events archive

Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Daniel Ben-Ami, author, Ferraris for All, introduces a discussion of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments

6:45pm, Wednesday 25 June 2014, London

This session will focus on Adam Smith’s moral and social philosophy. Participants should read Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS). There are numerous editions including an online version here. The Penguin edition includes an introduction by Amartya Sen. Those who did not attend the discussion on The Wealth of Nations (TWON) on 27 February should listen to it online. Additional readings are also listed under the entry for that session.

Questions to consider

1) What is the relationship between TMS and TWON? What is the basis for claiming there is a fundamental contradiction between them?
2) What does Smith mean by sympathy?
3) What role does the notion of the impartial spectator play in his approach?
4) What is Smith’s conception of justice in TMS?
5) In what respects is Smith an egalitarian?


Daniel Ben-Ami, author, Ferraris for All


Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

For an overview of Smith moral and political philosophy see the entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy