Giovanni Mari

Adam Smith Aristotelian. Ethics and Labor in «The Theory of Moral Sentiments» and in «The Wealth of Nations»

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Keywords: Adam Smith, Ethics, Labor, Idleness, Economics.

The author examines The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations to find out what is Adam Smith's notion of the laborer. The conclusion reached is that Smith does not offer an account of the moral character of the laborer, even though he recognizes the economic importance of such a figure and considers critically her social condition. The thesis is that the absence of a moral philosophy of the laborer is to be connected to a similar move made by Aristotle who excluded labor from his ethics basing it instead on the notion of idleness. The author suggests in the conclusion that a different view of the relationship between idleness and work can be imagined which makes room for a moral philosophy of labor.

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