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Title: Adam Smith's moral economy
Authors: Berry, Christopher J.
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University
Citation: Christopher J. Berry; "Adam Smith’s moral economy", The Kyoto Economic Review, Vol. 79, pp.2-15 (2010) .
Journal title: The Kyoto economic review
Volume: 79
Issue: 1
Start page: 2
End page: 15
Abstract: This paper has the following four-part structure. In the first part, I quickly rehearse the classical disparagement of commercial or economic life (in deliberate contrast to the more highly valued life of politics or active citizenship). In part 2, I outline Smith's defence of commerce— his vindication of what he calls opulence and freedom. In the third part, I correct that interpretation of Smith that reads this defence as unleashing asocial or selfish behaviour and thus as freeing the 'economy' from moral norms (as a 'de-moralisation'). Rather, I argue that Smith’s own moral philosophy, with its roots in social interaction, is based on a criticism of self-love that does, moreover, permit a wider critique of aspects of his contemporary commercial society, while steadfastly adopting a view of 'liberty' that is thoroughly moralised. I conclude in part 4 with a brief summary.
DOI: 10.11179/ker.79.2
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/139075
Appears in Collections:Vol.79 No.1

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