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In Adam Smith's Invisible Hands: Comment on Gavin Kennedy

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  • Daniel B. Klein

Abstract

Professor Gavin Kennedy’s essay on the invisible hand raises several issues: (1) whether the three occurrences of the phrase in Adam Smith’s writings are reconcilable; (2) whether the phrase may properly serve as tag for an important idea in natural jurisprudence; and (3) the importance Smith attached to the phrase. In line with A.L. Macfie, I argue that the three occurrences are reconcilable, and, in line with a great many others, that the phrase may properly serve as a tag for the comparative merit of liberty. Whether Smith intended for the phrase to be used that way is uncertain, but does not matter much to its serviceability.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel B. Klein, 2009. "In Adam Smith's Invisible Hands: Comment on Gavin Kennedy," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(2), pages 264-279, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:264-279
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. G. B., 1892. "Miner's Life in the German Harz," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 474-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Boettke & Daniel J. D'Amico, 2010. "Corridors, Coordination, and the Entrepreneurial Theory of the Market Process," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 25(Spring 20), pages 87-96.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adam Smith; invisible hand; natural liberty;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925

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