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Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511058844 | ISBN-10: 0511058845)

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Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a transcendent sanction.


Introduction; 1. Adam Smith's moral theory, part one: sympathy and the impartial spectator procedure; 2. Smith's moral theory, part two: conscience and human nature; 3. The marketplace of morality; 4. The 'Adam Smith problem'; 5. The market model and the familiarity principle: solving the 'Adam Smith problem'; 6. Justifying smithian moral standards; 7. The unintended order of human social life: Language, marketplaces, and morality; Conclusion.


"This book is important for economists because it provides a readable philosophical perspective on Smith's work in moral theory. Highly recommended." Choice

"Otteson's book is an important contribution to our evolving understanding of Adam Smith." Philosophy in Review

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