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Adam Smith on Sympathy: From Self-Interest to Empathy

The intro to Gloria Zúñiga y Postigo’s essay 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…

Adam Smith: 18th Century Polymath

Here is the intro to Roger Frantz’ chapter. ~~~~~~~ Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a polymath with several of his key concepts and theories either having modern counterparts and/or “enjoying” empirical support. Smith wrote about the origin and proper use of language, grammar, the history of astronomy and ancient physics, moral philosophy, music, dance, and poetry,…

Adam Smith as a Scottish Philosopher

Below is the intro to Gordon Graham’s chapter. Was Adam Smith a Scottish philosopher? The question seems an odd one. He was a philosopher and he was Scottish. What more could we need to know, in order to arrive at the simple answer ‘yes.’ And in any case, why does it matter? On reflection, however, neither…