Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life

I just finished reading Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life by James Otteson. I recommend the book highly. Otteson is a philospher who looks carefully at Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. He argues that Smith developed a theory of markets to explain the evolution of moral actions and codes in a society, that later enabled to explain the operation of economic markets in The Wealth of Nations. The same approach underlies both books. Otteson uses the term marketplace rather than the more common term, "spontaneous order." The idea is the same though.

I will be teaching the History of Economic Thought for the first time next semester, and Otteson's book is a great resource in preparation for the class.

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