Links to Papers
Smith, Hume, Liberalism, and Esotericism
Editors of the special issue: Daniel B. Klein (George Mason University) and Thomas W. Merrill (American University)
Copy-editing assistance on every paper of the special issue: Jane Shaw Stroup
Feedback at conference in November, 2018 at the Institute for Humane Studies (Thank you!) on early drafts by, among others, Dennis Rasmussen, Brandon Turner, Nelson Lund, Richard Boyd, Peter McNamara, Jerry Weinberger, and Arthur Melzer.
External refereeing: 27 external referees and 28 reports thus far, with several more yet to come.
We are grateful to Amy Willis and Douglas Den Uyl for hosting this webpage at Liberty Fund’s Adam Smith Works, and for their ongoing collaboration and support.
There are 14 papers (plus the Introduction makes 15 papers). Twelve focus on Adam Smith, two on David Hume.
Liberalism: Many of the papers examine contested text in Smith and suggest that Smith was more supportive of the presumption of liberty on the issues in question than might be gleaned or than as suggested by other interpreters.
Esotericism: We use the term esotericism broadly, along the lines of Arthur Melzer’s landmark work, Philosophy Between the Lines: The Lost History of Esoteric Writing (Chicago UP, 2014). The broad idea of esotericism covers any discourse for which there is more to it than the obvious surface-level (exoteric) interpretation. In this way, even sophisticated and complex writing that has multiple levels can be assimilated to esotericism.
Feedback welcome: The papers linked below are not necessarily finalized. Esoteric interpretation is an affair inherently uncertain and hazardous. Feedback will be much appreciated. Emails address provided below.
1. Daniel Klein and Thomas Merrill: “Smith, Hume, Liberalism, and Esotericism: An Introduction to this Special Issue.” (In progress.)
Papers on Adam Smith
2. Dylan DelliSanti: “The Dynamism of Liberalism: An Esoteric Interpretation of Adam Smith.” Email: email@example.com.
3. Scott Drylie: “Adam Smith on Schooling: A Classical Liberal Rereading.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Jonathan Diesel: "Adam Smith on Usury: An Esoteric Reading." Email: email@example.com.
5. Michael J. Clark: “Adam Smith as Solon: Accommodating on the Edges of Liberty, Not Abandoning It.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Mark J. Bonica and Daniel B. Klein: “Adam Smith on Reputation, Commutative Justice, and Defamation Laws.” Email: Mark.Bonica@unh.edu.
7. Erik W. Matson: "A Dialectical Reading of Adam Smith on Wealth and Happiness." Email: email@example.com.
8. John A. Robinson and J. Robert Subrick: "Why Did Adam Smith Suggest a Labor Theory of Value?" Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Christopher Martin: "Adam Smith and the Poor: A Textual Analysis." Email: email@example.com.
10. Paul Mueller: "Adam Smith on Moral Judgment: Why People Tend to Make Better Judgments within Liberal Institutions." Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. Jon Murphy and Andrew Humphries: "Smith's Memory Has Misled Him? Some Curious Errors in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments." Email: email@example.com
12. Bradley Jackson: "Custom and Moral Variability: An Interpretation of Part V of Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments" Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
13. Thomas W. Merrill: “On Not Publishing: Adam Smith and the Problem of Natural Religion” Email: email@example.com.
Papers on David Hume
14. Kendra H. Asher: "Moderation and the Liberal State: David Hume's History of England" Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. Kelly Martin: “Political Philosophy Impassioned: A Problem?” Email: email@example.com.