Adam Smith and a theory of just efficiency

María Alejandra Carrasco, Maria Pia Paganelli

Producción científica: Capítulo del libro/informe/acta de congresoCapítulorevisión exhaustiva


Adam Smith envisions an economic order which is primarily just, and that happens to be efficient. A commercial society is the most fertile environment to promote freedom and equality, which are the base of human and economic flourishing. A commercial society creates prosperity, increasing life expectancy and decreases hardship. It favors friendly interactions and exchange of sentiments, thus allowing the virtue of humanity to develop. It exposes people to strangers, enlarging their perspectives and thus decreasing their self-centric biases. Furthermore, commercial societies are based on economic exchanges, which intrinsically recognize equal dignity among individuals. On the other hand, pre-commercial societies tend to generate potentially de-humanizing “servile dependency” and poverty that threaten human and economic growth. The hardship of pre-commercial societies is such to make suffering and death common, hardening people and thus inhibiting the expressions of sentiments, and limiting mutual sympathy. Smith, thus condemns policies that retard economic growth because they fail to promote equality by benefiting some at the expense of others. They are unjust and also inefficient.

Idioma originalInglés
Título de la publicación alojadaAdam Smith and Modernity
Subtítulo de la publicación alojada1723-2023
EditorialTaylor and Francis
Número de páginas14
ISBN (versión digital)9781000858167
ISBN (versión impresa)9781032293943
EstadoPublicada - 1 ene. 2023
Publicado de forma externa

Nota bibliográfica

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, Alberto Burgio; individual chapters, the contributors.


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