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…

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Speaking of Smith


Prompt: Fruits and flowers

Use this quotation from Adam Smith's essay on the "Imitative Arts" to discuss what makes art interesting.

Brian Hooks on Believe in People

Brian Hooks with Juliette Sellgren June 2, 2023

From Pins to Patterns: Following the Threads of Productivity

Joy Buchanan for AdamSmithWorks Adam Smith and Virginia Postrel share a common thread. Both authors recognize the significance of specialization and the division of labor in creating productivity and progress.

Adam Smith Comics: The Race

Douglas Curtis and Jeremy Lott Races must be won with virtue if you want the spectators to cheer.


An Animal That Trades

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


The Soul of Adam Smith's Classical Liberalism

Maryann Keating for AdamSmithWorks May 17, 2023

Adam Smith on the Value of Art

Eric Schliesser for AdamSmithWorks May 10, 2023

Parmenides Addresses Plato, as Adam Smith Addresses Us

Jon Murphy & Andrew Humphries for AdamSmithWorks Did Adam Smith misremember Cicero's story or is Smith winking to his true audience across time? "The wise man seeks to be thought worthy by the best judges, those who would or ought to approve of our work, conduct, and character, no matter when that person is to be found." May 24, 2023


Prompt: Fruits and flowers

Use this quotation from Adam Smith's essay on the "Imitative Arts" to discuss what makes art interesting.

Prompt: Equality and natural talent

Use this quotation from Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations to talk about whether people are born equal.

Virtual Reading Groups

AdamSmithWorks is pleased to offer Virtual Reading Groups designed to gather individuals interested in serious and civil discussion. Our VRGs focus on a particular Smithian topic and a common set of readings will form the basis for our discussions. Each group is facilitated by a professional moderator and is conducted online. Participants also have a private online community in which to engage with one another throughout. Participation is offered at no-cost, and there is no need to be an expert on the topic for discussion! The only requirement is that participants be eager to read and engage in conversation. Participants who successfully complete all sessions will receive an e-gift certificate from!

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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. He develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we use to distinguish right from wrong in any given situation.

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