EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Moral sentiments, institutions, and civil society: Exploiting family resemblances between Smith and Hegel to resolve some conceptual issues in Sen's recent contributions to the theory of justice

Ivan Boldyrev () and Carsten Herrmann-Pillath ()

No 193, Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Abstract: In his Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen compares the two basic approaches to evaluate institutions, transcendental institutionalism and realization-focused comparisons. Referring to Smith's Impartial Spectator, he argues in favour of the latter and proposes the principle of Open Impartiality. However, this cannot solve the tension between universalism and contextualization of values that Sen therefore inherits from Smith. Based on recent Hegel scholarship, we argue that some of the difficulties can be resolved, considering the role Smith played in the development of Hegel's thinking. Hegel's concept of recognition plays an essential role in establishing the possibility of impartiality both on the level of consciousness and on the level of institutional intersubjectivity. Hegel's critique of Kants formalist ethics (also considered as transcendental institutionalism by Sen), his analysis of the civil society in the Philosophy of Right, especially his focus on associations and estates, can serve as a model for making Sen's focus on public discourse theoretically more concise and pragmatically feasible. Hegel shows that universalistic attitudes can only emerge in specific institutional contexts.

Keywords: Theory of Moral Sentiments; Sen; Hegel; recognition; civil society; associations; public discourse (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B12 B25 B52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/60506/1/721270948.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:193

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

 
Page updated 2022-07-05
Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:193