Smith was influenced by Newton’s method. Nonetheless, he introduced elements that led him far from the Newtonian perspective. The present essay analyzes how historical dimensions, contingencies, institutions, and conflicting human inclinations modify a Newtonian horizon. Finally, the paper focuses on how, in Smith’s view, institutions determine ‘‘unintended outcomes,’’ which are sometimes opposed to those of the market. In this sense, the ‘‘invisible hand’’ is not only the result of the behavior of myopic individuals trying to improve their conditions; it is also the outcome of the work of institutions that operate as structures autonomous with respect to individuals.

Adam Smith on Method: Newtonianism, History, Institutions, and the "Invisible Hand"

FIORI, Stefano
2012

Abstract

Smith was influenced by Newton’s method. Nonetheless, he introduced elements that led him far from the Newtonian perspective. The present essay analyzes how historical dimensions, contingencies, institutions, and conflicting human inclinations modify a Newtonian horizon. Finally, the paper focuses on how, in Smith’s view, institutions determine ‘‘unintended outcomes,’’ which are sometimes opposed to those of the market. In this sense, the ‘‘invisible hand’’ is not only the result of the behavior of myopic individuals trying to improve their conditions; it is also the outcome of the work of institutions that operate as structures autonomous with respect to individuals.
34
3
411
435
S. Fiori
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Fiori JHET 2012.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo di file: POSTPRINT (VERSIONE FINALE DELL’AUTORE)
Dimensione 593.3 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
593.3 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/120065
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact