An Invisible Theorist: Revitalizing the Philosophy of Adam Smith

Anthony Joseph Cooper

Abstract


Most Americans agrees that the country needs change.  This paper addresses the question of “whether the philosophy of Adam Smith could reshape America?”  Building upon a thorough review of “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” and “A Theory of Moral Sentiments,” the paper posits that Smith is widely misunderstood.  Because his notions of selfishness and the invisible hand are often misinterpreted, Smith would not advocate America’s current economic structure. A general conclusion is reached that a proper combination of morality and community are the prevailing sentiments necessary for the required changes.  There is much to learn from Adam Smith which is practical and applicable to modern day America.  Ultimately, Smith’s economic manifesto, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” should be interpreted within the parameters of “A Theory of Moral Sentiments.”



Keywords


Impartial Spectator, Self Interested Sympathy, Prudence

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