My latest publication: ‘Statism and Distributive Injustice in Adam Smith’

My paper ‘Statism and Distributive Injustice in Adam Smith’ has just been published as a chapter in New Perspectives on Distributive Justice: Deep Disagreements, Pluralism, and the Problem of Consensus (De Gruyter, November 2018), edited by Manuel Andreas Knoll, Stephen Snyder and Nurdane Şimşek. €109.95/$126.99/£100 for eBook (EPUB and PDF)  and hardback formats.

Paper  abstract                                                                                                                                  This paper seeks to displace contemporary “progressive” attempts to bring Adam Smith into the fold of thinkers who support a form of state intervention favouring the welfare of its poorest members through distributive justice. The paper argues that despite the validity of pointing to Smith’s support of those at the lowest economic level, it never amounts to redistribution of wealth, especially to the poorest. The state structure Smith proposes does favour those with the most at stake in maintaining a stable political structure. The paper argues that the real and genuine concern Smith shows for the poorest element, would be supported by the state through the development of a legal system that would prevent or hinder the bad behaviour of the upper classes and state craft that promotes broader economic development while promoting the better virtues of societies wealthier members. Though there are distributive elements of Smith’s theory that favours the poor, they tend to be measures that prohibit attempts at distribution that could end up harming the poor. Thus, there is no basis for the assertions of egalitarian liberals who see in Smith’s work support for state sponsorship of an ideal formula for resource distribution.

Screenshot 2018-11-24 at 07.51.23


Introduction: Two Opposing Concepts of Distributive Justice

Part I: Deep Disagreements

Manuel Knoll
Deep Disagreements on Social and Political Justice: Their Meta-Ethical Relevance and the Need for a New Research Perspective

Ulrich Steinvorth
Are There Irreconcilable Conceptions of Justice? Critical Remarks on Isaiah Berlin

Michael Haus
Equality Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism: Walzer’s Contribution to the Theory of Justice

Giovanni Giorgini
Stuart Hampshire and the Case for Porcedural Justice

Bertjan Wolthuis
Public Reason in Circumstances of Pluralism

Manuel Knoll/Nurdane Şimşek
Does Rawls’ First Principle of Justice Allow for Consensus? A Note

Part II: Ancient Perspectives and Critiques of the Centrality of Justice

Francisco L. Lisi
Aristotle on Natural Right

Eckart Schütrumpf
What is “Just in Distribution” in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics – Too Much Justice, Too Little Right

Christoph Horn
Justice in Ethics and Political Philosophy: A Fundamental Critique

Chandran Kukathas

Part III: The Problem of Consensus

Alberto L. Siani
Rawls on Overlapping Disagreement and the Problem of Reconciliation

Chong-Ming Lim
Public Reason, Compromise within Consensus and Legitimacy

Ulrike Spohn
From Consensus to Modus Vivendi? Pluralistic Approaches to the Challenge of Moral Diversity and Conflict

Manon Westphal
What Bonds Citizens in a Pluralistic Democracy? Probing Mouffe’s Notion of a Conflictual Consensus

Michal Rupniewski
Citizenship, Community, and the Rule of Law: With or Without Consensus?

Peter Caven
Political Liberalism: The Burdens of Judgement and Moral Psychology

Part IV: Expanding the Perspective on Obligations

Angela Kallhoff
John Rawls and Claims of Climate Justice: Tensions and Prospects

Annette Förster
Assistance, Emergency Relief and the Duty Not to Harm – Rawls’ and Cosmopolitan Approaches to Distributive Justice Combined

Bill Wringe
Collective Global Obligations, Just International Institutions and Pluralism

Stephen Snyder
Intergenerational Justice in the Age of Genetic Manipulation

Part V: Diversifying the Perspective

Kok-Chor Tan
The Contours of Toleration: A Relational Account

Chad Van Schoelandt/Gerlad gaus
Constructing Public Distributive Justice: On the Method of Functionalist Moral Theory

Elena Irrera
Respect as an Object of Equal Distribution? Opacity, Individual Recognition and Second-Personal Authority

Maria Dimitrova
Responsibility and Justice: Beyond Moral Egalitarianism and Rational Consensus

Tom Bailey
Habermas’ and Rawls’s Postsecular Modesty

Part VI: The Difference Principle

Peter Koller
A Defence of the Difference Principle beyond Rawls

Aysel Demir
Marxist Critiques of the Difference Principle

Part VII: The Economic Perspective: Adam Smith

Jeffrey Young
Justice, Equity, and Distribution: Adam Smith’s Answer to John Rawls’s Difference Principle

Barry Stocker
Statism and Distributive Injustice in Adam Smith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s