On the “invisible hand” by Adam Smith and the formation of scientific picture of the social world

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Transliteration of original Title: 
O «nevidimoi ruke» Adama Smita i formirovanii nauchnoi kartiny sotsial'nogo mira
Author(s): 
Georgy Antipov
Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management
Issue number: 
No.1 (Vol.51)
Pages: 
138-152
Abstract: 

The expression “the invisible hand of the market” (from the Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”) sometimes acquires in modern economical and everyday journalism the most unexpected overtones, like “why “the invisible hand of the market" totally disregard writer”? In the area of the scientific economic thinking “the "invisible hand” is interpreted as the objective market mechanism which coordinates the decisions of buyers and sellers. The attempts to analyze the epistemological status of “the invisible hand” are quite rare, especially in the modality of the formation of the Economics as a science. Meanwhile, as it is shown in the article, there is reason to see here the first fundamental step to the origination of the scientific research program of the economic science in the strict sense. The author assumes that phenomena like “the invisible hand of the market” is comparable to what Thomas Kuhn designates as “the metaphysical parts of paradigms”, i.e. basic ontological models, which define peculiar scientific vision of the reality under research. The main difficulty for the scientific rationality in the attempts of generating scientific knowledge about society, was to represent the corresponding processes of human activity in the form of objective reality, which is required by the basic ideological attitude of the science as such.

Keywords: 
science, economy, market, epistemology, paradigm, objective reality
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DOI: 
10.5840/eps201751115
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