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200 Jahre Darwin und 250 Jahre Theory of Moral Sentiments von Adam Smith: Zur Aktualität eines vergessenen Werkes


  • Dr. Gerold Bluemle



The author emphasizes that 2009 must be remembered not only for the 200 birthday of Charles Darwin, but as well as the 250-year anniversary of Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments". Proceeding from the fact that Darwin as well as Robert Malthus refer to a classical economist, it is investigated whether the analogies between Evolution Theory and Economy are justified. In both fields, the competition between the selfishly functioning units plays an important/dominating role. Smith, indeed, stresses in his "Theory of Moral Sentiments" apart from the 'self-interest' principle, the meaning of the principle of 'Sympathy' as a second in importance one which, as the author indicates, forms a prerequisite for the successful co-operation and harmony that the "invisible hand" establishes. The one-sided meaning of the "Wealth of Nations" as a eulogy of the egoism, that is the only motive, has its cause in the political interest of the rising liberalism. Finally, it is investigated whether Smith’s optimism for a free developing social harmony is justified nowadays, in relation to the rising centralization and globalization. The author arrives at a conclusion that an economic regulation according to the "Freiburger Schule" views, which will be accomplished by the state and it will correspond with the previous developments, it will be in the position to set measures to the consequences of ethic deficit

Suggested Citation

  • Dr. Gerold Bluemle, 2009. "200 Jahre Darwin und 250 Jahre Theory of Moral Sentiments von Adam Smith: Zur Aktualität eines vergessenen Werkes," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:tei:journl:v:2:y:2009:i:1:p:89-110

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    More about this item


    Adam-Smith-Problem; Analogiemethode; Biologismus; Egoismus; Ethik; Evolutionstheorie; Neuroökonomie; Normbildung; Sozialdarwinismus; Spiegelnervenzellen; Sympathy;

    JEL classification:

    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology


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