life, loosening parental ties and weakening those fellow-feelings which, according to Smith, play a paramount role in the moral education and proper behaviour of individuals in a free society. On the whole this paper acts as a first step in a wider project which includes the Wealth of Nations and focuses especially on economic issues regarding family life.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2008_04.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Adam Smith; Moral Philosophy; Family; Gender; Education.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2008-04-29 (Education)
- NEP-HIS-2008-04-29 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2008-04-29 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2008-04-29 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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