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Moral sentiments, institutions, and civil society: Exploiting family resemblances between Smith and Hegel to resolve some conceptual issues in Sen's recent contributions to the theory of justice

  • Boldyrev, Ivan A.
  • Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten

In his Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen compares the two basic approaches to evaluate institutions, transcendental institutionalism and realization-focused comparisons. Referring to Smith's Impartial Spectator, he argues in favour of the latter and proposes the principle of Open Impartiality. However, this cannot solve the tension between universalism and contextualization of values that Sen therefore inherits from Smith. Based on recent Hegel scholarship, we argue that some of the difficulties can be resolved, considering the role Smith played in the development of Hegel's thinking. Hegel's concept of recognition plays an essential role in establishing the possibility of impartiality both on the level of consciousness and on the level of institutional intersubjectivity. Hegel's critique of Kants formalist ethics (also considered as transcendental institutionalism by Sen), his analysis of the civil society in the Philosophy of Right, especially his focus on associations and estates, can serve as a model for making Sen's focus on public discourse theoretically more concise and pragmatically feasible. Hegel shows that universalistic attitudes can only emerge in specific institutional contexts.

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Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 193.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:193
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  1. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten & Libman, Alexander & Xiaofan, Yu, 2010. "State and market integration in China: A spatial econometrics approach to 'local protectionism'," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 137, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "Neuroeconomics, naturalism and language," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 108, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  3. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2009. "Kulturelle Hybridisierung und Wirtschaftstransformation in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 115, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  4. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  5. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Constitutions, regulations, and taxes: Contradictions of different aspects of decentralization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 395-418, December.
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  7. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2010. "Entropy, function and evolution: naturalizing Peircian semiosis," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 134, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  8. Bannier, Christina E. & Feess, Eberhard, 2010. "When high-powered incentive contracts reduce performance: choking under pressure as a screening device," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 135, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  9. Hirsch, Christian & Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "The economics of rating watchlists: Evidence from rating changes," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "The naturalistic turn in economics: implications for the theory of finance," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 105, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  11. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2010. "A neurolinguistic approach to performativity in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 241-260.
  12. Hankir, Yassin & Rauch, Christian & Umber, Marc P., 2009. "It's the market power, stupid! Stock return patterns in international bank M&A," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 129, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  13. Christina Bannier, 2007. "Heterogeneous multiple bank financing: does it reduce inefficient credit-renegotiation incidences?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 445-470, December.
  14. Roßbach, Peter, 2009. "Die Rolle des Internets als Informationsbeschaffungsmedium in Banken," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 120, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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