Anniversarial — 2009

1759 — publication of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments

Although the philosopher and academic Adam Smith is now best known for his economic writings, he first made his reputation for his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Reacting against rationalist theories of ethics current in academic circles at the time, he proposed moral conscience as something innate which works together with "sympathy" (a natural feeling for our fellow human beings) for the good of society.

A sensation when it first came out, the Theory of Moral Sentiments made Smith a best-selling author and a wealthy man. Here are a few letters in EE that show how widely the book was read and appreciated:

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