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…

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Speaking of Smith

Latest

Craig Richardson on Storytelling, Economics, and Magic

June 7, 2024 Why do progressives tell better stories than proponents of the free market? Do big corporations really care about the people who work for them? Has economics lost its magic? Are economists born or made? Professor, magician, and storyteller Craig Richardson joins Juliette Sellgren for a whirlwind conversation.

Lovers need Smith's Impartial Spectator too.

June 6, 2024 Adam Smith's impartial spectator plays Cupid in one of Jane Austen's greatest novels. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett reform themselves because they were able to let go of their too biased self-love and sought the perspective of an impartial judge for themselves and each other.

Adam Smith Comics: The Woolen Coat

May 16, 2024 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.

Explore.

An Animal That Trades

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

Learn.

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, Julian Simon, Pro-Natalism

Nicholas R. Swanson for AdamSmithWorks Be fruitful and multiply! Nicholas Swanson shows that Adam Smith was resolutely pro-natalist and that his sentiments closely resemble those of Julian Simon. "Besides the economic reasons Smith favored population growth, he seems to have been a pro-natalist for at least one other reason: he thought human life was good and worthwhile in itself." Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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.