Adam Smith and Human Flourishing

Ryan P. Hanley

AEI Press | 2016

“Yet for all these differences, the divorce of political philosophy from public policy would be fatal to each. The policymaker who limits his vision to what can be done and is deaf to questions about what ought to be done seems as dangerous as the philosopher who focuses on the ideal and ignores the real conditions of human beings. Bringing the two enterprises together thus seems necessary for the success of each individually. It is especially necessary when the substantive issue at stake concerns the relationship of human flourishing to economic liberty—a relationship that was particularly well understood by Adam Smith, one of the modern world’s most careful and insightful students of both public policy and political philosophy.”

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