The invisible hand and political philosophy

Smith, C. (2018) The invisible hand and political philosophy. In: Mica, A., Wyrzykowska, K. M., Wiśniewski, R. and Zielińska, I. (eds.) Sociology of the Invisible Hand. Series: Studies in social sciences, philosophy and history of ideas (20). Peter Lang: Berlin ; New York, pp. 43-61. ISBN 9783631672327

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Invisible-hand style arguments have become a central feature of the work of some of the most important modern political philosophers. This chapter sets out to explore exactly how deeply these arguments have impacted on normative political philosophy. The chapter begins with an examination of the political and methodological implications of Adam Smith’s own use of the phrase, before tracing its development in the context of debates about the nature of social justice that arose in response to the seminal work of John Rawls. The response to Rawls’s Theory of Justice by Friedrich Hayek and Robert Nozick was deeply influenced by invisible-hand arguments, which are put to use to criticise Rawlsian notions of distributive justice. The chapter argues that invisible-hand arguments underpin much of the critical debate in the contemporary discussion of social and distributive justice in post-Rawlsian political philosophy.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Craig
Authors: Smith, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Publisher:Peter Lang

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