"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
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 shows how his conception of the nature 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 also addresses the issue of whether Smith thinks that moral judgments enjoy a transcendent sanction.