Doctoral Student Eduardo Andrade Awarded the 2021 Anna Kessler Memorial Graduate Essay Prize

07 July 2021

Doctoral student Eduardo Andrade has been awarded the 2021 Anna Kessler Memorial Graduate Essay Prize in Philosophy for his paper, “A Beautiful and Orderly System: Liberal Governmentality and the Aesthetic Deception of Order.” The prize is awarded each year to the best graduate student essay written by a philosophy graduate student enrolled in the MA or PhD program and is adjudicated by the Awards and Placement Committee. Papers may have been written as a part of coursework, but they need not be; conference papers and parts of theses are also welcome. The deadline for each year’s competition is now June 1.

Here is the abstract for Eduardo’s winning paper:

          Between 1978 and 1979, Foucault analyzed the importance of Adam Smith’s political economy to the emerging liberal art of government. According to Foucault, Adam Smith’s economic theory posited a cognitive limit to governmental reason; neither the Sovereign nor the economic agents – the homo oeconomicus – could grasp the totality of the economic processes. This limitation supported both the laissez-faire policies and the mechanism of convergence of interest of the agents. In this paper, I take issue with Foucault’s disregard for Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments in his readings. My contention is that by focusing on The Theory of Moral Sentiments, it is possible to show that there is not so much a cognitive limitation, but an aesthetic deception at the center of Smith's political economy. For Adam Smith, the beauty of order motivates both the self-interested pursuit of the agents and requires the non-intervention of the political Sovereign.

Congratulations Eduardo!