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Economia e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0104-0618versão On-line ISSN 1982-3533

Resumo

BOFF, Emmanoel de Oliveira. What’s the problem, Mr. Smith? Shedding more light (than Heat) on Adam Smith’s view of man *. Econ. soc. [online]. 2018, vol.27, n.1, pp.1-28. ISSN 0104-0618.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1982-3533.2017v27n1art1.

Why has the “Adam Smith Problem” recently been discussed in the literature? Although most historians of economic thought regard the problem solved, these discussions cast doubt on this apparent solution. This article suggests that the “Adam Smith Problem” may originate from the concept of the human being developed by Smith in the “Theory of Moral Sentiments”: in this book, human beings can be understood as composed of an empirical and a (quasi) transcendental side, in the form of the impartial spectator. It is argued that it is the tension between these two parts which creates supposed inconsistencies between aspects of the “Theory of Moral Sentiments” and the “Wealth of Nations” like, for example, the role of sympathy and self-interest in each of these books.

Palavras-chave : Adam Smith; “Adam Smith Problem”; Concept of human being; James Otteson; Vivienne Brown.

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