Adam Smith in His Time and Ours: Designing the Decent Society

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Princeton University Press, Jul 23, 1995 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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Counter to the popular impression that Adam Smith was a champion of selfishness and greed, Jerry Muller shows that the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations maintained that markets served to promote the well-being of the populace and that government must intervene to counteract the negative effects of the pursuit of self-interest. Smith's analysis went beyond economics to embrace a larger "civilizing project" designed to create a more decent society.

 

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Adam Smith in his time and ours: designing the decent society

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According to Muller (economics, Catholic Univ.), Adam Smith's ideas are not what they are thought to be by either his biggest fans or biggest critics. By jointly exploring Smith's two major works ... Read full review

Contents

Cosmopolitan Provincial Smiths Life and Social
15
Gentlemen Consumers and the FiscalMilitary
28
SelfLove and SelfCommand The Intellectual
39
The Market From SelfLove to Universal Opulence
63
The Legislator and the Merchant
77
Social Science as the Anticipation of
84
Commercial Humanism Smiths Civilizing Project
93
The Impartial Spectator
100
The Visible Hand of the State
140
Applied Policy Analysis Smiths Sociology
154
A Small Party Moral and Political Leadership
164
Critics Friendly and Unfriendly
177
Some Unanticipated Consequences of Smiths
185
The Timeless and the Timely
194
Notes
206
Guide to Further Reading
240

The Historical and Institutional Foundations
113
The Moral Balance Sheet of Commercial Society
131
Acknowledgments
263
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About the author (1995)

Jerry Z. Muller is Associate Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Other God That Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism (Princeton).

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