Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Tale of Two Philosophers

From today’s (31 October) Stumbling and Mumbling Blog HERE
Against Forecasts”
“Karl Marx: “the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways: the point, however, is to change it”
Adam Smith: “those who are called philosophers or men of speculation, whose trade it is, not to do any thing, but to observe everything; and who, upon that account, are often capable of combining together the powers of the most distant and dissimilar objects.” (WN Book 1, chapter 1, paragraph 9).
May I ask: of the two approaches, which philosophy did the least material and human damage to the world: the philosopher who interpreted it and tried to forcibly change it, or the philosopher who observed everything and did nothing?”


Blogger airth10 said...

Well, you can't say that Adam Smith did nothing. He wrote with vigour and cajoled people to change their economic ways through his writings.

Anyway, I am glad the two philosophers and their opposing viewpoints existed because that is how the world develops and progresses, through opposing viewpoints bouncing of each other and being compared.

8:56 pm  
Blogger airth10 said...

I think the subject of who changed the world more or for the better, Adam Smith or Karl Marx, is ripe for a longer essay. One thing we know is that Marxism was in response to what Smith's ideas generated and bequeathed.

Who's ideas, for instance, were more responsible for the debacle of the 2008 financial crises? Adam Smith. That kind of economic behaviour is what gave rise to Marxism.

10:03 am  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

airth 10
What ideas of Adam Smith made him responsible for 2008?
I you sure they were Smith's ideas or the mistaken claims of those using his name?

3:55 pm  
Blogger airth10 said...

I am not saying that Smith was directly responsible for the misuse of his ideas, just like you can't totally blame Marx for the collapse of communism.

But you never know. If Smith were around today he might take some responsibility for what he wrought. There is certainly lots of credit he can take. But there is also stuff he didn't foresee or imagine.

4:43 pm  

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