Revista de Economía Institucional
Print version ISSN 0124-5996
PENA LOPEZ, José Atilano and SANCHEZ SANTOS, José Manuel. THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF ECONOMICS: A REINTERPRETATION OF ADAM SMITHS PROBLEM. Rev.econ.inst. [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.16, pp. 63-87. ISSN 0124-5996.
This paper offers a reinterpretation of Adam Smiths problem and reconsiders the relation between ethics and economics. It makes a critical revision of the attempts that seek to solve this problem, proposes an alternative framework constructed on the Smithian concepts of sympathy and the impartial spectator, and shows that morality understood as an extension of sympathy relations, constitutes a precondition for the market existence. The analysis clarifies that morality is the base of the economic system and, at the same time, the economic system limits morality.
Keywords : ethics; economy; Adam Smith; sympathy.