Catalogue


Adam Smith and the character of virtue /
Ryan Patrick Hanley.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
description
xvi, 224 p.
ISBN
0521449294 (hardback : alk. paper), 9780521449298 (hardback : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
isbn
0521449294 (hardback : alk. paper)
9780521449298 (hardback : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction -- The problem : commerce and corruption -- Smith's defense of commercial society -- What is corruption? : political and psychological perspectives -- Smith on corruption : from the citizen to the human being -- The solution : moral philosophy -- Liberal individualism and virtue ethics -- Social science vs. moral philosophy -- Types of moral philosophy : natural jurisprudence vs. ethics -- Types of ethics : utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics -- Virtue ethics : modern, ancient, and Smithean -- Interlude : the what and the how of TMS VI -- The what : Sith's "practical system of morality" -- The how : rhetoric, audience, and the methods of practical ethics -- The how : the ascent of self-love in three stages -- Prudence or commercial virtue -- The challenge : from praise to prudence -- Educating the vain : fathers and sons -- Self-interest rightly understood -- The advantages and disadvantages of prudence -- Magnanimity or classical virtue -- The problems of prudence and the therapy of magnanimity -- Up from individualism : desert, praiseworthiness, conscience -- Modernity, antiquity, and magnanimity -- The dangers of magnanimity -- Beneficence or christian virtue -- Between care and caritas -- Benevolence and beneficence and the human telos -- The character and purposes of the wise and virtuous man -- Wisdom and virtue and Adam Smith's apology -- Epilogue: The "economy of greatness".
catalogue key
6866454
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-05-01:
Hanley's book is an insightful rethinking of Adam Smith's theory of moral virtue. Rejecting popular interpretations that read Smith as a republican humanist or a liberal individualist, Hanley grounds Smith firmly in a Scottish Enlightenment that looks back to classical moral theory for inspiration. According to Hanley (Marquette Univ.), Smith's defense of commercial society was tempered by the recognition that luxury introduces corruption into the social order and the individual soul. Smith developed a virtue ethics as a solution to the problem of this corruption that stands in sharp contrast to later utilitarian or deontological ethics. Hanley's explanation of the importance of the heavily revised sixth edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments to Smith's thought is provocative, and his analysis of the way Smith melded a defense of the virtues of prudence, benevolence, and magnanimity is compelling. The author may push his interpretation a little too far when he tries to tie Smith too closely to the anticommercial rhetoric of Nietzsche and Rousseau or when he characterizes Smith's project as one that "dialectically" reconciled commercial, classical, and Christian virtues. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. E. J. Harpham University of Texas at Dallas
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An original view of Adam Smith, arguing that he goes beyond self-interest and sympathy to the nobility of classical virtue. Ryan Hanley shows calm intelligence, fairness, and accuracy in this impressive new interpretation." - Harvey Mansfield, Professor of Government, Harvard University
"Hanley's explanation of the importance of the heavily revised sixth edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments to Smith's thought is provocative, and his analysis of the way Smith melded a defense of the virtues of prudence, benevolence, and magnanimity is compelling." -CHOICE, E. J. Harpham, University of Texas at Dallas
Reviews of the hardback: 'Ryan Patrick Hanley's excellent Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue succeeds in bringing a fresh perspective to the study of Smith's works. It offers a brilliant reinterpretation of Smith's moral philosophy that not only unifies Smith's work but offers larger lessons for us today. In an increasingly crowded field, Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue distinguishes itself as one of the most important books on Smith in more than a decade.' James Otteson, Yeshiva University
"Ryan Patrick Hanley's excellent Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue succeeds in bringing a fresh perspective to the study of Smith's works. It offers a brilliant reinterpretation of Smith's moral philosophy that not only unifies Smith's work but offers larger lessons for us today. In an increasingly crowded field, Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue distinguishes itself as one of the most important books on Smith in more than a decade." - James Otteson, Yeshiva University
"The great originality of Ryan Hanley's book is twofold: first it exhibits Smith's pervasive, surprising, and previously ignored focus on 'nobility.' Even more surprising is that Hanley is persuasive in explaining how in deploying this concept, Smith attempts to merge Christian and Pagan virtues appropriate to commercial times. Second it shows that Smith offers his readers a program of self-actualization that can transform their various manifestations of self-love into socially beneficial activities. In the process, Hanley puts to rest the idea that Smith was sanguine in relying on market forces or the invisible hand alone. Moreover, Hanley shows how Smith capitalized on humanity's religious longings. Hanley wisely avoids the question about Smith's religious views and focuses on Smith's treatment of the role(s) of religion in commercial society. By letting Smith regularly engage with Aristotle, Rousseau, and Tocqueville, Hanley makes Smith seem like a helpful and instructive companion in a world where the victory of Liberalism and Enlightenment are not to be taken for granted. Along the way, Hanley articulates a detailed account of Smith's intellectual development over time." - Eric Schliesser, Leiden University, editor of New Voices on Adam Smith
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2010
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Hanley revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith to recover his understanding of morality in a market age. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society, Hanley argues he sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity and beneficence.
Description for Bookstore
This 2009 book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of morality in a market age. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society, Hanley argues Smith sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity and beneficence.
Description for Bookstore
This book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of morality in a market age. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society, Hanley argues that Smith sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity and beneficence.
Main Description
Recent years have witnessed a capitalist resurgence. But at what moral cost have the material benefits of free markets been bought? This book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of morality in a market age. In so doing it illuminates a crucial though overlooked side of Smith's project: his diagnosis of the ethical ills of commercial societies and the remedy he advanced to cure them. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society - anxiety and restlessness, duplicity and inauthenticity, alienation and individualism - it argues that Smith sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity and beneficence. The result constitutes a new morality for modernity, at once a synthesis of commercial, classical and Christian virtues and a normative response to one of the most pressing political problems of Smith's day and ours.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Recent years have witnessed a renewed debate over the costs at which the benefits of free markets have been bought. This book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of the morals of the market age.
Main Description
Recent years have witnessed a renewed debate over the costs at which the benefits of free markets have been bought. This book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of the morals of the market age. In so doing it illuminates a crucial albeit overlooked side of Smith's project: his diagnosis of the ethical ills of commercial societies and the remedy he advanced to cure them. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society - anxiety and restlessness, inauthenticity and mediocrity, alienation and individualism - it argues that Smith sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity, and beneficence. The result constitutes a new morality for modernity, at once a synthesis of commercial, classical, and Christian virtues and a normative response to one of the most pressing political problems of Smith's day and ours. Ryan Patrick Hanley is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marquette University. His research in the history of political philosophy has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Review of Politics, History of Political Thought, the European Journal of Political Theory, and other academic journals and edited volumes. He is also the editor of the forthcoming Penguin Classics edition of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, featuring an introduction by Amartya Sen, and a co-editor, with Darrin McMahon, of The Enlightenment: Critical Concepts in History.
Main Description
Recent years have witnessed a renewed debate over the costs at which the benefits of free markets have been bought. This 2009 book revisits the moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith, capitalism's founding father, to recover his understanding of the morals of the market age. In so doing it illuminates a crucial albeit overlooked side of Smith's project: his diagnosis of the ethical ills of commercial societies and the remedy he advanced to cure them. Focusing on Smith's analysis of the psychological and social ills endemic to commercial society - anxiety and restlessness, inauthenticity and mediocrity, alienation and individualism - it argues that Smith sought to combat corruption by cultivating the virtues of prudence, magnanimity and beneficence. The result constitutes a new morality for modernity, at once a synthesis of commercial, classical and Christian virtues and a normative response to one of the most pressing political problems of Smith's day and ours.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
The Problem: Commerce and Corruptionp. 15
Smith's Defense of Commercial Societyp. 15
What Is Corruption? Political and Psychological Perspectivesp. 24
Smith on Corruption: From the Citizen to the Human Beingp. 36
The Solution: Moral Philosophyp. 53
Liberal Individualism and Virtue Ethicsp. 53
Social Science versus Moral Philosophyp. 57
Two Types of Moral Philosophy: Natural Jurisprudence versus Ethicsp. 62
Three Types of Ethics: Utilitarianism, Denotology, and Virtue Ethicsp. 68
Virtue Ethics: Modern, Ancient, and Smitheanp. 78
Interlude: The What and the How of TMS VIp. 82
The What: Smith's "Practical System of Morality"p. 82
The How: Rhetoric, Audience, and the Methods of Practical Ethicsp. 86
The How: The Ascent of Self-Love in Three Stagesp. 92
Prudence, or Commercial Virtuep. 100
The Challenge: From Praise to Prudencep. 100
Educating the Vain: Fathers and Sonsp. 104
Self-Interest Rightly Understoodp. 109
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Prudencep. 123
Magnanimity, or Classical Virtuep. 132
The Problems of Prudence and the Therapy of Magnanimityp. 132
Up from Individualism: Desert, Praiseworthiness, Consciencep. 135
Modernity, Antiquity, and Magnanimityp. 151
The Dangers of Magnanimityp. 162
Beneficence, or Christian Virtuep. 175
Between Care and Caritasp. 175
Benevolence and Beneficence and the Human Telosp. 178
The Character and Purposes of the Wise and Virtuous Manp. 187
Wisdom and Virtue and Adam Smith's Apologyp. 202
Epilogue: The "Economy of Greatness"p. 209
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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