Examining â The Adam Smith Problemâ : Individuals, Society, and Value
Crowder, Rachel E.
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In this paper I offer an analysis of the Adam Smith Problem. This Problem arises from perceived inconsistencies between Smithâ s economic work, The Wealth of Nations, and his moral theory, the Theory of Moral Sentiments. I argue that far from being inconsistent with Smithâ s economic theory, his moral theory serves as a necessary foundation. I suggest that, because he takes humans to be moral by nature, Smith defends social capitalism which requires moral economic agents rather than homo economicus. I then sketch some specific implications for the moral limits of Smithian social systems.
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