Adam Smith on Ethics and Economics

excerpts from Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations

Reading List  





Session I: Human Nature, Self-interest, and Sympathy.



·      Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Part I, Section I, “Of the Sense of Propriety,” Chapters 1–5 (pages 9–26) and Part I, Section III, Chapters 2–3, “Of the Origin of Ambition, and of the Distinction of Ranks” and “Of the Corruption of Our Moral Sentiments” (pages 50–66).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book I, Chapters 1–2, “Of the Division of Labour” and “Of the Principle Which Gives Occasion to the Division of Labour” (pages 13–30).  (Book)




Session II: Virtue, Happiness, and Education.



·      Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.   Part III, Chapter 1, “On the Principle of Self-approbation and of Self-disapprobation” (pages 109–113), Chapter 3, “Of the Influence and Authority of Conscience” (pages 134–139, ending with the first paragraph on page 139), Chapter 4, “Of the Nature of Self-deceit, and of the Origin and Use of general Rules” (pages 156–161), and Chapter 5, “Of the influence and authority of the general Rules of Morality, and that they are justly regarded as the Laws of the Deity” (pages 161–170).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book V, Chapter 1, Article 2, “Of the Expence of the Institutions for the Education of Youth” (pages 758–788).  (Book)




Session III: Justice and Law.



·      Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Part VI, Section II, “Introduction” and Chapter 1, “Of the Order in which Individuals are recommended by Nature to our care and attention” (pages 218–227), Chapter 2, “Of the order in which Societies are by nature recommended to our Beneficence” (pages 227–234), and Chapter 3, “Of universal Benevolence” (pages 235–237).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book V, Chapter I, Part II, “Of the Expence of Justice” (pages 708–723).  (Book)




Session IV: The Invisible Hand.



·      Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Part IV, Chapter 1, “Of the beauty which the appearance of Utility bestows upon all the productions of Art, and of the extensive influence of this species of Beauty” (pages 179–187), and Chapter 2, “Of the beauty which the appearance of Utility bestows upon the characters and actions of men; and how far the perception of this beauty may be regarded as one of the original principals of approbation” (pages 187–193).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.   Book I, Chapter 6, “Of the component Parts of the Price of Commodities” (pages 65–71), Chapter 7, “Of the natural and market Price of Commodities” (pages 72–81), and Book IV, Chapter 2, “Of Restraints upon the Importation from foreign Countries of such Goods as can be produced at Home” (pages 452–472).  (Book)




Session V: The Hand of Government.



·      Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Part II, Section II, Chapter 1, “Comparison of those two virtues” (pages 78–82), Chapter 2, “Of the sense of Justice, of Remorse, and of the consciousness of Merit” (pages 82–85), and Chapter 3, “Of the utility of this constitution of Nature” (pages 85–91).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book II, Chapter 3, “Of the Accumulation of Capital, or of productive and unproductive Labour” (pages 330–349).  (Book)



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book V, Chapter 2, “Of Taxes” Numbers 1–7 (pages 825–828); and Chapter 2, “Taxes upon consumable Commodities,” Numbers  5–9 (pages 871–873) and Numbers  73–74 (pages 902–903).  (Book)




Session VI: Ethics and Economics in History.



·      Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume II. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.  Book IV, Chapter 7, Part I, “Of the Motives for establishing new Colonies” (pages 556–564), and Part II, “Causes of the Prosperity of new Colonies” (pages 564–590).  (Book)