Samuel Fleischacker, Adam Smith; John McHugh, Adam Smith’s ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’ A Critical Commentary [Book Review]

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 20 (3):277-283 (2022)
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This review covers two recent monographs on Adam Smith: Samuel Fleischacker’s Adam Smith and John McHugh’s Adam Smith’s ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’: A Critical Commentary. Fleischacker’s work fills a significant gap in Smith scholarship. There have been relatively few attempts to present Smith in a way that is inviting to non-specialists while also doing justice to him as a systematic thinker. Adam Smith presents a compelling picture of a philosopher who makes the case for freedom and a life of virtue during a time of political and moral upheaval. McHugh’s Adam Smith’s TMS is an inspiring, personal journey through Smith’s masterwork in ethics, which has the added value of paying close attention to TMS VII, the most overlooked section of the text. Fleischacker’s and McHugh’s books represent the best of what Smith scholarship currently offers to specialists and non-specialists alike. Anyone looking to dive deeper into Smith’s work, or to wade into it for the first time, would benefit from using these works as a guide in the process.



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