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Summary Adam Smith (1723-1790) is one of the key philosophical figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. Best known for his An Inquiry of into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), considered the first work in modern political economy, his philosophical contribution lies mainly with his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). Here he develops a sentimentalist view of moral judgment as based on sympathy, and which includes the central regulative concept of an impartial spectator - a notion that much subsequent moral philosophy will build on (or critically oppose). The main issues covered in the category, besides editions of Smith's works, relate mainly to (1) the relation between his economical theory and his moral philosophy (known as the "Adam Smith problem"); (2) scholarly work on his moral philosophy, and its relation to other major figures such as David Hume, on whom Smith heavily draws but also crucially differs from.
Key works Some editions of Smith's main works: Smith 2002 (1759), Smith 1976 (1776), Smith 1978. For a classical 20th century meta-ethical reprisal (with significant differences) of Smith's impartial spectator, see Firth 1952. In recent years Smith's philosophy has received a great deal of attention. Key scholarly works include: Raphael 2007, a well-rounded exposition of Smith's moral philosophy; Montes 2003, centering on the notion of sympathy and Smith's methodology. Still relevant is Haakonssen 1981, an extended comparison between Smith and Hume on justice. On the 'Adam Smith problem', key works are Otteson 2002 and Fleischacker 2004: both originally and exhaustively connect Smith's economical theory with his moral philosophy and psychology.
Introductions On Smith's moral and political philosophy Fleischacker 2013 is a good starting point. Depending on focus, various essays contained in Brown & Fleischacker 2010 and in Berry et al 2013 can provide comprehensive guidance on different aspects of Smith's work, his context, and his influence.
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  1. Andrew Abela (2001). Adam Smith and the Separation Thesis. Business and Society Review 106 (3):187-199.
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  2. James Cw Ahiakpor (1992). Rashid on Adam Smith: In Need of Proof. Journal of Libertarian Studies 10 (2):171-80.
    Salim Rashid purports to have established some facts about Adam Smith's scholarship, significant among which are Smith's plagiarism, the poor quality of Smith's arguments or ideas compared with those of his predecessors or contemporaries, and Smith's inconsistent arguments regarding laissez faire. Alas, Rashid's case is faulty, as well as often misleading and vexatious. This comment is an attempt to draw the requisite evidence from Rashid, if he indeed has such evidence, to back up his case, and to advance the scholarship (...)
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  3. Chad Allen (1995). Smith, Pritchard, and the Moral Sentiment of Global Joy. Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 17:29-38.
  4. Rudolf Allers (1951). V. E. Smith. Philosophical Physics. [REVIEW] The Thomist 14:277.
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  5. Mony Almalech, When the Man Became Adam.
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  6. James E. Alvey (2007). The 'New View' of Adam Smith and the Development of His Views Over Time. In Geoff Cockfield, Ann Firth & John Laurent (eds.), New Perspectives on Adam Smith's the Theory of Moral Sentiments. E. Elgar.
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  7. Michael C. Amrozowicz (2013). Adam Smith: History and Poetics. In Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oup Oxford. 143.
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  8. Gary Anderson (1997). Adam Smith, Justice, and the System of Natural Liberty. Journal of Libertarian Studies 13 (1):1-20.
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  9. Abela Andrew (2001). Adam Smith and the Separation Thesis. Business and Society Review 106 (3).
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  10. David Andrews (2014). Adam Smith’s Natural Prices, the Gravitation Metaphor, and the Purposes of Nature. Economic Thought:42.
    Adam Smith’s ‘natural price’ has long been interpreted as a ‘normal price’ or ‘centre of gravitation price’ based on the famous gravitation metaphor of the Wealth of Nations I.vii, natural in the sense that it is the price that would … More ›.
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  11. Luiz Bernardo Leite Araujo & Fábio dos Santos Creder (2013). Ética, Economia E Justiça: A Escolha Social No Pensamento de Sen E Smith. Doispontos 10 (1).
    This article aims to examine Adam Smith’s deep and broad influence on the thought of Amartya Sen, especially concerning the issue of social justice that pervades the writings of both authors. First, we will analyze Sen’s revision of the work of Smith to refute the interpretation still prevalent, that makes use of certain excerpts from The Wealth of Nations as the main reference in defending the deregulation of markets and in exempting the economic thought from any consideration of moral values, (...)
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  12. Charles Flinn Arrowood (1946). The Theory of Education in the Political Philosophy of Adam Smith. Journal of Philosophy 43 (16):447-447.
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  13. Tony Aspromouroos (2013). Adam Smith on Labour and Capital. In Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oup Oxford.
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  14. Gad Assouline (1996). Yam Ha-Adam. Hotsa at Ramot - Universitat Tel Aviv.
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  15. H. J. D. Astley (1928). G. Adam Smith, The Book of Isaiah, Vols. I. And Ii., New Edition. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 27:179.
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  16. H. J. Dukinfield Astley (1922). H. Preserved Smith, Essays in Biblical Interpretation. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 21:412.
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  17. H. J. Dukinfield Astley (1922). J. Powis Smith, The Religion of the Psalms. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 21:621.
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  18. C. E. B. (1963). Adam Smith Speaks to Our Times. Review of Metaphysics 17 (2):303-303.
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  19. Kg Ballestrem (1984). Marx, Karl and Smith, Adam, Critical Observations on the Critique of Political-Economy. Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane 13 (2):141-162.
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  20. Jack Barbalet (2007). The Moon Before the Dawn : A Seventeenth Century Precursor of Smith's the Theory of Moral Sentiments. In Geoff Cockfield, Ann Firth & John Laurent (eds.), New Perspectives on Adam Smith's the Theory of Moral Sentiments. E. Elgar. 84--105.
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  21. G. F. Barbour (1911). James Adam, The Vitality of Platonism. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 10:501.
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  22. Heather Barker & Charles Green (2005). Bernard Smith, Cold Warrior. Thesis Eleven 82 (1):38-53.
    Bernard Smith’s canonical book, Australian Painting, 1788-1960, was shaped by the Cold War. This forced the emerging discipline of Australian art history onto a trajectory that would not be shaken for another two decades. More than art history determined Smith’s innovations. This article proceeds from that obvious but easily overlooked point, that Smith and his book were deeply conditioned by the intellectual climate of Cold War Australia. The appearance of Smith’s book and, henceforth, Australian art history’s concerns with postcoloniality and (...)
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  23. Randy Barnett (1979). Comment on Smith. Journal of Libertarian Studies 3 (4):427-431.
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  24. G. R. Bassiry & Marc Jones (1993). Adam Smith and the Ethics of Contemporary Capitalism. Journal of Business Ethics 12 (8):621 - 627.
    This paper presents a theoretical elaboration of the ethical framework of classical capitalism as formulated by Adam Smith in reaction to the dominant mercantilism of his day. It is seen that Smith's project was profoundly ethical and designed to emancipate the consumer from a producer and state dominated economy. Over time, however, the various dysfunctions of a capitalist economy — e.g., concentration of wealth, market power — became manifest and the utilitarian ethical basis of the system eroded. Contemporary capitalism, dominated (...)
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  25. Peter Beilharz (2013). Bernard Smith The Quality of Marxism. Thesis Eleven 114 (1):94-102.
    Bernard Smith (1916–2011) was a giant on the Australian intellectual scene, and a major analyst of and contributor to the processes of cultural traffic between the antipodes and the centres of the world system. He was a lifelong Marxist, or historical materialist. Yet his scholarship also wore an open weave. Was he then a Marxist in politics? This essay argues that his historicism placed his thinking firmly with the owl of Minerva, rather than in the driver’s seat of history. Marxism, (...)
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  26. Peter Beilharz (1999). Bernard Smith. In Ernest Cashmore & Chris Rojek (eds.), Dictionary of Cultural Theorists. Oxford University Press. 433--4.
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  27. Lawrence Bems (1994). Arístotle and Adam Smith on Justice: Cooperation Between Ancients and Modems? Review of Metaphysics 48.
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  28. Laurence Berns (1994). Aristotle and Adam Smith on Justice: Cooperation Between Ancients and Moderns? Review of Metaphysics 48 (1):71 - 90.
  29. Christopher I. Berry (2013). Adam Smith and Early-Modern Thought. In Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oup Oxford. 77.
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  30. Christopher J. Berry (2006). Smith and Science. In Knud Haakonssen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith. Cambridge University Press.
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  31. Christopher J. Berry (2003). :Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 1 (2):184-187.
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  32. Christopher J. Berry (1994). Peter Jones and Andrew S. Skinner, Eds., Adam Smith Reviewed, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1992. Pp. Xii + 251. John J. Jenkins, Understanding Hume, Ed. Peter Lewis and Geoffrey Madell, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1992, Pp. 215. [REVIEW] Utilitas 6 (01):155-.
  33. Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.) (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oxford University Press.
    Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. (...)
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  34. M. Bevir (2001). A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgement and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith. By Samuel Fleischacker. [REVIEW] The European Legacy 6 (5):659-659.
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  35. Colin Bird, Fraternity From Smith to Tawney.
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  36. J. D. Bishop (2006). Samuel Fleischacker, On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion. Philosophy in Review 26 (1):30.
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  37. John D. Bishop (1995). Adam Smith's Invisible Hand Argument. Journal of Business Ethics 14 (3):165 - 180.
    Adam Smith is usually thought to argue that the result of everyone pursuing their own interests will be the maximization of the interests of society. The invisible hand of the free market will transform the individual''s pursuit of gain into the general utility of society. This is the invisible hand argument.Many people, although Smith did not, draw a moral corollary from this argument, and use it to defend the moral acceptability of pursuing one''s own self-interest.
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  38. Richard J. Blackwell (1977). "The Problem of Life: An Essay in the Origins of Biological Thought," by C. U. M. Smith. Modern Schoolman 55 (1):119-120.
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  39. Mogens Blegvad (1986). Adam Smith jako filozof nauki. Studia Filozoficzne 251 (10).
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  40. Paul Bloomfield (1959). Adam's Brood. The Eugenics Review 51 (3):170.
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  41. Joe Blosser (2011). Christian Freedom in Political Economy : The Legacy of John Calvin in the Thought of Adam Smith. In Paul Oslington (ed.), Adam Smith as Theologian. Routledge.
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  42. J. Bonar (1926). “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” By Adam Smith, 1759. Philosophy 1 (03):333-.
    To this, his first book, the author owed the opportunities of travel and leisure which enabled him to perfect his second, the Wealth of Nations , 1776. It has needed all the fame of the second to keep alive the memory of the first. The Moral Sentiments founded no school, and is usually passed over with the faint praise due to the author's reputation. Yet Burke welcomed its theory as “in all its essential parts just” ; and it was treated (...)
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  43. J. Bonar (1897). Book Review:Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms. Adam Smith, Edwin Cannan. [REVIEW] Ethics 7 (3):385-.
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  44. Richard Boyd (2013). Adam Smith on Civility and Civil Society. In Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oup Oxford. 443.
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  45. Emily Brady (2011). Adam Smith's ''Sympathetic Imagination'' and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Environment. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1):95-109.
    This paper explores the significance of Adam Smith's ideas for defending non-cognitivist theories of aesthetic appreciation of nature. Objections to non-cognitivism argue that the exercise of emotion and imagination in aesthetic judgement potentially sentimentalizes and trivializes nature. I argue that although directed at moral judgement, Smith's views also find a place in addressing this problem. First, sympathetic imagination may afford a deeper and more sensitive type of aesthetic engagement. Second, in taking up the position of the impartial spectator, aesthetic judgements (...)
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  46. George Bragues (2009). Adam Smith's Vision of the Ethical Manager. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (4):447 - 460.
    Smith's famous invocation of the invisible hand -according to which self-interest promotes the greater good — has popularly been seen as a fundamental challenge to business ethics, a field committed to the opposite premise that the public interest cannot be advanced unless economic egoism is restrained by a more socially conscious mindset, one that takes into account the legitimate needs of stakeholders and the reciprocity inherent in networked relationships. Adam Smith has been brought into the discipline to show that his (...)
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  47. Matthew Braham (2007). Adam Smith's Concept of Welfare. Acta Philosophica Fennica 83:187-206.
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  48. Frédéric Brahami (2000). Le Processus de Subjectivation Chez Adam Smith; Vertus Aimables Et Vertus Respectables. Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 190 (4):423 - 433.
    La Théorie des sentiments moraux propose une morale dans laquelle les normes et les valeurs sont universelles. Pourtant cette morale résulte du jeu des affects qui animent les individus particuliers. Il ne s'agit pas d'une contradiction grossière. Smith donne en effet la loi de la déduction morale à partir des sentiments, il construit l'universel à partir du singulier, l'absolu à partir du relatif et la transcendance à partir de l'immanence. Cela n'est possible que parce que sa théorie de l'individu est (...)
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  49. Michael Bray (2007). Sympathy, Disenchantment, and Authority: Adam Smith and the Construction of Moral Sentiments. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 28 (1):159-193.
  50. Robert Brenner (2007). Property and Progress: Where Adam Smith Went Wrong. In Chris Wickham (ed.), Marxist History-Writing for the Twenty-First Century. Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press. 49--111.
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