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Not Just an Inferior Virtue, nor Self-Interest: Adam Smith on Prudence


Viganò, Eleonora (2017). Not Just an Inferior Virtue, nor Self-Interest: Adam Smith on Prudence. Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 15(1):125-143.

Abstract

This paper focuses on the treatment of prudence by Adam Smith. Smith was one of the few philosophers to conceive of it as a moral virtue. Smithian prudence is the care of one’s own happiness that is limited and ennobled, respectively, by the sense of justice and self-command. A reconstruction of Smith’s view of prudence helps to clarify three central points in his thought: the interaction between the agent’s economic and moral dimensions, the relationship between the self and the other, and the dialectical tension between partiality and impartiality. Furthermore, Smithian prudence is important, in itself, as an approach to the above-mentioned points that is still viable. These three points are recurrent crucial issues in the history of ethics.

Abstract

This paper focuses on the treatment of prudence by Adam Smith. Smith was one of the few philosophers to conceive of it as a moral virtue. Smithian prudence is the care of one’s own happiness that is limited and ennobled, respectively, by the sense of justice and self-command. A reconstruction of Smith’s view of prudence helps to clarify three central points in his thought: the interaction between the agent’s economic and moral dimensions, the relationship between the self and the other, and the dialectical tension between partiality and impartiality. Furthermore, Smithian prudence is important, in itself, as an approach to the above-mentioned points that is still viable. These three points are recurrent crucial issues in the history of ethics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:19 Dec 2018 15:05
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 07:13
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN:1479-6651
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3366/jsp.2017.0155

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