Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (Modern European by Charles L. Griswold Jr.

By Charles L. Griswold Jr.

Even supposing Adam Smith is usually considered at the present time as an economist, he was once in reality (as his nice contemporaries Hume, Burke, Kant, and Hegel famous) an unique and insightful philosopher whose paintings covers a major territory together with ethical philosophy, political economic system, rhetorical thought, aesthetics, and jurisprudence. Charles Griswold has written the 1st complete philosophical learn of Smith's ethical and political proposal. Griswold units Smith's paintings within the context of the ongoing debate in regards to the nature and survival of the Enlightenment, and relates it to present discussions in ethical and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation in addition to feedback of historical philosophy, and his rigorously balanced safeguard of a liberal and humane ethical and political outlook, also are explored. it is a significant reassessment of a key determine in modernity that would be of specific curiosity to philosophers and political and felony theorists, in addition to historians of rules, rhetoric, and political economic system.

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His lucidity about the fundamental problems of modernity makes his efforts to save the period from itself all the deeper and more intriguing. He attempts to synthesize views many now find unavoidable (such as the rejection of intuitionistic Platonism) with others we would gladly see defended (such as the superiority of liberal economic and political structures and the centrality of the virtues and "sympathy" to ethics). In the Epilogue, I shall assess the successes and shortcomings of Smith's ambitious project with the venerable history of the debate much in mind.

In those and following pages, Brown espouses the Bakhtinian stance. As she notes, "One implication of this approach is that the issue of the coherence and consistency of Adam Smith's oeuvre is something that has to wait upon the interpretation of the texts, and cannot be used as a prior assumption in reading the texts" (p. 20). Brown refers to 28 INTRODUCTION prives us of learning all that a truly fine work is capable of teaching us; that it is incapable of being discharged consistently in practice, since the interpreter inevitably makes assumptions about the unity of the text (or portions thereof), or of the period, or of other texts that form part of the "intertextuality"; that the fluidity of notions such as intertextuality invites undue arbitrariness of interpretation; that the Bakhtinian notion of "dialogism," in particular, impedes rather than encourages genuine dialogue; and finally that at a metaphilosophical level, dialogism cannot be articulated without making assumptions about the unity of meaning that contradict it.

The reference to "modern liberal, individualist politics" in MacIntyre, WhoseJustice? Which Rationality? : University of Notre Dame Press, 1988), p. 335. 31 A. " See his "Adam Smith's Prudence," in Theory and Reality in Development, ed. S. Lall and F. Stewart (New York: St. Martin's, 1986), p. 30. 2O INTRODUCTION unintended result of a doctrine of sympathy, which was originally intended to produce social cohesiveness. Smith's analysis of sympathy, imagination, and the emotions helps us to understand the possible internal instability of sympathy and what is required to avoid that instability.

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