Markets, Ethics, and the Evolution of a Moral Society


This colloquium explored Adam Smith’s vision of a moral society, linking these eighteenth-century ideas with those of his contemporaries and with modern scholars.


From Liberty Fund

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (vol. 1)

by By Adam Smith
Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner
William B. Todd, Textual Editor

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith’s Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that…

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Additional Readings

Acton, H. B. The Morals of Markets and Related Essays. Edited by David Gordon and Jeremy Shearmur. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1993.

Becker, Gary. The Economic Approach to Human Behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

Hayek, F. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 3: The Political Order of a Free People [Phoenix series]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, 2nd Paperback Edition. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.

Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982.

Wilson, David Sloan. Evolutionary Psychology and Economic Theory. Edited by Roger Koppl. Greenwich: JAI Press, 2004.