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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Adam Smith And His Sources: The Evil Of Independence, Sandra J. Peart, David M. Levy Jan 2008

Adam Smith And His Sources: The Evil Of Independence, Sandra J. Peart, David M. Levy

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

This paper explores the foundations of Adam Smith’s view that the philosopher is the same as the street porter. Despite their innate similarity, Smith recognized that the role of the philosopher, someone who provides useful instruction to fellow humans, is not that of the street porter (Pear and Levy 2005; Schliesser 2005, 2006). He also saw that this potentially useful employment may entail a biased perspective on human conduct. Motivated by matters too distant for ordinary people to notice, the philosopher may come to believe that he is better than those he studies and to regard himself as independent ...


Adam Smith And Greed, Jonathan B. Wight Jan 2005

Adam Smith And Greed, Jonathan B. Wight

Economics Faculty Publications

The virtues of greed have been widely promoted by some economists in the 20th century. Allegedly it is Adam Smith who provides this new dignity to greed (Lerner, 1937, ix). Kenneth Arrow and Frank Hahn in the General Equilibrium Analysis (1971), for example, implicitly assume that Adam Smith's self-interest is the greed that promotes economic efficiency (quoted in Evensky, 1993, 203). Walter Williams (1999), a devoted follower of Smith, writes in his column that, "Free markets, private property rights, voluntary exchange, and greed produce preferable outcomes most times and under most conditions." These pronouncements have become part of the ...


Sympathy And Approbation In Hume And Smith: A Solution To The Other Rational Species Problem, David M. Levy, Sandra J. Peart Jan 2004

Sympathy And Approbation In Hume And Smith: A Solution To The Other Rational Species Problem, David M. Levy, Sandra J. Peart

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

This paper examines a key implication of the different conceptions of sympathy and the approbation associated with sympathy in the writings of David Hume and Adam Smith. For Hume, sympathy is an empathy we feel for those like us and hence we are motivated to obtain the praise or approbation of those with whom we sympathize. In Hume’s construction there is a direct link from sympathy to motivation because sympathy is reflected self-love. By contrast, in Smith’s construction sympathy is an act of imagination which only habit makes motivational. The abstraction by our imagination means we earn the ...