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"The new interpretation of Adam Smith Problem"

Author: JieTao From: www.yourpaper.net Posted: 2009-06-12 15:02:54 Read:
[Abstract] "Adam Smith Problem" sparked what about human nature and economics is discussed selfish or altruistic.In Smith's writings and no egoism and altruism are diametrically opposed up -- selfish or altruistic is Smith about a human nature in search of some dimension, and "fair" this idea is the essence of the theory of Smith's writings to highlight, which envisaged by Smith's economic system -- the institutional framework of justice is the necessary condition to ensure the normal operation of the market economy.Among them.Smith in the "theory of moral sentiments" Discussion on "Empathy" concepts in modern biology experiment has been confirmed scientifically.
[keyword] "Adam Smith Problem"; behavior; empathy; mirror neuron

First, the introduction of

Man is the subject of all economic activities, economics should be the theory of people.This.Marshall once made of this classic: "economics as a kind of independent scientific reason, because it is the study of human activity in that part of the most measurable motivation dictate, therefore this part of the activity than the other part can accept reasoning and analysis system".In fact, analysis of individual behavior patterns throughout the development history of Economics: the different interpretation of people's economic behavior form the watershed between Marx economics and western economics methodology.At the same time, the western mainstream economics itself is in the self-interest hypothesis and constantly revised and added gradually developed, and on the self-interest hypothesis continues to challenge is created non-mainstream economics genre much.
However, with the "expanding economic empire", appeared "abuse" self-interest hypothesis phenomenon.Amaetya Sen has commented: "known as the 'method of empirical economics' theory, not only in the theoretical analysis to avoid the normative analysis, but also ignores the ethical considerations of human complex, and these ethical considerations can influence the actual human behavior.According to economists who study human behavior point of view, these complex ethical consideration is the basic facts, rather than what the standard judgment ", the altruistic behavior deliberately avoided will lead to" modern economics pauperization phenomenon serious".
So, how should we understand individual behavior and motivation of economic activity difference? The explanation of Economics on the "Adam Smith Problem" based on the literature review and comment on the nature of the problem given, around the people on the basis of the discussion and the summary.

Two, "Adam Smith Problem" and its historical origin of

In his academic career, leaving two masterpiece, was published in 1759 a "theory of moral sentiments", another is to study the nature and causes of the wealth of nations "in 1776 published".In these two works, analyzes the profound economic behavior of people and their motives of Smith, and on this basis to build a huge system of thought.
In the "theory of moral sentiments", Smith emphasizing the compassion, the pursuit of freedom, justice, the desire of moral factors on the important influence of human behavior, Smith pointed out: "whether people will think someone how selfish, this talent is always there obviously exist this kind of nature, the nature that he cares the fate of others, the happiness of others as their own things, though he can only see the happiness of others and feel happy, be nowhere.This kind is pity or compassion, when we see the generated or vividly imagine the misery of others ".Then Smith further emphasized, "the feelings of human nature like all the other original passions, not only the virtuous and humane", even if the "biggest villain, violate the law a very serious person, is not altogether without it".Therefore, "sympathy" by Adam Smith is the basic motivation of human behavior.While in the "wealth of nations", Smith was described to us in a situation, "we need to daily food and beverage, not from the butcher, the brewer or baking division of grace, but from their regard to their own interest.We don't say to arouse their altruistic heart words, and arouse their self-interest ".Give extended application, "each individual efforts to make its production value reached the highest level......He usually neither intends to promote the public interest, also don't know he is promoting the interests of to what extent, he intends only his own safety; because the purpose of his management industry in such a manner that its produce value reached the maximum, he intends only his own interests".Smith argued, tends to people born with the mutual exchange of needed products, trade with each other."This tendency, as mankind in common and unique" for the human, human mutual exchange of needed products, trade with each other "human nature" and not from the altruistic heart, but it is considered from egoism.The above mentioned "the theory of moral sentiments" and "the wealth of nations" in the two paragraph States widely cited by later scholars, known as "Adam Smith problem, there is strong evidence, the.
"Adam Smith Problem" of the controversy was first initiated by the German Historical School, history school against the classical economics of "self-interest" stressed and the motive of human behavior that overgeneralization and abstract analysis method.They think, in "the theory of moral sentiments", Smith attributed behavior and motivation to people's sympathy or altruism, while in the "wealth of nations" is the people's behavior motivation as selfish or selfish, this appears in Smith's writings the egoism and altruism two mutually split human nature, namely the contradiction of Smith's ethics thought with the economic thought, constitutes the Adam Smith Problem "".The marginal utility school tries to prove his two books are the same ideological stance based on, and actively promoted as the "theory of economics of Precision Science", to the natural science model established, admitted that "economic man" hypothesis as the method is very necessary.The Smith's two works about

Three, different interpretations of
"Adam Smith Problem"

Around the "Adam Smith Problem" debate in general can be attributed to several points:
A kind of viewpoint thinks, "Adam Smith Problem" is a reality, there is difficult to overcome the contradictions between economy and ethic thought smith.Lu Senbei believed that Smith "description of capitalists, even the capitalist contradiction are described, even his businessman's egoism are described, and the leaves of egoism and need a fig concealed locally, this piece of fig leaf is hiding naked self-interest, a decent ethics".Therefore, Smith was not able to put economic and moral of the two world, "he studies the moral world is the starting point of sympathy.He defined for compassion, is' to the suffering of others care about '; the starting point of his research on the world economy, is the pursuit of self-interest -- in the economic life is entirely personal interests".As for why there will be "Adam Smith Problem", Lu Senbei will be the reasons should be attributed to the induced class limitation, smith.
Similarly, in Jacob Wagner's view, "the difference between the theory of moral sentiments" and "the wealth of nations" is unable to solve, he thought.The two book is completely reconcile practices will distort any one book thought.At the same time, Wagner noted that, in the "theory of moral sentiments", Smith analysis behind different moral emotion of the natural order to prove a kind of moral psychology, this kind of moral psychology is the general description of human nature, but also is static.Therefore, human nature is not change or evolution.This view in the "law" and "the wealth of nations" notes on historical, legal, social and political and economic evolution is not consistent.
Fudan University professor Chen Qiren also think, Smith's moral people are compassionate, his economic person is selfish.Because, Smith's "moral man is actually a natural person or clan ethics personality, while the economic man is a product of economic law action of commercial society".Smith confuse the two, is the cause of these problems.
With this view, that between, Smith's writings on ethics and economics ideology is inherent consistency.Marshall thinks that economics is actually "the motivation research in people's daily life matters most powerful, most strongly influence human behavior, the motivation is caused by a certain amount of money".In Marshall's view, decisive factor that affects economic behavior is that people desire for monetary wealth.But Marshall also admitted: "economic motives are not selfish; desire for money does not exclude the influence of money outside, this desire itself may be noble motives; economic measure range can be extended to many benefits including human activities".He should be the "molecular" organization in society, is a "cherished desire, and suffer toil and sacrifice to support his family
Based on the Commons Smith's "divine grace theological thought".Think "no matter is compassion or self-interest, always mutual relationship.Originated in the given by God is not consciousness.......'it is not the consciousness', the rich world that a proper sense, conscience and coordination.Compassion to sacrifice oneself to promote people's welfare virtue of approval.However, the tendency for those exchange even if we hate evil people, also let them benefit.The two complementary, not contradictory".
Mr. Chen Daisun also believes that the so-called Smith Problem "is not a real and just an illusion", because "in Smith's time, economics and ethics as the two part of a discipline, two different argument into two books each some emphasis, is completely understandable; not because of and that the two will constitute the irreconcilable contradictions".
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