[OPE-L] adam smith

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Sat Oct 21 2006 - 15:03:31 EDT

A short description of my forthcoming (December 2006) book by  I. B. Tauris. 
About the book
This is the first scholarly work to  deal solely with the Adam Smith problem, 
namely the apparent contradiction  between Adam Smith's most famous works, 
"The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and  "The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of 
Nations". Since the 1840s scholars have  puzzled over and attempted to explain 
the fact that these works offer two  fundamentally different and contradictory 
concepts of human nature. In this  radical new approach Do an Gocmen argues 
that there are, indeed, two different  concepts of human nature; in "The Theory 
of Moral Sentiments", Smith advocates a  broad synchronization of human 
intention and behaviour under a beneficent  providence in a system of mutual 
sympathy, whereas "Wealth of Nations" is a  critical account of the human situation 
of the individual and is an egoistic  description of human beings in commercial 
society. Gocmen argues that Smith does  indeed put forward two different and 
varied ideas, arguing that the ethical  position articulated in "The Theory of 
Moral Sentiments" can be, and was  intended by Smith to be, applied as a 
basis for criticising the commercial  society analysed in the "Wealth of 
Nations".;Gocmen argues that this ethical  position points to the character of its 
ideal future replacement, that of Adam  Smith's Utopia. Gocmen therefore dismisses 
as short-sighted and oversimple the  common assumption that Adam Smith's 
Utopia consists merely of 'the invisible  hand', the idea that markets would 
regulate everything if left to their own  dynamics. This book challenges the 
traditional approach to Adam Smith and is the  first contribution to the solution of 
a long-standing debate, making it  essential reading for anyone wanting to 
understand the moral philosophy,  political economy and utopian thought of Adam 

In einer eMail vom 21.10.2006 20:35:14 Westeuropäische Sommerzeit schreibt  

---  Dogan Goecmen <Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM> wrote:

> Hi Ajit,  thank you very much for your  questions.
> By 'market in  itself' I mean that we can develop an
> objective understanding
>  of market independently from what all sorts of
> ideologies say about  and
> ascribe  to it. I mean the question we have to pose
>  is this: what is the nature of
> market. Based on this objective grasp  we can then
> judge about these ideologies
>  whether they  are right or wrong. Market is an
> institution where humans get
>  in  touch with one another for a certain purpose:
> the exchange of  commodities.
> That  is to say that human relations on market  are
> mediated by commodities -
> either  directly or  indirectly by means of money.
> So, the question what is the
>  nature of  market changes into the question what is
> the nature of  commodity
> and money.The  analysis of commodity and money  must
> then be analysed in terms of
> human relation  because  commodities are being
> exchanged by human beings.
> These  questions  are profoundly posed and analysed,
> I think, in the  first Chapter
> of the Capital  of Marx. This is my reply to  your
> two questions in short.
> Thanks  again.
Thanks for your reply. As you must know  Adam Smith
considered market as part of the sphere of free
speech. When  a buyer or a seller offers to buy or sell
something at a price, he or she  is simultaneously
putting forward an argument to convince the  other
party of why it is in his or her advantage to buy or
sell that  commodity at that price. It is part of the
whole enlightenment program. So  I was expecting a
little more on market than you have given and again  to
say that "These questions  are profoundly posed and
analysed, I  think, in the first Chapter of the Capital
of Marx." is not an answer to  the question, why do
you think that CAPITAL ch.1 has the best analysis  of
it? But I can see you have your plate full and you
need not feel  obliged to answer my questions. Cheers,
ajit  sinha

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