ADAM SMITH’S ENLIGHTENED WORLD

Commerce, morality, equality, the rule of law, and the role of government… Welcome to the world of Adam Smith.

What can we learn about our own world from Smith? Join the workers in an 18th century pin factory to find out more…

Interactive Pin Factory

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Speaking of Smith

Latest

Stairway to Better: Adam Smith as a Guide to the Evolution of Political Order

May 15, 2024 We want to approach Smith’s ideas by engaging in thought-experiments in which we strive to think as Adam Smith thought, rather than to celebrate or castigate this or that sliver of his thinking. But about which aspects of his thought should we think?

Ryan Yonk on the China Dilemma

May 17, 2024 What IS the "China Dilemma," and how should the US formulate a policy for dealing with China? What advice would Adam Smith offer policy makers in today's interconnected world?

Adam Smith Comics: The Woolen Coat

Sally Madden for AdamSmithWorks Before Leonard Read's " I, Pencil ", before Russ Robert's " It's a Wonderful Loaf ", there was Adam Smith's red woolen coat keeping laborers warm and reminding readers of the infinite, complicated stories behind even seemingly simple things.

Erik Matson on Adam Smith, David Hume, and the New Paternalists

May 10, 2024 What would Adam Smith and David Hume say about mandatory savings accounts or calorie counts on menus? Does their 18th century understanding of rationality have anything in common with today's paternalists?

Explore.

An Animal That Trades

A five-part short video series on the life and contemporary relevance of Adam Smith.

Learn.

Adam Smith and Angels with Dirty Faces

Ali Motamedi and Daniel B. Klein for AdamSmithWorks Motamedi and Klein provide a character study of Adam Smith's example of a bigoted Roman Catholic who, overcome by compassion, saves Protestants instead of killing them during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572. Drawing on Smith, the authors suggest that virtue involves a dynamic between self-approbation and upward vitality like that seen in the Roman Catholic who overcomes his bigotry. "...our estimation of a person’s conduct or character involves a consideration of the person’s own self-approbation. When a person does not fully approve of his own good actions, that counts against him." Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Stairway to Better: Adam Smith as a Guide to the Evolution of Political Order

May 15, 2024 We want to approach Smith’s ideas by engaging in thought-experiments in which we strive to think as Adam Smith thought, rather than to celebrate or castigate this or that sliver of his thinking. But about which aspects of his thought should we think?

Adam Smith's Political Economy: From Poison to Science

Kwok Ping Tsang for AdamSmithWorks October 28, 2020

Teach.

Division of Labor Toolkit

Tackling the division of labor in your classroom? Let us help you start with Adam Smith.

Teaching through the Year: Seasonal Readings and Activities

We're making it easy for you to find seasonally relevant ways to bring Adam Smith and his ideas into your classroom.

Activity: Commerce and care

A comic strip to spark discussion of Adam Smith's "the butcher, the brewer, and the baker", and of how our care for each other is affected by money.

Read.

Lectures on Jurisprudence

Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence, originally delivered at the University of Glasgow in 1762–1763, presents his “theory of the rules by which civil government ought to be directed.” The chief purpose of government, according to Smith, is to preserve justice; and “the object of justice is security from injury.” The state must protect the individual’s right to his person, property, reputation, and social relations.

Scholars’ Portal

How to Join the Portal

The ASW Scholars’ Portal is an online work-and-gathering space for Smith scholars. Its features include:

  • ability to upload working papers for comment, and to comment on others' papers
  • online open-discussion forum
  • ability to create and contribute to collaborative documents such as reading lists, annotated bibliographies, and a "Smithopaedia"
To be considered for access to the portal, please contact us with your ideas and CV at awillis@libertyfund.org.