Back in DC with Adam Smith


I got in from a pretty exhausting set of flights from Odessa to Kyiv to Paris to Washington and am enjoying a long anticipated reunion with my girls Wolly and Tiggy.

The flights gave me the opportunity to get more than half way through Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments. (I admit that I also napped a bit and watched a movie.) I had read it before, but never from start to finish like that. It’s a wee bit dry at times, but full of useful insights, not only to understand his theory, but even to become a better person (or at least, to try). In October I’ll be taking part in two conferences in Berlin on “The Adam Smith Problem” (the sometimes alleged incompatibility of The Theory of Moral Sentiments with An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, so I want to be properly prepared, and reading the whole book from the first to the last page seemed a good start. (I will be a bit more selective with An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and may skip the digression on silver, for example.)

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