Kant And David On Causality Rousseau And Adam Smith On Social Order Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Essay Paper: #48386675 Related Topics: Social Inequality, Discourse Community, Inequality, Contrast
Excerpt from Essay :

Kant and David on Causality; Rousseau and Adam Smith on Social Order

Compare and contrast Rousseau and Adam Smith, on the importance of economic or political mark in their account of social order.

Rousseau saw the development of organized political life as synonymous with generating social inequality. As "individuals have more contact with one another and small groupings begin to form, the human mind develops language, which in turn contributes to the development of reason" (Discourse on inequality, Spark Notes, 2012). This development of reason, although it seems like a positive advancement for the species, also enables human beings to compare their lot with others. As institutions are drawn up to govern the new society, persons with greater political and economic strength (generated through holding political or leadership positions or private property) come to dominate over other citizens. The more complex societies become, the more they necessitate divisions of labor, which creates class warfare between the haves and the have-nots. The 'haves' must bolster their unnaturally beneficial social position with greater force and strive to dominate the 'have-nots' (Discourse on inequality, Spark Notes, 2012).

Smith, in contrast, took a beneficial view of economics and the social order as conducive...


Smith, like Rousseau, was against tyranny and the control of wealth by a narrow band of 'haves.' But rather than viewing community property as the solution, Smith based his philosophy upon a spirit of free exchange. He thought that "social harmony would emerge naturally as human beings struggled to find ways to live and work with each other" ("Introduction," Adam Smith Institute, 2012). The division of labor would enable people to specialize and exchange outputs, not dominate over one another (as Rousseau feared). Smith's notion of an 'invisible hand' suggested that as "people struck bargains with each other, the nation's resources would be drawn automatically to the ends and purposes that people valued most highly" ("Introduction," Adam Smith Institute, 2012). A less, rather than a more conflicted society would be created through privatized economic development. The natural sympathies human beings have for one another generate cooperation and are facilitated by rather than destroyed by the generation of social contracts and differentiated economic life.

Q7. What did Hume and Kant say about causality in their views? compare and contrast.

The philosopher David Hume denied the existence of causality. Although we might believe, based upon personal observation, that A will inevitably produce B, Hume denied that such a supposition truly constituted knowledge: "cause and effect are entirely distinct events, where the idea of…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Causality." New World Encyclopedia. [18 Apr 2012]


Discourse on inequality. Spark Notes. [18 Apr 2012]

Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008. [18 Apr 2012] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-hume-causality/

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