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Dogan GoCmen, "The Adam Smith Problem: Reconciling Human Nature and Society in 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments' and 'Wealth of Nations'"
Tauris Academic Studies | 2007-09-18 | ISBN: 1845114000 | 256 pages | PDF | 1,2 MB
This is the first scholarly work to deal solely with the ‘Adam Smith problem’, namely the apparent contradiction between Adam Smith’s most famous works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Since the 1840s scholars have puzzled over and attempted to explain the fact that these works offer two fundamentally different and contradictory concepts of human nature. In this radical new approach Dogan Gmen makes a major contribution to the debate. Accepting that Smith does indeed put forward two different and varied ideas, he argues that the ethical position articulated in The Theory of Moral Sentiments can be, and was intended by Smith to be, applied as a basis for criticising the commercial society analysed in the Wealth of Nations. Gmen argues that this ethical position points to the character of an ideal future society, Adam Smith’s Utopia, a society in which its social components are completely in sympathy - and therefore harmonious - with each other.
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