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Title: Inventing the market. Smith, Hegel and political theory
Author: Herzog, Lisa Maria
ISNI:       0000 0003 6056 5364
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis analyses the constructions of the market in the thought of Adam Smith and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and their relevance for contemporary political philosophy. Combining the history of ideas with systematic analysis, it contrasts Smith’s view of the market as a benevolently designed ‘contrivance of nature’ with Hegel’s view of the market as a ‘relic of the state of nature.’ In two interpretative chapters these two constructions of the market are discussed within the contexts of Smith’s and Hegel’s thought. In three systematic chapters, the relevance of these different constructions for the problems of identity and community, social justice, and different notions and dimensions of freedom is discussed. The first of these chapters argues that the conceptualization of the labour market as a market place for human capital or as a locus for the development of a professional ethos has a deep impact on how one thinks about the relation between individual and community, cutting across the debate between liberals and communitarians. The second systematic chapter shows that the market can be seen either as an instrument for addressing issues of social justice or as an institution against which social justice needs to be realized: for Smith, who thinks that free markets reward virtue and equalize income, it is the former, whereas for Hegel, who holds that free markets lead to unpredictable results and exacerbate social differences, it is the latter. The third systematic chapter addresses the relation between different aspects of liberty and the market. It shows that the market offers both chances and risks for liberty in the sense of individual autonomy, and analyses the relations of the market to positive liberty in a political sense. The concluding chapter draws some broader methodological lessons, arguing for a closer integration of economic and political theory at a ‘less-ideal’ level.
Supervisor: Ryan, Alan ; Philp, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Eighteenth-Century Britain and Europe ; Intellectual History ; Modern Western philosophy ; Political ideologies ; Social justice ; Hegel ; Smith ; market ; capitalism ; social justice ; freedom