Distributed for Reaktion Books
As Conlin shows, Smith rooted our instincts to trade in human psychology. Analyzing the contrasts he saw between the industrializing Scottish lowlands and the clan-based pastoralism of the Scottish highlands—as well as the contrasts between the ideas of contemporary thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume—Smith advanced a system of ethics founded on sympathy. Weaving together Smith’s life and ideas, Conlin shows how the latter anticipated much more recent developments surrounding behavioral economics, virtue ethics, and social inequality. Ultimately, Conlin argues, Adam Smith offers us a set of tools to face today's challenges and become better and happier human beings.
1. The Theater of Nature, 1723-50
2. Spectatorship and Sympathy, 1751-63
3. Trading Places, 1764-6
4. Golden Dreams
5. The Machine of Government, 1776-89
Conclusion: Head, Heart and Hand, 1790