A good week for thinking about Adam Smith

by Russ Roberts on June 20, 2011

in Adam Smith

Here is my colleague Dan Klein talking about Smith. And next Monday’s EconTalk is Jim Otteson talking about Smith. I’ve learned a lot from all three of them.

Adam Smith: An Overview of His Ethical Vision from Daniel B. Klein on Vimeo.

Be Sociable, Share!



14 comments    Share Share    Print    Email


shawn June 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hope the smithian track is going well at GMU; sad that I left before that really got into full swing.

John June 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Any chance of getting Krugman on EconTalk or at least someone sympathetic to Krugman?

brotio June 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

or at least someone sympathetic to Krugman?

Why would you need EconTalk for that? Daniel Kuehn is right here in the comments section. He knows what Paul is saying – even when Paul doesn’t.

Methinks1776 June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am


ChrisJ June 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

The Randian response to their earthquake and the pinky dilemma should be: “Of course I’ll selfishly cut off my own finger, I’ll then have hundreds of millions of Chinese people who owe me their lives, the act will bring me riches beyond compare!”

Chucklehead June 21, 2011 at 3:51 am

What is the “earthquake and the pinky dilemma?”

Scott June 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

Nevermind the fact that for many people, the so-called selfless pinky act may bring them enought self gratification or feeding of the ego or self esteem so as to not have had its roots in selflessnees in the first place.

indianajim June 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

The sharp contrast between the Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations (the “Smith problem”) may be a “natural” consequence of differences in evolutionary processes at work: the former owing more to genetics the latter owing more to what Hayek argued was the emergence of rules and institutions that dominated others over time.

indianajim June 21, 2011 at 9:13 am

I agree with Adam Smith in thinking that it would be monstrous to be unwilling to lose a pinky if it could somehow (as Dan says by some inexplicable process) save millions of people. On the other hand there are monstrous people in this world; e.g.:

muirgeo June 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

No one needs to lose a pinky…. just some basic policy changes could save millions.

indianajim June 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Non sequitur again? Yawn.

Scott June 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

What is a robo liberal?

brotio June 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Yasafi Muirduck is a robo-liberal drone. He gets his rants from his robo-liberal master:


indianajim June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Tried it; I typed in: Alan Blinder is fatuous.

Moonbat responded:
Fatuous, eh!!!? Say no to superstition!! Say no to our government of the Jews, by the evangelicals, and for the anti-abortion lobby!!!! Bob Novak is nothing but a tool of the nuclear power industry!!!!

Speaking of professor fatuous (Blinder), don’t miss his op ed in today’s WSJ.

Previous post:

Next post: