The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Theory of Moral Sentiments

The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Theory of Moral Sentiments

The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Theory of Moral Sentiments

The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Theory of Moral Sentiments

Synopsis

Adam Smith's contribution to economics is well-recognised but in recent years scholars have been exploring anew the multidisciplinary nature of his works. The Adam Smith Review is a refereed annual review that provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary debate on all aspects of Adam Smith's works, his place in history, and the significance of his writings for the modern world. It is aimed at facilitating debate between scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, thus emulating the transdisciplinary reach of the Enlightenment world which Smith helped to shape.

The fifth volume of the series is a special issue to commemorate the 250thanniversary of the publication of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Contributors to this volume include Stephen Darwall, Fonna Forman-Barzilai, Patrick Frierson, Charles L. Griswold Jr, Ryan Patrick Hanley, Alice MacLachlan, Bence Nanay, Angelica Nuzzo, D.D. Raphael, Ian Simpson Ross, Emma Rothschild, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Arby Ted Siraki and Robert Urquhart, who discuss:

  • The phenomenology of moral life
  • Sympathy, moral judgment and the impartial spectator
  • Issues such as aesthetics, value, honour, resentment, praise-worthiness, cosmopolitanism and religion

Excerpt

The papers in this volume were presented at the conference, ‘The Philosophy of Adam Smith’, held at Balliol College, Oxford, 6–8 January 2009, in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the publication of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). the conference was organised jointly by The Adam Smith Review and the International Adam Smith Society.

Adam Smith attended Balliol College as a Snell Exhibitioner during the 1740s. Even though Smith later criticized the lack of teaching at Oxford at that time, it was a period during which his reading and private studies laid the foundations for his later work. We are grateful to Dr John Jones, Senior Fellow, and Dr Anna Sander, Lonsdale Curator, Balliol College, for compiling an exhibition on Smith’s time at Oxford to mark the occasion.

We are also grateful to the reviewers who read and commented on the conferences papers. Without their invaluable work our task of selection from so many interesiting papers would have been that much harder.

We also wish to thank those whose financial support made this conference possible: the Mind Association, Routledge, the University of Illinois at Chicago (USA), and the Arts Faculty and Economics Department at the Open University (UK).

We are extremely grateful to Sally O’Brien, the conference administrator, for organising the conference so efficiently, and to the staff at Balliol College, especially Howard Chirgwin and Natalie Perry, for looking after us so well.

Vivienne Brown would like to acknowledge the following institutions for welcoming her as a Visiting Academic for the period during which she completed her editorial work on this volume: Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, Oslo, Norway (summer term, 2009); and the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford, uk (academic year, 2009–10).

Finally, we would like to thank all the speakers and delegates for making this conference – perhaps the largest conference on Adam Smith’s philosophy thus far convened – such an interesting and enjoyable occasion.

Vivienne Brown Samuel Fleischacker July 2010 . . .

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