Adam Smith Comics: The Opening of The Theory of Moral Sentiments

sympathy art comics

May 8, 2023

There are many famous first lines from novels. We think Adam Smith's philosophical opening is just as deserving of recognition. 
The second entry in a NEW AdamSmithWorks series where we ask artists to help us imagine Adam Smith's words and ideas.

Artist Paula Richey and script author and editor Jeremy Lott illustrated the beginning of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.