Title page for ETD etd-05162012-153717

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Crowder, Rachel E
URN etd-05162012-153717
Title Examining “The Adam Smith Problem”: Individuals, Society, and Value
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pitt, Joseph C. Committee Chair
Moehler, Michael Committee Member
Patton, Lydia K. Committee Member
  • Adam Smith
  • virtue
  • capitalism
  • value
Date of Defense 2012-04-26
Availability unrestricted
In this paper I offer an analysis of the Adam Smith Problem. This Problem arises from perceived inconsistencies between Smith’s economic work, The Wealth of Nations, and his moral theory, the Theory of Moral Sentiments. I argue that far from being inconsistent with Smith’s economic theory, his moral theory serves as a necessary foundation. I suggest that, because he takes humans to be moral by nature, Smith defends social capitalism which requires moral economic agents rather than homo economicus. I then sketch some specific implications for the moral limits of Smithian social systems.
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