The Invisible Hand of God in Adam Smith

Article English OPEN
Denis, A. (2005)
  • Publisher: Emerald

Adam Smith is revered as the father of modern economics. Analysis of his writings, however, reveals a profoundly medieval outlook. Smith is preoccupied with the need to preserve order in society. His scientific methodology emphasises reconciliation with the world we live in rather than investigation of it. He invokes a version of natural law in which the universe is a harmonious machine administered by a providential deity. Nobody is uncared for and, in real happiness, we are all substantially equal. No action is without its appropriate reward – in this life or the next. The social desirability of individual self-seeking activity is ensured by the “invisible hand,” that is, the hand of a god who has moulded us so to behave, that the quantity of happiness in the world is always maximised.
  • References (5)

    Becker, C. L. (1932). The heavenly city of the eighteenth-century philosophers. London: Yale University Press.

    Campbell, R. H., & Skinner, A. S. (1976). 'General introduction' in A.

    Smith. In: R. H. Campbell, A. S. Skinner & W. B. Todd (Eds), An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1976-1980, Volume II) (in two volumes).

    Dawkins, R. (1995). River out of Eden - A Darwinian view of life.

    Denis, A. (1999). Was Adam Smith an individualist? History of the

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    City Research Online - IRUS-UK 0 28
Share - Bookmark