John Smith's Theory Of The Moral Sentiment

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1. How does Smith use the above assertion to explain a market economy? Outline his argument.
Smith uses the above argument to explain a market economy by demonstrating how self-interest creates an underlying force in the economy that encourages trade and so regulates and creates a market.
The basis of Smith’s clam begins with his earlier work, Theory of the Moral Sentiment, which explores the theory of mind and how human beings have a genetic knack for understanding how other humans think and behave. We have the ability to understand each other so well because we have a similar rationale. It allows us to apprehend the meaning of each others body language, emotions, and most importantly, desires. So when Smith says, “from their regard for
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Given that understanding, humans have the ability, unlike other animals, to exchange goods with each other. Since they have the ability to trade, humans traded and realized that exchanging goods with each other made them better off. So, humans continued to trade in order to fulfill their individual interests. That idea forms the driving force of a market economy that Smith calls the Invisible Hand. So, it is the self-interest of the butcher to exchange meat for the other goods or services he needs that encourages the exchange of goods.

2. How is Smiths claim different from the medieval conception of society? What would the reaction of Thomas Aquinas and/or Aristotle be to the above quotation from The Wealth of Nations?
The medieval conception of society differed from Smith’s claim due to the guilds, the lords and the views held by the Church. Smith’s claim focuses on how it is up to the individual to decide how they trade and within their own
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Aristotle of the Greek empire, would have also viewed Smith’s claim in a similar light as Aquinas due to Smith and Aristotle’s differing views on the purpose of a good. In the context of the butcher, brewer and baker, the three members of society must trade their respective products in order to receive the other. For example, the butcher may trade his fresh slaughter to the baker for fresh bread. To Smith, the trade of goods is an integral part of continuing a market economy. However, Aristotle argued that goods have two uses, but only one natural use. So, in terms of bread, the first use is the practical, edible nutrition that bread supplies. The second use of bread is using it as an object of exchange. To Aristotle the only natural use of a good is its practical use and not as an object of exchange. So, Aristotle would not agree with Smith’s claim because to Smith, goods must be used as goods of

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