NEW PAPER IN PRODUCTION: Adam Smith on “Self Betterment, Self-Interest, the Invisible- Hand, intended and Unintended consequences”
Presently, I am working on a paper resolving, I hope, the controversy of what Adam Smith meant by using the “invisible-hand” metaphor, which while it may not surprise many readers, and may provoke a few sighs of “so what” from those well familar with the Lost Legacy Blog, it certainly enthuses me.
Perceptive visitors may note that I have not posted since 17 February, which is rather long for me and for which I apologise. The absence of posts is down to a lot of background reading I have recently undertaken, both in Adam Smith’s “Lectures On Retoric” (1762-3) and his “Lectures On Jurisprudence” (1762-3), as well as his two publishd books, “Theory of Moral Sentiments” (1759) and “Wealth Of Nations” (1776), and a fair selection of books by modern authors in Anthropology and Archeology (examples: Chris Skinner. 2011, “The Origins of Our Species”, Allen Lane and Cypprean Broodbank, , 2013. "The Making of the Middle Sea: a history of the Mediterarranean from the beginning to the emergence of the classical world". London: Thames & Hudson.
Smith was interested in the origins of humanity as a distinct species, of which in his day, knowledge was limited, as well as knowledge of evolution, except in the prevalent theological fantasies of the Eden Garden, dated supposedly by Bishop Usher as 4004 BCE (compare my papers on Smith’s supposed views on theology: Kennedy, G. (2011b) ‘The Hidden Adam Smith in his Alleged Theology’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, vol. 33 (3), September, 385-402; Kennedy, G. 2015. ‘Adam Smith on Religion’ in C. Berry, M. Paganelli and C. Smith, eds. pp. 464-84. The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
I am now composing my paper: Kennedy, G. “Adam Smith on “Self Betterment, Self-Interest, the Invisible- Hand, intended and Unintended consequences”. It should be availble, hopefully in weeks, for publication, but in the meantime, as professional journal publications usually take from 18 months to two years to become available (I know this because I referee for such journals and by the time the referees sort out their, often contradictory comments, and editors choose which issue it should appear in, if at all, time goes by). I shall therefore post it on the (free) Social Science Research Network (SSRN) site within weeks of my concluding my work. My thinking for using this route is influenced by my 75th birthday last week and my general state of health, and a desire to read any feedback it may occasion.
Should any reader wish to receive notice on how my paper may be accessed in a couple of weeks or so, please send me a message and I shall arrange to do so, once the arrangements are made. Of course, readers’ comments are welcome, with the single proviso that their content conforms to the usual scholarly norms, appropriate for members the Academy. I can take harsh criticism, but cannot be bothered with personal abuse.