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In Adam Smith's Invisible Hands: Comment on Gavin Kennedy

Daniel Klein ()

Econ Journal Watch, 2009, vol. 6, issue 2, 264-279

Abstract: Professor Gavin Kennedy’s essay on the invisible hand raises several issues: (1) whether the three occurrences of the phrase in Adam Smith’s writings are reconcilable; (2) whether the phrase may properly serve as tag for an important idea in natural jurisprudence; and (3) the importance Smith attached to the phrase. In line with A.L. Macfie, I argue that the three occurrences are reconcilable, and, in line with a great many others, that the phrase may properly serve as a tag for the comparative merit of liberty. Whether Smith intended for the phrase to be used that way is uncertain, but does not matter much to its serviceability.

Keywords: Adam Smith; invisible hand; natural liberty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 B0 B1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:264-279