Comparing Augustine's Version of Adam Smith's 'the Poor Man's Son' Analysis with Adam Smith's Version: Wealth Can't Make You Happy, but the Pursuit of Virtue Will

20 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michael Emmett Brady

Michael Emmett Brady

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Date Written: March 26, 2019

Abstract

Augustine’s argument about the failure of wealth to insure one’s happiness is very similar to Adam Smith’s position except that Augustine compares a lower income or middle income class citizen with a rich citizen while Smith compares a lower income class citizen,or poor citizen, with a rich citizen. The conclusions of Augustine and Smith are very similar. Wealth and riches can’t make you happy. This conclusion is directly opposite to the conclusion reached by Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian ethics that the more material goods you own, the more happy you will be.

Keywords: Augustine, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Virtue Ethics, Wealth Utilitarian Ethics

JEL Classification: B10, B12, B14, B16, B20, B22

Suggested Citation

Brady, Michael Emmett, Comparing Augustine's Version of Adam Smith's 'the Poor Man's Son' Analysis with Adam Smith's Version: Wealth Can't Make You Happy, but the Pursuit of Virtue Will (March 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3360182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3360182

Michael Emmett Brady (Contact Author)

California State University, Dominguez Hills ( email )

1000 E. Victoria Street, Carson, CA
Carson, CA 90747
United States

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