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A turning point in the concept of justice: from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill

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1. Title Title of document A turning point in the concept of justice: from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Estrella Trincado Aznar; Complutense University of Madrid; Spain
3. Subject Discipline(s) Political Philosophy
3. Subject Keyword(s) John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, state intervention, land tenure, justice
4. Description Abstract Classical economists, John Stuart Mill included, based their theories on Adam Smith’s system. At some point, they labelled it as a "utilitarian" theory. However, Smith was non-utilitarian, perhaps even anti-utilitarian. One of the most amazing differences between classical economics versus Smithian theory consists of their concept of justice. Classical economics were based on a utilitarian concept; Smith criticizes the concept of utilitarian justice. Utility being a subjective picture, classical economists find it more difficult to draw limits to state intervention than Smith does. This paper compares Smith’s and John Stuart Mill’s concept of justice when they make the case for land tenure. Mill admits that society cannot properly be said to owe anything to the poor. However, not arguing from 'abstract rights,' but from 'utility' understood in its largest sense, Mill defended the nationalization of land. Mill was unable to draw any limits to state intervention. Conversely, Smith defended that justice is not a utilitarian concept. In this case, limits to state intervention are more easily drawn.
5. Publisher Organizing agency, location Universidad Complutense de Madrid
6. Contributor Sponsor(s)
7. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 2012-01-11
8. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
8. Type Type
9. Format File format PDF
10. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
11. Source Title; vol., no. (year) Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy; No 0 (2012): January-June
12. Language English=en en
13. Relation Supp. Files
14. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
15. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright (c) 2012 Estrella Trincado Aznar
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