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Adam Smith on Sympathy: From Self-Interest to Empathy

Is the assumption of self-interested behavior assumed in economics at odds with altruism and compassion? I believe that this question—which has been formulated in various ways in the literature for the past two centuries—is the thorn that often turns us away from reconciling the Adam Smith of the Wealth of Nations (hereinafter WN) with the…

Smith on Smith

Last but by no means least here is an extract from Vernon’s Smith’s foreword. This book is a welcome addition to the resurgent scholarly and practical interest in Adam Smith’s contributions to market economics and its antecedents in the social order of human culture. In Smith, propriety concerned the rules that govern human sociability by…

Smith, Justice and the Scope of the Political

The intro to the final chapter — by Craig Smith There was a time when many commentators thought that there was a problem with Adam Smith. The tendency to read Smith’s thought as marred by supposed tensions between the ‘sympathy’ of The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) and the ‘selfishness’ of The Wealth of Nations…

The Spontaneous Order and the Family

The intro to Lauren Hall’s chapter. Smith scholarship is conflicted on whether the apparent conflict between self-interest in the Wealth of Nations (WN) and sympathy in the Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) indicates an intractable problem or is merely the result of a misunderstanding of Smith’s overall system. This chapter is written as a response both…