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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers Adam Smith’s largely empirical methodology and the relationship between that and his normative moral views in the light of its importance for understanding his work and the assessment of the relevance of his approach to contemporary circumstances. This involves an analysis of Smith’s version of Newtonianism within his theory of moral systems, noting the importance of his deistic theological assumptions for the understanding of the symbiotic relationship between Smith’s explanatory and prescriptive enterprises. The relationship between Smith’s account of utility and the moral sentiments is illustrated by reference to his theory of markets.

Keywords: Adam Smith, morality, capitalism, markets, financial markets

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