La teodicea social de Adam Smith

Empresa y Humanismo 13 (1):333-374 (2010)
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Abstract
I argue the existence of two tensions in Smith's system of ideas: the first is that between the postulate of an invisible noumenal order of the universe and the imaginary principles by means of which we connect the phenomena; the second is a tension between the noumenal order of the world where 'is' and 'ought' converge, and the various partial orders that may be reconstructed in social phenomena that leave room for irrationality and injustice. My first claim is that these tensions are dialectical tensions in a unitary, albeit rhapsodically presented in writing. My second claim is that, the system’s unanswered question in the moral domain is a ‘metaphysical’ and ‘theological’ question, namely the problem of evil; by implication, I contend also that Smith was no secularist, but instead a post-skeptical fideist or agnostic, who took Bayle's question: "why are men wicked and unhappy?" quite seriously. His private ethics of prudence, justice, benevolence and his public ethics of liberty, justice, equality were modest proposals for coping with the problem of social evil in our imperfect world.
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