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Of Sympathy and Selfishness: The Moral and Political Philosophy of Adam Smith (A. V. Elliott Conference)

edited by Charlotte C. S. Thomas

ISBN 10: 0881465291 / ISBN 13: 9780881465297
Published by Mercer University Press, 2015
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: Of Sympathy and Selfishness: The Moral and ...

Publisher: Mercer University Press

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Perfect Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


Adam Smith is best known for his magisterial Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, but his other great work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, is as deserving of serious study. In this volume, scholars in economics, philosophy, and political science take up questions that range throughout Smith’s work, seeking to find connections between his moral theory and political economy. 

For much of the history of Smith studies, scholars worried about what was called “das Adam Smith problem,” the apparent disjunction between the philosophies espoused in The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations. In recent decades, scholars are increasingly likely to argue that there is no such “problem,” and that Smith’s two great works are compatible products of a coherent and consistent philosophical point of view. But, much work remains to explore how particular aspects of Smith’s political economy and moral theory illuminate each other. And, as Smith’s over-arching perspective comes into view through the binocular vision afforded by a study of both books, new comparisons emerge between Smith and other thinkers in the tradition. 

This volume, based on the 2013 A. V. Elliot Conference on Great Books and Ideas at Mercer University, represents a great diversity of disciplinary perspectives. Its authors take up a wide range of concerns that exist in the intersection of Smith’s political and moral theory. It also includes several articles that attempt to compare his work to thinkers that preceded and followed him, coming from as far back in the tradition as the Italian Renaissance, and moving forward in history to claim Smith’s relevance for contemporary research in experimental economics.

About the Author:

Charlotte C. S. Thomas is professor of Philosophy, codirector of the McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles, director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, and member of the Great Books program faculty at Mercer University. Her scholarly work focuses on Ancient Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Culture. She is the editor of the collection No Greater Monster nor Miracle than Myself: The Political Philosophy of Michel de Montaigne.

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