publication . Article . 1993

Retrospectives: Ethics and the Invisible Hand

Jerry Evensky;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 1993 Journal: Journal of Economic Perspectives, volume 7, issue 2 Spring, pages 197-205
Abstract
As modern economists, we use Adam Smith's "invisible hand" metaphor confident that we all know what it means in our discourse: it reflects our admiration for the elegant and smooth functioning of the market system as a coordinator of autonomous individual choices in an interdependent world. But in Adam Smith's moral philosophy, the invisible hand has a much broader responsibility: if individuals are to enjoy the fruits of a classical liberal society, the invisible hand must not only coordinate individuals' choices, it must shape the individuals into constructive social beings—ethical beings. I begin by presenting the philosophical basis for Smith's invisible han...
Subjects
free text keywords: jel:A13, jel:D63, Invisible hand, Economics, Aesthetics, Law, Constructive, Metaphor, media_common.quotation_subject, media_common, Interdependence, Faith, Admiration, Market system, Classical liberalism, Finance, business.industry, business
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publication . Article . 1993

Retrospectives: Ethics and the Invisible Hand

Jerry Evensky;