The Age of Enlightenment brought forth some of history’s greatest philosophers who introduced and provided the arguments for contemporary thought and social systems in continued use today. Although historians consider the ideas of natural rights and separation of powers in democracies of the highest order of importance, the economic theories developed by the leading thinkers of the era pervade daily life in all societies. The idea of wealth is timeless, but philosopher Voltaire and economist Adam Smith wrote opposing theories on the true value of wealth and how society should allocate its wealth and resources. Voltaire’s satire Candide, or Optimism features El Dorado, a socialist utopia where the inhabitants treat precious metals and stones as dirt and provide for the general welfare of their city, while Smith’s The Wealth of Nations discusses macroscopic economies and how these economies interact to maximize production and encourage human advancement. Both arguments make use of ethical, moral, and social ideas, but only work perfectly in a utopian setting. By comparing and contrasting the arguments presented in each of these texts, one establishes an understanding of how economies and societies operating on either capitalism or socialism alone compare to those that incorporate elements of both ideologies.
Modern economic society can be described as a combination of certain points from several theories combined into one. Changing dynamics and economic needs of nations has spawned a development of various, and contrasting, economic systems throughout the world. Perhaps the two most contrasting philosophies seen in existence today are that of capitalism and communism. The two philosophers most notably recognized for their views on these economic systems are Adam Smith and Karl Marx. This paper will identify several fundamental aspects of economic philosophy as described by Smith and Marx, and will compare and contrast the views of these
Moral status is a bioethical concept that concerns the type of beings that possess rights, like human beings. There are five distinct viewpoints, or theories, that help in determining moral status. These theories include: a theory based on human properties, a theory based on cognitive properties, a theory based on moral agency, a theory based on sentience, and a theory based on relationships (HLT-302 Introduction 2, 2015). In the case study, a situation in which a fetus develops a rare condition where its quality of life would be poor is presented. The physician (Dr. Wilson), aunt (Maria), mother (Jessica), and father (Marco) all share different viewpoints that make the process of determining a final plan of action very difficult.
According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly by my parents and the eastern social values and principles of relationships, which are largely influenced by the thoughts and ideas of Buddhism, Taoism and the Confucianism. Among them, Confucianism affects my country’s social values and furthermore my parents and my moral compass the most. In the contrast of Western culture, Confucianism puts a huge emphasis on the relationships between individuals in family, school,
Morality: According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy morality the syntactic definition of morality is a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. Our operational of morality is: A code of conduct by rational persons that adheres to the objective values of a society at a given point in time with or without surveillance.
Modern political economic theory and philosophy can be greatly attributed to the works of two men who seemingly held polar opposite views on the subject. Adam Smith, a Scottish philosopher, published his most well known work An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776 and is most often associated with the ideas and principles of the political economic system known as Capitalism. At the other end of the spectrum is Karl Marx; the German philosopher most often associated with Communism and the author (or co-author) of The Communist Manifesto. This paper seeks to discuss the core differences in their respective political economic philosophies with regards to what economic value is and
The basis of morality has been major area of discussion for philosophers for many years. In The Leviathan, Hobbes argues that desire and aversion determine what is good, evil, right or wrong, believing in a subjective self-interest based view on morality. In The Grounding of Metaphysics of Morals, Kant takes a rational approach, arguing that it is reason that plays a role in determining the same, thus having an objective view on morality. In my opinion, Hobbes’ account has greater validity than Kant’s in the fact that I believe it is human passion that dictates morality.
In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Emmanuel Kant, we are presented with this conception of Kant’s called “the Form of Law.” With the discussion of the Form of Law, we will also come to encounter both moral law and the categorical imperative. Kant’s notion of the Form of Law, we will later see has a great deal of significance within the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Within the discussion of the Form of Law’s significance in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant also provides us with a response to a claim offered by David Hume. Also, provided in this paper will be both a discussion of correctness of action and the normative requirement. In this paper, I will present Kant’s conception of the Form of Law, as well as its significance in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and finally I will conclude the paper by evaluating this analysis of the structure of correctness in action and the normatively required.
In Kant’s book, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant talks about the three formulations of the categorical imperative. By these formulations, he describes his idea of organizing the moral principle for all rational beings. Kant also talks about the principles of humanity, rational ends, and the “realm of ends” which are constituted by the autonomous freedom of rational beings.
Sympathy and self-interest, when examined superficially, seem like conflicting notions. For this reason, Adam Smith is often criticized for writing two philosophical books – one about the human nature to exhibit sympathy, and one about the market’s reliance on our self-interest – that contradict each other. Through careful examination of Smith’s explanations, however, these two apparently separate forces that drive human behavior become not only interwoven, but symbiotic.
Over the past centuries, Adam Smith ideas on morality and economics have given rise to various controversies and debates. Many moral and economic philosophers have been arguing on this topic whilst most neglected the important part of Smith’s ideas on natural liberty. As an Enlightenment thinker, Adam Smith was interested in finding out the natural laws of economics just like Newton’s successful achievement in finding out the universal law behind nature. In addition, he was also interested in investigating on the human’s nature and the morality behind human behaviours which later give rise to the modern world’s psychology. Adam Smith, also known as a father of Economy, in The Wealth of Nations, explains the role and the importance of self-interest, coping with one’s own interest without always at the expense of others, in the society as the driving force of economy. In his earlier work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he describes how self-interest also leads to the capabilities of benevolence and sympathy. Smith’s ideas from these famous works have become the foundation of the modern economic ideas and the economic norms that ought to be followed. This essay will describe the motivational role of self-interest in society and argue to a large extent that individuals are driven by it.
The advent of the ideal of capitalism is often attributed to Adam Smith. Sometimes called “The Father of Economics,” Smith was an 18th century moral philosopher from Scotland. Smith is perhaps most known for writing the book “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” In this book Adam Smith considers and advances the ideas of the division of labor, the invisible hand, the pursuit of self-interest, the proper role of government and the idea of a Laissez-Faire (or noninterventionist) economy. Each of these ideas were considered heavily during the establishment and development of the United States. Because of their adoption into the new American government, the United States became the forerunner to the free-market.
Albert Hirschman’s “The Passions and The Interests” tracks the origins and evolution of the modern day concept of economic interest. Hirschman begins by tracing the concept of interest through its binary opposition to the malevolent and destructive passions of man . Hirschman moves forward to economic narrowing and the concept of interest as the central drive of social life , and finally drawing its conclusion with its appropriation by Adam Smith who minimalized all passions under his formulation of economic self-interest . Due to the length of detail Hirschman embarks upon for the genealogy of the concept of interest it will not be reviewed (A brief summary of the genealogy has been put forward in footnotes 1-3). Instead it is more beneficial to focus on the principle theories Hirschman discusses in the book which emphasizes how interest can in fact curtail absolute power.