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

Publication Type:


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

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.

science, economy, market, epistemology, paradigm, objective reality

Bowlse S. Mikroekonomika. Povedenie, instituty i evolyutsiya: uchebnik [Microeconomics. Behavior, institutes and evolution]. Moscow: Izd-vo «Delo» ANKh, 2011. 576 p. (In Russian)

Bacon F. Sochineniya v 2 tomakh. T. 1 [Works in 2 volumes. Vol.1]. Moscow: Mysl', 1971. 590 p. (In Russian)

Vernadsky V.I. Razmyshleniya naturalista. Kn. 2. Nauchnaya mysl' kak planetarnoe yavlenie. [Naturalist’s reflections. Book 2. Scientific thought as planetary phenomenon].Moscow: Nauka, 1977.  316 p. (In Russian)

Hegel G.V.F. Lektsii po filosofii istorii [Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie]. Saint-Petersburg: Nauka, 1993, 2000. 480 p. (In Russian)

Hobbes T. Sochineniya v 2 tomakh T. 1 [Works in two volumes. Vol.1]. Moscow: Mysl', 1989. 622 p. (In Russian)

Gryaznov B.S. Logika. Ratsional'nost'. Nauka [Logics. Rationality. Science]. Moscow: Nauka. 1982. 256 p. (In Russian)

 Kant I. Ideya vseobshchei istorii vo vsemirno-grazhdanskom plane [Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht]. In: Kant I. Sochineniya v 6 tomakh. T. 6 [Works in 6 volumes. Vol.6]. Moscow: Mysl'. 1966. 588 p. (In Russian)

Kantorowicz E.. Dva tela korolya. Issledovaniya po srednevekovoi politicheskoi teologii [The King's Two Bodies: A Study In Medieval Political Theology]. Moscow: Izd-vo In-ta Gaidara, 2014. 752 p. (In Russian)

Kuhn T. Struktura nauchnykh revolyutsii [Structure of scientific revolutions]. Moscow: Izdatel'stvo AST, 2003. 365 p. (In Russian)

Marx K., Engels F. Nemetskaya ideologiya [Die Deutsche Ideologie]. In: Marx K., Engels F. Sochiniya [Woks]. Vol.3. Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1955.629 p. (In Russian)

Marx K Vvedenie (iz ekonomicheskikh rukopisei 1857-1858 godov) [Die Einfuerung. Ökonomische manuskripte 1957-1958]. In: Marx K., Engels F. Sochineniya [Works]. Vol.12.  M.: Gospolitizdat, 1958. T. 12. 879 p. (In Russian)

Marx K., Engels F. K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii [Zur Kritik der politische Theorie]. In: Marks K., Engel's F. Sochineniya [Works]. Vol.13. Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1959. 770 p. (In Russian)

Marks, 1960 - Marks K. Kapital [das Kapital]. In: Marx K., Engels F. Sochineniya [Works]. Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1960. T. 23. 762 p. (In Russian)

North D. Instituty, institutsional'nye izmeneniya i funktsionirovanie ekonomiki vo vremeni [Institutes, institutional changes and economic performance].   [http://gmarket.ru/laboratori/basis/6310/6311, accessed on 12.10.2016]. (In Russian)

Russel B. Istoriya zapadnoi filosofii i ee svyazi s politicheskimi i sotsial'nymi usloviyami ot antichnosti do nashikh dnei [A history of Western philosophy]. Novosibirsk: Izd-vo Novosib. un-ta, 2001. 832 p. (In Russian)

Smith A. Issledovanie o prirode i prichinakh bogatstva narodov [The nature and causes of the wealth of nations]. Moscow: Eksmo, 2007. 1056 p. (In Russian)

Hume D. Traktat o chelovecheskoi prirode [A treatise on human nature]. In: Hume D. Sochineniya v 2 tomakh. T.1 [Works in 2 volumes. Vol.1]. Moscow: Mysl', 1966. 847 p. (Russian)

Full Text: