Adam Smith and Confucius on Virtue Ethics: Very Similar Conclusions
18 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 29, 2019
An analysis of Confucius and Smith demonstrates that both are presenting arguments that are extremely close in their conclusions.The Analects present a powerful case against utilitarian ethics in a manner which is very similar to Smith’s argument against utilitarianism.
Smith and Confucius analyze and apply virtue ethics in a manner that is consistent and coherent. A reader who understands Confucius will understand Smith, although Smith’s rationale for the practice of virtue ethics is more detailed and extensive than that of Confucius. On the other hand ,one can argue that Confucius reaches the same conclusions in a more simple and direct manner than Smith. Reading both reinforces the views expressed by the other.
Keywords: Adam Smith, Confucius, Virtue Ethics, Utilitarian Ethics, Jeremy Bentham, The 'Poor Man's Son'
JEL Classification: B10, B12, B14, B16, B20, B22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation