Are there eNotes essays about Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and the apparent amorality of laissez-faire in his Wealth of Nations?  Since Adam Smith was a moral philosopher, I wonder...

Are there eNotes essays about Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and the apparent amorality of laissez-faire in his Wealth of Nations?

 

Since Adam Smith was a moral philosopher, I wonder if he had anything to say about the morality of economic laissez-faire. I am looking for eNotes essays or other printed works on my question.

Thank you.

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kschweiz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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This site provides a study guide for Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, however, your specific question is one that would require research. In the study guide, several references are provided to other works that have conducted similar studies regarding the morality of economic laissez-faire. As an example, Spencer Pack wrote Capitalism as a Moral System: Adam Smith’s Critique of the Free Market Economy. It was published in Brookfield, Vermont, by Edward Elgar in 1991, and details Smith’s criticisms of laissez-faire and of capitalism (ISBN-13: 9781849801294). The book suggests that Smith was not always a defender of laissez-faire capitalism, nor did he much appreciate regressive taxation. This resource would be useful if you are looking to gather printed works, but be sure to check through other references in the eNotes study guide for additional support.

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