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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Jacob Sider Jost

Sider JostDr. Jacob Sider Jost
Dickinson College Carlisle
English Literature

Three Adam Smiths
When Jul 02, 2018
from 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, seminar room
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Three Adam Smiths

This talk offers three sketches of the thought of the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Smith.  I will start by presenting briefly the caricature of Smith often found in textbooks: a free-market economist whose guiding ideas are the power of self-interest and the organizing power of the invisible hand.  I will then complicate this picture by juxtaposing it with Smith's moral philosophy, which empathizes the importance of sympathy and imagination in our conduct.  I will close by presenting my own reading of Smith, arguing that the concept of "interest" unites his thinking across the fields of economics, philosophy and aesthetics.