Concept

Invisible hand

Summary
The invisible hand is a metaphor used by the Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith that describes the inducement a merchant has to keep his capital, thereby increasing the domestic capital stock and enhancing military power, both of which are in the public interest and neither of which he intended. Some later authors have broadened this to imply the unintended greater social impacts brought about by individuals acting in their own self-interests. Smith originally mentioned the term in his work Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, but it has actually become known from his main work The Wealth of Nations, where the phrase is mentioned only once, in connection with import restrictions. Similar ideas had already been presented before Smith by other Enlightenment thinkers, such as Anders Chydenius in his work The National Gain (1765) and Bernard Mandeville. Liberal thinkers wanted to show that society functions without collapsing even without the old hier
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading