publication . Article . Preprint . 2012

Self-interest, Sympathy and the Invisible Hand : From Adam Smith to Market Liberalism

Avner Offer;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Aug 2012 Journal: Economic Thought, volume 1, issue 2 December, pages 1-1
Abstract
Adam Smith rejected Mandeville's invisible-hand doctrine of 'private vices, publick benefits'. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments his model of the 'impartial spectator' is driven not by sympathy for other people, but by their approbation. The innate capacity for sympathy makes approbation credible. Approbation needs to be authenticated, and in Smith's model authentication relies on innate virtue, which is not realistic. An alternative model of 'regard' makes use of signalling and is more pragmatic. Modern versions of the invisible hand in rational choice theory and neo- liberalism are shown to be radical departures from the ethical legacy of Enlightenment and uti...

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publication . Article . Preprint . 2012

Self-interest, Sympathy and the Invisible Hand : From Adam Smith to Market Liberalism

Avner Offer;