Adam Smith (1723-1790) is widely hailed as the founding father of what is now known as economics. The Essential Adam Smith is intended to be a primer to Smith’s thought, an introduction to several of his most important ideas. Its aim is to familiarize readers with some of the central reasons Smith is considered a great author, and to give some appreciation of both the depth and breadth of his thought.
Business has a bad name for many people. It is easy to point to unethical and damaging behavior by companies. And it may seem straightforward to blame either indivuduals or, more generally, ruthless markets and amoral commercial society.
In Honorable Business, James R. Otteson argues that business activity can be valuable in itself.
In addition to Adam Smith himself, the selections gathered here include essays and excerpts by thinkers ranging from Locke and Rousseau to Hayek and Cass Sunstein.
as a system of
– that is, from the perspectives of
philosophy and economic theory.
For Smith, a free competition environment
was the best
way to foster
that would work in accordance with
natural laws. The framework he set
up to explain the
free market remains true to this day.
Winner of the 2007 Templeton Enterprise Award, for being “the very best that has been written to advance the cause of ordered liberty around the world.”
Generous selections from each of Smith’s books and from his other work, including his lectures on jurisprudence, his history and philosophy of science, his criticism and belles lettres, and his philosophy of language. It also includes two important letters from Hume, as well as Smith’s account of Hume’s death.
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix?
The Levellers burst onto the historical, political and legal scene during the English Civil War of 1641-1646. In their writings they laid out a vision of limited government that generations of “liberals” would later develop. As well as containing all the central writings of Overton, Walwyn and Lilburne, this set includes a selection of responses, criticisms and defenses from other contemporary sources.
Selected Articles and Essays:
“The Misuse of Egalitarianism in Society” (Summer 2017)
“Adam Smith on Justice, Social Justice, and Ultimate Justice” (2016)
“Adam Smith on Virtue, Prosperity and Justice” (2016)
“Hey There Millennials, There is Such a Thing as an Honest Profit” (March 2015)
“Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism” (August 2016)
“An Audacious Promise: The Moral Case for Capitalism” (2012)
“The Inhuman Alienation of Capitalism” (2012)
“Adam Smith and the Great Mind Fallacy” (Winter 2010)
“Kantian Individualism and Political Libertarianism” (Winter 2009)
“Shaftesbury’s Evolutionary Morality and Its Influence on Adam Smith” (2008)
“Private Judgement, Individual Liberty, and the Role of the State” (Fall 2002)
“Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Morals” (September 2002)
“Adam Smith’s First Market: The Development of Language” (January 2002)
“Limits on Our Obligation to Give: (July 2000)
“Freedom of Religion and Public Schooling” (Spring 2000)
“The Recurring ‘Adam Smith Problem'” (January 2000)
Triad Business Journal Columns
For more information on publications, media and honors, please visit the Wake Forest University Faculty Directory.