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The Adam Smith Review

Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Information
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of contents
Editorial introduction
Glasgow symposium
Adam Smith’s sentimentalist conception of self-command
The sentimentalist framework
Sentimentalized self-command
The motivational basis of and standard for self-command
The operation of self-command
Recent interpretations of Smithian self-command
Adam Smith’s moral decision-making process
Smith, Scottish Enlightenment and mental faculties
Sympathy as a faculty and the faculty of imagination
The faculty of imagination, the faculty of reason, and the faculty of judgement
Sympathy as a properly realized state of mind and the act of volition
Conclusive assessments
Adam Smith’s virtue ethics and the derivative value of character
Sentimentalist virtue ethics and the logic of moral motivation
Smithian sentimentalism
Smith and the primacy of virtuous actions over virtuous character
Smith on beneficence, justice, and the role of moral motivation
Adam Smith on resentment, justice, and desert
Sympathy, the impartial spectator, and justice
Resentment, civility, and justice
Commutative, distributive, and estimative justice in Adam Smith
Commutative justice: not messing with other people’s stuff
The equal-equal jural relationship (E-E) and the superior-inferior jural relationship (S-i)
The specialness of commutative justice
The justices table
Commutative justice among equals (cell A1)
Distributive justice among equals (cell B1)
The parallel between writing rules and moral rules
Estimative justice, in E-E, for objects external to the estimator
Estimative justice, in E-E, for objects internal to the estimator
Tri-layered justice: EJ blankets DJ, which blankets CJ
The topsy-turvy of justice paramountcy
A comprehensive perfection of EJ would be yet something else again
A jural equal who is of the governmental sector (cells A2, B2, C)
The actions of a jural superior, in terms of CJ, DJ, and EJ (cells A3, B3, C)
Concluding remarks
Two superiors, two jural relationships in Adam Smith
The jural relationships: of beneficence, justice, and the superior
Justice differentiates the jural relationships
The symmetry of justice in the jural relationships
The jural relationships and Smith’s use of rank and distinction
The comparative superior: a superior in the Equal-Equal relationship
The scope of the jural superior is limited by design
Deference to authority in Adam Smith
David Hume: sympathetic deference to authority and atavism
The “history and theory” of the “sympathy with the rich and the great” in Adam Smith
Adam Smith I: from material dependence to disinterested sympathy – is deferential...
Adam Smith II: deference to status and early modern theory of prestige
Leadership and prestige in modernity: the challenge of “middle stations of life”
Deriving ‘general principles’: Adam Smith’s pervasive use of equilibrium and comparative...
Equilibrium and comparative statics: a brief primer
Smith’s analysis of the feudal equilibrium and the political-economic development of Europe
The feudal equilibrium following the fall of Rome
Comparative statics: the towns escape the feudal equilibrium
Equilibrium and comparative statics in The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Equilibrium argument: ‘It is thus that the general rules of morality are formed’
Comparative statics in TMS: self-command and wealth
Smith’s ‘considerations concerning the first formations of languages’
Appendix 1: A short list of equilibrium and comparative statics-like ideas in the Wealth of Nations
The necessity of convenience: Adam Smith’s conjectural history of the human niche
The starting point: Adam Smith’s state of nature
Necessity and convenience
Convenience and aesthetic sensibility
Convenience and the future
Conclusion: Smith on the cultural dimension of the human niche
Adam Smith as political problem solver: The ‘Project of an Empire’ and the American War of Independence
Smith on the ‘project’ of empire
What to do about America
Context, rationale, and plan for an imperial parliament (1b)
Was the States-General Smith’s first preference?
Social science reasons for ‘complete emancipation’ as Smith’s preferred option
University of Palermo symposium
Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought: Chapter II (Part V) of The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Similarities in the structure of TMS and of WN
The double example of infanticide
The centrality of chapter II (part V) of TMS
A correlated interpretation of infanticide in TMS and WN
Adam Smith goes Dutch: The reception of Smith in the Netherlands, 1759–18001
The Scottish Enlightenment in the Netherlands
The reception of the Theory of Moral Sentiments
TMS reviewed
The debate on the moral sense
Spectatorial enthusiasm
The reception of The Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations in Dutch
Smith in Dutch economic thought
Smith’s membership of Dutch learned societies
Concluding remarks
Appendix 1 – Dutch translations
Appendix 2 – Letters
Book reviews
Charles L. Griswold, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith: A Philosophical Encounter London and New York: Routledge, ...
Dennis C. Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought...
Cecil E. Bohanon and Michelle Albert Vachris, Pride and Profit: The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith ...
Ryan Patrick Hanley, ed. Adam Smith: His Life, Thought, and Legacy Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016, pp. xxiv, 571

Citation preview

The Adam Smith Review

Adam Smith’s contribution to economics is well recognised, yet scholars have recently been exploring anew the multidisciplinary nature of his works. The Adam Smith Review is a rigorously refereed annual review that provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary debate on all aspects of Adam Smith’s works, his place in history, and the significance of his writings to the modern world. It is aimed at facilitating debate among scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, thus emulating the reach of the Enlightenment world which Smith helped to shape. This twelfth volume brings together leading scholars from across several disciplines and contributes to two particular themes. First, there is a focus on Adam Smith’s moral and political philosophy, exploring how Smith’s approach finds expression in both abstract philosophy and practical judgment. Second, there is a focus on epistemology, economics, and law, with innovative interpretations of Smithian theories. Fonna Forman is a professor of political science and founding director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego, USA. She is the editor of The Adam Smith Review on behalf of the International Adam Smith Society.

The Adam Smith Review

Published in association with the International Adam Smith Society Editor: Fonna Forman (Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego) Book Review Editor: Craig Smith (School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow) Editorial Assistant: Matthew Draper (Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego) Editorial Board (as of Volume 12): Christopher J. Berry (University of Glasgow, UK); Vivienne Brown (Open University, UK); Neil De Marchi (Duke University, USA); Stephen Darwall (University of Michigan, USA); Douglas J. Den Uyl (Liberty Fund, USA); Laurence W. Dickey (University of Wisconsin, USA); Samuel Fleischacker (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA); Charles L. Griswold (Boston University, USA); Knud Haakonssen (University of Sussex, UK); Iain McLean (Nuffield College, Oxford, UK); Hiroshi Mizuta (Japan Academy, Japan); John Mullan (University College London, UK); Takashi Negishi (Japan Academy, Japan); Martha C. Nussbaum (University of Chicago, USA); James Otteson (University of Alabama, USA); Emma Rothschild (Harvard University, USA, and King’s College, Cambridge, UK); Ian Simpson Ross (British Columbia, Canada); Amartya Sen (Harvard University, USA, and Trinity College, Cambridge, UK); Richard B. Sher (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA); Shannon C. Stimson (University of California, Berkeley, USA); Kathryn Sutherland (St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK); Keith Tribe (King’s School, Worcester, UK); Gloria Vivenza (University of Verona, Italy). The Adam Smith Review is a multidisciplinary annual review sponsored by the International Adam Smith Society. It aims to provide a unique forum for vigorous debate and the highest standards of scholarship on all aspects of Adam Smith’s works, his place in history, and the significance of his writings for the modern world. The Adam Smith Review aims to facilitate interchange among scholars working within different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and to this end it is open to all areas of research relating to Adam Smith. The Review also hopes to broaden the field of English language debate on Smith by occasionally including translations of scholarly works at present available only in languages other than English. The Adam Smith Review is intended as a resource for Adam Smith scholarship in the widest sense. The editor welcomes comments and suggestions, including proposals for symposia or themed sections in the Review. Future issues are open to comments and debate relating to previously published papers. The website of The Adam Smith Review is:​ For details of membership of the International Adam Smith Society and reduced rates for purchasing the Review, please contact the membership secretary, Remy Debes ([email protected]). For a full list of titles in this series, please visit​The-​Adam-​ Smith-​Review/​book-​series/​ASR

The Adam Smith Review Volume 12 Edited by Fonna Forman

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Fonna Forman; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Fonna Forman to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-​in-​Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-​0-​367-​52157-​8  (hbk) ISBN: 978-​1-​003-​05674-​4  (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Newgen Publishing UK


List of contributors  Editorial introduction 

viii xiii

Glasgow symposium: on morality and justice in Adam Smith 





Adam Smith’s sentimentalist conception of self-​command 



Adam Smith’s moral decision-​making process 



Adam Smith’s virtue ethics and the derivative value of character  46 A IN O LAH D E N RANTA

Adam Smith on resentment, justice, and desert 



ommutative, distributive, and estimative justice in C Adam Smith 


DA N I E L B.   K L E I N

Two superiors, two jural relationships in Adam Smith 



Deference to authority in Adam Smith  S PY RI D O N   TE GO S


vi Contents

eriving ‘general principles’: Adam Smith’s pervasive use D of equilibrium and comparative statics analysis 



he necessity of convenience: Adam Smith’s conjectural T history of the human niche 



dam Smith as political problem solver: the ‘Project of an A Empire’ and the American War of Independence 



University of Palermo symposium: multidisciplinary studies on Adam Smith’s thought –​epistemology, economics, and law 





S tudying Adam Smith: the experience of a scholar –​ some introductive reflections 



ncient and modern sources in Adam Smith’s A Wealth of Nations 



an scientific explanations reveal the ultimate laws of nature? C The limits of philosophical enquiries in the posthumously published Essays of Adam Smith 



S ensationism and the moral sentiments: P.L. Roederer’s reading of Smith’s system of sympathy 



The impartial spectator and the strictness of rules 



ersistent inefficiency: Adam Smith’s theory of slavery P and its abolition in Western Europe  BARRY R .   W E I N GAST


Contents  vii



xploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought: Chapter II E (Part V) of The Theory of Moral Sentiments 



dam Smith goes Dutch: the reception of Smith in the A Netherlands, 1759–​1800 



Book reviews 


Charles L. Griswold, Jean-​Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith: A Philosophical Encounter 


Reviewed by G L O RY   M.  LI U

Dennis C. Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought 


Reviewed by R E I N H A RD SCHUMACHE R

ecil E. Bohanon and Michelle Albert Vachris, Pride and C Profit:The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith 


Reviewed by C H R I STE L FRI CK E

yan Patrick Hanley, ed. Adam Smith: His Life,Thought, R and Legacy 


Reviewed by E M I LY SK ARB E K

Notes for contributors 



Piero Barucci was full professor of history of the economic thought at the University of Florence, where he was also dean of the faculty of economics, and taught political economy at the University of Siena. In addition to his academic role, he held the positions of the president of the Italian Banking Association (ABI) and treasury minister in the governments of Amato and Ciampi. His main research interests concern Italian economic thought from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. He has directed numerous national researches in Italy on the history of Italian economists between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and has published essays and monographs on the economic thought of the Neapolitan and Lombard Enlightenment, on Francesco Ferrara and the economists of the Risorgimento, and on the Italian political economy during fascism. Michele Bee is lecturer in history of economic and political thought at the Walras Pareto Centre of the University of Lausanne. His interests include political and economic philosophy. He is currently completing a manuscript titled Adam Smith’s Harmonic Society. Richard van den Berg is associate professor in the faculty of business and social sciences at Kingston University in the United Kingdom. He has written on a variety of themes relating to economic thought in France and Britain in the eighteenth century, such as the origins of the theory of differential rent, the mechanics of Quesnay’s Tableaux economiques, and about the first major compilation of economic literature in the English language, Postlethwayt’s Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce. He has also produced critical editions in French and English of the major writings of the engineer Achilles Nicolas Isnard (2006) and of the financier Richard Cantillon (2015). Natalia Borza is senior lecturer in English Applied Linguistics (EAL) at the Institute of International Studies and Political Science, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary. Her research in EAL focuses on discourse analysis, while her research interest in philosophy embraces the study of the ancient Greek and the early modern periods.

Contributors  ix Jonathon Diesel received his PhD in Economics from George Mason University in 2017, where he specialized in Adam Smith studies. He continues to feed his passion for Smithian scholarship, law and economics, economic history, and economic philosophy from Northern Virginia while employed in the federal intelligence community. Antonino Falduto is Lecturer at the Martin Luther University HalleWittenberg, Germany, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, UK (Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation). He obtained his Dr Phil at the Universities of Mainz (Germany) and Turin (Italy). He is the author of The Faculties of the Human Mind and the Case of Moral Feeling in Kant’s Philosophy (2012, paperback: 2014) in addition to a number of edited books and articles on classical German philosophy (in particular Kant, Fichte, Schiller) and Scottish Enlightenment. Christel Fricke holds a PhD in philosophy and a habilitation from Heidelberg University, Germany. Since 2003, she has been a professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her main research interest is moral sentimentalism. She has published on moral theory and its history, especially Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant.Volumes she co-edited include Nature, Culture, Gods, and Reason – Exploring Evaluative and Normative Constraints on Right Action in a Historical and Comparative Perspective (Special Issue of the Journal of Value Inquiry, 2015), Intersubjectivity and Objectivity in Adam Smith and Edmund Husserl (Ontos Verlag, 2012), The Ethics of Forgiveness (Routledge, 2011), and Adam Smith and the Conditions of a Moral Society (The Adam Smith Review VI, 2011). Joost Hengstmengel is assistant professor of philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His research interests include the relationship between economics, theology, and philosophy in pre-​Smithian times, the Scottish Enlightenment, and Dutch Neo-​Calvinist economics. He is the author of Divine Providence in Early Modern Economic Thought (2019) and Hemelse zaken. De kerkvaders over economie (Heavenly Business. The Church Fathers on Economics) (2019), and is currently completing De zondeval van de economie (The Fall of Economics). He is a member of the recently founded Erasmus Economics and Theology Institute. Lisa Hill is professor of politics, University of Adelaide. Her interests are in political theory, history of political thought, and issues in electoral law and behaviour. Her current research interests are in Adam Smith, classical Stoicism, the history of the Western political tradition and political corruption. She has published in the Review of Politics, History of Political Thought, Political Studies, Journal of Theoretical Politics, and European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. Her most recent publication is a monograph on Adam Smith’s political thought titled Adam Smith’s Pragmatic Liberalism: The Science of Welfare (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

x Contributors Jonathan Jacobs is professor and chair of philosophy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a member of the doctoral faculties of philosophy and criminal justice at the City University of New  York Graduate Center. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He works on issues concerning moral agency, the role of character in moral judgment, medieval moral thought, and concerns of ethics, politics, and criminal justice. He has written ten books and more than a hundred articles and has been a visiting professor or visiting fellow at the University of St Andrews, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Edinburgh, Linacre College, Oxford, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. His most recent book is The Liberal Polity and Criminal Sanction: Can We Achieve Both Justice and Civility? (forthcoming with Oxford University Press). Daniel B.  Klein is professor of economics and JIN chair at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he conducts a doctoral program in Adam Smith. He is the author of Knowledge and Coordination: A Liberal Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2012) and is chief editor of Economics Journal Watch. He is also associate fellow at the Ratio Institute in Stockholm. Lauren Kopajtic is assistant professor of philosophy at Fordham University. She specialises in moral philosophy and literature in the eighteenth century and her work has appeared in Hume Studies and The Journal of Scottish Philosophy. Aino Lahdenranta is doctoral student of philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, having completed her master’s degree at the University of Helsinki. Aino’s research interests lie in early modern moral philosophy and contemporary metaethics. She is currently finishing her doctoral thesis on emotions and moral judgment in Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith. Glory M.  Liu is postdoctoral research associate at the political theory project at Brown University. She received her PhD in political science from Stanford University. She holds an MPhil from Cambridge University in political thought and intellectual history, and a secondary MPhil in classics. She has published in Modern Intellectual History and The History of European Ideas. Her current book project traces the reception of Adam Smith’s ideas in American political thought and intellectual history. Mario J. Rizzo is professor of economics at New York University. He is also the director of the program on the foundations of the market economy in the department of economics and the co-​director of the Classical Liberal Institute at the New York University School of Law. He is the author (with Gerald O’Driscoll) of Austrian Economics Re-​Examined:  The Economics of Time and Ignorance, and, mostly recently (with Glen Whitman), of Escaping Paternalism: Rationality, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy. Reinhard Schumacher is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economics and Social of the Universität Potsdam. His publications include

Contributors  xi several articles about Adam Smith. His broader research interests include history of economic and political thought, international political economy, trade theory, and development economics. He is the co-founder of “Ceteris Never Paribus: The History of Economic Thought Podcast”.You can follow him on Twitter: @_RSchumacher. Fabrizio Simon received his PhD in the history of economic doctrines in 2006 from the University of Florence. He is currently a researcher at the University of Palermo where he teaches history of economic thought and economic history. His fields of research are the economic ideas of the Enlightenment, Italian and Sicilian economic thought, and the origin and history of economic analysis of law. His publications include articles and books on the relationship between criminology and economics in the eighteenth century; the thoughts of Adam Smith, Gaetano Filangieri, and Cesare Beccaria; Francesco Ferrara and Sicilian economists of the nineteenth century. Emily Skarbek is an assistant professor of Political Theory, Research, in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. Emily’s research examines governance and voluntary associations’ role in solving complex problems after natural disasters. Her empirical work uses a range of data from archives, historical sources, and fieldwork following large-scale natural disasters. She is also interested in the history of economic thought and how understanding intellectual history can inform and advance contemporary debates in political economy. Her work has been published in journals such as Public Choice, Journal of Institutional Economics, and American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Emily is also a contributing author to several books including After Katrina: The Political Economy of Disaster and Community Rebound and Hayek and the Modern World. Craig Smith is the Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Adam Smith’s Political Philosophy: The Invisible Hand and Spontaneous Order (2006) and Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society: Moral Science in the Scottish Enlightenment (2018). He was co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith and is Book Review editor of The Adam Smith Review. Spyridon Tegos is assistant professor of early modern philosophy at the University of Crete, Greece. His PhD thesis is titled ‘The Concept of Social Sentiments (Friendship, Sympathy, Compassion) in Early Modern Political Philosophy’ (Paris X-​Nanterre, 2002, sup. Etienne Balibar), and his research articles on the history of moral and political philosophy (Scottish and French Enlightenment) have appeared in French as well as in British, Italian, and Greek academic journals and edited volumes. He is currently working on a book on the classical French sources –​early modern theater, belles-​lettres –​ of early liberalism (David Hume, Adam Smith), regarding the social and

xii Contributors political relevance of ‘middling rank’ (middle class) manners and its aftermath in the French liberalism (Mme de Stael, Alexis de Tocqueville). Zev Trachtenberg is professor of philosophy and the director of the environmental studies program at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Making Citizens: Rousseau’s Political Theory of Culture, and various articles on Rousseau. He has also published on other figures in political philosophy and on political approaches to the environment. His recent research has been in the area of environmental political theory; he has focused on ways historical works prefigure the Anthropocene. Gloria Vivenza is former professor of economic history and history of economic thought in the universities of Catania and Verona. She is a member of the Società Italiana degli Storici dell’Economia, of the Accademia di Agricoltura Science e Lettere in Verona, and life member of Clare Hall College in Cambridge, UK. She is interested in the influence of ancient classics on modern economic thought, and wrote on this subject in her book Adam Smith and the Classics (2001), and several essays and articles dealing with classical themes developed in modern scholarship. Barry R.  Weingast is the Ward C.  Krebs Family Professor, department of political science, and a senior fellow, Hoover Institution. He served as chair, department of political science, from 1996 through 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Editorial introduction

It takes a village to bring an issue of the Adam Smith Review into print! My thanks to our Editorial Board, the Executive Committee of the International Adam Smith Society, our Book Reviews Editor Craig Smith, dozens of referees, and our authors for their work and their commitment to this journal. As always, our editorial partners at Taylor & Francis have been responsive and swift. My thanks to the University of California, San Diego Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Graduate Studies for making our campus a hospitable and generous home to this journal over so many years. Finally, my foremost thanks are due to my Editorial Assistant, Ike Sharpless, for his hard work on ASR 12, and for his insightful and efficient support over the past two years. I am pleased to introduce Matthew Draper, who will take over from Ike as Editorial Assistant moving forward. Matthew is a PhD candidate in political theory at University of California, San Diego. I am delighted that he has joined our village.

Glasgow symposium On morality and justice in Adam Smith

Introduction Craig Smith

This symposium represents the second collection of papers drawn from the joint meeting of the International Adam Smith Society and the Rousseau Association held at the University of Glasgow in 2015. This selection of papers focuses on Adam Smith’s moral and political philosophy and explores how Smith’s particular approach to philosophical explanation finds expression in both abstract and practical moral and political judgment. The papers are offered here in an order designed to lead the reader from the analysis of moral decision making through the analysis of the evolution of legal and political institutions to Smith’s pragmatic policy advice. The papers approach Smith from a number of different perspectives, but they have in common a desire to explore the elements of Smith’s understanding of judgment, justice, and law. Lauren Kopajtic’s paper opens the collection by exploring recent moves in the scholarship that have sought to distance Smith’s understanding of self-​ command from the Stoics. Self-​command is obviously a central part of Smith’s account in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, but arguments that show that it is not the same as Stoic self-​command often go on to regard it as synonymous with reason. Kopajtic’s paper provides a convincing case as to why we should think twice about this. She does this by returning to Smith’s sentimentalism and providing us with a ‘sentimentalized’ account of the origin and operation of self-​command that sits more comfortably with other parts of Smith’s system than the assumption that it represents a higher, rational self that exerts itself over the passions. This paper brings together Smith’s ideas of mutual sympathy and propriety to underline its suggestion that the impartial spectator is a feature of our moral psychology that evolves from the sentiments. Antonino Falduto’s paper continues the exploration of Smith’s account of moral decision making. Here the focus is on the differences between the sort of brute emotional sympathy discussed by David Hume and the more reflective and imaginative account of sympathy that we find in Smith’s work. Falduto suggests that we can gain insight into Smith’s account of the reflection involved in moral judgment by viewing it as a process of cognition. He argues that Smith’s sympathy is best understood if we explore it through the idea of mental faculties developed by his contemporary Thomas Reid. This approach provides

4  Craig Smith a reading of Smith that helps to explain the move from brute emotion to considered sympathy in Smith in a way that fits with important moves in the thought of Reid. Aino Lahdenranta continues the exploration of Smith’s account of moral judgment, re-​examining the longstanding discussion of the tension between virtue ethics and natural jurisprudential elements in Smith’s theory. Lahdenranta suggests that the perceived tension between jurisprudential and virtue ethics in Smith can best be resolved by examining his account of justice. Trying to be clear about the various forms which justice takes as both a virtue and the basis of a system of general rules gives us purchase on the relationship between different influences on Smith’s thinking. It allows us to see that justice, and all the Smithian virtues, are derivatives of a quality of the individual, the passion that motivates us to act. Smithian virtue theory is not an assessment of the whole character of an individual; instead it is an assessment of particular passions that motivate and are expressed in particular actions. If Smith is a virtue theorist, he is one whose theory is ‘agent-​based’ and sentimentalized. Lahdenranta shows how this interpretation of Smith helps to explain why he talks about justice and benevolence in the ways that he does. The link between justice and the other moral sentiments is the topic of Jonathan Jacobs’s paper. Jacobs explores the central role played by resentment as the affective basis of Smith’s accounts of propriety and justice. Smith is peculiar in the history of philosophy for his use of resentment as a naturalized basis for normative ideas of justice. But he is also interesting because this resentment is not a thoughtless, knee-​jerk, passion-​driven desire for revenge. Instead it is a reflective resentment that involves a consideration of the situation and the actors involved. Jacobs extends his analysis into Smith’s account of non-​justiciable ideas of civility and shows how these seemingly less important practices also embody many of the same elements as are found in Smith’s account of justice. So we see that the indignation aroused at incivility involves a similar concern for the value of others as the account of the rise of legal rights. Daniel B. Klein’s paper provides a detailed analysis of Smith’s three notions of justice: commutative, distributive, and what Klein terms ‘estimative’. Smith’s accounts of commutative and distributive justice have been subject to much discussion, and Klein’s interest is in trying to understand the third, estimative, type of justice and what role it plays in Smith’s thinking. He suggests that we can see particular cases of it in situations where Smith examines a person being judged by a superior (whether in rank or office). This allows Klein to de-​construct relationships between people in terms of commutative, distributive, and estimative justice depending on the nature of the relation that the agents bear to one another.This reading gives us an account of Smith’s philosophy which highlights that the justice that pertains between equals and between superiors and inferiors operate in distinct ways. Klein’s argument is that this allows us to see that many of the instances usually thought of as examples of distributive justice in Smith are actually better understood as instances of estimative justice.

Introduction  5 Jonathon Diesel reacts to Klein’s argument and examines the idea of ‘jural superiors’ and judgment between superiors and inferiors. By examining Smith’s account of rank, status, and comparative social judgment, he attempts to show that Smith operates with a notion of comparative superiority among equals which is distinct from another form of superiority arising in the office of magistrate or sovereign. Informal superiority in the form of wealth or class is distinct and has a different psychology from that of the magistrate or sovereign. This means that Smith needs a separate account of its social operation and relationship to justice. This reading of Smith’s account of political legitimacy disaggregates political inequality from other forms of inequality and Diesel uses this to shed new light on Smith’s understanding of natural liberty. Spyridon Tegos continues the examination of Smith’s account of inequality by comparing it to that of Jean-​Jacques Rousseau. Smith’s notion of sympathy with the rich and powerful is ambivalent in moral terms, but it is central to his political psychology. Tegos compares this to Rousseau’s account of sympathy with monarchy and resentment at inequality on a personal level, and with his idea of the authority of law and nation rather than the authority of the person. Thus Rousseau’s critique of paternalism is intimately linked to his political republicanism, a feature absent from Smith’s examination of the same elements of the political psychology of subordination. The next two papers move on to Smith’s account of how the moral agents we have been discussing thus far come to develop shared institutions and conventions. Glory M.  Liu and Barry R.  Weingast conduct an analysis of Smith’s method in this field with a focus on his use of equilibrium and comparative statics as ways of explaining patterns in social life. They argue that the approach is pervasive across all of Smith’s work from the account of the evolution of language to morality, law, politics, and government. The ubiquity of this method suggests to Liu and Weingast that Smith’s jurisprudence is not mere historical narrative but is rather another case of his general method of social explanation. As a result, Smith’s historical jurisprudence is less of a description of particular laws and more of a theoretical explanation of the evolution of legal and political institutions as such. Zev Trachtenberg’s paper focuses on many of the same elements of Smith’s theory, but here the emphasis is on the accounts of socialization and social change in political and legal institutions. Trachtenberg suggests that we can better understand what Smith is doing in his account of social change if we see him as making use of historical imagination as part of his theoretical explanations. He argues that Smith’s account of social evolution is driven by a notion of dynamic change that arises from Smith’s account of human nature. In this way changes in society reflect the increasing realization of human nature in a particular social setting. The paper then examines this through the idea of human habitation, or how human beings come to live in different types of society, and notes the parallels between Smith’s analysis and contemporary theories of social evolution.

6  Craig Smith Having moved from moral judgment to justice, to political subordination, and then to the institutions of justice, we now turn to Smith’s practical politics. Lisa Hill makes the case that Smith is not an ideologue or detached philosopher when it comes to policy advice. His philosophy informs his politics, but his political advice accepts the reality of the constraints of political context. Hill uses Smith’s various responses to the crisis between Britain and her American colonies to show how Smith runs through a series of potential solutions which are informed by his understanding of how politics operates and the various interests that existed in Britain and America at the time. The Smith that emerges is a pragmatic policy adviser who draws on his social science to counsel the public.

Adam Smith’s sentimentalist conception of self-​command Lauren Kopajtic

Introduction ‘Self-​ command’ is a central capacity in Adam Smith’s moral philosophy, especially as presented in the final edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS).1 Smithian self-​command is a specific conception of the more familiar capacity for self-​control, and in Smith’s view, it enables an individual to regulate her affective states, from turbulent passions to calm sentiments, and to act in a way that is proper and worthy of praise. But in spite of its centrality, self-​ command has long been overshadowed by the interest in Smith’s conceptions of sympathy and the impartial spectator. And when self-​command is discussed, it has been regularly cited as an example of Smith’s interest in classical Stoicism, following the influential editorial comments of D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (1976/​82, 5–​6). But the interpretive trend is now shifting. Several scholars have noted that there are serious problems with the traditional reading of Smithian self-​ command as a piece of his Stoicism, especially given Smith’s explicit arguments in TMS against the Stoic conception of self-​control, understood by him as leading to ‘insensibility’.2 Interpreting Smithian self-​command as ‘Stoic’—​as requiring not merely the restraint of passion and sentiment, but their extirpation—​seems to be in serious tension with Smith’s commitment to the sentimental foundation of morality. Challenging this traditional reading of Smithian self-​command, two authors have recently offered alternative interpretations: Leonidas Montes (2016; 2008; 2004) argues for a Socratic reading of self-​command, and Maria Carrasco (2012; 2004) argues that self-​command is ‘an expression of practical reason’ (2012, 399). Each of these readings maintains a strong connection between self-​command and rationalism—​Montes looks to an alternative classical conception of rational self-​control, and Carrasco to a conception of practical reason inspired by Aristotle and Kant. But Smith makes his sentimentalist allegiance clear, and each of these new interpretations requires us to saddle Smith with a position that is in apparent tension with his sentimentalist commitments. In this paper, I argue that we should adopt an interpretation of self-​command suggested by Smith himself when he writes that ‘our sensibility to the feelings of others, so far from being inconsistent with the manhood of self-​command,

8  Lauren Kopajtic is the very principle upon which that manhood is founded’ (TMS III.3.34; Smith 1976). Why read Smithian self-​command as ‘Stoic’, or ‘Socratic’, or as a version of practical rationality, when we can read it as a sentimental capacity, one that coheres with Smith’s philosophical framework? I argue that attending to the details of Smith’s conception of self-​command will help us to see that self-​command is a home-​grown, sentimentalist conception and not an awkward rationalistic transplant. I begin with a discussion of the sentimentalist framework in general, and of the roles for reason and reasoning within that framework. I then offer my interpretation of Smithian self-​ command, arguing that Smith develops his conception of this capacity from within the sentimentalist framework. Finally, I offer a brief critical discussion of the interpretations of Montes and Carrasco, arguing that while each captures important features of Smithian self-​command, each also relies on an implicitly and problematically rational conception of self-​ command. Reconstructing the moral psychology of Smithian self-​command, and seeing how Smith has ‘sentimentalized’ this notion, will provide us with an important historical precedent for conceptions of self-​control that ascribe no special governing power to reason.

The sentimentalist framework We can understand moral sentimentalism as developing in opposition to a variety of extant moral views, including the moral rationalism of philosophers like Ralph Cudworth and Samuel Clarke.3 Since this is a large and complicated topic, I will focus on two major points of disagreement—​one epistemological and one psychological—​between the rationalists and the sentimentalists.4 For the sake of brevity and clarity, I will take Clarke as a representative rationalist, and I will take Hume and Smith as representative sentimentalists.5 In the next section, I  will use these points of disagreement to set out three dimensions along which Smith ‘sentimentalizes’ self-​command, conceiving of this capacity in a way that coheres with his expanded conception of the role of sentiment in moral judgment and action, and with his restricted conception of the role of reason. The deepest and most basic difference between the moral rationalists and the moral sentimentalists of the eighteenth century is the dispute over the foundation of morality—​whether morality is ultimately founded on reason or on sentiment. Questions about this foundation often turn into questions about how we judge or know what is right or wrong, virtuous or vicious, proper or improper; that is, they turn into epistemic questions about how human beings make ‘moral distinctions’. Where a rationalist like Clarke holds that necessary and eternal relations determine moral distinctions, and that these relations can be discovered through reason, a sentimentalist like Smith holds that all moral distinctions are ultimately determined by ‘immediate sense and feeling’, and thus we judge that something is right or wrong by first feeling a moral sentiment in response to it (TMS VII.iii.2.7).6 As Smith claims, ‘nothing can be

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  9 agreeable or disagreeable for its own sake, which is not rendered such by immediate sense and feeling’ (TMS VII.iii.2.7).7 In addition to quarrelling about how we discover moral distinctions, rationalists and sentimentalists also quarrel over the question of moral motivation, of how we are moved to do what we take to be good, proper, right, or obligatory. Rationalists like Clarke argue that reason and our ‘understanding or knowledge of the natural and necessary relations, fitnesses, and proportions of things’ directs and ‘determine[s]‌’ the wills of all rational creatures (Clarke 1991, 189–​190). Through reason we discover what is right or fitting for us to do, and reason thereby motivates us to do that thing. But sentimentalists like Hume argue that the nature of reason is such that it cannot motivate action or suppress passion: ‘reason is perfectly inert, and can never either prevent or produce any action or affection’ (Hume 2007,, 294).8 For Hume, reason alone cannot influence action, and all our actions are motivated by feelings—​by desires, passions, sentiments, or psychological propensities. In comparison with the rationalists, then, we can see the sentimentalists as holding an expanded conception of the role of sentiment in moral judgment and action, and a restricted conception of the role of reason. Moral distinctions are all ultimately founded on the affective responses of human beings, and human conduct and action springs from affective states like desires, passions, and propensities. Crucially, to restrict the role of reason is not to remove reason from the realm of morality entirely. The sentimentalists restrict reason to important but ancillary roles, where it assists by working on or with perceptions, desires, and sentiments. Reason alone may not have a role in evaluation and action, but reason in conjunction with sentiment, imagination, and perception is of great use. In the case of evaluative judgment, reason helps to discover facts of the matter and perform inferential and causal reasoning. In the case of action, reason helps to discover the best means toward one’s ends. Other activities formerly associated with reason, including judgment and reflection, lose their purely rational connotations and take on wider connotations of feeling and imagination.9 Smith’s ‘theory of moral sentiments’ is constructed within this larger sentimentalist framework. Although Smith briefly addresses the epistemological issue, arguing, as we saw, that moral distinctions are founded on ‘immediate sense and feeling,’ he does not offer extensive arguments against the moral rationalists.Two of Smith’s sentimentalist predecessors, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume, had already offered such arguments, and Smith’s TMS is written in the wake of these. I agree with Charles Griswold, James Otteson, and others who read Smith as taking Hume’s and Hutcheson’s anti-​rationalist arguments as having settled the issues, just as he takes Hutcheson’s arguments against Hobbes, Mandeville, and other ‘selfish theorists’ as having settled those issues.10 But although Smith does not offer explicit anti-​rationalist arguments, we can see the evidence of Smith’s acceptance of these arguments in the few mentions of reason and reasoning in TMS. For example, in a largely unnoticed passage from TMS IV, Smith characterizes ‘superior reason and understanding’ as an instrumental capacity, ‘by which we are capable of discerning the remote consequences of all our actions,

10  Lauren Kopajtic and of foreseeing the advantage or detriment which is likely to result from them’ (TMS IV.2.6).11 And in his later discussion of moral rationalism, Smith again clearly specifies the instrumental role of reason, noting that reason enables us, by ‘induction from this experience [of moral sentiments on different occasions]’ to establish general rules of conduct. He adds that ‘reason may show that this object is the means of obtaining some other which is naturally either pleasing or displeasing’ but that it ‘cannot render any particular object either agreeable or disagreeable to the mind for its own sake’ (TMS VII.iii.2.7). Like Hume, Smith holds a restricted conception of the role of reason in moral judgment and action, assigning to it only instrumental functions.12 Smith is working within a well-​defined sentimentalist framework, a framework that took shape in opposition to moral rationalism. But is self-​command an organic part of Smith’s sentimentalist framework? Or is it a rationalistic transplant—​a piece of Stoicism or some other version of rational self-​control, awkwardly grafted onto Smith’s sentimentalist system? Smith’s conception of self-​control would make a likely candidate for being a holdover from more traditional, rationalist systems, given the long and rich tradition of conceiving of reason as having sovereignty over the passions. Although there are different conceptions of rational self-​control, one core, familiar conception is colorfully captured by Plato’s image of a charioteer (reason) directing the power provided by his horses (passion and desire).13 Variations of this conception were rife during Smith’s time, and can be seen in well-​known works like Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (‘On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail,/​Reason the card, but passion is the gale’), and Bernard Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees (‘a Man of sound Understanding [may] Govern himself by his Reason with as much ease and readiness as a good Rider manages a well taught Horse by the Bridle’) (Pope 2008, 107–​108; Mandeville 1988, 323).14 According to such positions, passion and desire provide motivational power while reason provides guidance and direction. As we move to Smith’s conception of self-​command, we must ask: Has Smith found a way to revise the traditional conception of self-​control as reason’s control over the passions, thereby assimilating it into his sentimentalist framework? And if so, how has he managed this?

Sentimentalized self-​command15 I will argue that Smith breaks with the tradition of conceiving of self-​control as reason’s governing of the passions, and that Smithian self-​ command is ‘sentimentalized’. According to this view, to sentimentalize some notion is to conceive of it in a way that conforms to the commitments and tenets of a sentimentalist framework.16 Offering an interpretation of the moral psychology of Smithian self-​command, I argue that there are three crucial dimensions along which Smith sentimentalizes this capacity. These are: 1 Motivation: Efforts at self-​command are motivated by the disposition to sympathize with other people and by the desire for the pleasures of mutual

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  11 sympathy and approval (and by the aversion to the pain of antipathy and disapproval). 2 Standard: Efforts at self-​command are guided by a standard of propriety, which is constituted by the sentiments a well-​informed and impartial spectator would feel upon sympathizing with the agent. 3 Operation: Self-​command works by imaginatively taking up the perspective of an impartial spectator on oneself and sympathetically imagining the feelings of such a spectator. According to my interpretation, Smith succeeds in sentimentalizing self-​ command.That is, Smith succeeds in developing a conception of self-​command and the government of the passions from within his sentimentalist framework, and in conformity with its commitments to an expanded role for sentiment and a restricted role for reason. The motivational basis of and standard for self-​command Smith opens TMS with a series of empirical claims about human beings. He claims that we are naturally social, sympathetic, and curious creatures, regularly striving to understand one another, to share our beliefs, opinions, and sentiments, and deriving a great deal of pleasure from successful sympathetic interactions, and pain from unsuccessful ones. Although self-​command does not receive top billing in the first part of TMS, it is present throughout Smith’s discussion of the sympathetic interaction between the spectator and the agent, a presence which is confirmed in a later passage: Our sensibility to the feelings of others, so far from being inconsistent with the manhood of self-​command, is the very principle upon which that manhood is founded.The very same principle or instinct which, in the misfortune of our neighbour, prompts us to compassionate his sorrow; in our misfortune, prompts us to restrain the abject and miserable lamentations of our own sorrow. The same principle or instinct which, in his prosperity and success, prompts us to congratulate his joy; in our own prosperity and success, prompts us to restrain the levity and intemperance of our own joy. In both cases, the propriety of our own sentiments and feelings seems to be exactly in proportion to the vivacity and force with which we enter into and conceive his sentiments and feelings. (TMS III.3.34)17 This passage is the key passage for my interpretation of self-​command, and it summarizes two important points about the connection between sensibility and self-​command, as established in the earlier parts of TMS. First, Smith claims that there is one ‘principle or instinct’ that ‘prompts’ both the effort to sympathize with someone else and the effort to command one’s own feelings.That is, Smith seems to be saying that there is one motivational basis for both sympathy and

12  Lauren Kopajtic self-​command. Second, Smith claims that ‘the propriety of our own sentiments and feelings’ is determined ‘exactly’ by the ‘vivacity and force’ with which we sympathize with another’s feelings. This seems to be a claim about the standard with which we evaluate our passions and desires, a standard which is set by a spectator’s sympathetic sentiments. Let’s unpack each of these claims by examining Smith’s account of sympathy and the sympathetic interaction. According to Smith, sympathy is the experience of a ‘fellow-​feeling with any passion whatever’, caused by the spectator’s effort18 to imaginatively enter into the situation19 of the agent (TMS I.i.1.5).20 Sympathy is not merely a ‘contagion’ or ‘transfusion’ of feeling; it is the result of a spectator’s attempt to move from her own situation into that of the agent—​to step into the shoes of the agent, so to speak—​and to feel what they feel, given their situation. And Smith claims that this tendency to sympathize with those around us springs from a ‘natural principle’ that drives us to imagine the experiences and feelings of others (TMS I.i.1.1). Smith adds that we are driven not only to imagine the experiences of others, but also to try to reach agreement of sentiment, for ‘nothing pleases us more than to observe in other men a fellow-​feeling with all the emotions of our own breast’ (TMS I.i.2.1). That is, we desire mutual sympathy, the harmonious state wherein the spectator’s and the agent’s feelings agree. As we will see in the section that follows, achieving this desirable state requires an effort by both the spectator and the agent. On Smith’s view, then, our curiosity about the sentiments of others combines with our strong desire for sympathy and approval and produces a potent motive to regularly engage in the sympathetic interaction. The desire for mutual sympathy (and the converse aversion to antipathy and disapproval21) is the ‘principle or instinct’ which Smith refers to in TMS III.3.34; this desire ‘prompts us’ to sympathize with others. How might this principle also prompt the effort of self-​command? To answer this question, we must look more closely at the sympathetic interaction. In brief, when the spectator and the agent engage in the sympathetic interaction, the spectator will strive to enter fully into the situation of an agent, gathering information about that situation and striving to understand it without bias or partiality. Her effort will first produce in her a sympathetic emotion, and then a sentiment of approbation or disapprobation. If her sympathetic emotion is ‘in perfect concord’ with the agent’s original passion, then she wholly approves of his passion and judges it proper, but insofar as her sympathetic emotion does not match the original passion of the agent, she feels a degree of disapprobation and judges it improper. The agent, aware that others will be so judging him, and moved by his desire to be sympathized with, strives to bring his emotions to a level into which the spectator can enter. Let’s illustrate this interaction, beginning with the task of the spectator, which Smith describes as follows: [T]‌he spectator must, first of all, endeavour, as much as he can, to put himself in the situation of the other, and to bring home to himself every little circumstance of distress which can possibly occur to the sufferer. He must adopt the whole case of his companion with all its minutest incidents; and

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  13 strive to render as perfect as possible, that imaginary change of situation upon which his sympathy is founded. (TMS I.i.4.6) If I walk into the office and see you, a colleague of mine, brushing away tears, my first thought, according to Smith, is ‘What has befallen you?’ (TMS I.i.1.6). But I may push this thought aside and jump to a quick disapproval of crying in the office. ‘Unprofessional’, I think, and I go to my desk. In this case, we see someone who is not properly being a spectator, because they are not bothering to imagine what has befallen the agent. Smith thinks this may often happen, ‘without any defect of humanity on our part’ (TMS I.i.3.4). Perhaps I know little about you, or perhaps I am ‘employed about other things, and do not take time to picture out in [my] imagination the different circumstances of distress which must occur to [you]’ (TMS I.i.3.4). In such a case, I have not endeavored to put myself in your situation, and so if I feel a sentiment of disapproval and form a judgment from it, they are not warranted. What about a spectator who does make the effort? Perhaps I know that you have been struggling to cope with the illness of your mother and the way it is affecting your family. I ask what has happened, and I try to work out the details of your situation. This is the first step in the spectator’s role in the sympathetic interaction, and it is the effortful step: what I am doing here is trying to understand you, your situation, and why you feel as you seem to feel. By trying to imaginatively simulate your experience and situation, I am putting myself in a situation to feel what I would feel, if I were in your place.22 The second step is the experience of a sympathetic emotion. If you tell me that your mother passed away over the weekend, and now your siblings are squabbling over her estate, I will quickly enter into your grief and frustration, for, Smith claims, ‘our sympathy … with deep distress, is very strong and very sincere’ (TMS I.ii.5.4). I feel a sympathetic emotion of grief, one that is not as strong as yours, but in harmony with it. The two sentiments, your original passion of grief, and my sympathetic emotion of grief, ‘will never be unisons’, for I can never fully become you through the work of the imagination, but ‘they may be concords, and this is all that is wanted or required’ (TMS I.i.4.7). I feel the concord of sentiments and then feel a sentiment of approbation, for we are in mutual sympathy. This is the third step: the comparison of my sympathetic emotion with the emotion I believe you are feeling will produce a further sentiment, a sentiment of approbation or disapprobation.23 While the spectator is attempting to sensitively and imaginatively engage with the agent, the agent is trying to anticipate the spectator’s evaluation of his situation and to command his passions accordingly. The agent (‘the person principally concerned’ in the situation) is aware that the spectator will not be able to enter fully into his situation, and so his effort is to regulate his passions, bringing them to a level with which a spectator could sympathize: The person principally concerned is sensible of this [inability to achieve perfect unison], and at the same time passionately desires a more complete

14  Lauren Kopajtic sympathy. He longs for that relief which nothing can afford him but the entire concord of the affections of the spectators with his own. To see the emotions of their hearts, in every respect, beat time to his own, in the violent and disagreeable passions, constitutes his sole consolation. But he can only hope to obtain this by lowering his passion to that pitch, in which spectators are capable of going along with him. He must flatten, if I may be allowed to say so, the sharpness of its natural tone, in order to reduce it to harmony and concord with the emotions of those who are about him. (TMS I.i.4.7)24 The agent is driven by his desire for the sympathy of a spectator to regulate his passions in accordance with what he thinks that spectator would find proper. In order to anticipate the response of the spectator, the agent also runs through the steps of the spectatorial process, imagining himself and his own situation through the eyes of the spectator, feeling the propriety or impropriety of his reaction, and adjusting his conduct and emotions accordingly. Thus, just as the spectator is driven to sympathize with the agent by her desire for mutual sympathy, the agent is driven to regulate his emotions by his desire for mutual sympathy. Now, as the spectator and agent engage in the sympathetic interaction, motivated by their respective desires for mutual sympathy, each is also evaluating the ‘original passion’ of the agent.This is a key feature of Smith’s account of the moral sentiments. On Smith’s view, a moral sentiment (a sentiment of approval or disapproval) is a sympathetic response to the propriety of the agent’s original passion. That is, the spectator, upon attempting to sympathetically imagine the agent’s situation, will also feel a sense of ‘the suitableness or unsuitableness … the proportion or disproportion which the affection seems to bear to the cause or object which excites it’ (TMS I.i.3.6). If the spectator, ‘upon bringing the case home to himself ’, feels a ‘dissonance’ between his sympathetic emotion and the passion the agent appears to feel, he will disapprove of the agent’s passion and judge it improper (TMS I.i.3.1). If he feels a ‘concord’ between the two feelings, he will approve of the agent’s passion, and judge it proper. ‘Upon all occasions’ says Smith, the sentiments of the spectator ‘are the standards and measures by which he judges of [the agent’s]’ (TMS I.i.3.1). But can the sentiments of any spectator serve as the standard of propriety? Or, to ask this question in another way, can any instance of moral approbation or disapprobation justify a consequent judgment that an action is proper or improper? We have already seen that one of the core commitments of Smith’s sentimentalism is the claim that moral distinctions and moral judgments have their source in ‘immediate sense and feeling’ (TMS VII.iii.2.7). We have also just seen Smith’s view that the propriety of any affective state, including motives for action,25 is determined by the sentiments of the spectator. But Smith clarifies that the standard-​setting sentiments are ‘the sympathetic feelings of the impartial and well-​informed spectator’ (TMS VII.ii.1.49, emphasis added).26 That is, the level of propriety for any particular feeling will be determined by the

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  15 sentiment (approbation or disapprobation) that an informed and impartial spectator would feel upon sympathizing with the agent. We shall return to Smith’s conception of this spectator later, but for now, we should note that Smith takes this part of his theory to be one left unexplained by previous theorists, rationalists, and sentimentalists alike: None of those systems [which make virtue consist in propriety]27 either give, or even pretend to give, any precise or distinct measure by which this fitness or propriety of affection can be ascertained or judged of. That precise and distinct measure can be found nowhere but in the sympathetic feelings of the impartial and well-​informed spectator. (TMS VII.ii.1.49) One of Smith’s self-​proclaimed contributions to this tradition of moral philosophy is his account of the standard of propriety, and this standard is itself explicitly sentimental. In this respect, Smith maintains the sentimentalist commitment to the restricted role of reason, assigning to sentiment, not reason, the role of setting the standard for judgment and action. To return to the passage with which we began, TMS III.3.34, we can now see that, on Smith’s view, our sensibility to the feelings of others both drives and guides our attempts at self-​command. The effort of sympathizing and the effort of commanding one’s passions have the same motivational basis, each springing from the natural and basic desire for mutual sympathy and approval. And the standard that guides the effort of self-​command is set by the sentiments of the well-​informed and impartial spectator. Put differently, I would not be motivated to regulate my passions if I cared nothing for what you felt (and so, nothing for whether you felt my feelings were improper), and I would have no sense for the propriety of my feelings if I were not able to imagine how you would feel if you were a well-​informed and impartial spectator of me. But because I do care about achieving mutual sympathy with you, and because I  can imagine your sympathetic feelings, I  learn which emotions are proper in which situations, and I am motivated to achieve that level of propriety—​I am motivated to exercise self-​command. These are the first two facets of Smith’s sentimentalization of self-​command:  Smithian self-​command springs from and is driven by the desire for mutual sympathy, and it is guided by the sentiments of a well-​informed and impartial spectator.28 In so conceiving of self-​command, Smith thus far remains true to his sentimentalist commitments. The operation of self-​command We saw that in the effort of self-​command, the agent is guided by the sentiments of a spectator and he strives to command his passions and bring them to a level into which a spectator can enter. We also saw that Smith conceives of the standard of propriety as being set by the sentiments of the well-​informed and impartial spectator. And we saw that in the sympathetic interaction, the

16  Lauren Kopajtic spectator is imagining the situation of the agent, and the agent is imagining what a spectator would feel upon her attempt to sympathize. In a long paragraph following his discussion of the sympathetic interaction, Smith describes these intersecting efforts and their result: In order to produce this concord [of sentiments], as nature teaches the spectators to assume the circumstances of the person principally concerned, so she teaches this last in some measure to assume those of the spectators. As they are continually placing themselves in his situation, and thence conceiving emotions similar to what he feels; so he is as constantly placing himself in theirs, and thence conceiving some degree of that coolness about his own fortune, with which he is sensible that they will view it. As they are constantly considering what they themselves would feel, if they actually were the sufferers, so he is as constantly led to imagine in what manner he would be affected if he was only one of the spectators of his own situation. As their sympathy makes them look at it, in some measure, with his eyes, so his sympathy makes him look at it, in some measure, with theirs, especially when in their presence and acting under their observation: and as the reflected passion, which he thus conceives, is much weaker than the original one, it necessarily abates the violence of what he felt before he came into their presence, before he began to recollect in what manner they would be affected by it, and to view his situation in this candid and impartial light. (TMS I.i.4.8) Smith is describing the process of learning to be an impartial spectator of oneself, and he is describing how the effort of taking up that perspective can actually alter an agent’s emotions. But how does this guidance work? What happens in the effort of self-​command, such that a passion is restrained or otherwise modified? To begin, we can take a hint from the musical metaphors Smith uses throughout TMS. In a passage discussed earlier, he writes that in a sympathetic interaction, the agent ‘must flatten … the sharpness of [the passion’s] natural tone, in order to reduce it to harmony and concord with the emotions of those who are about him’ (TMS I.i.4.7). And elsewhere he compares mutual sympathy to the harmony produced when ‘so many musical instruments coincide and keep time with one another’ (TMS VII.iv.28). Extending Smith’s musical metaphors, we can understand self-​command as an agent’s attempt to ‘tune’ her feelings so that they harmonize with the feelings of a spectator. In order to tune an instrument, a musician must be aware of the note she is producing and she must be aware of the note she is aiming for. She must also desire to bring her own instrument into harmony either with the instruments around her, or with a more ideal standard. Likewise, the effort of self-​command involves three elements: the original affection, the standard by which the agent tries to regulate it, and the desire to regulate the original affection so that it accords with the standard. But how does the standard in the case of self-​command get a grip on

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  17 us? How can I be moved by the sentiments of an impartial spectator—​by the sentiments of someone else—​to regulate my own passions? In order to answer these questions, let’s turn to Smith’s account of how an agent learns to be an impartial spectator of herself. We shall see that taking up the perspective of a ‘supposed’ impartial spectator allows an agent to feel a new set of spectatorial sentiments. These are the sentiments that serve as the standard that guides her attempts at self-​command, and they are sentiments she herself feels. Our initial sympathetic interactions are with actual other people, but an agent can also learn to ‘suppose’ or imagine a spectator of her conduct. Smith writes that once I ‘become anxious’ to know how I am perceived by others, and whether I ‘deserve their censure or applause’, I begin examining myself by considering how I would appear if I were in the spectator’s position: ‘we suppose ourselves the spectators of our own behaviour, and endeavour to imagine what effect it would, in this light, produce upon us. This is the only looking-​glass by which we can, in some measure, with the eyes of other people, scrutinize the propriety of our own conduct’ (TMS III.1.5). This process of ‘supposition’ involves a change of perspective, for, according to Smith, ‘we can never survey our own sentiments and motives, we can never form any judgment concerning them; unless we remove ourselves, as it were, from our own natural station, and endeavour to view them as at a certain distance from us’ (TMS III.1.3). Thus, if I  want to assess the propriety of my own emotions and actions, I must take up a new perspective on them, the perspective of someone who is at an appropriate distance from them, namely, an impartial spectator. How do I do this? Smith claims that I must split or divide myself: When I endeavour to examine my own conduct, when I endeavour to pass sentence upon it, and either to approve or condemn it, it is evident that, in all cases, I divide myself, as it were, into two persons; and that I, the examiner and judge, represent a different character from that other I, the person whose conduct is examined and judged of. (TMS III.1.6) In order to assess myself, I must divide myself, as it were, into two characters. Smith claims that I am both these characters, I am both the judge and the one judged, both the spectator and the agent. But more precisely, we might say that I, the agent, develop the ability to take up different perspectives, including the perspective of someone impartial to me and my interests. For example, I can view the behavior of my good-​natured but raucous friend from my own partial perspective, loving her for her humor and impulsiveness, and for how she always ensures that a party is fun, or I  can view her behavior from the perspective of the other restaurant patrons who find her to be noisy, intrusive, and dramatic. Likewise, I can view my own furious resentment at a personal slight from the partial perspective of the resentment, which urges my revenge on the offender, or I can view that resentment from the perspective of a third, impartial party, who sees the insult in a different light and as meriting a more moderate

18  Lauren Kopajtic response. We have already seen how the roles of agent and spectator intersect, and we have seen that the agential effort in the sympathetic interaction involves moving between one’s situation as an agent and the perspective of the spectator one is interacting with. Smith is claiming that we internalize this switching or toggling between perspectives, and that when we attempt to scrutinize ourselves, we similarly take up and move between perspectives. Repeated experience with the sympathetic interaction and repeated attempts to take an impartial perspective on one’s own feelings results in the development of the capacity to imaginatively suppose the presence of an impartial spectator. The mature agent in Smith’s system is someone who has had this repeated experience and is able to be her own spectator ‘so easily and readily, that [she] is scarce sensible that [she does] it’ (TMS III.3.3). This process of habituation begins at a very young age, and Smith describes the development of the supposed impartial spectator as ‘studying’ in ‘the great school of self-​ command’ (TMS III.3.22). As a child, Smith claims, I am initially surrounded by partial caregivers and I feel no pressure to moderate my passions or control my actions. But when I first encounter people who are not partial to me, I am moved for the first time to care about what they think of me—​I begin to exercise self-​command. I want these impartial spectators to approve of me, and so I endeavor to bring my sentiments to a level into which they can enter. As I continue in this ‘great school’, and I encounter more and more actual impartial spectators, I  gradually develop the ability to suppose the presence of an impartial spectator, to occupy the perspective of that supposed spectator, and to feel moral sentiments from that perspective. When the mature Smithian agent scrutinizes her own passions from the perspective of the impartial spectator, when she divides herself ‘as it were’ into agent and spectator, she will feel both her own original passion and a sympathetic emotion, produced by taking up the spectatorial perspective. The sympathetic emotion will interact with the original passion, in some cases ‘abat[ing] the violence’ of it, and in others, presumably, increasing the force (TMS I.i.4.8).29 Further, the mature moral agent will feel the relation between her original passion and the sympathetic emotion she feels by taking up the perspective of the impartial spectator. If she feels the concord of these two feelings, she will feel a sentiment of self-​approbation and no impulse to command her original passion. If she feels a dissonance between them, she will feel a sentiment of self-​disapprobation and the impulse to ‘tune’ her original passion to the standard set by the sympathetic emotion of the impartial spectator.30 In the case of a failure of perfect coincidence, the powerful desire to achieve the sympathy of the impartial spectator (and so to avoid the pain of self-​disapprobation) will motivate the agent to strive to regulate her passion and bring it to the level of propriety.31 To extend Smith’s musical metaphor, we might say that the agent who is a thoughtful and attentive pupil in the great school of self-​command is developing her ‘ear’ for the sentiments of the impartial spectator. The more sensitive and acute this sense is, the better she will be able to tune her emotions to the proper

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  19 level. Indeed, Smith claims that the cultivation of self-​command requires just this sort of refinement: There exists in the mind of every man, an idea of [exact propriety and perfection], gradually formed from his observations upon the character and conduct both of himself and of other people. It is the slow, gradual, and progressive work of the great demigod within the breast, the great judge and arbiter of conduct. This idea is in every man more or less accurately drawn, its colouring is more or less just, its outlines are more or less exactly designed, according to the delicacy and acuteness of that sensibility, with which those observations were made, and according to the care and attention employed in making them. (TMS VI.iii.25, emphasis added) It is through the ‘delicacy and acuteness’ and the ‘care and attention’ of our sensitive observations that we are able to discern the level of propriety for a variety of sentiments and actions, a standard we then use to command our own sentiments and guide our conduct. Self-​command is developed by continually participating in the social world, by refining the delicacy of one’s sensibility, by honing one’s discriminatory powers, and by cultivating the virtues of sensibility and self-​command. Thus, when Smith claims that self-​command is founded on our sensibility to the feelings of others, he means that it springs from and is driven by the desire for mutual sympathy; that it is guided by the sentiments of the well-​ informed and impartial spectator; that it works through the agent’s ability to become her own impartial spectator and to feel sympathetic emotions from that perspective; and that it is developed through the cultivation of delicacy in imagination and sentiment. If we examine Smith’s moral psychology carefully, we can find a detailed account of Smithian self-​command—​an account of what it is, how it is developed, and how it works in an agent. Furthermore, as I have argued here, this account turns out to be thoroughly sentimentalized. That is, Smith’s conception of self-​command turns out to be an organic piece of his sentimentalist framework, cohering with its commitments to the expanded role of sentiment and the restricted role of reason in moral judgment and action.

Recent interpretations of Smithian self-​command I have argued that Smithian self-​command is sentimentalized, showing how Smith conceives of self-​control and the government of the passions without relying on reason to play the role of governor. But my interpretation seems to stand opposed to the two most recent and thorough interpretations of self-​ command. In this final section, I shall briefly consider the views of Leonidas Montes and Maria Carrasco, mentioned in the introduction.32 I argue that while each of these views captures important features of Smithian self-​command,

20  Lauren Kopajtic each also attributes to Smith a conception of reason that, were he to have that conception, would violate his sentimentalist commitments. While several authors have registered their dissatisfaction with the reading of Smithian self-​command as Stoic, Montes is one of the first to offer an alternative reading, one which looks to an alternative ancient source. Montes’ main contention is that the ‘influence of the Stoics in self-​command—​Smith’s chief virtue—​has been overestimated’ and that self-​command ‘reflects an important Socratic source quite different from that of the Stoics’ (2008, 30).33 Montes finds in Smithian self-​command two important features which he claims it shares with the Socratic notion of enkrateia (literally, ‘inner power’). The first feature is that Smithian self-​command is more than a ‘mere control of passions’, for self-​command has a ‘sense of direction’ (2016, 149), or ‘a positive (in terms of command “for”) and enabling characteristic’ (2008, 49).The second feature is that Smithian self-​command ‘is a fundamental and enabling virtue’, a virtue that enables its possessor to be virtuous in other ways as well (2008, 49).34 Montes finds both of these features in Socratic enkrateia, and he claims that ‘it is very likely that Smith was thinking in terms of a Socratic self-​command as enkrateia when he developed his corrections of TMS last edition [sic]’ (2008, 49). I agree with much of Montes’ reading of Smithian self-​command, and although his suggestion that we look to other possible influences for Smithian self-​command is a helpful one, there are several issues with his reading of self-​ command as Socratic. First, it is not clear why the two features Montes indicates make self-​command more like Socratic enkrateia than Aristotelian enkrateia, for example. And given Smith’s emphasis on propriety as a kind of ‘mediocrity’ (TMS I.ii.intro.1), we might find a greater similarity with the Aristotelian notion than the Socratic, especially considering the severe, apatheia-​approaching portrayal of Socratic enkrateia in Plato’s Phaedo.35 But the issue that is most pertinent here is that Montes does not consider the fact that Socratic enkrateia, like Stoic self-​control, is a rational capacity. The ‘inner power’ of control is a power ascribed to reason over the passions and desire.36 Now, this may not be a deep issue if Montes means to draw only a loose connection to Socratic self-​control, emphasizing the place of Smithian self-​command in the tradition of the cardinal virtues. But as his interpretation stands, it runs afoul of Smith’s overt allegiance to the sentimentalist framework, and his commitment to the restricted role of reason in action and evaluative judgment. Carrasco has also offered an alternative reading of Smithian self-​command, agreeing with Montes and others that Smithian self-​command should not be understood as ‘Stoic’, and arguing for an interpretation that connects self-​ command ‘to the traditional ethics of practical reasoning’ (2012, 409). Carrasco draws a distinction between the ‘pre-​moral habit’ of self-​command and the ‘moral virtue’ of self-​command, and focuses on the first as a condition that must be met for the agent to be practically rational, and the second as having to do with the ends that the agent chooses to pursue. Carrasco argues that the ‘pre-​moral habit’ of self-​command ‘involves the first rational mediation of our desires’ (2012, 398), and that it is ‘a practical habit, an expression of practical

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  21 reason, which may be improved through its exertion … and enables us to discipline our passions in order to guide our lives according to our deliberate intentions’ (2012, 399–​400). I am sympathetic to many of the details of Carrasco’s interpretation, and I  agree that Smithian self-​command involves the ‘rational mediation of our desires’. On my own reading, reasoning plays an important role in the effort of self-​command, especially in the attempt to achieve the conditions of information and impartiality from which we can evaluate the propriety of our sentiments. But it is not immediately apparent how we should understand Carrasco’s stronger claim that Smithian self-​command is an ‘expression of practical reason’. On a straightforward reading of this claim, Carrasco is attributing to Smith a conception of reason as practical—​as motivationally efficacious—​and claiming that when we command our passions, we are doing so by means of the faculty of practical reason. Indeed, this reading is borne out by evidence from an earlier article (2004) where Carrasco explicitly attributes a conception of practical reason to Smith. She argues there that Smith’s ties to sentimentalism are weaker than they have been considered, and that ‘Smith’s system can also be plausibly seen as a theory of practical reasoning’ (2004, 81). She notes that this is an anachronistic argument, as ‘in Smith’s time the concept of practical reason was in complete disuse until Kant rehabilitated it, in a totally different form, at the end of the century’ (2004, 82–​83). And, somewhat oddly, she does not engage with the sentimentalists’ explicit arguments against reason as a practical capacity; instead she assumes that Smith was just unaware of the right conception of practical reason.37 Carrasco’s argument for reading Smith as a theorist of practical rationality is already on difficult interpretive ground, given Smith’s overt disavowal of rationalism and avowal of sentimentalism, and it is further undermined by her omission of engagement with the sentimentalist arguments for a motivationally inert conception of reason. Montes and Carrasco each makes an important contribution to the understanding of Smithian self-​command, but they each offer a reading of self-​ command that, as it stands, runs afoul of Smith’s commitment to the sentimentalist framework. Each connects Smithian self-​command with a framework according to which reason has governing power over the passions. But Smith follows Hume and other sentimentalists in denying this power to reason. If we are to understand Smithian self-​command, we must face up to this commitment and try to see what the government of the passions might look like when sentiment, not reason, is sovereign.

Conclusion As Smith revised TMS over the course of more than 30 years, self-​command became more and more prominent in his theory, taking, in the 1790 edition, a place with sympathy and the impartial spectator as one of the most central features of his moral theory. But we cannot properly understand self-​command or the role it plays in his sentimentalist theory if we persist in seeing it as a

22  Lauren Kopajtic Stoic or rationalistic holdover. My task in this paper has been to show that despite a persistent scholarly tendency to find Stoicism and rationalism in Smith’s conception of self-​command, Smithian self-​command is thoroughly sentimentalized. Smith cultivates a conception of self-​control and the government of the passions from within his sentimentalist framework. The result is a complex and rich view of our capacity for controlling and regulating our affective states.38

Notes 1 Self-​command comes into the foreground of Smith’s moral philosophy in the sixth edition of TMS (1790).This is largely due to the added section on self-​command and magnanimity in the completely new Part VI, as well as the significant revisions made to Part III of TMS. 2 Inter alia Bee and Paganelli (2019); Carrasco (2012, 2004); Forman-​Barzilai (2010); Ross (2010); Hanley (2009); Montes (2016, 2008, 2004); Schliesser (2008); Vivenza (2001); Fleischacker (1999); Griswold (1999). For Smith’s critique of Stoic ‘apathy’, which he understands as ‘insensibility’, see TMS III.3.14,VI.iii.18, and VII.ii.1.43. (I cite TMS in the manner recommended by the Adam Smith Review, relying on the Glasgow edition of Smith’s works.) Smith’s claim that Stoic self-​control leads to ‘apathy’ or insensibility is, of course, easily contested. For considerations of space, I do not evaluate Smith’s claims about various Stoic doctrines in this paper. 3 Given the scope of this paper, I focus only on the sentimentalists’ opposition to the rationalists. A full account of sentimentalism and its commitments would also have to consider the sentimentalists’ opposition to egoism and natural law theory, as well as the more overtly religious moralists. A full account would also have to address the nuances of the different sentimentalist positions, especially the differences between the moral sense theorists and the sympathy-​based sentimentalists. Unless otherwise noted, whenever I refer to ‘moral rationalists’ and ‘moral sentimentalists’, I mean to refer to those positions as defined and understood in the eighteenth century. There are many much newer ways of being a rationalist or a sentimentalist, and I cannot engage with these here. 4 I am indebted to Christine Korsgaard’s (1986) discussion of ‘content skepticism’ and ‘motivation skepticism’ about reason in this section. See also Kauppinen (2014). 5 I acknowledge that this oversimplifies many differences within these schools of thought, and can only plead considerations of space in my defense. I take these two points of disagreement to be central enough and basic enough that they helpfully differentiate the two kinds of positions, and in a way that is applicable to many of the figures that can be identified on either side. 6 For Clarke’s view, see the selections from his Discourse, in Raphael (ed.) (1991). 7 See also TMS III.4.8. 8 Hume is here referring to his arguments in Treatise 2.3.3 (SBN 413–​418). These arguments have been contested by many commentators, and many have weighed in on the nature of the disagreement between Hume and his rationalist targets. For further discussion of Hume’s conception of reason, see inter alia, Cohon (2008); Sayre-​McCord (2008); Garrett (2006); Owen (1999); Radcliffe (1999); Baier (1991); Korsgaard (1986). 9 See Nazar (2012) and Frazer (2012) for further discussion of the contours of rationalism and sentimentalism in Enlightenment thought.

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  23 10 See Griswold (1999, 157–​159); Otteson (2002, 51). 11 Smith also discusses the utility of self-​command here, explicitly contrasting self-​ command with this “superior reason and understanding” (TMS IV.2.6–​8). 12 There is one well-​known place in TMS where Smith claims that ‘reason, principle, conscience’ call to us ‘in a voice capable of astonishing the most presumptuous of our passions’ (TMS III.3.4). What will my reading make of this passage? I think it is quite clear that ‘reason’ is meant loosely here, and used as an equivalent in a capacious list of terms, which includes: ‘reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct’ (TMS III.3.4). Smith is clearly referring to the ‘supposed’ impartial spectator here, and, as we will see, he claims that it is the sentiments of that spectator which affect our conduct. This is all well within Smith’s sentimentalist framework, as will become clear in the discussion that follows. 13 This image is from the Phaedrus. Other common conceptions deny that human beings have the capacity for self-​control, claiming, for example, that we need the grace of God to achieve any control over our passions (e.g., Jean-​François Senault’s De l’Usage des Passions), or that the passions are signs of our fallen nature and to believe oneself capable of self-​improvement is sinful pride (e.g., John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion). And some conceive of virtuous self-​control as self-​mastery, and as the eradication of the influence of passion and desire on action (e.g., Plato’s Phaedo or Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations). 14 Mandeville is referring to Shaftesbury’s conception of self-​control here, not his own, but he nonetheless captures a common way of understanding this capacity. 15 In this paper, I  consider only central instances of self-​command, leaving aside Smith’s occasional discussion of what looks like non-​moral or even vicious self-​ command (like the command of fear of death exhibited by Buccanneers; see VI.iii). As Carrasco has argued (2012), Smith uses ‘self-​command’ in different ways, and not always to refer to a virtuous capacity. I also leave aside Smith’s discussion of the relation between self-​command and the other virtues. 16 I am not claiming that Smith is the only philosopher to do this, nor that there is only one way to sentimentalize self-​control. The nature of one’s sentimentalization of something will depend on the particular brand of sentimentalism one holds. 17 Sensibility and self-​command are also mentioned together in the beginning of TMS; see I.i.5.6–​7. 18 This is not necessarily a conscious or deliberate effort, and that Smith thinks that much of the imaginative work involved in the sympathetic process becomes automated. He notes in TMS I.i.1.6 that ‘upon some occasions sympathy may seem to arise merely from the view of a certain emotion in another person’, but he goes on to claim that this ‘does not hold universally, or with regard to every passion’ (TMS I.i.1.7). 19 The ‘situation’ of the agent includes relevant details about the agent’s personality and history, details about the people they are close with, their environment, and their tendencies to act in different situations. 20 Smith uses the term ‘sympathy’ in several ways, sometimes to describe the spectator’s initial imaginative attempt to enter into the situation of another, sometimes to describe the spectator’s fellow-​feeling, and sometimes to describe the pleasure of approbation felt when the feelings of the spectator and the agent are in harmony or concord. See Haakonssen (1981, 51). 21 See TMS I.i.2 for the first sustained discussion of this desire, and see TMS I.i.4.5 for his discussion of the ‘intolerable’ pain of disagreement on moral matters.

24  Lauren Kopajtic 22 There are important questions to be asked about how much of the spectator’s own character is transported during this imaginary change of situation. Is it that I take on your personality and feel what you would feel? Do I do this while retaining my own personality? In one place, Smith claims that we split ourselves, in a sense, and that a ‘secret consciousness’ remains with the spectator, ‘that the change of situations … is but imaginary’ (TMS I.i.4.7). But at the end of TMS, he claims that when I sympathize with you, I ‘consider what I should suffer if I was really you, and I not only change circumstances with you, but I change persons and characters’ (TMS VII.iii.1.4). These are important questions, but I think it is futile to try and seek a general answer to them. Smith certainly needs to maintain that the spectator should be trying to take on the salient features of the agent’s personality, and not merely projecting herself into the situation of someone else, because the personality of the agent is an important factor in understanding the response of the agent to her situation. But Smith also needs to maintain the basic separation of persons in sympathy, for sympathy and the ability to feel the moral sentiments depends on the comparison or relation of the spectator’s feeling to the agent’s. The selves of the agent and the spectator cannot collapse in the moment of sympathy, for if they did, we would not be able to make evaluations of other people. And since we do clearly make evaluations, Smith’s account must preserve the separation, perhaps only through a ‘secret consciousness’ of it. For further discussion, see Fleischacker (2019), Griswold (2006, 1999, 83–​109); Darwall (2004); Haakonssen (1981, 48). 23 Smith is careful to note that the sympathetic emotion is not the same as the sentiment of approbation. In a footnote added to the second edition of TMS (to I.iii.1.9), Smith responds to an objection Hume made to the view presented in the first edition. In his response, Smith is careful to distinguish two feelings attendant upon the process of sympathizing: the feeling that the spectator shares with the agent, which may be a painful or a pleasant feeling, and ‘the emotion which arises from his observing the perfect coincidence between this sympathetic passion in himself, and the original passion in the person principally concerned’ (TMS I.iii.1.9), which is always pleasant. 24 In this description, the agent is driven to ‘lower’ his passion, but Smithian self-​ command will require ‘up-​ regulation’ as well as ‘down-​ regulation’ of passions, depending on the passion and the situation. 25 Smith argues in Part II of TMS that the propriety of an action is determined by the propriety of the motive, ‘the intention of affection of the heart, from which it proceeds’ (TMS II.iii.intro.1). 26 See also TMS III.2.32. 27 This claim comes at the end of a long section where Smith canvasses the views of Plato, Aristotle, Zeno (‘the founder of the Stoical doctrine’, TMS VII.ii.1.15), Samuel Clarke, William Wollaston, and Lord Shaftesbury, all of whom, according to Smith, hold that virtue consists in propriety (TMS VII.ii). 28 As I mentioned in note 15, in this paper I focus on the central instances of self-​ command in TMS, leaving aside cases of apparently vicious command of passions. My reading of Smithian self-​command suggests a way of understanding where those cases of self-​command go wrong, so to speak. In such cases, we could argue that the agent’s self-​command fails to meet one or both of these criteria for what we might call virtuous self-​command. Perhaps the ‘Buccaneer’ commands his fear of death out of a desire to plunder more prodigiously, or perhaps because he measures his fear

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  25 of death against the standard set by his partial and ill-​informed fellow Buccaneers (TMS VI.iii.8). 29 Smith offers very little discussion of how the passions interact with one another on a psychological level. He seems to conceive of the sympathetic emotion as ‘cooler’ and less violent than the original passion, but he does not elaborate on how we are to understand this. It seems that Smith is hinting at something like Hume’s picture of the passions as having a degree of force or violence, which interacts with other passions in a variety of force-​on-​force ways. 30 See TMS III.5.5 for Smith’s explicit statement about the ‘authority’ of the sentiments of the impartial spectator (referred to by the general term ‘moral faculties’). There are important questions to be asked about the source of this authority, and these questions are especially pressing for Smith given his sentimentalist framework. I address this topic in Kopajtic (2019), but see also Sayre-​ McCord (2013, 2010). 31 I am describing an ideal version of this process and am aware (as was Smith) that there will be many factors which impede this process. See Smith’s discussion of the need for ‘general rules’ in III.4 and III.5, where he discusses the prevalence of self-​ deception and the corrective influence of general rules. 32 I set aside the consideration of my view in relation to the reading of Smithian self-​ command as ‘Stoic’. Enough work has already been done to show that Smith is explicitly opposed to the conception of self-​control as found in the canonical Stoic texts. See the references mentioned in note 2. 33 See also Montes (2016), 148–​149. 34 Montes is referring to Smith’s discussion of self-​command in TMS VI.iii, where Smith claims that self-​command supports the other virtues and gives them their impressive quality. As mentioned in note 15, I set this aspect of self-​command aside in this paper. 35 Another pressing issue with Montes’ reading is that given the likely influence of Socratic enkrateia on Stoic enkrateia and sophrosyne, Montes needs to say much more about why we should find an important distinction between these conceptions (he briefly mentions this influence in an endnote to 2008, n. 33).This is a pressing issue because without clarifying this, it is not clear why we should think that Socratic enkrateia does not also lead to apatheia, especially given the portrayal of Socratic enkrateia in dialogues like the Phaedo. If Socratic enkrateia is effectively the same as Stoic enkrateia, then Montes’ interpretation would not stand opposed to the standard interpretation; it would just extend that interpretation. 36 This ascription is clearest in the Platonic dialogues where Socrates’ own self-​ control is discussed, especially, Phaedo, Republic, and Phaedrus. Montes also relies on Xenophon’s characterization of Socrates in the Memorabilia, and there is much less of metaphysics of the soul or even a moral psychology worked out in that text. 37 Carrasco also argues in this article (2004) that Smith’s notion of corrected or informed sentiments suggests that he ‘may not be a genuine sentimentalist’ (86–​87). This assumes that ‘genuine sentimentalists’ would not allow reason to correct or inform sentiments, and this is a problematic assumption. As we saw the sentimentalists are happy to find restricted roles for reason in practical matters, including the role of helping to inform the sentiments. Indeed, it seems that on Carrasco’s notion of ‘genuine’ sentimentalism, only strict non-​cognitivists would count as sentimentalists, but this seems too stringent a criterion.

26  Lauren Kopajtic 38 I am grateful to Selim Berker, Byron Davies, Aaron Garrett, Aino Lahdenranta, Jeffrey McDonough, Susanna Siegel, Alison Simmons, and Nicholas Smyth, as well as several anonymous referees, for providing detailed and helpful comments on previous versions of this paper. I am also grateful for the feedback from the audiences at the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy’s 2015 conference at Princeton University, the British Society for the History of Philosophy’s 2015 conference at York University, and the joint International Adam Smith Society-​Rousseau Society 2015 conference at Glasgow University. Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Harvard History of Philosophy Graduate Work in Progress Group, and the Harvard Moral and Political Philosophy Workshop for their comments and valuable discussion.

References Baier, A. (1991) A Progress of Sentiments:  Reflections on Hume’s Treatise, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bee, M. and M. P. Paganelli. (2019) ‘Adam Smith, anti-​Stoic’, History of European Ideas, 45(4): 1–​13. Carrasco, M. A. (2004) ‘Adam Smith’s reconstruction of practical reason’, The Review of Metaphysics, 58(1): 81–​116. Carrasco, M. A. (2012) ‘Adam Smith: self-​command, practical reason and deontological insights’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20(2): 391–​414. Clarke, S. (1991) ‘Discourse concerning the unchangeable obligations of natural religion’ (abridged). In D. D. Raphael (ed.), British Moralists, 1650–​1800, 2 Vols. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company. Cohon, R. (2008) Hume’s Morality: Feeling and Fabrication, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Darwall, S. (2004) ‘Equal dignity in Adam Smith’, Adam Smith Review, 1: 129–​134. Fleischacker, S. (1999) A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Fleischacker, S. (2019) Being Me Being You: Adam Smith on Empathy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Forman-​Barzilai, F. (2011) Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Frazer, M. (2012) The Enlightenment of Sympathy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Garrett, A. and R. P. Hanley (2015) ‘Adam Smith: history and impartiality’, in A. Garrett and J. Harris (eds.), The Scottish Enlightenment, Vol. 2 of the Oxford History of Scottish Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 239–​282. Garrett, D. (2006) ‘Hume’s conclusions in “The conclusion of this book” ’, in S. Traiger (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Hume’s Treatise, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 151–​175. Griswold, C. L., Jr. (1999) Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Griswold, C. L., Jr. (2006) ‘Imagination:  morals, science, and arts’, in K. Haakonssen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,  22–​56. Haakonssen, K. (1981) The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hanley, R. P. (2009) Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

Sentimentalist conception of self-command  27 Hume, D. (2007) A Treatise of Human Nature, David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton (eds.), Oxford: Clarendon Press. Kauppinen, A. (2014) ‘Moral sentimentalism’, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition). Available:  http://​​archives/​spr2014/​ entries/​moral-​sentimentalism/​ (accessed 5 October 2014). Kopajtic, L. (2019) ‘The Vicegerent of God? Adam Smith on the Authority of the Impartial Spectator’, The Journal of Scottish Philosophy 17(1): 61–78. Korsgaard, C. M. (1986) ‘Skepticism about practical reason’, The Journal of Philosophy, 83(1): 5–​25. Mandeville, B. (1988) The Fable of the Bees, F. B. Kaye (ed.), Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Montes, L. (2004). Adam Smith in Context:  A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Montes, L. (2008) ‘Adam Smith as an eclectic Stoic’, The Adam Smith Review, 4: 30–​56. Montes, L. (2016) ‘Self-​interest and the virtues’, in R. Hanley (ed.), Adam Smith: His Life,Thought, and Legacy, Princeton. NJ: Princeton University Press, 138–​156. Nazar, H. (2012) Enlightened Sentiments: Judgment and Autonomy in the Age of Sensibility, Fordham, NY: Fordham University Press. Otteson, J. (2002) Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Owen, D. (1999) Hume’s Reason, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pope,A. (2008) ‘An essay on man’, in P. Rogers (ed.), The Major Works, New York: Oxford World’s Classics, 270–​309. Radcliffe, E. (1999) ‘Hume on the generation of motives:  why beliefs alone never motivate’, Hume Studies, 25(1 and 2): 101–​122. Raphael, D. D. and A. L. Macfie (1976) ‘Introduction to The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1982), 1–​52. Ross, I. S. (2010) The Life of Adam Smith, 2nd edition, Oxford:  Oxford University Press. Sayre-​McCord, G. (2008) ‘Hume on practical morality and inert reason’, in R. Shafer-​ Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 3, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 299–​320. Sayre-​McCord, G. (2010) ‘Sentiments and spectators:  Adam Smith’s theory of moral judgment’, in V. Brown and S. Fleischacker (eds.), The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Theory of Moral Sentiments, The Adam Smith Review,Vol. 5, 124–​144. Sayre-​McCord, G. (2013) ‘Hume and Smith on sympathy, approbation, and moral judgment’, Social and Political Philosophy, 30(1 and 2): 208–​236. Schliesser, E. (2008) ‘Review of D. D. Raphael The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy and Leonidas Montes, Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought’, Ethics, 118(3): 569–​575. Smith, A. (1976) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphael and A. L Macfie (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1982). Vivenza, G. (2001) Adam Smith and the Classics: The Classical Heritage in Adam Smith’s Thought, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Adam Smith’s moral decision-​making process Antonino Falduto

The aim of this paper is to explore Adam Smith’s account of the process of making moral judgements as he describes it in his Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS). The paper argues that we can make sense of Smith’s decision-​making process in moral cases only if we refer to the complete account of the faculties of the human mind that he presents in his work. In order to pursue this, the paper begins with a description of the concept of sympathy, even though sympathy is not the main topic of this discussion. The concept of sympathy is perhaps the most discussed facet of Adam Smith’s moral philosophy, and there have been many contributions on this concept in recent years. Darwall offered a good summary of some of the work on this topic (Darwall 1999: 139–​164), and reading Darwall’s review points at the shortcoming in the literature and at the novelty of the point made about sympathy in this paper. In the literature, Smith’s concept of sympathy is described primarily as ‘a specific form of fellow-​feeling, a sharing of another’s feeling or motive’ (Darwall 1999:  144). This representation of sympathy is contrasted with Hume’s, according to which ‘sympathy is a psychological mechanism that transforms ideas of another’s feeling or passion into the very passion itself ’ (Darwall 1999: 144). Following Darwall’s proposal, scholars have more recently started to pair sympathy exclusively with moral approval (see, for instance, Frazer 2010: 97–​101). This view underestimates the richness of Smith’s treatment of the concept of sympathy, and the argument of this paper is that some aspects of Smith’s account of sympathy resemble the Humean theory much more than most contemporary critics think, since both Hume and Smith write ‘of the process by which we modify sympathetic feelings’ (Broadie 2009: 208–​209; cf. also Hume 1998: 227–​228). This process can be explained, in the context of TMS, by adopting the Reidian terminology and viewing sympathy as a faculty related to other mental faculties, since the adoption of Reidian language can help us to understand something that is currently obscure in the literature on Smithian moral reflection. Furthermore, the paper proposes to consider an initial Humean stage in Smithian moral reflection, which is also obscured in the current discussion. In sum, it argues both for a Humean interpretation of the initial crude sympathy in Smith and for a possible understanding of Smithian

Moral decision-making process  29 reflective judgement by adopting Reidian language. The paper accepts that in Smith’s approach to moral decision-​making cognition rather than Humean emotional contagion has to be stressed, but it also insists that it is possible to ‘unpack’ Smith’s account with greater clarity if we approach it through the term ‘faculty’. Elements of Hume and Reid are combined throughout the analysis, as a frame through which to understand Smith. Against this background, the paper proposes that we consider sympathy not only as a realized feeling, but rather also, at the same time, as the mere capability of realizing a feeling, that is, as a faculty, the faculty of feeling in general. In this regard, the paper argues that sympathy, considered as the faculty of feeling in general, allows us to be emotionally responsive, in a very superficial and primordial way, to the situation in which an agent is performing a certain action, and subsequently allows for an appropriate degree of empathy with the sentiments both of the perceived agent and of the addressee of the action. In other words, the claim made in the paper is that there is an initial ‘brute’ Humean emotional reaction, accompanied by an imaginative consideration of the situation, followed by a process of cognition, and completed at the end of the Smithian decision-​making process by the judgement of property. Thus, the analysis of the concept of sympathy represents only one focus of the paper. In order to appreciate the moral decision-​making process as Smith describes it, a complete set of mental faculties has to be taken into consideration. For this reason, we must also distinguish between other two faculties: the faculty of imagination—​which allows us to depict the situation in which the agent is situated—​and the faculty of understanding or reason, which allows us to obtain an informed and well-​founded cognition of the action. Once we have distinguished between these two faculties, and as a consequence of this distinction, it becomes clear that only the conjunct activation of both of these faculties allows for a new configuration of the faculty of feeling sympathy. It is only when the agent activates the faculty of imagination together with the faculty of understanding that she is able to be sympathetic in a different way to Hume’s conception of sympathy. Only in this way can sympathy as the faculty of fellow-​feeling evokes a morally relevant state of mind, in other words, a morally relevant approbation or disapprobation. From this, it follows that only after the consideration of the complete process of activation of the faculties of feeling, the faculty of imagination, and the faculty of understanding can we conclusively make sense of sympathy as a morally relevant actual sentiment. It is only through this actual sentiment, that is, through the realized state of mind of sympathy as approbation or disapprobation, that the agent can correctly judge the emotional reactions both of the perceived agent and of the addressee of the action. And it is only at the end of the described mental process that the agent is in the state of properly activating the faculty of judgement. The activation of this faculty is grounded on the realized sentiment of moral sympathy.The reference to the activation of this faculty can finally complete the description of the complex field of the mental faculties, which allows us to properly understand the complicated pattern of Smith’s mental field.

30  Antonino Falduto The treatment of the mental faculties here is similar to Griswold’s thesis, according to which TMS ‘concerns moral psychology’ (Griswold 1999: 76). In this sense, Griswold rightly notes that sympathy ‘is not a specific passion or virtue or judgement, […] is not a vehicle for moral emotions, […] is natural to human beings but must also be cultivated and refined’ (Griswold 1999: 85). According to the present reading, an appropriate moral psychological reading of TMS has to take into consideration the whole manifold spectrum of the faculties of the human mind which Smith introduces in his work. In order to understand Smith’s reference to the functioning of the process of moral judgement and action, we have to understand the prerequisites that make human action possible. These prerequisites are best understood by adopting the Reidian language of the mental faculties as the preconditions of human action in general. The analysis of the faculties, which is not metaphysical but rather moral-​psychological, allows us to clarify Smith’s account of the human mind and the functioning of his theory of moral decision making. This is a Reidian reading of Smithian sympathy. A first proposal in this direction has been suggested by Morrow in an early work on Smith’s theory of moral theory (Morrow 1927). In this work, sympathy is defined as ‘the capacity which we have of entering into the situation of another and experiencing an emotion similar to what we would feel if in his situation’ (Morrow 1927: 337). However, Morrow has not developed this proposal to read sympathy as a capacity involving the faculty of experiencing a genuine emotion. Similarly, Heath distinguishes between ‘pleasurable sympathy’ and ‘sympathetic imagination’ (Heath 1995:  455–​461), thus allowing for a receptive dimension of sympathy as capacity to feel emotions, though without considering the differentiation between a basic form of sympathy in the Humean sense and a more developed Smithian sympathy that involves the imagination and the multiplicity of the mental faculties involved in this analysis. A third suggestion in this direction might be found in Griswold’s observation that ‘Smith presents the imagination as lying at the hearth of both “sympathy” and of intellectual endeavour. In the first of these capacities, the imagination is key to sociability, common life, and morality’ (Griswold 2006: 23). This may imply a reading according to which ‘sympathy is founded on the imagination’ (Griswold 2006:  25), but, in any case, this implies also that sympathy does not correspond to imagination: these two terms are not interchangeable. And if this is true then ‘imagination is not, at least when functioning properly, confined to reproducing in the spectator the sentiments of the actor’ (Griswold 2006: 27).The situation looked at by the spectator, in which the agent is acting, is depicted through imagination, not through sympathy. Sympathy, instead, is, ‘in its narrow sense, an emotion […]; in its broader Smithean sense, it is also the means through which emotions are conveyed’ (Griswold 2006: 25). By developing these proposals, we can see that sympathy is better understood as a faculty that has to be treated separately, in contrast with other faculties like that of imagination or judgement, even though still in the context of a unified human mental field. In this way, dealing with Smith’s moral psychology

Moral decision-making process  31 will involve the necessity of comprehending the variegated constitution of the human mind Smith was thinking about when writing TMS. Using the notion of faculties will allow us to examine the different human mental functions mentioned in TMS and to think about sympathy as both a realized sentiment and the mental faculty that produces or elicits a sentiment, that is, as the capability of feeling pleasure or displeasure in the consideration of the fortune of others. We can start our reconstruction from Raphael’s observation that ‘Smith’s own theory […] is for the most part a theory of moral judgement—​that is to say, it is an answer to the second question set out in the initial description of philosophical ethics’ (Raphael 2007: 10). Then, in his work, Smith is primarily trying to answer the second question of the last part (Part VII, ‘Of Systems of Moral Philosophy’) of TMS, that is to say, the following question: how and by what means does it come to pass, that the mind prefers one tenour of conduct to another, denominates the one right and the other wrong; considers the one as the object of approbation, honour, and reward, and the other of blame, censure, and punishment? (TMS,VII.i.1) I would like to make clear that in this paper I  will deal only with Smith’s moral-​psychological account of the mind and its faculties, that is, with the anthropological and psychological presuppositions of the work, which need to be understood if we are to understand Smith’s theory of moral judgement. The paper says little about Smith’s sociological interest and the sociological consequences of the book, even though these constitute another way of looking at and interpreting human judgement and action. What follows mainly concentrates on Part I (‘Of the Propriety of Action’) and Part II (‘Of Merit and Demerit; or of the Objects of Reward and Punishment’) of TMS, where Smith analyses ‘the origin and foundation of our judgements concerning the sentiments and conduct of others’ (TMS, III.i.1), and argues that the description of the decision-​making process does not vary in the first and second part of the book, at least in what pertains to the mind.1

Smith, Scottish Enlightenment and mental faculties Before starting with Smith’s account of the faculties in the context of moral action, we should situate Smith’s account of the mind’s faculties in the context of Scottish Enlightenment. Adam Smith, as with most of his contemporaries who write on the philosophy of the human mind, sees himself as a Newtonian concerning the analysis of the mind. This is the thesis Broadie wants to apply to both Hume and Reid’s work (Broadie 2003), and which we might take as referring to Smith as well. This means that Smith presents Newton’s ‘regulae philosophandi’ as ‘maxims of common sense’ that ‘are practised every day in common life’, like Thomas Reid and others do (Broadie 2003: 63). Newton’s

32  Antonino Falduto rules are now applied to every aspect of philosophical research, including the study of the mind: ‘he who philosophizes by other rules, either concerning the material system or concerning the mind, mistakes his aim’ (Broadie 2003: 63). Philosophy, including the study of the mind, relies on common sense and on common life. What is true for the philosophical study of the mind is also true for the philosophical analysis of moral action. In this sense, Smith presents ‘an empirical portrait of the way people go on, the way they relate to each other and produce morality together through ordinary daily interactions’ (Forman-​ Barzilai 2010: 61). For Smith is engaged in saving the ‘phenomena’ (Griswold 1999). Philosophy’s strong connection to real life is clear in Smith’s enterprise as a whole and, in particular, in the analysis of mental events in general and moral sentiments in particular. However, in contrast to Newton, Smith strictly links the analysis of the mind and its faculties with the analysis of moral judgement, sentiments, and action. Smith as a moral psychologist is in this respect closer to Reid than we often assume, given the case of Reid’s views in the active powers. In his analysis of Locke’s account of power, Reid takes into consideration the distinction between active and passive power, and affirms that, to him, though the mentioned distinction is not a plausible one, since ‘passive power is no power at all’ (Reid 2002b: 21), a distinction between imaginative and active powers is still to be made and necessary: ‘As all mankind distinguish action from speculation, it is very proper to distinguish the powers by which those different operations are performed, into active and speculative’ (Reid 2002b: 21). The active powers are the sources by which different operations are performed. Reid finds it useful to separate the inputs—​that is, mental powers—​in order to account for the separations of the outputs—​that is, human actions—​and he further states that we can judge human character because we appeal to mental powers, whose signs are to be found in human actions and discourses.This is also the case in the Smithian human decision-​making process (Reid 2002b: 327–​344). If we adopt a Reidian approach to Smith, a certain set of faculties is to be presupposed. If we analyse a differentiated account of how the human being both acts morally and makes moral decisions, we can make sense of a variegated human decision-​ making process. Smith presupposes them, even though, in his work, he does not deal with the mental faculties systematically. It is precisely because the faculties are not the object of a systematic analysis in the context of TMS, the reconstruction of Smith’s account of the faculties-​endowed mind seems even more urgent for understanding his account of sympathy.2 In what follows the argument does not depend on an isolation of the mental faculties as being a characteristic of Smith’s account. Instead, Smith’s model of the mind is and remains a unified set of faculties, which can be subject to individual analysis, but which are nonetheless always to be considered as a whole. Accordingly, it is better to distinguish the different moments in the unified treatment of human mental activity, without making a case for any sort of metaphysical presuppositions, which we might need in order to explain mental acts. The aim is to underline the psychological, or even more precisely,

Moral decision-making process  33 the moral-​psychological and ‘anthropological’ dimension of Smith’s interest concerning the human mind. A unified, complex activity of the mind notwithstanding, each faculty can be regarded and analysed as a single, specific form of the complex, unified and unifying mental field, as a part of the whole if you like. The variety of the faculties makes up this field, which constitutes the individual mind. In this respect, we might distinguish between the faculties, on the one hand, and the dynamical process of judgement, on the other, by differentiating between the different moments of the dynamics of making moral judgements. We can use the reference to the different faculties in order to explain the different stages of development that bring the human being to realize a moral action. The theoretical answer to the question concerning moral judgement and action makes clear Smith’s continuity with the philosophical tradition, in which the analysis of the different aspects of the human mind, from Aristotle to Thomas Reid, plays a prominent role. Smith’s presupposition of a certain number of faculties that characterize the human mind is not a unicum in the context of the Scottish Enlightenment and exhibits a long tradition in the history of philosophy, which finds its ancestors in ancient Greece. In order to explain Smith’s theory, the historical account of the concept of ‘faculty’ should be briefly outlined. This implies a reference to the tradition of the history of philosophy that starts from Aristotle who, in his Metaphysics, defines the concept of dynamis as a principle that makes change possible, in contrast to energeia as the act itself (Aristotle 1933–​1935: 5.1020a). In the context of Scottish Enlightenment, Thomas Reid is the philosopher who most clearly deals with the topic of the mental faculties. Reid’s definition of the mind reads as follows: ‘By the mind of a man, we understand that in him which thinks, remembers, reasons, wills’ (Reid 2002a, I.i: 20). Reid’s mind is a ‘with-​a-​certain-​number-​of-​faculties-​endowed’ mind. In particular, as Broadie points out, it is important to distinguish ‘faculty’ from ‘power’ in Reid’s work: Reid uses the term ‘power’ in at least two senses, one general and the other more specific. First the general sense. Any operation implies a power to perform such an operation. […] The mind has many powers, some of which are part of the original constitution of the mind. […] This is to be contrasted with […] ‘habits’, that we can only acquire by use, exercise or study […]. Those powers of the mind which are not habits but are instead part of the original constitution of the mind are termed ‘faculties’ by Reid. (Broadie 2003: 74) Smith’s approach to the mental field is very close to Reid’s, at least in what concerns the idea of faculty as power ‘original and natural to us, […] whose existence is not a product of human culture or cultivation—​[while] other powers develop in us only as a result of the impact on us of our human culture’ (Broadie 2009: 244).We can apply Broadie’s view of Reid also to Smith and try to look at TMS from the perspective of the faculty theory described in the case

34  Antonino Falduto of Reid. Still, Smith’s approach to the faculties in TMS reflects a further change of perspective with respect to the nature of the philosophical approaches to the mind in the history of philosophy. Smith’s diffuse treatment of the faculties reveals a switch to a more scattered and less systematic analysis of the mental field, which in this respect is closer to David Hume’s treatment of the faculties. This can be seen by the comparison between Smith’s way of accounting for the mental faculties and some definitions from Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature concerning the mental field. The following one is, in this case, one of the most appropriate: What we call a mind, is nothing but a heap or a collection of different perceptions, united together by certain relations, and suppos’d, tho’ falsely, to be endow’d with a perfect simplicity and identity. (Hume 1978, I.iv.2: 207) Smith’s treatment, which accounts for widespread references to the faculties in the whole of his TMS and remains not systematically unified, preannounces the birth of a new philosophical field, namely the studies unified under the label ‘science of man’, and attests to the newly acquired importance of moral psychological investigations, which clearly contrast with metaphysical ones, and one which is characteristic of Scottish philosophy.

Sympathy as a faculty and the faculty of imagination In order to present the complex unity of mental activity that is to be found in TMS, we might start with the analysis of the most central concept in the whole of Smith’s work on moral philosophy: the concept of sympathy.3 If we look at sympathy as a faculty we can see that sympathy enables the superficial perception of an agent’s state of mind and, subsequently, allows for an appropriate degree of empathy with the sentiments both of the perceived agent and of the addressee of the action. There is no overt reference to sympathy as a faculty in Smith’s work. However, Smith gives the first indication in this direction in a passage in which he deals with the concept of faculty in general. The passage reads as follows: Every faculty in one man is the measure by which he judges of the like faculty in another. I judge of your sight by my sight, of your ear by my ear, of your reason by my reason, of your resentment by my resentment, of your love by my love. I neither have, nor can have, any other way of judging about them. (TMS, I.i.3)4 Sympathy should also be considered in this way: it enables us to recognize the process of moral judgement as a process typical and necessarily happening in all human beings.

Moral decision-making process  35 Smith refers to sympathy and its character of ‘capability’ in a passage, where, by distinguishing between two kinds of sympathy, he does not identify one of them exclusively with the realized sentiment of approbation. We find this passage in a decisive footnote, which, as it is well known, Smith adds in the second edition of TMS, in order to answer some of Hume’s objections: It has been objected to me that as I  found the sentiment of approbation, which is always agreeable, upon sympathy, it is inconsistent with my system to admit any disagreeable sympathy. I answer, that in the sentiment of approbation there are two things to be taken notice of; first, the sympathetic passion of the spectator; and, secondly, the emotion which arises from his observing the perfect coincidence between this sympathetic passion in himself, and the original passion in the person principally concerned. This last emotion, in which the sentiment of approbation properly consists, is always agreeable and delightful. The other may either be agreeable or disagreeable, according to the nature of the original passion, whose features it must always, in some measure, retain. (TMS, I.iii.1.1, footnote b)5 Analysing this, Charles Griswold notes: Sympathy has two meanings. […] In its narrow sense, sympathy is an emotion (that of compassion); in its broader Smithean sense, it is also the means through which emotions are conveyed and understood. Smith occasionally slides back and forth between the narrow and broad meanings of the term, and so between what might in a Christian tradition be thought of as a laudable sentiment or virtue, and a notion in moral psychology with bearing on epistemic issues.The possibility of sympathy in the narrow sense of the term (as commiseration) rests on sympathy in the wider sense (as fellow feeling) because the former assumes we are able to enter into the world of another person. (Griswold 2006: 25) Thus, in this passage, Smith describes, on the one hand, the ‘emotion, in which the sentiment of approbation properly consists’, which is always desirable and ‘arises from [the agent’s] observing the perfect coincidence between this sympathetic passion in himself, and the original passion in the person principally concerned’ (TMS, I.iii.1.1, footnote b). However, Smith also refers to a ‘sympathetic passion’ of the spectator, which might be agreeable or disagreeable. This is what Griswold points at as sympathy in its ‘broader Smithean sense’, as the ‘means through which emotions are conveyed’ (Griswold 2006: 25). Sympathy can be considered not only as an emotion, but also as a receptive capability, the capacity of feeling pleasure or displeasure in general. In this way, sympathy becomes the potential positive or negative reaction to the observation of the sentiments involved in action. In this sense, Broadie notes that

36  Antonino Falduto it is perhaps more appropriate […] to think of sympathy as an adverbial modification of a given feeling—​he has it sympathetically. It is the way he is angry, or is joyful, and so on. In that sense, Smithian sympathy has a kind of universality that has to be contrasted with the singularity of each feeling (including the feeling of sympathy in the non-​Smithian sense). (Broadie 2006: 164) The capability of feeling sympathy, at its most general, can be agreeable or disagreeable, and furnishes us with the capacity of emotionally responding to a given situation by conveying the emotions involved in this very situation. We now have the possibility of presenting sympathy as a superficial and primordial way of first feeling the emotional situation in which the agent performs the action. We can compare it to Humean ‘brute’ sympathy, the emotional contagion involved as in contagious laughter. Sympathy is activated in a spectator, who assists at a certain situation and will only afterwards allow for the realization of the actual state of mind of ‘informed’ sympathy, as approbation or disapprobation. The spectator is capable of perceiving feelings:  she realizes it because she does perceive certain feelings, which depend on the imagined, probable emotional state of both the agent and the addressee of a very same action. The faculty of imagination is the other faculty involved in the process.The activation of the faculty of imagination does not imply a further, distinct step in the process of feeling, but is rather the other side of the coin in the initial sympathetic situation: the initial, ‘brute’ sympathy is also, to some extent, imaginative, in that we can enter into the emotions of the others through it, so that both the faculty of feeling and the faculty of imagination are always involved, at the same time, in the initial sympathetic process. Through the faculty of imagination, which, however, does not correspond to the faculty of feeling, the agent can represent herself the situation, in which the actors of the situation are involved, and can grasp the emotional states they are involved in. Furthermore, Smith extends the domain of the faculty of imagination by insisting on the necessity of entering through imagination into another person’s situation in addition to entering into the emotions of the others. In this way, ‘imagination is not […] confined to reproducing in the spectator the sentiments of the actor’ (Griswold 2006: 27). Imagination first helps the spectator activate the feeling of sympathy and lets her feel some fellow-​feelings that are just a first, imprecise reaction. At this point we are only referring to the activation of the faculty of feeling sympathy as a kind of impulsive reaction to a very quick imagined evocation of the feelings felt by the perceived agent and the addressee of the action. This is, if you like, first glance sympathy. After that, the faculty of imagination allows for a further reproduction of the other person’s situation and, in this way, extends its role. At this first stage, only the faculty of feeling as sympathy and the faculty of imagination are the main faculties involved in the process.6 The only source for the activation of the faculty of feeling sympathy in this first, primitive state is the faculty of imagination, which starts the process of feeling anything at all.

Moral decision-making process  37 Imagination is ‘the source of our fellow-​feeling for the misery of others’ (TMS, I.i.1.3). This fellow-​feeling is a first, ‘brute’, sort of Humean sympathy, which can explain Smith’s repeated references to the fact that emotional displays by others can make us uneasy and that they lead us to want to learn more about them. This primordial form of sympathy is the one that has to be presupposed and will lead us to the second form of sympathy, which is constituted by the sympathy expressed as proper approbation or disapprobation. An empirical investigation can furnish us with proofs for this.7 These are the results of the first part of the analysis of the faculties involved in the moral decision-​making process. At the first stage, the faculty of feeling sympathy and the faculty of imagination become active. At this stage, I take sympathy to be just the capability of empathizing in general: ‘Sympathy […] may […] be made use of to denote our fellow-​feeling with any passion whatever’ (TMS, I.i.1.5).

The faculty of imagination, the faculty of reason, and the faculty of judgement Once Smith has discussed the possibility of an activation of our fellow-​feeling with any passion whatsoever, he describes a further faculty in order to allow for how sympathy is activated in the faculty of feeling. In the situation described until now, the faculty of imagination allows us to depict in a very superficial and primordial way the circumstances, in which the agent performs the action, the feelings possibly felt by the agent, and the feelings possibly felt by the addressee of the action. In order for the faculty of feeling to be able to feel ‘proper’ approbation or disapprobation, the activation of a further mental faculty is required. The ‘propriety’ of the approbation or disapprobation corresponds to the right application of the faculty of feeling sympathy such that sympathy is defined as realized state of mind of pleasure or displeasure connected to the spectator approving or disapproving the action and the feelings of both the actor and the addressee of the action. This propriety is ensured by the faculty of understanding or reason, which allows for the new configuration of the faculty of feeling. As Griswold notes, ‘the sympathetic grasp of the actor’s situation may demand a large measure of sophisticated understanding’ (Griswold 2006: 27). If we take this observation seriously, we could now pass to the consideration of this sophisticated knowledge by referring to the faculty of understanding, which is the capacity allowing us to reach the sophisticated information we need to ground the proper picturing of the situation concerned. The faculty of understanding allows us to obtain an informed and well-​founded cognition of the situation. In fact, only when the spectator acquires cognition of the circumstances causing the action, can she appropriately sympathize. It is not just the imagined situation, but rather reality, that is the touchstone of the appropriateness of the spectator’s feeling: Sympathy […] does not arise so much from the view of the passion, as from that of the situation which excites it. We sometimes feel for another,

38  Antonino Falduto a passion of which he himself seems to be altogether incapable; because, when we put ourselves in his case, that passion arises in our breast from the imagination, though it does not in his from the reality. (TMS, I.i.1.10) With a further observation, Smith seems willing to go even further and help us re-​evaluate the role of reason in the context of his moral theory: Of all the calamities to which the condition of mortality exposes mankind, the loss of reason appears, to those who have the least spark of humanity, by far the most dreadful, and they behold that last stage of human wretchedness with deeper commiseration than any other. But the poor wretch, who is in it, laughs and sings perhaps, and is altogether insensible of his own misery. (TMS, I.i.1.11) A unified account of the faculties of the human mind in the context of Smith’s moral decision-​making process can now testify for far-​reaching consequences also regarding the rationalistic connotation of a theory of moral sentiments. The role of understanding or reason, which has been underestimated in the context of the research on Smith’s moral philosophy, needs more attention.8 Understanding and reason need to be analysed in this context since it is only in consequence of the cognition of the situation itself that derives from the activation of the faculty of understanding that the faculty of feeling of the spectator becomes active once again and can reach a morally relevant state of mind. This state of mind is the sentiment of feeling in its form of proper approbation or proper disapprobation.9 In fact, it is the faculty of understanding that provides the observer with cognition of the facts. This cognition concerns the causes of the emotional states of mind of both the agent and the addressee.The faculty of cognition provides the data for knowing what really happened in the situation, so that, at this stage, the faculty of imagination provides the observer with an imagined representation of the situation that actually and effectively happened and caused the emotive state both of the perceived agent and of the addressee of the action performed by this very agent. The change in the activation of the faculty of feeling sympathy, which is now activated by the imagination and an informed imagination by an actual cognition, expresses the change from the first, imperfect empathic feeling. This empathetic feeling is informed only by a virtually impulsive imagination. In contrast, well-​founded sympathy is realized in ‘proper approbation’ or ‘proper disapprobation’, which in turn is informed by cognition of the reality. Smith underlines the functioning of this procedure clearly: ‘even our sympathy with the grief or joy of another, before we are informed of the cause of either, is always extremely imperfect’ (TMS, I.i.1.9). We now reach a further element in our mapping of the faculties of the human mind according to Smith’s treatment in TMS. With the newly activated faculty of feeling sympathy and the reached

Moral decision-making process  39 state of mind of a realized sympathy as proper approbation or proper disapprobation, the agent is now capable of delivering a judgement on the situation she is attending to. In other words, at this point in the mental process of decision making, as a consequence of the activation of the faculty of understanding and as a result of the acquired cognition in the activation of the faculty of imagination, a last faculty of the observer can now come to the fore.This is the faculty of judgement. It is only at this stage of the process that the observer can appropriately judge about the morality of the action and deliver a moral judgement on this very action. The faculty of understanding or reason and the faculty of judgement are strictly connected in the context of moral decision-​making process: The compassion of the spectator must arise altogether from the consideration of what he himself would feel if he was reduced to the same unhappy situation, and, what perhaps is impossible, was at the same time able to regard it with his present reason and judgment. (TMS, I.i.1.11) At this point in our analysis, it is important to underline that the whole mental process described until now takes place not only in the spectator judging on a particular situation, but also in the actors observed. In fact, this very process can be used to describe the way in which the agent makes the decision to act in a certain manner, after having delivered a certain judgement. This is how the actor comes to human judgement according to Smith in TMS and this can be explained only by reference to the interaction between all the mental faculties mentioned until now. The agent can decide about the realization of an action only after she has imagined the consequences of the action (i.e., in particular, once she has imagined the emotional response of the addressee of the action and the emotional response of an observer of this action), and only once she has acquired a cognition of the situation. A decision is grounded on informed sympathy, on proper approbation or proper disapprobation, which are in turn grounded on imagination and cognition, and we come to appreciate this aspect of Smith’s account only if we adopt the faculties approach to the elements of moral decision making.

Sympathy as a properly realized state of mind and the act of volition At the end of the previous section, we described sympathy as the actual sentiment, starting from which both the agent and the spectator can correctly judge the emotional reactions, either (as for the agent) of the addressee of the action or (as for the spectator) of both the perceived agent and the addressee of the action. The analysis of the faculty of volition, grounded on the realized sentiment of moral sympathy, constitutes now the concluding moment of our analysis of the mapping of Adam Smith’s model of the human mind in TMS.

40  Antonino Falduto Let us briefly go back to the now described renewed activation of the faculty of feeling sympathy, through which the spectator can empathize in a well-​informed, reflective way. The feeling at stake is a realized state of mind, which is appropriate, commensurate, adequate, and proportionate to the situation and the emotive reaction of the people involved in action. Smith talks in this case of the ‘propriety’ of judgements, which is consistent with the propriety of the affections.10 The re-​activation, that is, the newly occurred activation of the faculty of feeling, is based upon a reflected, well-​informed, cognition-​ based imagined emotive situation. In turn, this well-​informed depiction of the situations depends on (1)  the cognition of the situation, (2)  the causes and motives of the actions, and (3) the sentiments felt by the perceived agent and the addressee of the action. These three elements constitute the appropriate source for moral judgement in general, be it judgement on merit or propriety, since they activate approbation or disapprobation and let the agent appropriately deliver a judgement.11 Through the faculty of judgement, the observer comes to a conclusion on the emotional reactions of the agent, whether they are appropriate or not appropriate. The very same agent puts herself in the perspective of this observer, when she has to judge an action. As mentioned, the decision-​making process described for the observer is the same as that of the agent, who places herself in an external perspective, the one of an observer.This judgement is the basis of (1) moral decision, (2) the evaluation of the action as moral/​immoral, (3) the actual and the ideal approbation or disapprobation of an action in the society. Now, in order to conclude our analysis of Smith’s account of the mental faculties, a last reference is due. This takes into account the agent herself and the motivation of the action. What happens in the mind of the agent when she acts morally? As we have seen, the process leading to the moral decision is quite the same as that for the moral decision concerning the action itself on the part of the spectator. But still: what leads the agent to actually act and, in this way, to realize the moral judgement, which she delivers at the end of the decision-​ making process? What determines the volition and motivates the agent to act effectively? In the case of the agent herself, the cognition of the situation and the imagined sentiments of the addressee of her action will furnish her not only with the ground for endorsing a moral judgement, but also with the motivation for realizing the judgement itself. This will let the approbation or disapprobation become the motivation of the action. This is what results if we are to take seriously the suggestion that Smith’s account of the decision-​making process is best analysed in terms of the mental faculties. Only the sentiment (i.e., the proper approbation or the proper disapprobation) arising at the end of a complex decision-​making process can direct the faculty of volition and let the agent realize her moral willing: When to the beneficent tendency of the action is joined the propriety of the affection from which it proceeds, when we entirely sympathize and go

Moral decision-making process  41 along with the motives of the agent, the love which we conceive for him upon his own account, enhances and enlivens our fellow-​feeling with the gratitude of those who owe their prosperity to his good conduct. (TMS, II.i.4.2) This Reidian reading is based on the concept that Smith’s discussion of moral decision making issues in a conception of the Will. This is not something that Smith is explicit about, so it stands as an interpretative suggestion, one which might be countered by the lack of emphasis on the importance of willing in Smith’s account where he seems to suggest at many points in TMS that action is simply the result of the strongest desire. This thesis would not leave much room for the act of willing in the context of action (according to a Lockean, somewhat deterministic conception of motivation). This notwithstanding, it is incontrovertible that the talk of motives remains a central one in TMS and at the end of the analysis of the faculties, we now possess the elements for a possible understanding of the functioning of moral judgement and motivation in TMS. In any case, even a contrasting reading against this interpretation on willing would form no obstacle for the proposed reading of Smith’s moral decision-​making process, which strongly depends only on the mental faculties as we have described them. Therefore, let me now briefly summarize the results of my analysis.

Conclusive assessments According to the reading presented here, Smith’s model of the mind can best be understood by adopting the Reidian language of faculties. If we do this, we are able to cut through a failing of the existing accounts of Smith’s theory of moral decision making. These accounts fail to present what Smith means by reflection, and are unable to unpack the distinct elements of Smith’s account of sympathy. Although Smith does not himself adopt the language of faculties, doing so helps us to analytically disaggregate distinct ‘moments’ in moral decision making. Unpacking Smith’s account through faculties that closely interact in the decision-​making process allows us to understand certain moral responses. These faculties are: 1 the faculty of feeling, that is, sympathy as the capacity to empathize, both in its (1) superficial, initial form as Humean empathy and in its (2) well-​ informed activation as approbation or disapprobation connected to cognition of the reality; 2 the faculty of imagination; 3 the faculty of understanding or reason; 4 the faculty of judgement; 5 the faculty of volition—​which is motivated by sympathy, although may be a superficial one—​in a not yet moral case, or well-​informed sympathy as approbation or disapprobation connected to a cognition, in the moral case.

42  Antonino Falduto This analysis illustrates Smith’s account of the human mind and its centrality in the context of his moral-​psychological theory of decision making. Through better understanding Smith’s account of moral reflection, we might also hope to differentiate Smith’s mental and moral-​psychological analyses from other models proposed in the context of the various mental theories of the Scottish Enlightenment. In doing so, the aim was not that of arguing for any metaphysical presuppositions in Smith’s decision-​making process but rather that of illustrating the different mental nuances, which we can describe as faculties in a moral-​psychological sense, and which constitute the dynamical image of the mind as a unified activity of the (moral) agent in Smith’s TMS.12

Notes 1 In the third part, concepts like the one of ‘conscience’ come into the fore, so that Smith adds in the description of the decision-​making process a clear definition of, among other, the sense of duty and virtue. These additions do not radically change the scheme of the mental faculties that I want to describe—​even though they provide a more comprehensive scale of mental properties and events, which I do not look at in this paper. 2 There is only one passage in the text in which Smith speaks about the faculties overtly and, in a certain way, with systematic purposes. In this passage, Smith deals with the mental field and assesses that there is a difficulty in these studies, namely the fact that, in accounting for operations of the mind, and in contrast to accounting for the operations of the body, we fail to distinguish between ‘efficient’ and ‘final cause’. Here is the passage: [In] accounting for the operations of bodies, we never fail to distinguish […] the efficient from the final cause, in accounting for those of the mind we are very apt to confound these two different things with one another. When by natural principles we are led to advance those ends, which a refined and enlightened reason would recommend to us, we are very apt to impute to that reason, as to their efficient cause, the sentiments and actions by which we advance those ends, and to imagine that to be the wisdom of man, which in reality is the wisdom of God. Upon a superficial view, this cause seems sufficient to produce the effects which are ascribed to it; and the system of human nature seems to be more simple and agreeable when all its different operations are in this manner deduced from a single principle. (TMS, II.ii.3.5) This passage will not be part of my analysis, since here I  am not interested in the still unsolved and much debated question concerning God’s role in Smith’s philosophical work. 3 As already mentioned, sympathy is the most detailed and extensively analysed concept of Smith’s moral philosophy. For further, general introductions, besides the already mentioned studies, see among the numerous works, Andree (2003); Broadie (2006); Evensky (2005); Lohmann (2005); Nanay (2010); Preti (1957); Tugendhat (1993: 282–​309).

Moral decision-making process  43 4 For a critical reading of this passage, see Raphael (2007: 20): This is certain not true of ‘every faculty’. […] Smith’s aim in this discussion is to persuade us of the relevance of sympathy to moral approval and disapproval. It is necessary and reasonable to show how this applies to resentment. It is quite unnecessary, and indeed counter-​productive, to bring in the judgement of opinion, and then of ‘every faculty’. 5 Smith adds this footnote in the second edition of the Theory. The objections here referred to are to be found in Hume’s letter dated 28 July 1759: I wish you had more particularly and fully prov’d, that all kinds of Sympathy are necessarily Agreeable. This is the Hinge of your System, and yet you only mention the Matter cursorily […]. Now it would appear that there is a disagreeable Sympathy, as well as an agreeable. And indeed, as the Sympathetic Passion is a reflex Image of the principal, it must partake of its Qualities, and be painful where that is so. (Quoted from TMS: 46) 6 Cf. TMS, I.i.1.2: As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty help us to this any other way, than by representing to us what would be our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senses only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of his sensations, and even feel something which, though weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them. His agonies, when they are thus brought home to ourselves, when we have thus adopted and made them our own, begin at last to affect us, and we then tremble and shudder at the thought of what he feels. For as to be in pain or distress of any kind excites the most excessive sorrow, so to conceive or to imagine that we are in it, excites some degree of the same emotion, in proportion to the vivacity or dulness of the conception. 7 Cf. TMS, I.i.1.3: ‘That it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought sufficiently evident of itself ’. 8 One of the most important studies on Adam Smith’s theory of judgement remains the one by Fleischacker (1999), which deals in particular with the nature of judgement in general (in the first part of his study) and independent judgement in particular (on the chapters dedicated to Smith’s Wealth of Nations). For a different perspective on Smith and his moral judgement in TMS, which also takes into consideration the role of impartiality and different kinds of spectators (impartial and not), see Sayre-​McCord (2010). In particular, according to Sayre-​McCord, ‘what

44  Antonino Falduto marks moral judgements as distinctive is that in making them we are committing ourselves, at least implicitly, to thinking of the standards we are using as morally justifiable’ (Sayre-​McCord 2010: 138). 9 For an interpretation that seems to sustain my reading, see the analysis of the concepts of sympathy and approbation in Campbell (1971), in particular, Chapter 4, ‘Approval and Sympathy’ (87–​106) and Chapter 5, ‘The Principle of Approbation’ (107–​126). 10 ‘Propriety’ is a capital topic of the book. The title of the first part of TMS is, not casually, ‘Of the Propriety of Action’. 11 Cf. TMS, II.i.4.1: We do not […] thoroughly and heartily sympathize with the gratitude of one man towards another, merely because this other has been the cause of his good fortune, unless he has been the cause of it from motives which we entirely go along with. Our heart must adopt the principles of the agent, and go along with all the affections which influenced his conduct, before it can entirely sympathize with, and beat time to, the gratitude of the person who has been benefited by his actions. In this respect, I  agree with Sayre-​McCord, when he claims that the one kind of judgement (merit) is reducible to the other (propriety). See Sayre-​McCord (2010: 126–​127). 12 I owe my gratitude to Sandra Vlasta, Michael Walschots, and Joshua Roe, who provided me with the linguistic revision of my paper and commented on it, to Alexander Broadie and Heiner F. Klemme, who commented on a very early draft of this paper, to four anonymous reviewers of the Adam Smith Review, who deeply helped me to develop my work. Most of all, I am indebted to Craig Smith, who carefully commented on this paper and encouraged me to work on the improvement of this text.

References Andree, G.J. (2003), Sympathie und Unparteilichkeit. Adam Smiths System der natürlichen Moralität, Paderborn: Mentis. Aristotle (1933–​1935), Metaphysics, trans. by H. Tredennick, 2  vols., Loeb Classical Library 271, 287, Harvard: Harvard University Press. Broadie, A. (2003), ‘The Human Mind and Its Powers’, in:  A. Broadie (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, pp. 60–​78. Broadie, A. (2006), ‘Sympathy and the Impartial Spectator’, in: K. Haakonssen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 158–​188. Broadie, A. (2009), A History of Scottish Philosophy, Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press. Campbell, T.D. (1971), Adam Smith’s Science of Morals, Lanham, MD:  Rowman and Littlefield. Darwall, S. (1999), ‘Sympathetic Liberalism: Recent Work on Adam Smith’, Philosophy & Public Affairs,Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 139–​164. Evensky, J. (2005), Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy. A Historical and Contemporary Perspective on Markets, Law, Ethics, and Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Moral decision-making process  45 Fleischacker, S. (1999), A Third Concept of Liberty. Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Forman-​Barzilai, F. (2010), Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy. Cosmopolitan and Moral Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Frazer, M.L. (2010), The Enlightenment of Sympathy. Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today, Oxford/​New York: Oxford University Press. Heath, E. (1995), ‘The Commerce of Sympathy:  Adam Smith on the Emergence of Morals’, Journal of the History of Philosophy,Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 447–​466. Griswold, C.L. (1999), Adam Smith and theVirtues of Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Griswold, C.L. (2006), ‘Imagination. Morals, Science, and Arts’, in: K. Haakonssen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.  22–​56. Hume, D. (1978), A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. by L.A. Selby-​Bigge, 2nd edition, rev. by P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hume, D. (1998), An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, ed. by T.L. Beauchamp, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lohmann, G. (2005), ‘Sympathie ohne Unparteilichkeit ist willkürlich, Unparteilichkeit ohne Sympathie ist blind. Sympathie und Unparteilichkeit bei Adam Smith’, in: C. Fricke and H.P. Schütt (eds.), Adam Smith als Moralphilosoph, Berlin:  De Gruyter, pp.  88–​99. Morrow, G.R. (1927), ‘Adam Smith:  Moralist and Philosopher’, Journal of Political Economy,Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 321–​342. Nanay B. (2010), ‘Adam Smith’s Concept of Sympathy and Its Contemporary Interpretations’, in V. Brown and S. Fleischacker (eds.), The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’, London: Routledge (vol. 5 of The Adam Smith Review), pp. 85–​105. Preti, G. (1957), Alle origini dell’etica contemporanea. Adamo Smith, Bari: Laterza. Raphael, D.D. (2007), The Impartial Spectator. Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reid, Th. (2002a), Essay on the Intellectual Powers, ed. by D. Brookes; annotations by D.R. Brook and K. Haakonssen, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Reid, Th. (2002b), Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, ed. by D.R. Brookes and K. Haakonssen, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Sayre-​ McCord, G. (2010), ‘Sentiments and Spectators:  Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Judgment’, in:  V. Brown and S. Fleischacker (eds.), The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’, London: Routledge (vol. 5 of The Adam Smith Review), pp. 125–​144. Smith, A. (1976), The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. by D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie, Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1982). Tugendhat, E. (1993), Vorlesungen über Ethik, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

Adam Smith’s virtue ethics and the derivative value of character Aino Lahdenranta

Introduction The main task both Hume and Smith set themselves in their moral philosophy is descriptive rather than normative: they propose to identify and account for the sentiments that constitute or explain our moral judgments. That said, both thinkers endorse the ethical system that emerges from these judgments.1 It has become quite commonplace to hold that the ethical theory contained in Hume’s moral philosophy falls under virtue ethics as opposed to consequentialism or deontic ethics. To qualify, the view is that Hume (and 18th-​century sentimentalism more generally perhaps) provides a distinctive virtue ethics that is an alternative to eudaimonist virtue ethics.2 With respect to Smith, however, scholarship remains divided. Smith no doubt has a theory about virtue and vice but the question is whether his ethical system can be characterized as virtue ethical. In his 1990 article ‘The Misfortunes of Virtue’, Jerome Schneewind draws a contrast between virtue-​centered views and act-​centered (or rule-​centered) views about morality. Schneewind claims that whereas Hume advances a virtue-​centered view, Smith recognizes that this view fails to provide sufficient moral guidance and argues for the indispensability of moral rules (1990, 57). A very different interpretation is put forward by Ryan Hanley, who maintains that Smith is a virtue ethicist no less than Hutcheson or Hume. According to Hanley, Smith’s approach to ethics ‘directs attention away from moral rules and refocuses it on the education of character’ (2006, 17). The conflict between the two interpretations boils down to a disagreement about the standing of justice in Smith’s ethics given that both parties agree that this virtue is special in how it relates to rules. Schneewind claims that the chief virtue for Smith is justice because of its necessity for society and this virtue is simply a disposition to act in accordance with the rules of justice. The moral value of the disposition derives entirely from the moral value of acts that result. Virtues like beneficence might be different but, according to Schneewind, Smith deems them to be of little significance in commercial societies. (1990, 43–​44, 54–​58)3 Hanley’s interpretation likewise emphasizes the difference between jurisprudence and ethics proper but does not attribute

The derivative value of character  47 any such dismissal of the latter to Smith. Encouraging the ethical virtues of prudence, magnanimity, and beneficence forms a vital part of practical moral philosophy and it cannot be done by laying down rules for conduct. (2006, 17–​21; 2009, 62–​67,  76–​78) We might want to conclude with Fleischacker (2017) that Smith recognizes two normative guides to action:  rules and virtues. Although Smith ‘gives us more a virtue ethics’ than a rule-​based system, a submission to certain moral rules, most notably those of justice, is required from everyone.4 Indeed, I think that it must be acknowledged that justice as well as the other virtues plays a part in Smith’s ethical system. This, in turn, raises questions about the system’s plausibility: that is, can Smith coherently maintain that sometimes character and motives are what matter and sometimes acting in conformity with rules is both necessary and sufficient? Whether and how Smith manages to reconcile the two elements is one matter; how to characterize the resulting ethical view, a further one. For example, Carrasco argues in her favorable interpretation (2014) that Smith’s system is neither rule-​or virtue-​centered but comes down to a new paradigm altogether.5 This paper offers an interpretation of Smith’s account of virtue and vice that reveals the unity of his ethical system as virtue ethics.6 The interpretation draws on the distinction between virtue as a quality of an action and virtue as a quality of a person –​a distinction Smith introduces when presenting his original reading of Aristotle. I argue that not only justice but all Smithian virtues are derivative insofar as virtue is understood as a quality of a person. Namely, durable inner features derive their moral value from virtuous and vicious actions. The virtuousness or viciousness of an action, in turn, is based solely on the occurrent passions that the action expresses or is motivated by. Since the prime bearers of moral value are internal states of agents, Smith’s system qualifies as ‘agent-​based’ virtue ethics as it has been termed by Michael Slote (1995).7 Precisely how does the proposed interpretation accommodate justice among the other virtues? A virtuous character disposes a person to perform virtuous actions and omit ones that are vicious. According to Smith, such a character cannot be straightforwardly identified with a disposition to experience passions that make for virtuous motives: other passions can contribute to the fact that one acts on such passions and does not act on ones that make for vicious motives. Hence, any virtue, considered as a quality of a person, can be partly constituted by complementary and restraining motives that need not be virtuous in themselves. With respect to justice, restraining motives can be sufficient to make a virtuous person: unjust actions are vicious and a just person is disposed to omit them. Besides establishing justice as a virtue of persons, Smith’s two-​level account of virtue enables him to make room for moral motivation while staying true to agent-​based virtue ethics. Namely, Smith argues that the most effective complementary and restraining motives stem from our capacity for moral judgment, which makes us passionate about attaining virtue and evading vice. When it comes to the latter end specifically, formulating rules can be of crucial assistance.

48  Aino Lahdenranta Finally, moral motives can be virtuous in themselves: many species of virtuous action in Smith’s ethics are based on moral ambition and conscientiousness that seek to avoid the slightest impropriety of passion. In the first section of the paper, I argue that the ethical systems of Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith are agent-​ based virtue ethical theories and that their commitment to agent-​basing places limits on the role of moral motivation in virtuous action. I then proceed to present Smith’s theory of moral sentiments in more detail. In the third section, I draw on Smith’s reading of Aristotle to argue that Smith takes the evaluation of actions to be prior to the evaluation of character –​thus parting ways with Hume. In the last section, I shed light on the varying role of moral motivation in Smith’s ethical system by showing how his distinguishing between the virtue of actions and a virtuous character plays out with respect to justice on the one hand and beneficence on the other.

Sentimentalist virtue ethics and the logic of moral motivation Hursthouse and Pettigrove (2018) claim that any plausible theory in normative ethics will have something to say about virtue, duty or moral rules, and valuable consequences alike. What makes a theory virtue ethical is that it takes virtue and vice as something fundamental in which at least some other normative notions are grounded. As Swanton (2013) argues in her critical discussion of rival definitions for virtue ethics, a common way of specifying this idea is to define virtue ethics as ‘agent-​centered’. The definition allows for variation in two respects. First, agent-​centered ethics can appeal either to character traits or to occurrent inner states such as ‘motives, emotions, or intentions’. Second, agent-​centeredness can take a weak or a strong form.8 (2013, 325–​328) Swanton’s example of strong agent-​centeredness is Slote’s agent-​based virtue ethics, which takes its inspiration from Hutcheson and Hume among others. Slote’s preferred version of the theory equates virtue with humane concern but his general definition for agent-​based ethics is much less restrictive and does not take a stance on the question of traits versus motives either. (Slote 2001, vii–​x, 3–​10, 19–​37) According to Slote, agent-​based virtue ethics ‘treats the moral or ethical status of acts as entirely derivative from independent and fundamental aretaic (as opposed to deontic) ethical characterizations of motives, character traits, or individuals’ (2001, 5). I will use the label ‘agent-​based’ in an encompassing sense, as a shorthand for a strong agent-​centered theory that bases the evaluation of actions on the actual traits or motives of the agent.9 I agree with Slote (1995; 2001) that we find a historical example of agent-​ basing in the sentimentalist theories of Hutcheson and Hume –​and, I would like to add, Smith. All three philosophers maintain that the ultimate object of moral evaluation consists in mental qualities of individuals.The moral evaluation of actions is based exclusively on the mental qualities they manifest: typically, on the passions (i.e., emotions) that give rise to them. The key sentimentalist idea is that moral judgments concerning the passions either are or make reference to

The derivative value of character  49 sentiments that reflecting on passions elicits. Laying aside a possible expressivist reading, these sentiments constitute some passions as virtuous and others as vicious.10 From agent-​based moral judgments thereby emerges an agent-​based ethics.11 Hutcheson’s sentimentalist theory in the Inquiry is straightforward. Human nature is equipped with a moral sense, which is a determination to feel pleasant sentiments of approbation when one perceives benevolent passions in oneself or others. This makes benevolent passions virtuous. Actions are considered virtuous insofar as they flow from a benevolent motive. Hume and Smith reject Hutcheson’s supposition of a moral sense and claim that moral sentiments (our sentiments concerning passions) can be explained by the workings of sympathy. The constancy of moral judgments can be explained by the fact that we are naturally led to privilege the sentiments we feel when occupying a disinterested, spectator’s viewpoint. It is these sentiments that constitute or explain moral judgments and define moral qualities.12 According to Hume and Smith, benevolent passions are not the only virtuous motive since many other passions elicit approval when considered from a disinterested viewpoint as well. For example, regulated self-​love, or prudence, is a virtue on their accounts. Hume argues that any mental quality that is agreeable or useful to its possessor or to those around him can gain approval due to sympathy (T 591, 601). Smith, for his part, argues that any type of passion can be sympathized with and approved of depending on its strength. Arguably, both maintain that mental abilities can render actions virtuous: Hume does not distinguish intellectual virtues from moral ones and Smith suggests that the virtuousness of self-​command is partly independent of the passions involved in its exercise.13 In short, Hume and Smith are very open-​minded when it comes to the passions (and other mental qualities) that can render actions virtuous. I shall close this section by considering how moral judgment can contribute to an agent’s virtue on the sentimentalist picture. The nature and generation of self-​directed moral sentiments, or pride and shame over one’s character and conduct, would take a separate discussion, but all three sentimentalists agree that we either naturally are or can become passionate about our own moral worth. I will use the term ‘moral motivation’ to refer to the desire to possess virtue and be devoid of vice. Now, what role (if any) can moral motivation have in virtuous action given the agent-​based nature of moral judgment? Hutcheson maintains that no action is judged virtuous unless it is taken to proceed from a benevolent passion. It follows on his view that the role of moral motivation in virtuous action must be mediated or complementary. Love of virtue can lead an agent to cultivate her benevolent passions or encourage her to act on them.14 Hume and Smith never deny that love of virtue could be a virtuous motive. Smith maintains that it can (TMS VII.ii.4.8, 11; VI.concl.5, 7)  and Hume’s discussion of justice indicates the same.15 Hutcheson himself seems to have changed his mind on this issue. In his later works, A System of Moral Philosophy and A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy, Hutcheson argues that human nature involves a ‘love of moral excellence’ and that we approve of this desire

50  Aino Lahdenranta in addition to benevolence. Be that as it may, granting that moral motivation is virtuous does nothing to alter its agent-​based internal logic: when we act from some moral motive, the object of our desire must be to develop or support some other passion we judge virtuous or to counteract a passion we judge vicious. All three sentimentalists are thus committed to the thesis that the way in which moral motivation gives rise to virtuous action is necessarily mediated, complementary, or indirect. Actions that proceed solely from moral motivation might represent a virtue of their own (say, the virtue of moral ambition and conscientiousness) but moral motivation does not provide a shortcut to other types of virtuous action given how value depends on mental qualities. An agent who finds herself lacking in some virtuous passion or ability cannot simply raise it at will. There is, however, an important asymmetry between virtue and vice in this respect. Moral judgment might not be of any immediate assistance to an agent who wishes to act virtuously but it can always enable her to refrain from acting viciously. An agent’s fear of blameworthiness can prevent a vicious passion from breaking into action and even subdue it. The agent-​based logic of moral motivation and its immediate efficiency in fighting vice will be of importance in the final section that compares the virtues of beneficence and justice in Smith’s ethical system. Before that, in the sections that follow, I  present the outlines of Smith’s account of moral evaluation and then introduce his distinction between virtue as a quality of an action and virtue as a quality of a person. Making actions evaluatively prior to character will turn out to be one of the features that helps Smith appreciate moral motivation –​and the related adherence to rules –​within the framework of agent-​based ethics.

Smithian sentimentalism Smith states repeatedly that the ‘whole virtue and vice’ of any action depends on the passion that gives rise to it. Moral evaluation has two basic forms since the passion that we express or act upon can be considered in two different relations:  ‘first, in relation to the cause or object which excites it; and, secondly, in relation to the end which it proposes, or to the effect which it tends to produce’. Judgments of propriety concern the first relation and judgments of merit and demerit concern the second. (TMS I.i.3.5; II.i.intro.2) A distinctive feature of Smith’s sentimentalism is that the moral sentiments that constitute or explain these judgments are regular passions:  he argues explicitly against the view that there exists some ‘peculiar sentiment’ of moral approbation (VII. iii.3.11–​15).16 Our passions concerning people and their actions come and go but Smith explains that experience gradually leads us to question most of our passionate judgments  –​except for the ones we make from a spectator’s viewpoint. Smith endorses Nicolas Malebranche’s conception of the passions according to which they ‘seem reasonable and proportioned to their objects, as long as we

The derivative value of character  51 continue to feel them’ (III.4.3). In contemporary terms, Smith maintains that passions are naturally experienced as ‘fitting’ with respect to their object. Given this feature, a passion of another person seems proper to us to the extent that we share their passion. We do not judge the person’s passion proper or improper, however, if we suspect that we are predisposed towards them or being inattentive. It follows that a passion is proper if and only if it would seem proper to a spectator. Unless people are facing a situation together, sharing another person’s passion must be an instance of sympathy, that is, experiencing a similar passion due to instinctively imagining oneself in the other’s situation (I.i.1.4). Thus, we can say that a passion is proper if and only if a spectator would sympathize with it. (I.i.3.1–​5; I.ii.intro) A passion usually needs to be toned down from its original strength to be proper but spectators’ liability to sympathy varies considerably between different types of passions. In general, the unsocial passions (such as hate) need to be restrained the most whereas the social passions (such as non-​romantic love) can be freely indulged. Selfish passions (ones that are self-​concerned) fall in the middle. (Sect. I.ii) Smith distinguishes further between exact propriety and the level of propriety that we come to expect as spectators. Surpassing the expected level by extraordinary self-​command is admired of as virtuous. Respectively, a glaring lack of self-​command excites blame instead of mere contempt.The same criterion applies to the social passions: an instance of unusually strong love and concern for another is virtuous and a severe lack of it vicious. (I.i.5.7–​9) Smith notices that the resulting sets of virtues, the ‘amiable’ and the ‘awful’, are both founded on the tendency to adopt the viewpoint of others: social passions build around sympathy with the ‘original passions’ of others whereas self-​command is best achieved through sympathy with the spectatorial sentiments of real or imagined others (I.i.5.1; III.3.34–​35).17 Approval and disapproval can involve passions that result from the spectator imagining himself to be the object of the agent’s passion. For example, the spectator can feel a vicarious love, hatred, or fear towards the agent. This explains why the selfish passions are never so amiable or so odious as social and unsocial passions can be. (I.ii.3.1–​5; I.ii.4.1; I.ii.5.1) It also brings us to the second set of moral qualities, those of merit and demerit. Smith argues that gratitude is the only passion that involves a desire to reward and resentment the only passion that involves a desire to punish. Given that passions are naturally experienced as fitting, a person we are grateful at appears to us as a proper object of reward. In other words, her actions appear as having merit. It follows on Smith’s theory, that an action has merit if and only if considering its motive would raise gratitude in a spectator. Respectively, an action has demerit if and only if considering its motive would raise resentment in a spectator. (II.i.1; II.i.2.1–​2) We are now familiar with the moral qualities of passions and the actions they give rise to. A passion is always more or less proper or improper with respect to its object. Behavior that expresses the passion and the actions it inspires are proper and improper accordingly. Extraordinary instances of love and self-​ command are not only proper but virtuous, and a serious lack of them not

52  Aino Lahdenranta only improper but vicious. A further species of virtuous and vicious actions are actions with merit and demerit –​actions that are the proper objects of gratitude and resentment on account of their motive. Smith argues that meritorious actions are always proper and actions with demerit improper because vicarious gratitude and resentment are conditional on the spectator’s propriety judgment concerning the action (II.i.2). Propriety or impropriety is hence an ‘essential ingredient’ in any virtuous or vicious action (VII.ii.I.50). Smith’s analysis of merit and demerit exemplifies how evaluative qualities in general (not just the ones that pertain to persons and their actions) can be reduced to the more fundamental quality of propriety. Passions ascribe value to their objects, and for an object to have a certain evaluative quality is for the passion in question to be appropriate towards it. In contemporary terms, Smith endorses the ‘fitting attitude’  –​theory of value. This theory, or family of theories, maintains that to have value is to be the fitting object of some evaluative attitude. As Jacobson (2011) characterizes the basic idea, fitting attitude theory reduces the evaluative to the deontic. The allegedly deontic nature of fittingness might seem to challenge my claim that Smith advances agent-​based virtue ethics. If fittingness, as I  have argued, is the most fundamental moral quality of Smith’s ethical system, does Smithian virtue boil down to acting in line with one’s duty? Drawing that conclusion would be hasty, however, for Jacobson stresses that ‘deontic’ must be understood loosely and not as referring specifically to ‘moral obligation’ or requirement. Furthermore, early advocates of fitting attitude theory, such as Franz Brentano and A. C. Ewing, not only separated between fittingness and ‘moral ought’ but suggested that the latter derives from the former (Danielsson and Olson 2007). McHugh and Way (2016) argue that contemporary fitting attitude theorists should adopt this position. They propose that fittingness should be seen ‘as the basic normative property from which the rest of the normative and evaluative domain is constructed’ (576). I think that Smith’s theory is in line with this proposal. As we have seen, an agent’s action is blameworthy if and only if it manifests a passion that is either improper below the spectator’s expectations or raises his vicarious resentment. Arguably, acting in accordance with one’s duty consists in omitting such actions given that the former is plausibly understood as not acting wrongly. I conclude that the fundamentality of fittingness does not contradict with a virtue ethical outlook. On the contrary, the complex ethical system Smith builds around propriety has various features that are characteristic of virtue ethics in comparison to competing normative theories. Zagzebski argues for the following two characteristics (1996, 253–​258). First, virtue ethics embraces the gradations of everyday moral evaluation and maintains that we can and should aim higher than not acting wrongly. Respectively, on Smith’s view, virtue is excellence on the standard of propriety and far above the degree of propriety that merely escapes blame. Second, Zagzebski argues, virtue ethics takes the scope of the ethical to be wide. For example, it does not limit ethics to how we should treat others. Again, Smith’s system involves virtues such as

The derivative value of character  53 self-​command and prudence that are not other-​regarding for the normative quality of propriety pertains to all human passions.

Smith and the primacy of virtuous actions over virtuous character In his history of moral philosophy, Smith argues that Plato was right to maintain that virtue consists in a state of mind where every faculty performs its proper office with the strength that is proper to it. This is apparently different from Aristotle’s view, Smith notices, according to which virtue ‘consists in the habit of mediocrity according to right reason’. (TMS VII.ii.1.11–​12) However, Aristotle too was in the right, Smith explains, given that we must distinguish between two senses of the term virtue: According to Aristotle, indeed, virtue did not so much consist in those moderate and right affections, as in the habit of this moderation. In order to understand this, it is to be observed, that virtue may be considered either as the quality of an action, or as the quality of a person. Considered as the quality of an action, it consists, even according to Aristotle, in the reasonable moderation of the affection from which the action proceeds, whether this disposition be habitual to the person or not. Considered as the quality of a person, it consists in the habit of this reasonable moderation, in its having become the customary and usual disposition of the mind. Thus the action which proceeds from an occasional fit of generosity is undoubtedly a generous action, but the man who performs it, is not necessarily a generous person, because it may be the single action of the kind which he ever performed. (VII.ii.1.13) Smith includes a reference here to the first four chapters of Book II of Nicomachean ethics, where Aristotle begins his treatment of moral virtue by discussing how it is acquired. Moral virtue results from practice, goes his central claim, so that ‘we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts’ (NE II.1, 1103a–​b). Aristotle anticipates that the thesis may seem perplexing and defends it at length; it is these passages in particular that Smith’s reading appears to invoke.18 A paragraph later, Smith proposes that Aristotle ‘made virtue to consist in practical habits’ in order to oppose Plato’s idea that virtue required nothing but ‘just sentiments and reasonable judgments concerning what was fit to be done’ and that passions could not make us act against these (TMS VII.ii.1.14). Smith is suggesting that it was because he thought that habituation is needed to bring passions in line with judgments, that Aristotle chose to give his definition of virtue in terms of persons.This way, Aristotle was able to bring practical habits to the focus and highlight his disagreement with Plato.19 The distinction between the virtue of actions and the virtue of persons can certainly be made

54  Aino Lahdenranta on the view attributed to Plato but it is rather uninteresting since both come down to the same feature. On Aristotle’s view (as Smith reads him), a person’s virtue can involve features that are not necessary for the virtue of actions but make the person more likely to perform them. This is a key insight Smith takes on board: virtue as a quality of actions and as a quality of persons should be treated separately. How does the distinction work when applied to Smith’s own account of generosity, for instance? Smith’s analyses of individual virtues, or the different types of proper actions that raise a spectator’s admiration, are often complex. Roughly put, a person acts generously when she sacrifices a considerable interest of her own to an equal interest of someone that she finds more deserving. The description is meant to convey that the person manages to command her selfish passions with her sense that preferring oneself would be improper in the situation. The ‘disposition of the mind’ from which the agent’s action proceeds can perhaps be described as aversion to improper self-​preference. As a motive of an action, it shows exquisite sense of propriety and self-​command, which elicits admiration in the spectators. This motive constitutes generosity, considered as a quality of actions. (IV.2.10) What does it mean that the motive is ‘customary and usual’ to someone? Smith probably does not wish to insist that a generous person acts generously on a regular basis for there can be circumstances where generous action is impossible. His idea must be that a generous person is disposed to perform generous actions. I argue that a character grounding such a disposition constitutes generosity, considered as a quality of a person.20 Smith notes that the two senses of ‘virtue’ are evident in our judgments inspired by individual actions. Namely, we do not judge a person virtuous based on a single action no matter how laudable we find it. On the other hand, a single vicious action ‘greatly diminishes and sometimes destroys altogether’ our existing opinion of a person’s virtue for it ‘sufficiently shows that his habits are not perfect, and that he is less to be depended upon, than, from the usual train of his behaviour, we might have been apt to imagine’. (VII.ii.1.13)21 To summarize Smith’s position, the virtuousness of actions is based on their motive, and virtuous persons are disposed to perform virtuous actions. Importantly, one need not be a virtuous person to perform a virtuous action. For example, one need not have the virtue of humanity to perform a humane action:  it suffices that the action proceeds from exquisite sympathy with another’s passion. By contrast, in much debated passages of Treatise, Hume claims that persons are praised and blamed only for their character. Actions with their particular motives provide the best evidence of character but they are exclusively treated as such. That is to say, we never praise and blame persons on account of actions that we find uncharacteristic of them. (T 411, 575)22 Recalling the variations of agent-​ centered ethics (Swanton 2013), our sentimentalists turn out to be divided on the question of invoking character traits versus ‘motives, emotions, or intentions’. Hume maintains that the virtuousness of actions derives from virtuous character traits. Smith appeals to

The derivative value of character  55 occurrent passions instead and claims in turn that the virtuousness of character derives from virtuous actions.23 Thomas Hurka (2006) has argued that a theory of virtue should opt for the latter position. He argues that an ‘occurrent-​state view’ is our commonsense understanding of virtue and rightly so: there surely can be virtue and vice in actions that are uncharacteristic to their performer. Hurka laments that a ‘dispositional view’ is yet so dominant in contemporary virtue-​ethics literature –​a shortcoming he attributes to a preoccupation with Aristotle. (From Smith’s perspective, of course, readers have simply gotten Aristotle wrong.)24 The plain disagreement between Hume and Smith may feel surprising given their shared focus on moral psychology. Antti Kauppinen (2016) has helpfully suggested that we can distinguish between two types of blame here. Hume has in mind ‘relational blame’. Following Scanlon’s interpretation of blame (2008; 2013), blame of this type involves thinking that a person has qualities that impair the relations we can have with them and modifying the relationship accordingly. This is different from ‘reactive blame’ that targets the attitude that a person’s action manifests. Since Smith is concerned with the latter type, what we get are two complementary sentimentalist accounts of blame. I find that Kauppinen’s distinction helps articulate where Smith thinks that Hume goes wrong and thus better appreciate his view. While Smith can endorse the distinction, his disagreement with Hume remains. Smith maintains that to judge a person humane, for example, is to think that humane action is characteristic of her. This thought does not involve amiable sympathy or vicarious gratitude. The amiability and merit of the virtue is felt only when we are presented with an instance of exquisitely compassionate action. Since philosophers tend to consider virtue and vice in the abstract, they fail to see that our most foundational moral sentiments consist of sympathy and antipathy with the passions of the agent and those immediately affected. (TMS IV.2.2) That said, thinking that a person is disposed to humane or cruel actions is no mere belief. It involves thinking that the person is disposed to excel on the standards of conduct that we endorse or to violate them, which entails specific attitudes.25 Smith is far from rejecting moral sentiments concerning character. However, he insists that they depend on moral sentiments that are independent of character evaluation and concern actions. Since Hume fails to recognize the foundational moral sentiments, he is bound to run into trouble when accounting for character evaluation just the same. More precisely, Smith argues that the evaluative attitudes Hume identifies as moral sentiments do not qualify as interpersonal attitudes (IV.2.4; IV.2.12; VII.iii.3.17). I  conclude that the primacy of evaluating actions is of key importance to Smith’s moral psychology. Respectively, his virtue ethics is of a variety which maintains that virtuous and vicious persons and traits cannot be identified without referring to virtuous and vicious actions.26 The final section turns to consider Smith’s account of justice and beneficence and show how the distinction between virtue as a quality of an action

56  Aino Lahdenranta and as a quality of a person plays out with respect to these virtues. I will investigate what is required for an act to be just and what can ground a disposition to act justly, and do the same for beneficence. Smith’s two-​level account of virtue, I  argue, helps him accommodate moral motivation and rules into an agent-​ based system. Moral motives that are restraining prove to be essential.

Smith on beneficence, justice, and the role of moral motivation The virtues of beneficence and justice form a pair in Smith’s ethical system: the former is founded on the sense of merit and the latter on the sense of demerit. Through the passions of gratitude and resentment, both virtues relate to the beneficial or hurtful effects that a motive ‘proposes or tends to procure’ (TMS II.i.intro.2).27 In many ways, beneficence and justice are yet complete opposites of one another and represent well the scope of Smithian virtues. My aim in this final section is to show that the different logics of beneficence and justice are consistent with –​and in fact stem from –​Smith’s agent-​based virtue ethical outlook. On the level of character, I  argue, justice is not an anomaly among the virtues but merely placed at the other end of a spectrum that ranges from the amiable to the awful. As we have seen, a spectator finds social passions proper and amiable due to his sympathetic, reciprocal love. Extraordinary and unexpected acts of beneficence are meritorious. They excite vicarious gratitude in a spectator and thus deserve recompense in addition to praise. Striking lack of beneficence is not only improper but blamable. (II.ii.1.6, 9) By beneficent virtues, Smith often refers to all the virtues that promote the good of others but argues that only some of them are amiable rather than awful. The virtues of humanity and friendship are different from the virtues of generosity and public spirit. Virtuous actions of the former type must proceed from some social passion towards the person they seek to benefit, including heartfelt esteem. The latter require extraordinary, propriety-​based self-​command and can proceed solely from it. If the object of the agent’s motivating passion is her own moral worth and not the other person, gratitude is not the appropriate response. In this section, beneficence will refer to the amiable social virtues. (IV.2.9–​11) Harmful actions that proceed from a motive that excites a spectator’s vicarious resentment are unjust by definition. They deserve punishment besides blame, and inflicting harm may be proper when preventing them.28 Unless the harmful action proceeds from proper resentment, Smith maintains, a spectator feels resentment on behalf of anyone who is deliberately harmed by another in life, body, property, or reputation (II.ii.1.9; II.ii.2.1–​2). As with the passion of gratitude, a resented motive is taken to manifest a certain attitude: Smith insists that what ‘chiefly enrages us against the man who injures or insults us, is the little account which he seems to make of us, the unreasonable preference which he gives to himself above us’ (II.iii.1.5).29 A  spectator’s vicarious resentment

The derivative value of character  57 settles the degree of regard that every person is entitled to or what counts as injury, giving rise to the rules of justice.30 (II.ii.1.5) Beneficence and justice are founded on passions that are evident ‘counterparts to one another’ but whereas gratitude is definitive of a virtue, resentment defines a vice (II.i.5.6). Accordingly, Smith characterizes justice as a ‘negative virtue’ (II.ii.1.9). The negative character of justice is widely acknowledged: ‘It is not so much that justice is a virtue’, Campbell says in his classic study, ‘as that injustice is a serious vice’ (1971, 188). Fricke explains that the rules of justice do not positively prescribe what to do but ‘prohibit certain kinds of action in order to prevent injustice’ (2011, 56) while Forman-​Barzilai draws attention to the fact that observing justice merits no praise (2010, 225). Smith is indeed explicit: the man who merely abstains from doing injury ‘has surely very little positive merit’; and yet he fulfills ‘all the rules of what is peculiarly called justice’ (II.ii.1.9). It is apparent that justice is not a virtue for Smith, considered as a quality of an action. All that ‘justness’ denominates is that an action is not unjust and thereby a proper object of resentment. Just actions do not elicit any moral sentiments as such and they need not proceed from any specific motive.31 Justice is a virtue for Smith, however, considered as a quality of a person. A just person is disposed to act justly without exception. The moral value of a just person’s character derives from the species of vicious actions the person is disposed to omit.32 Since the moral disvalue of unjust actions is based on their motive, Smith’s negative account of justice stands in no contradiction with agent-​based virtue ethics. Furthermore, establishing justice as a genuine virtue of persons, I think, adds to the appeal of his ethical system. A just action can spring from countless different motives but Smith argues that the partiality of human nature makes us all liable to unjust actions. In practice, there is only one passion that is capable of restraining us on all occasions: the fear of meriting resentment. (III.3.3–​6) Moreover, this fear must take the form of rule-​adherence to counter the effects of self-​deception, which is the main source of vice. Smith explains that previous moral sentiments lead us to form general rules of which actions ‘are to be avoided, as tending to render us odious, contemptible, or punishable’ (III.4.7). A habitual regard to these rules, or sense of duty, enables us to resist occurring passions and their compelling feel of fittingness. Indeed, without this regard, Smith argues, ‘there is no man whose conduct can be much depended upon’ (III.5.2). (III.4) What Smith means by rules is at times unclear. There seems to be at least two kinds of rules. First, there are rules, or principles rather, that tell one to act justly, beneficently, prudently, or with self-​command. However, these are not effective in countering momentary self-​deception because applying them requires exercising moral judgment. Instead, since we cannot trust our moral judgment in our capacity as involved agents, we need to formulate rules that contain non-​evaluative descriptions of the sort of acts that typically manifest either virtuous or vicious motives. For example, we can generalize that acts of killing are likely to proceed from either a negligent or a maleficent motive, both

58  Aino Lahdenranta of which are properly resented. Internalizing the general rule ‘do not kill’ can prevent an agent from committing a murder in a situation in which her moral judgment is momentarily biased. A just action that proceeds from a resolution never to risk committing a murder and thereby condemning oneself to merited self-​hatred is still but ‘negatively’ virtuous.33 However, when performed in the face of great temptation, such an action provides evidence of having an enduring motive that is adequate to make a just person. The lasting motive that is practically requisite to guarantee just action is an instance of moral motivation and hence bound by the agent-​based nature of moral judgment. As Smith sees it, the just person does not proclaim to act virtuously but wishes to refrain from actions that would be vicious given their motive.Yet, thinking that a person is disposed never to violate fundamental norms of morality entails an attitude of trust that comes down to much more than a lack of blame (VI.ii.1.18).34 The virtue of a beneficent person cannot consist simply in moral motivation. Following a principle that tells you not to act with certain motives is far from easy but even perfect self-​command will not help you to act benevolently should you lack the relevant motives.35 The same is true of prudence, which is partly a respectable and partly an amiable virtue. Namely, the more important objects of self-​interest should be pursued for their own sake with a certain degree of spirit and keenness and not because it would be improper not to. (III.6.6–​7) Benevolent passions are yet exceptional in the sense that all other passions need to be accompanied by a sense of propriety to be amiable (VII. ii.3.4). Unique among the virtues, beneficence presupposes no sense of morals. A person’s disposition to act beneficently can be grounded simply in a particularly benevolent nature. A benevolent nature does not make a beneficent person unless it disposes the person to beneficent actions. Being compassionate and wishing everyone well while passing every opportunity of contributing to others’ happiness does not amount to beneficence. I  argue that given the primacy of action, moral motivation can be a constituent of what makes a beneficent person. I am not referring to the cultivation of benevolence but to the idea that a moral motive can produce a beneficent action jointly with natural affection. Believing that a person was moved to benefit us partly from love and partly from a desire to merit praise can raise reciprocal love and gratitude. All Smith is claiming is that a moral motive is not necessary and that it is insufficient by itself (III.6.4). The amiability and merit of the action depends solely on the benevolent passion that it proceeds from, but that passion alone might have been insufficient to produce the action. A person who commits remarkable acts of beneficence but at times acts with glaring indifference or even cruelty is not a beneficent person. Few, if any of us, are constantly sensitive to the well-​being of others so restraining motives seem necessary in practice; and moral motives are especially apt for the task. Helping when one could not care less but when not helping would be callous is not an amiable or meritorious action, but it is proper (III.5.1–​2). On Smith’s view, a

The derivative value of character  59 person can have the virtue of beneficence without being good-​natured above the average because she judges beneficence a virtue to be pursued and has laid herself a rule not to commit the contrary vices. Even with the one virtue that does not presuppose a moral sensibility, moral motivation can be substantive in making a virtuous person. Moral motivation should not be equated with rule-​adherence. On the basis of our past moral sentiments, we can make good generalizations about the kind of actions that excite vicarious resentment or gratitude. Habitual regard to these rules is helpful in abstaining from unjust acts and from displaying blamable ingratitude. However, it is extremely difficult to generalize what kind of actions show exact propriety in gratitude, resentment, or any other passion. The most we can do is form loose rules of the kind of actions that typically indicate propriety either clearly below or above the common level. Again, regard to these rules, by itself, helps us only to abstain from blamable actions. If we wish to act with high or exact propriety, we have to rely on the strength of our passions and on our ability to make accurate moral judgments at the moment of action –​not merely in our ‘cool hours’ (III.4.12). (III.6.8–​11) I find Smith’s emphasis on vice and restraining moral motives striking when comparing him both to Hutcheson and to Hume. Smith recognizes that a commitment to the rules and ideals of morality allows for preventing vicious actions directly and unassisted. Fear of meriting blame can conquer any passion but virtuous actions need just the right motive. More often than not, meriting praise would require us to cultivate our natural passions and heighten our sense of propriety, which are not easy feats. Furthermore, Smith maintains that aversion to meriting blame is a much more powerful motive than the love of meriting praise. Pain in general is a more pungent sensation than pleasure, and shame, guilt, and remorse are the most painful passions we are capable of feeling. (II.ii.2.3; III.2.15;VI.iii.22) The centrality of vice runs deeper still  –​indeed, it is tempting to talk of ‘vice ethics’ when it comes to Smith. In our capacity as spectators, we see very little that is ever completely satisfying in morally unconditioned human nature. Social passions are the one exception. Some of the other passions appear odious or resentful; and all of them seem somewhat too strong with respect to their object. In our capacity as agents, we can try to escape this censure by subduing our passion or restraining it to a degree that satisfies a spectator. In doing so, we might end up acting in a way that excites admiration. Smith’s idea is that passions of the proper degree or virtuous actions need not be found in unconditioned human nature. Although they presuppose moral motives, we can explain how we come to act in these approvable or admirable ways without circularity or rejecting agent-​basing by referring to passions and actions that we seek to avoid.36

Conclusion There have been doubts of whether Smith’s ethical system can be categorized as virtue ethical, like those of his fellow sentimentalists. Smith’s account of

60  Aino Lahdenranta justice is especially problematic in this regard since acting in accordance with rules seems perfectly sufficient and practically necessary to possess the virtue in question. Schneewind suggests that Smithian justice is a ‘virtue’ only in the derivative sense that act-​centered (or rule-​centered) views of morality understand it: By contrast to virtue-​centered views of morality, act-​centered views see the point of morality as directing what we do. We may acquire habits of acting in the right ways, and these habits may be called virtues. But their value lies in their ensuring correct action, and if we are praised as virtuous, the praise derives from the value placed on what we do. (1990,  43–​44) I have argued that not only justice but all virtues are derivative for Smith  –​ insofar as virtue is considered as a quality of a person. The moral value of a person’s character derives from the moral value of actions that she is disposed to perform. I have further contended that Smith’s ethical system yet qualifies as agent-​based virtue ethics, no less than the systems of Hutcheson or Hume. For the moral value or disvalue of an action is based solely on its motive. Smith’s continuing relevance for the philosophy of normative thought is undeniable. I suggest that the ethical theory emerging from his moral psychology deserves similar attention  –​that is, contemporary virtue ethicists and theorists of virtue would do well to turn to Smith. The distinctive feature of Smith’s agent-​based virtue ethics in comparison to the Humean variety is the evaluative independence and primacy of actions. The feature shows promise too, allowing for the moral value of actions that are out of character. A further attraction is the prominent place Smith can offer to moral motivation: on the level of character, any virtue can be partly constituted by a desire to live up to one’s moral standards. According to Smith, the practical question most central to morality is how we should feel and act in particular situations. However, since passions are not under our direct control and we are liable to self-​deception in moral judgment, the answer to the first practical question must be followed by a further question: what kind of a character should I develop so that I would act with propriety and merit in particular situations? Hanley and others interpreters are right to claim that a habitual regard to rules alone suffices only with respect to justice.What this paper has shown is that the case with justice does not threaten Smith’s commitment to agent-​based virtue ethics.

Notes 1 My treatment of the moral philosophical theories of Hume and Smith, and the ethical systems that emerge, relies on Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature [T]‌and Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments [TMS]. 2 Swanton 2016, Frazer and Slote 2015, Taylor 2006. For a general definition of virtue ethics, see p. 48 and note 8 below.

The derivative value of character  61 3 Granting justice a special status does not presuppose a consequentialist reading. According to Fricke’s interpretation (2011), the rules of justice have absolute authority: they govern the social processes that give rise to other, partly contingent norms. 4 See Gill (2014, 76–​91) for a nuanced argument that Smith’s various virtues –​justice included –​can come into conflict with one another and that there is no lexical ordering between them. 5 Carrasco argues that Smith reconciles virtues and universal rules successfully, uniting ‘the apparently irreconcilable elements of ancient and Modern accounts of morality’ (225). According to Carrasco, the ‘third paradigm’ is enabled by Smith’s ‘sympathetic-​impartial perspective’ approach. 6 My argument for the coherence of Smith’s ethical system comes maybe closest to that of Fleischacker’s (2004) since we both attempt to somehow bring justice in line with the other virtues. Fleischacker relies on distinguishing between two virtues of justice in the TMS: the enforceable disposition of ‘political justice’ and the unenforceable disposition of ‘moral justice’ that Charles Griswold has elaborated on. According to Fleischacker’s suggestion, Smith ‘carves the former out of the latter’. (Fleischacker 2004, 147–​148, 155; see Griswold 1999.) 7 Some readers may find sources of normativity in Smith that reach beyond our moral sentiments and thus resist my overall strategy of reading off his ethical system from these sentiments. I cannot convince such readers that Smith’s system qualifies as virtue ethics but contend to show that justice is an integral part of Smith’s account of virtue and vice and that the prominent place given to rules does not as such disqualify him as a virtue ethicist. 8 On all agent-​centered theories, the evaluation of actions (as permissible or required, for instance) derives wholly from the evaluation of traits and motives as praiseworthy and blameworthy. On the weaker view, however, the evaluation of traits and motives appeals to ‘further features (such as value or flourishing) not wholly reducible to virtue, but not wholly independent of virtue’. Hursthouse’s Aristotelian virtue ethics provides a contemporary example. If appeal is made to features that are completely independent of virtue, Swanton reminds, what we have is a virtue theory but not virtue ethics. For example, Hurka’s virtue theory (2001) counts as axiology. (Swanton 2013, 326–​328) 9 I say ‘actual’ to distinguish from Zagzebski’s exemplarist virtue ethics (1996; 2010) that is likewise a strong agent-​centered theory. According to Zagzebski, some moral qualities of acts derive from the motivations of exemplary, virtuous agents and the actual motives of the agent do not matter. 10 Smith is very clear about the mind-​dependence of moral qualities on ‘systems which make sentiment the principle of approbation’ to which he includes the theories of himself, Hutcheson, and Hume (TMS VII.iii.3). According to such systems, Smith claims, ‘the distinction between what is fit and unfit . . . is altogether the effect of immediate sentiment and feeling, and arises from the satisfaction or disgust with which the view of certain actions and affections inspires us’ (VII.iii.intro.2). 11 I am not going to argue further for the mind-​dependence of value or against objectivist readings. Indeed, my claim that sentimentalists endorse agent-​based virtue ethics does not depend on their position on moral metaphysics as long as our moral faculties are supposed to get things right. That is, agent-​based moral judgments could be the reflection of agent-​based ethics rather than the other way around. 12 Why say ‘constitute or explain’? I  suggest that a (privileged) moral sentiment constitutes a moral judgment but that all moral judgments are not like this. Rather,

62  Aino Lahdenranta others consist of a commitment to the spectatorial standard and a belief concerning a moral sentiment. 13 See note 17. 14 On Slote’s agent-​based ethics of benevolence, the motive of duty or conscientiousness is of little moral value. The moral value it has relates to the limiting of the agent’s self-​centeredness, which bears some resemblance to benevolence. (Slote 2001, 51–​58) Importantly, my concern is not the moral status of moral motivation but its internal logic (assuming an agent-​based account of moral judgment). 15 Hume discusses moral motivation while arguing for his claim that ‘the first virtuous motive, which bestows a merit on any action, can never be a regard to the virtue of that action’. The argument is debated but Hume never claims that ‘regard for virtue’, or ‘sense of duty’, could not be a virtuous motive. (T 478–​480) His entire treatment of justice and the other artificial virtues rather implies that it can. The worth of moral motivation comes out more pronounced in Hume’s Enquiry. In the well-​known passage on justice and the sensible knave, people’s concern for a ‘satisfactory review’ of their own conduct is presented as an admirable motive (E 283). 16 One of Smith’s main arguments relies on the observation that our experiences of approving and of disapproving are widely varied in their feel. Smith argues that his theory of the moral sentiments stays true to the phenomenological variety and can account for it, vividly illustrating his point. (VII.iii.3.13) I cannot here offer an analysis of Smithian moral sentiments, but I hope that my brief presentation of the overall theory can still imply their scope. 17 Self-​command consists of strengthening some passion at the expense of another by using one’s imagination. According to Smith, self-​command can be virtuous also when it does not proceed from a sense of propriety. It suffices that the commanding passion is such that ‘the meanness of the motive’ does not take away ‘all the nobleness of the restraint’. Prudential restraint, for example, is mostly proper and sometimes virtuous to a degree. Moreover, in the special case of commanding fear, restraint is so demanding that it elicits admiration no matter how the agent accomplishes it. (VI.iii.10;VI.concl.3–​5) 18 I return to Smith’s reading of Aristotle and the interpretation of NE II.4 briefly in note 24. 19 As readers of Smith will know, the general idea that moral virtues are acquired through practical habituation is echoed throughout the TMS (III.3.22–​25; III.3.36–​ 37; III.5.2;V.2.8–​9;VI.iii.7;VII.iii.3.10). Smith’s way of characterizing our whole life in society –​‘in the bustle and business of the world’ –​as ‘the great school of self-​ command’ is one good example (III.3.22, 25). 20 Practically speaking, acting virtuously may be the only way to acquire the disposition in question; and certainly, actions are the only reliable evidence that we can have of our virtue. 21 On Smith’s view then, an action can inspire various moral sentiments in a spectator not just given the multiplicity of virtues and vices but given the two levels of moral evaluation: that of actions with their particular motive and that of character. Bringing forth the two levels could shed more light on Smith’s discussion of moral dilemmas in Section VII.iv. 22 Russell (2013, 93–​97) argues that Hume’s perplexing insistence that actions can be virtuous or vicious only if they flow from durable qualities of mind is grounded on his account of the moral sentiments and their generation. Hence, the claim should not be ignored or explained away.

The derivative value of character  63 23 Sayre-​McCord departs from the standard reading of Hume and claims that the virtuousness of character traits as well as actions is based on some approved motive that is distinctive of the trait or that the act displays (2016, 437). Note that this would still be different from Smith’s view. For Smith bases the virtuousness of character in virtuous actions, allowing for the contribution of additional motives. 24 Indeed, I suspect that Hume and Smith both take themselves to endorse Aristotle’s three conditions for acting virtuously in NE II.4 but have different understandings of the overall claim. Thus, when Aristotle insists that the action ‘must proceed from a firm and unchangeable character’ (1105a), Smith reads this as a condition for manifesting the agent’s virtuousness but not as a condition for the virtuousness of the action. See Vasiliou 2011 for a detailed discussion on interpreting NE II.4 and a recent reading of Aristotle’s theory of virtue that comes close to Smith’s. 25 One cannot have a perfectly respectful and benign attitude towards a person and think that the person is vicious. However, the attitude one must have to judge someone cruel, for example, is clearly very different from the abhorrence one feels at an action that shows a striking lack of compassion. Smith’s understanding of the moral sentiments that concern character would make an interesting topic of its own. The attitudes will undoubtedly vary considerably with respect to different virtues and vices. Nevertheless, some form of trust (or mistrust) appears to be a feature the attitudes would have in common. See Smith’s discussion of best friendships (VI.ii.1.18) and other remarks (I.i.5.2; III.5.2;VI.concl.6). 26 See Hurka 2006. 27 I discuss Smith’s explanatory account of justice and the motives of complying in more detail with Heikki Haara in Haara and Lahdenranta 2018. 28 The prevention is justified through vicarious resentment that the agent’s manifest intentions excite. Yet, in Section II.iii, Smith argues that an action which has failed in producing the proposed harm raises but little vicarious resentment. The same goes for unsuccessful acts of beneficence and vicarious gratitude. The motives excite blame and praise but spectators’ sense of demerit and merit is diminished. This, Smith worries, is at complete odds with the undoubted maxim according to which the actual consequences that happen to follow from an agent’s action ‘cannot be the proper foundation for any sentiment, of which his character and conduct are the objects’ (II.iii.intro.2). Smith’s debated discussion of moral luck is beyond the scope of this paper but it poses a challenge for attributing agent-​based virtue ethics to him. One option is to argue that a spectator’s reluctance to punish for actions that are, on further consideration, proper objects of resentment, turns on the injustice of punishing for thoughts: every improper attempt or risking of harm might merit punishment, but punishing equally for the eventually harmless ones would open the door for a severely vicious practice. Respectively, by reserving full reward to successful acts of beneficence, we guard ourselves against the detrimental mistake of imagining that passive good wishes are enough. (See chap. II.iii.3.) 29 For resentment and the attitude of respect in Smith’s treatment of justice, see Fricke 2011. 30 I side here with Carrasco 2014 and disagree with Forman-​Barzilai 2010 about the place of resentment in Smith’s explanatory account. According to Forman-​Barzilai, resentment grounds justice in a way that is independent of the ‘sympathetic apparatus’ that gives rise to the moral sentiments (219). See MacLachlan 2010 for the argument that a spectator’s sympathy sets the standard of proper resentment, while building on the conditions of resentment’s internal logic.

64  Aino Lahdenranta 31 Hence the enforcement of justice –​justified by proper resentment –​is possible in the first place. Whereas beneficence must proceed from genuine affection towards the beneficiary, fear of punishment can motivate a person to refrain from injuring another. 32 The same idea of omission applies to what could be called ‘negative vices’. Indolence, or laziness, comes to mind first. On Smith’s view, the character of an indolent person derives its moral disvalue from the virtuous actions the person is disposed to omit. From the viewpoint of moral psychology, when we blame a person for indolence what we have in mind are the worthy actions the person could commit. 33 Like all actions, a just action that displays considerable self-​command receives ‘lustre’ from it (VI.iii.11) but the mere justness of an action does not merit praise. 34 Hume famously struggles with accounting for justice as a virtue without circularity (see Cohon 2018 for an overview of the vast scholarly debate on the topic). Smith’s account of justice arguably avoids those problems because it (1) takes injustice as its starting point and (2) proceeds from the level actions to that of character. For Smith’s explicit critique of Hume on justice, presented in terms of identifying the relevant moral sentiments, see Pack and Schliesser 2006. 35 Smith’s attentiveness to the asymmetry shows well in the way that he characterizes the general rules that concern virtue: the purpose of describing actions that virtuous passions typically recommend is to guarantee that a person who has the relevant motivations does not miss any chance to express them in action (III.4.7). 36 Drawing on Aristotle and Aquinas, Philippa Foot (2002) argues that the concept of moral virtue entails that virtues are corrective. According to Foot, each virtue stands ‘at a point at which there is some temptation to be resisted or deficiency of motivation to be made good’ (8). Which disposition constitutes a virtue thus depends on what human nature is like and what is problematic in it. Because of the primacy of virtuous and vicious actions, Smith’s variety of agent-​based ethics can embrace the idea of virtues as correctives (on the level of character) without making moral value dependent of any other criteria.

References Aristotle (2009) Nicomachean Ethics, trans. David Ross; rev. with intro. and notes by Leslie Brown, Oxford: Oxford University Press. [NE] Campbell, T. D (1971) Adam Smith’s Science of Morals, London:  George Allen & Unwin. Carrasco, Maria (2014) ‘Adam Smith:  Virtues and Universal Principles’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie 68(269): 223–​250. Cohon, Rachel (2018) ‘Hume’s Moral Philosophy’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition). https://​​archives/​ fall2018/​entries/​hume-​moral/​ Danielsson, Sven, and Jonas Olson (2007) ‘Brentano and the Buck-​ Passers’, Mind 116(463): 511–​522. Fleischacker, Samuel (2004) On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. —​—​(2017) ‘Adam Smith’s Moral and Political Philosophy’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition). https://​​ archives/​spr2017/​entries/​smith-​moral-​political/​

The derivative value of character  65 Foot, Philippa (2002, 1st edn 1978) ‘Virtues and Vices’, in Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–​18. Forman-​Barzilai, Fonna (2010) Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Frazer, Michael L., and Michael Slote (2015) ‘Sentimentalist Virtue Ethics’, in Lorraine L. Besser and Michael Slote (eds) The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics, New York: Routledge, 197–​207. Fricke, Christel (2011) ‘Adam Smith and “the Most Sacred Rules of Justice”’, The Adam Smith Review 6: 46–​74. Gill, Michael (2014) Humean Moral Pluralism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Griswold, Charles (1999) Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Haara, Heikki, and Aino Lahdenranta (2018) ‘Smithian Sentimentalism Anticipated: Pufendorf on the Desire for Esteem and Moral Conduct’, Journal of Scottish Philosophy 16(1): 19–​37. Hanley, Ryan Patrick (2006) ‘Adam Smith, Aristotle, and Virtue Ethics’, in Leonidas Montes and Eric Schliesser (eds) New Voices on Adam Smith, Abingdon: Routledge, 17–​39. —​—​ (2009) Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hume, David (1975) An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, in Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, (ed.) L. A. Selby-​Bigge; rev. 3rd edn with notes by P. H. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 167–​323. [E]‌ —​—​ (1978) A Treatise of Human Nature, (ed.) L. A. Selby-​Bigge; rev. 2nd edn with notes by P. H. Nidditch, Oxford: Oxford University Press. [T]‌ Hurka, Thomas (2001) Virtue,Vice, and Value, Oxford: Oxford University Press. —​—​ (2006) ‘Virtuous Act,Virtuous Dispositions’, Analysis 66(1): 69–​76. Hursthouse, Rosalind, and Glen Pettigrove (2018) ‘Virtue Ethics’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition). https://​plato.stanford. edu/​archives/​win2018/​entries/​ethics-​virtue/​ Hutcheson, Francis (1990a) A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy, in Bernhard Fabian (ed.) Collected Works of Francis Hutcheson (vol. 4), Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. —​—​ (1990b) A System of Moral Philosophy, in Bernhard Fabian (ed.) Collected Works of Francis Hutcheson (vols 5–​6), Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. —​—​(2008, rev. edn) An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, ed. & intro. by Wolfgang Leidhold, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Jacobson, Daniel (2011) ‘Fitting Attitude Theories of Value’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition). https://​​ archives/​spr2011/​entries/​fitting-​attitude-​theories/​ Kauppinen, Antti (2016) ‘Character and Blame in Hume and Beyond’, in Iskra Fileva (ed.) Questions of Character, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 46–​62. MacLachlan, Alice (2010) ‘Resentment and Moral Judgment in Smith and Butler’, The Adam Smith Review 5: 161–​177. McHugh, Conor, and Jonathan Way (2016) ‘Fittingness First’, Ethics 126(3): 575–​606. Pack, Spencer J., and Eric Schliesser (2006) ‘Smith’s Humean Criticism of Hume’s Account of the Origin of Justice’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 44(1): 47–​63. Russell, Paul (2013) ‘Hume’s Anatomy of Virtue’, in Daniel C. Russell (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 315–​338.

66  Aino Lahdenranta Sayre-​McCord, Geoffrey (2016) ‘Hume on Artificial Virtues’, in Paul Russell (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Hume, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 435–​469. Scanlon,Thomas (2008) Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, and Blame, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. —​—​(2013) ‘Interpreting Blame’, in Justin Coates and Neal Tognazzini (eds) Blame: Its Nature and Norms, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 84–​99. Schneewind, J. B. (1990) ‘The Misfortunes of Virtue’, Ethics 101(1): 42–​63. Slote, Michael (1995) ‘Agent-​ Based Virtue Ethics’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20(1): 83–​101. —​—​ (2001) Morals from Motives, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, Adam (1976) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphael and A. L Macfie (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1982). [TMS] Swanton, Christine (2013) ‘The Definition of Virtue Ethics’, in Daniel C. Russell (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 315–​338. —​—​(2016) ‘Hume and Virtue Ethics’, in Paul Russell (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Hume, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 470–​488. Taylor, Jacqueline (2006) ‘Virtue and the Evaluation of Character’, in Saul Traiger (ed.) The Blackwell Guide to Hume’s Treatise, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 276–​295. Vasiliou, Iakovos (2011) ‘Aristotle, Agents, and Actions’, in Jon Miller (ed.) Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics:  A Critical Guide, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 170–​190. Zagzebski, Linda (1996) Virtues of the Mind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. —​—​ (2010) ‘Exemplarist Virtue Theory’, Metaphilosophy 41(12): 41–​57.

Adam Smith on resentment, justice, and desert Jonathan Jacobs

The present discussion explores some of the main elements of Smith’s view that resentment is a sentiment that is fundamental, with an especially important role in persons’ regard for each other as moral agents and in the concern to see justice served. This might strike us as implausible, given the ease with which resentment can become excessive and can motivate vengeful behavior or underwrite pleasure in someone else’s suffering. It can indeed be toxic, something Smith recognized clearly, but resentment is not—​in Smith’s view—​inherently problematic or a sentiment we should try to eliminate from moral experience. Moreover, key elements of his account of why that is so are quite plausible. The view is important especially in regard to our concern with justice and associated notions of appropriate regard for others, respecting them as voluntary agents. The discussion has two sections. The first examines some aspects of Smith’s conception of sympathy and the impartial spectator as a basis for his conception of justice.The second part explores the role of resentment in Smith’s moral psychology and his conception of the effective concern to see that justice is served. I argue that well-​ordered resentment actually supports and strengthens dispositions critically important to justice and the civility of society. Smith’s treatment of resentment and desert has a prominent role in his conception of punishment. I discuss briefly the issue of how his view might fit into a more comprehensive conception of a just society or just political order.

Sympathy, the impartial spectator, and justice Smith regarded resentment and gratitude as basic moral sentiments, and it is not difficult to see why. They are basic in the respect that they figure in some of the most regular and important ways people regard and treat each other. Gratitude is a core element of appreciative regard for others, and resentment is a core element of recognizing and responding appropriately to the demerit of others. Thus, gratitude and resentment are, so to speak, the two fundamental valences of desert. Part II of The Theory of Moral Sentiments is devoted to merit and demerit, and its first chapter title is:  ‘That whatever appears to be the proper object of gratitude, appears to deserve reward; and that, in the same

68  Jonathan Jacobs manner, whatever appears to be the proper object of resentment, appears to deserves punishment’ (TMS II.i.I, 67). Smith wrote: He, therefore, appears to deserve reward, who, to some person or persons, is the natural object of a gratitude which every human heart is disposed to beat time to, and thereby applaud: and he, on the other hand, appears to deserve punishment, who in the same manner is to some person or persons the natural object of a resentment which the breast of every reasonable man is ready to adopt and sympathize with. (TMS II.i.II.3. 69–​70) The fact that human beings are voluntary agents is important to Smith’s moral psychology. We feel gratitude when the motive of the benefactor makes it appropriate; gratitude is not felt toward just any bit of good fortune. One can experience gladness for good fortune but when the source of the good or the benefit is another person’s deliberate act, then gratitude is appropriate, and it would be improper not to feel it. We sympathize with the fellow-​feeling of one who is grateful—​on an appropriate basis—​and take delight in knowing that person’s gratitude. Our sentiments are animated by the graciousness of the benefactor and the gratefulness of the beneficiary. Similarly, when someone experiences distress through being needlessly harmed or injured by another, and we cannot approve of the motives of the person who causes the suffering, we sympathize with the distressed person and feel resentment toward the person who caused it. The sympathy that is crucial to Smith’s account of moral judgment as involving imaginative sharing is not a matter of projection of one’s own feelings. ‘Moral judgment involves an impartial projection into the agent’s or patient’s standpoint. We imaginatively project, not as ourselves, but impartially, as any one of us’ (TMS 82, 137–​138) (Darwall 1999: 142, italics in original). We are social ‘by nature’ but a crucial form of that sociability is expressed and articulated in the work of the impartial spectator, which refines and reinforces our social nature. Smith wrote: ‘Sympathy therefore does not arise so much from the view of the passion (of another), as from that of the situation which excites it’. As A. L. MacFie points out, Smith’s constant emphasis on the situation in which sympathy occurs, and second in the actual operation of sympathy through the mediation of the “impartial spectator”; both these respects in turn emphasizing the more rational as against the more emotive aspects of sympathy. (MacFie 1967: 49) Smith’s sympathy is not merely feeling for another; it involves imagining ourselves in the situations others are in, and ascertaining whether there is congruence—​or lack of it—​between the sentiments of the agent in question

Resentment, justice, and desert  69 and that of the impartial spectator. This is a different role for sentiments than we find in Humean projectivism, for example. For Smith, the proper measure and intensity for sentiments is found through a reflective exercise that is not part of Hume’s view. Smith’s view has a significant connection with sociality and our participation in society. Smithian concern with hearts ‘beating in time’ and with agreement in feeling is indicative of the importance of the societal dimension of moral judgment, including judgments of self-​love. Smith claims that if we imagine someone leading a completely solitary life that person ‘could no more think of his own character, of the propriety or demerit of his own sentiments and conduct… than of the beauty or deformity of his own face’ (TMS III.I.3. 110). ‘Bring him into society, and all his own passions will immediately become the causes of new passions’ (TMS III.I.3. 111). We learn to make moral judgments through participation in the social world. It is in our relations with others and how they regard our actions and characters that we ‘become anxious to know how far we deserve their censure or applause, and whether to them we must necessarily appear those agreeable or disagreeable creatures which they represent us’ (TMS III.I.5. 112). Moral judgment would not be an attainment of an utterly solitary person. Sympathy and impartiality are ways for the social dimension of moral judgment to regulate such judgments and they are also ways for moral judgment to reinforce sociability. ‘[T]‌he constant action of the impartial spectator principle gradually builds up a system of moral rules and customs which are in fact at once the cement and the basis of progress for societies’ (MacFie 1967: 53). ‘We suppose ourselves the spectators of our own behaviour, and endeavor to imagine what effect it would, in this light, produce upon us’ (TMS III.I.5. 112). Smith himself uses the language of dividing oneself into two persons in the examination of one’s own conduct, ‘the spectator, whose sentiments with regard to my own conduct I  endeavor to enter’ and ‘the agent, the person whom I properly call myself, and of whose conduct, under the character of the spectator, I was endeavouring to form some opinion’ (TMS III.I.6. 113). The way that Smith understood the relation between the function of the impartial spectator and sympathy reflects the sociability of human beings and also helps strengthen social ties. For Smith, conscience is not a faculty of judgment that is just there, an integral power of mind. Nor is it, as Mill thought, ‘a pain, more or less intense, attendant on violation of duty’ binding us in the way Mill suggested, namely, as ‘a mass of feeling which must be broken through in order to do what violates our standard of right’ (Mill 1979: 28). Mill noted emphatically that, ultimately, it is the social feelings that are the basis for our ability to commit ourselves effectively to act on the principle of utility, and that he was explicit in repeatedly urging that human beings are not naturally egoists, as though a non-​natural disposition must be trained into us in order to have any concern for the welfare of others. Resonances of Mill’s predecessors in the tradition of British Moralists are detectable in Utilitarianism, with the influence of Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith being especially pronounced. Smith does not

70  Jonathan Jacobs meticulously discriminate between ‘reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of or conduct’ (TMS III.3.4. 137). However, he is very clear that in persons for whom propriety has come to be important, and for whom generosity, self-​love, and justice are seen through the eye of the impartial spectator ‘the love of what is honourable and noble, of the grandeur, and dignity, and superiority of our own characters’ is a ‘powerful affection’ (TMS III.3.4. 137). Smith had asserted,‘[h]‌umanity does not desire to be great, but to be beloved’ (TMS III.5.7. 166). He desires, not only praise, but praise-​worthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be praised by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of praise. He dreads, not only blame, but blame-​worthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be blamed by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of blame. (TMS III.2.2. 114) The role of how one is seen by others and how that impacts how one is seen by oneself is a basic element of Smith’s moral theory. Arriving at a moral judgment involves a role for what we might call ‘social reflection’. It is not just that we care how others see us; rather, the way that others see us is integral to making a moral judgment. And Smith’s constant method was to relate individual morals to the stage in moral stature a society had reached. His account of moral judgment can be outlined as an example. It is founded on bare sympathy, and grows through judgments of other people’s behavior. This in turn is reflected back on the individual, who, in place of being the ‘spectator’ of himself as imagined in the ‘situation’, and indeed person of others, becomes the spectator of his own conduct. (MacFie 1967: 87) Social considerations—​via the work done by the impartial spectator—​are critical to the sorts of discrimination on which moral judgments depend. Sympathy is not just ‘feeling for’ others; it is articulated into a measured, refined judgment. The agent who develops mature, informed, reflective moral views is someone whose sympathetic responses have been measured and refined by the impartial spectator. The ‘general rules’ of morality are ‘the social transmissions of the ages, continually defining themselves in rational forms as fashion, custom, and especially clearly via the courts and legislation. Their aim is fairness, clarity, and systematic improvement in the sphere of justice’ (MacFie 1967: 93). Smith places each individual’s impartial spectator in a setting that is social and also informed by that person’s actual situation. The point of this is not to domesticate the spectator’s judgment to a highly local context but to better underwrite the realism and relevance of the spectator’s judgment. ‘The main stress is

Resentment, justice, and desert  71 his insistence on the development of sympathy through social contacts with the moral standards sustained by social institutions’ (MacFie 1967: 95). Smith recognized that the history of a society and the ways that it has developed over time in certain types of circumstances has formative influence on the morality of its members. His theorizing—​whether explicitly or implicitly—​is realistically rooted in the conditions of people’s lives, rather than being an a priori construction applicable without regard to social, economic, and political reality. The impartial spectator is not striving for as abstract and disengaged a conception as possible. The actualities of the social world are an important source of information for the spectator. One acquires a grasp of moral rules, and of customs and conventions that are appropriate—​from the perspective of the impartial spectator—​for the actual social world in which the agent participates. That does not make it a form of relativism but it is a reminder that moral life is part of life overall and cannot be adequately analyzed and explicated independent of that reality. The everyday activity of participation in various contexts provides the basis for persons to acquire a grasp of norms and a sense of diverse forms of appropriate conduct depending on context. Smith is highly attentive to the role of habit and its emergence out of the details of how one lives one’s life. For Smith, participation in civil society is a crucial source of moral education, and the progress of moral education contributes to the civility of society. It is highly important, for instance, to persons’ concern for justice. Muller notes: Smith was not the first to suggest that commerce promoted the development of more ‘civilized’ behavior—​that was almost a commonplace of eighteenth-​century enlightened thought. But perhaps no other thinker devoted as much attention to describing how the market and commercial society could be structured to develop that constellation of self-​control, industry, and gentleness which moralists from the humanists through David Hume had valued. (Muller 1993: 95) For the purposes of the present discussion the chief import of these points is that they are parts of a conception of moral education occurring through the interactions of persons in civil society. It is in the various departments of civil society that individuals regularly encounter and engage each other as agents, as acting for reasons, and guiding their actions by a variety of norms appropriate to different contexts. It is in the activity of participating in those contexts that most of us learn what it is to be accountable, learn various types of judgment and evaluation, and learn to give and to receive guidance, rebuke, admiration, censure, and so forth. We acquire our understandings of such things as apology, resentment, gratitude, admiration, and different types of anger and their appropriateness. We are social creatures not just on account of living in groups with interdependence and interaction required for the development of distinctively human abilities but also in the sense that much of how we see ourselves and

72  Jonathan Jacobs how we judge our own actions and those of others depends on our reactions to the sentiments, attitudes, and opinions of others. What are appropriate attitudes and what are plausible evaluative judgments cannot be ascertained independent of social relations. This fact is of first importance concerning justice. With regard to justice, Smith does not begin with specific principles of justice and then explain how they are to be realized in the various departments of human life—​regarding distributive shares, regarding criminal justice, regarding basic elements of a justifiable political order. Instead, he explicates the way in which a person achieves a concern for the security and property of others. ‘Man, it has been said, has a natural love for society…’ (TMS II.ii.3.6. 88). ‘Injustice necessarily tends to destroy it. Every appearance of injustice, therefore, alarms him…’ (TMS II.ii. 3.6. 88). ‘A society cannot subsist unless the laws of justice are tolerably observed, as no social intercourse can take place among men who do not generally abstain from injuring one another…’ (TMS II.ii.3.6. 87). We find this out, and we acquire the relevant attitudes and dispositions not through a self-​contained process of theoretical reflection but through the complex interactivity of living in the world with others, being mutually dependent in various ways, and developing bonds and modes of judgment rooted in the social aspects of our lives. And, what does justice concern? The violation of justice is injury, Smith writes. An injustice ‘does real and positive hurt to some particular persons, from motives which are naturally disapproved of. It is, therefore, the proper object of resentment, and of punishment, which is the natural consequences of resentment’ (TMS II.ii.I.5. 79). Justice primarily concerns the security of persons and their property, and thus, acts of injustice do some real harm, whereas, a failure to be beneficent does not cause a specific harm to another. It might be objectionable; it might be a disappointment; and it might indicate a flaw in the agent’s character. ‘But the mere want of the beneficent virtues, though it may disappoint us of the good which might reasonably be expected, neither does, not [sic] attempts to do, any mischief from which we can have occasion to defend ourselves’ (TMS II.ii.I.4. 79). The involvement of sociability, sympathy, and the significance of mutual regard is very pronounced in Smith’s conception of justice. ‘On Smith’s view, however, we judge injustice, not from an observer’s perspective, but by projecting ourselves impartially in the agent’s and, crucially, into the patient’s point of view’ (Darwall 1999: 143). Kant’s moral theory highlights the way a great deal of morally wrong action results from individuals making exceptions of themselves, speciously judging that though the maxim in question could not be universally endorsed, in one’s own case it is justified. In Smith’s moral theory we find a counterpart to that view but it is explained through the relations between sociability, sympathy, and the impartial spectator. Through them we each can recognize that, with regard to morality, there is nothing essentially privileged about being me, about being this one. As Debes puts this, ‘the upshot here is not only that in the eyes of others I appear as but one among many, but that we all appear to one another as similar—​and similar precisely in virtue of the fact that we are all spectators of one another, and thus all actors to one another’ (2012: 116, italics in original).

Resentment, justice, and desert  73 Rather than explicating this on the basis of a putative priori conceptual architecture of practical rationality, Smith shows how the dispositions crucial to a morally sound person are acquired and informed by the various activities, practices, challenges, and requirements of life in civil society. Morality is social not only in the sense that it involves working out what is to be required of the members of a group but in the sense that sentiments and concerns constitutive of it occur and have their efficacy and significance in forms of mutual regard. Even when there is an element of self-​interest in the motivation, the resulting disposition can be morally estimable. ‘The habits of economy, industry, discretion, attention and application of thought are generally supposed to be cultivated from self-​interested motives, and at the same time are apprehended to be very praiseworthy qualities, which deserve the esteem and approbation of every body’ (TMS VII.ii.3.16. 269). In Smith’s theory of moral judgment and moral experience, sympathy and human sociability have multiple explanatory roles. They have a role in the ways that persons come to regard each other as moral agents. They also have a role in regard to the acquisition of moral concepts, and the development of the realized capacity of moral judgment. Institutions, rules, and norms develop through historical experience and in response to circumstances. This includes the development of laws, rights, and forms of political order. These are not ‘designed’ and then applied or put into practice from outside the complex project of people leading their lives, pursuing ends and interests, and interacting with each other.

Resentment, civility, and justice We mentioned at the outset that resentment and gratitude are especially fundamental because they are basic responses to the deserts of persons on account of their actions. Resentment certainly can be toxic; it can become highly punitive and it can be connected with taking malicious pleasure in revenge, and so forth. Smith himself wrote, ‘resentment, though in the degrees in which we too often see it, the most odious, perhaps of all the passions,’ though he went on to say that it ‘is not disapproved of when properly humbled and entirely brought down to the level of the sympathetic indignation of the spectator’ (TMS II.i.5.8. 76). It is not an inherently or necessarily morally problematic sentiment, and it has a key role with regard to the concern for justice. Resentment, Smith wrote, is the safeguard of justice and the security of innocence. It prompts us to beat off the mischief which is attempted to be done to us, and to retaliate that which is already done; that the offender may be made to repent of his injustice, and that others, through fear of the like punishment, may be terrified from being guilty of the like offence. It must be reserved therefore for these purposes, nor can the spectator ever go along with it when it is exerted for any other. (TMS II.ii.I.4. 79)

74  Jonathan Jacobs Moreover, when we learn of the just punishment of wrongdoing, there is nothing morally suspect about being pleased by it. This is because the propriety and fitness of inflicting evil upon the person who is guilty of it, and of making him grieve in his turn, arises from sympathetic indignation which naturally boils up in the breast of the spectator, whenever he thoroughly brings home to himself the case of the sufferer. (TMS II.i.5.6. 76) Smith’s view is that there is a more suitable, more morally supportable case for resentment than just trying to minimize it and attempting to habituate oneself to not feel it. He saw it as having a centrally important role in the civility of civil society in the sense that it is the safeguard of justice. Upholding justice is crucial to the happiness of persons. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments he wrote, ‘A sacred and religious regard not to hurt or disturb in any respect the happiness of our neighbor, even in those cases where no law can properly protect him, constitutes the character of the perfectly innocent and just man’ (TMS VI.ii. intro. l, 218). Smith’s discussion of justice in The Theory of Moral Sentiments chiefly addresses criminal justice and the resentment appropriately directed at persons who are at fault for causing harm to others. His view can be characterized as a kind of communicative retributivism. It is retributivist on account of the crucially important role of desert, and it is communicative in that censure and sanction are meant to address the offender’s reason, with a view to recognition of the wrongful act committed, and perhaps motivating an effort of moral self-​correction and commitment to sound values.1 It is not a view that justifies revenge or a degrading imposition of inhumane conditions on the offender. The retributivism is rooted in ill-​desert, which implies the responsibility of the criminal and our ‘fellow-​feeling with their [the victims of criminal conduct] just and natural resentment’ (TMS II.i.56. 76). A person whose moral education did not include the development of resentment aimed at injustice should not strike us as fortunate, as someone spared the disagreeable sentiment of resentment, and freed from punitiveness. Rather, in lacking sentiments that do not ‘beat in time’ with others’ resentment of injustices, this is someone who is morally tone-​deaf in a significant way.2 Perhaps this person recognizes that actions of certain types are held to be wrong—​have been criminalized—​but somehow remains wholly unresponsive in regard to the relevant sentiments. If the person’s sensibility is unresponsive to the situation and the sentiments of others, it is not clear that she genuinely understands the wrongness of the actions apart from the fact that they have been prohibited by law. Of course, morality concerns a great deal that is not addressed by law, and our resentment-​free agent will be similarly unresponsive to all of those moral matters. Like other sentiments (e.g., anger), resentment needs to undergo the reflective process by which the appropriate measure is approved by the impartial

Resentment, justice, and desert  75 spectator. It could be that in many cases there is an appropriate measure of it and that is one of the ways our solidarity as a moral community is sustained. That is a sense in which resentment can actually have a constructive role in regard to the civility of society. Jacqueline Taylor notes, ‘Smith thinks it is part of human character not to always turn the other cheek’ (Taylor 2016: 365). It is part of one’s dignity to resent wrongful injury, and others are better able to sympathize with the person who exhibits anger at being treated disrespectfully.3 Appropriate resentment can be understood as one of the bonds of civility. There is little to commend in being unmoved by the victimization or needless harming of members of the community. Such a person will be de-​moralized regarding important types of concerns for others. Smith understood that resentment is not (or need not be) simply a mode of hostility or a source of alienation. Properly directed and measured resentment can reflect persons’ regard for each other’s standing, and can support social bonds that are important with regard to persons’ rights and to each individual as someone whose interests matter. ‘Smith is prepared to define “justice” as the obligatory regard for principles of conduct whose violation causes, in the judgment of an impartial spectator, real harm and arouses warranted resentment as well as a demand for proportionate punishment…’ (Griswold 1999:  235). Injustices cause damage to the community of values that is crucial to civil society. Smith’s discussion of justice and the role of resentment in The Theory of Moral Sentiments includes little concerning distributive justice and a broader, more comprehensive conception of a just society or just political order. A critic of Smith might argue that while Smith is robust in his endorsement of justice when persons cause harm to others through conduct that has been criminalized, Smith seems to show little concern (at least in TMS) for a broader sense of justice, one that might address distributive shares and the support many persons need in order to participate effectively in civil society. James Otteson argues that a broadly Smithian conception of justice can be defended against ‘social justice objections’ according to which a just political order recognizes positive obligations of the state, chiefly concerning the remedy of various social ills and the promotion of various social goods. Otteson discusses a number of different versions of the social justice view, those of Peter Singer, John Thomasi, and Thomas Piketty, among others, to see if Smith’s more negative conception—​in which justice mainly concerns a response to wrongdoing without having substantive, positive ends—​is defensible against social justice objections. Otteson notes that many critics claim that Smith’s conception of justice ‘seems unduly to privilege its “negative” conception of individual freedom over, for example, welfare or equality’ (Otteson 2017: 133). In recent and contemporary debates concerning a just liberal state, these kinds of issues have a prominent role. The overall issue of the obligations of the state with regard to persons being free and equal members of a liberal state has motivated sharp disagreement. Although we cannot enter into that larger debate here, it is not difficult to see how Smith’s view can figure in that debate.

76  Jonathan Jacobs Smith does not argue that the state is to have a fixed, minimal role with regard to distributive justice, a role limited to providing the rule of law and courts. Otteson points out that the view ‘allows for the possibility of exceptions when an impartial spectator judges appropriate’ and thus, the view is not stuck with a fundamental inability ‘to address some aspects of social-​justice arguments like Singer’s (and Tomasi’s and Piketty’s)’ (Otteson 207: 133). If we look at Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, we find numerous issues with regard to which Smith thought that government (though not necessarily at the highest level of the state) can have an appropriate role in remedying a significant social ill or helping to provide a significant social good. Primary education is one such context, and Smith also wrote, ‘It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged’ (WN I.vii. 96). Smith was well aware what kind of impact the division of labor can have on persons whose work is some combination of tedious, dangerous, unskilled or very narrowly skilled, and highly repetitious capacity. He had a humane appreciation of the forms that work was taking and how one’s occupation can make a difference to the realization (or not) of one’s overall capacities as a human being.This was especially relevant to the large numbers of people in the U.K. no longer working on their own farms, but working for wages, and having little ability to fashion their own plans of how to make a living and how one’s occupation figured in one’s life overall. There was, at the time, a significant transition for many people to more urban life and work in factories and mills, often in ways that worsened diet, domestic conditions, increased risk of being injured at work, and worsened overall quality of life. One might wonder why Smith did not have a more expansive view of the obligations of the state. There are a couple of points we can make briefly concerning this issue. First, consider the views Otteson discusses. In the numerous ‘social justice’ views that Otteson mentions, and others that have been influential in recent decades, we find that they often involve substantive notions of goods that the state is to provide, as a matter of justice. Some of the views are basically consequentialist (e.g., Singer); some concern what is required for people’s central capabilities to be realizable (e.g., Nussbaum); some focus on minimizing inequalities in distributive shares as an egalitarian end in itself (numerous theorists). Others claim that it is important to diminish inequality of wealth as a way of enabling persons to be free and equal participants in a democratic political order (e.g., Rawls). There are other social justice views, as well. A point that common to many such views is that the role of desert is to be diminished or minimized in regard to distributive justice because of the pervasive impact of luck, both natural and social. Luck drives out desert and there is a significant role for the state with respect to a principled allocation of distributive shares. Just as a historical observation, it is relevant that many seventeenth-​ and eighteenth-​century defenders of what plausibly can be called ‘liberal’ views

Resentment, justice, and desert  77 were more concerned with issues of political legitimacy, safeguards against arbitrariness, the reduction of state monopolies of various types, and the rule of law than with distributive shares. Smith or Locke, Hume, and others were not making the case for liberal democracy. Universal manhood suffrage was among the defeated doctrines in the Putney debates of the mid-​seventeenth century. Christopher Hill recounts Colonel Rich commenting upon universal manhood suffrage, ‘If the master and servant shall be equal electors…There may be a law enacted, that there shall be an equality of goods and estate’ (Hill 1961: 132). Even to the diverse opponents of monarchy this was regarded as nearly unthinkable. The liberal political order was understood as a certain kind of constitutional order with state institutions having specific powers and individuals having various liberties. Smith himself held: ‘The first and chief design of every system of government is to maintain justice; to prevent the members of society from encroaching on one another’s property, or seizing what is not their own.The design here is to give each one the secure and peaceable possession of his own property’ (LJ i.I 5). It was later that the liberal order was democratized. I am not offering that historical fact as the main reason Smith did not endorse a social justice view but he was a thinker who took seriously the ways that social and political institutions actually develop. In addition, Smith also had keen insight into the intersection of desert and luck. Smith seems to have recognized that the market and the social world in general do not reliably, systematically distribute shares on the basis of desert but that is not a sufficient ground for insisting on a kind of democratic egalitarianism. We might find his comfort with the class structure objectionable but a more important point is that he saw that there are many contexts in which merit-​based judgments are plausible and important, and the fact that desert is not found in what we might call ‘pure samples’ is not a sufficient reason to eliminate or even minimize the role of considerations of desert. Smith’s discussion of fortune suggests that he had a subtle, thoughtful appreciation of the complex intersection of luck and desert. Moreover, distributive egalitarianism, or even the view that inequalities should be minimized, would involve such extensive imposition on people’s liberties that there would be no end to the political wrangling over the allocation of shares.The ongoing institutionally supported and executed project of allocating shares would almost certainly result in some contraction of civil society, even if the distribution is intended to help people participate in civil society. In any case, it is not clear whether the outcome would be more, and more equal, effective participation. Otteson emphasizes the importance of the ‘Local Knowledge Argument’ in responding to social justice objections, claiming that ‘individuals have a better chance of knowing how best to use their own resources and what courses of action to take to achieve their goals, including their positive moral obligations’ (Otteson 2017: 133). ‘Smith’s argument holds that even policy carefully articulated by experts would likely not be able to generate the beneficence that leaving such matters to localized individuals could’ (Otteson 2017: 136). This is in addition to the fact that the state does what it does coercively. The

78  Jonathan Jacobs combination of lack of knowledge and the extent and reach of coercive apparatus is a very powerful one, and not in a reliably good way. Making distributive shares and what is done with them matters of state policy could diminish the opportunities there are for persons to acquire habits of prudence, accountability, and dispositions of self-​determination. As Darwall observes, Smith’s view of the equal dignity of individuals pro-​vides much of the moral underpinning for his praise of free markets in The Wealth of Nations. Market ex-​ changes occur between independent equals pursue their respective interests, not by ‘servile and fawning attention to obtain’ each others’ good will, but through mutually advantageous, respectful free exchange. (WN 26) (Darwall 1999: 145) Yet, Smith also says that the civil magistrate’s responsibility is not only preserving the public peace by restraining injustice, but of promoting the prosperity of the commonwealth by estab-​lishing good discipline, and by discouraging every sort of vice and impropriety; he may prescribe rules, therefore, which not only prohibit mutual injuries among fellow-​citizens, but command mutual good offices to a certain degree. (TMS II.ii. I.8. 81) This is indicative of the flexibility in Smith’s view. Perhaps libertarians find this ‘concession’ distasteful but it is part of Smith’s wisdom to have left some issues concerning the allocation of distributive shares a matter to be handled by a combination of the political process and the exigency of social conditions at a number of different levels of jurisdiction. It is not a single, comprehensive issue to be resolved in a fundamental constitutional moment setting out the order of distributive justice. One of the things most evident about theories of social justice is the wide range of contested conceptions of what justice requires, and the wide range of the evaluative bases for those claims. Smith’s conception of justice and the other main elements of morality, and his views on jurisprudence are open to government (the state or offices and agencies below the level of the state) having a role in addressing poverty, lack of education, and other aspects of the prosperity and civility of a society. Given the importance of beneficence in Smith’s moral theory, it is hardly likely that he would reject any governmental effort to assist the destitute, for example. But what actually is the argument that shows that certain specific forms of what we might call ‘state beneficence’ are so integral to the justice of the political order that they are to be realized as a matter of constitutional formulation? Perhaps in Smith’s time it was enough to argue for equality in terms of equal protection of the law and equal standing as citizens but now we see that equality has to be extended into substantive matters regarding distributive shares,

Resentment, justice, and desert  79 especially in states that enjoy enough wealth that they do not face a genuine threat of being unable to support their citizens at well above subsistence level. Let us suppose it is suggested that by expanding the scope of justice we are expanding the role for resentment in politics. A defender of social justice might welcome that, at least in the sense that we should feel anger or indignation over such inequalities of distributive shares that cause people to have very different degrees of political influence and very different life prospects. This is especially the case if those who are more fortunate have the power to make policies that further aggravate inequality in their favor. Along Smithian lines, we might insist that it is much clearer that considerations of desert and resentment have an anchoring in the context of criminal justice than that any specific principle of distributive shares has a deep anchoring in the conception of distributive justice. There are also important Smithian considerations in favor of being very careful with regard to how much ‘beneficence’ is built into a constitutional order. Granted, there are stubbornly unresolved debates about what should be criminalized and how we should punish. However, with regard to desert in criminal justice many matters of fault and harm, and thus, criminal liability, are fairly clear. Are there equally clear grounds for social justice aims having a fundamental place in the conception of a just state? It does not seem that there are, given the depth and breadth of disagreement regarding what should be the authoritative values and their mode of intended realization. That is not a reason for dropping the subject; but it is a reason for doubting whether a case has been made conclusively for building in specific, positive ends at the constitutional level. Then there are the knowledge problems, and the issues concerning closeness to the issues that Otteson emphasizes. Also, size can matter. In a small country, especially if it is ethnically and religiously homogeneous and moderately prosperous, it is possible to have a shared sense of national community, and it might be possible for the state to have the sorts of knowledge that might make it possible for government to have specific social justice aims and to be able to ascertain how well they are being realized. Stable consensus on such matters might be attainable. However, it might also mean that if civil society is effective as a locus of moral education, the beneficence that is encouraged might have the result that there is little need for the state to have an institutionalized project of social justice. In a much larger state, specially if it is not only liberal democratic but also genuinely pluralistic, the challenges of formulating widely endorsed social justice aims for the state can result in political constituencies generating a costly incoherence of a politics of competitive entitlement, something with which we are familiar in the U.S. It is a merit of Smith’s view that it takes the social world seriously in the ways that it does, and that it is attuned to the realities of society and history. He knew that social and economic reality is complex in ways that resist attempts to fully ‘institutionalize’ them through principle-​informed policy, and that a great deal of the benefit derived from the complex interactions of civil society is unplanned and is realized because no one is in charge. Principles of distributive

80  Jonathan Jacobs shares would inevitably impose upon the liberty enjoyed by participants in civil society. An open, dynamic civil society cannot endure in the absence of widely shared, stable dispositions of trust and trustworthiness. Those dispositions make possible the vast number and variety of interactions, exchanges, cooperation, and association constitutive of civil society, and those can, in turn, reinforce trust and trustworthiness. The more there are such types of activity and interaction, the greater the opportunities for individuals to interact as agents and to recognize and regard each other as agents.That enlarges the scope for voluntary activity and initiative in the many departments of life and increases the opportunity for matters to be addressed by civility rather than policy. Participation in civil society can encourage not only economic self-​ interest, competitiveness, and envy but also altruism, philanthropy, and public-​ spiritedness. Which of those are most common is not a straightforward result of policy though policy can support or impede such dispositions. When there are serious deficits of civility and mutual trust, resentments of the toxic variety become widespread and that can render politics more uncompromising and ideologically brittle. In considering the chief themes of both The Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations Jerry Muller writes, ‘The conceptual common denominator of Smith’s major works is the analysis of the ways in which social institutions tend to pattern character through their appeal to human passions’ (1993:  94). Dispositions of persons’ passions can also strongly influence the character of institutions. There is even an important, morally sound role for resentment. Granted, resentment is painful, disagreeable, and consciousness of our own ill-​desert is indeed painful. Moreover, resentment can be excessive and can motivate harmful, malicious behavior. However, that a sentiment is painful or that it can motivate impropriety or unjust conduct is not proof that we would be best off by trying to minimize it. Resentment is a support to justice and a form of communicating commitment to values in ways that show concern for others and motivate us ‘to protect the weak, to curb the violent, and to chastise the guilty’ (TMS II.ii.3.4. 79).

Notes 1 I discuss Smith’s view of resentment and its relevance to criminal justice and the justification of punishment in ‘Censure, Sanction, and the Moral Psychology of Resentment and Punitiveness’ in Penal Censure: Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory, a volume on the 40th anniversary of Andre Von Hirsch’s Doing Justice. For more details, see Jacobs (2019). Also, some issues in the second half of this paper are discussed more fully in The Liberal Polity and Criminal Sanction:  Can We Achieve Both Justice and Civility? forthcoming from Oxford University Press. In it I  examine the relation between criminal justice and other aspects of justice overall, arguing that, despite the over-​ criminalization and over-​punishment besetting contemporary criminal justice in the

Resentment, justice, and desert  81 U.S. and U.K., those are not attributable to values and principles of the liberal political order, but to a populism that is undermining them. Although there are significant forms of corruption in criminal justice, the most constructive and defensible remedies will come through fuller commitment to liberal principles and values rather than replacement of them. 2 Smith uses the expression ‘beats in time’ and similar expressions, such as ‘keeps time’, ‘in harmony’, and ‘perfect harmony’ frequently in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In fact, such expressions occur about a dozen times in the first quarter of the work. They occur elsewhere in it, as well, along with numerous references to the pitch of sentiments. 3 See Smith’s discussion of the Quaker who, upon being struck, hits back rather than turning his cheek. Smith says, ‘We should laugh and be diverted with his spirit, and rather like him the better for it’. But he goes on to add, ‘No action can properly be called virtuous, which is not accompanied with the sentiment of self-​approbation’ (TMS III.6.13. 178). The Quaker presumably is not self-​approving, and that detracts from the virtue of his conduct. He had not ‘acted properly from a just sense of what we proper to be done’ (TMS III.6.13. 178).

References Darwall, S. (1999) ‘Sympathetic Liberalism: Recent Work on Adam Smith’, Philosophy & Public Affairs, 28 (2): 139–​164. Debes, R. (2012) ‘Adam Smith on Dignity and Equality’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20 (1): 109–​140. Griswold, C. (1999) Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment, New York: Cambridge University Press. Hill, C. (1961) The Century of Revolution 1603–​1714, New York: W. W. Norton. Jacobs, J. (2019) ‘Censure, Sanction, and the Moral Psychology of Resentment and Punitiveness’, A. Bottoms and A. duBois-​Pedain (eds.), Penal Censure:  Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory, Oxford: Hart, 19–40. MacFie, A. L. (1967) ‘Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments’, in The Individual in Society: Papers on Adam Smith, Bristol: George Allen & Unwin, pp. 42–​58. Mill, J. S. (1979) Utilitarianism, George Sher (ed.), Indianapolis: Hackett. Muller, J. Z. (1993) Adam Smith in His Time and Ours, New York: Free Press. Otteson, J. (2017) ‘Adam Smith on Justice, Social Justice, and Ultimate Justice’, Social Philosophy & Policy, 34(1): 123–​143. Smith, A. (1976a) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphael and A. L. MacFie (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted Liberty Fund Press (1982). —​—​—​ (1976b) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,Vol. 1, R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner (eds.), Oxford:  Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. B. Todd, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1981). —​—​—​ (1978) Lectures on Jurisprudence, R. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael, and P. G. Stein (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted Liberty Fund (1982). Taylor, J. (2016) ‘Adam Smith and Feminist Ethics:  Sympathy, Resentment, and Solidarity’, in Ryan Patrick Hanley (ed.), Adam Smith: His Life, Thought, and Legacy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 354–​370.

Commutative, distributive, and estimative justice in Adam Smith Daniel B. Klein

This paper interprets Adam Smith on justice. It treats the justices beyond commutative justice—​namely, distributive justice and a third justice a name for which he does not give but is here called estimative. Consider two possible doctrines on the matter of how to talk “justice”: • •

Doctrine 1: We should not talk justice beyond commutative justice. Doctrine 2: We should embrace and talk all three senses of justice.

Smith’s chief indication of Doctrine 1 in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) is how he discourses about commutative justice as “justice” simpliciter, withholding until Part VII the exposition of the three senses of justice (269–​270.10).1,2 If Smith wanted to make obvious a preference for Doctrine 2 over Doctrine 1, he would have much earlier clarified and endorsed the polysemy of justice, and introduced “commutative.” Scholars have suggested variously that (1) Smith confined his justice talk to commutative justice,3 (2) he talked both commutative and distributive justice,4 and (3) he recognized and embraced the three senses of justice (e.g., Minowitz 1993, 49–​50; Griswold 1999, 232; see also Mitchell 1987, 417). I contend that Smith’s works, while providing many sentences that would seem to support Doctrine 1 and clearly emphasizing the special nature and the special importance of commutative justice, on fuller understanding, affirm talking all three senses of justice. As I show with copious citations, Smith abundantly practiced distributive and estimative justice talk. Here I confine myself to expositing the three justices in Smith, and leave to future consideration why he would generate such a contrariety, that is, why he would leave us with a paradoxical presentation of seemingly contrary doctrines on justice. I employ the following abbreviations: CJ = commutative justice DJ = distributive justice EJ = estimative justice

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  83

Commutative justice: not messing with other people’s stuff In TMS, commutative justice is one of those virtues you should practice. You practice it by “abstaining from what is another’s” (269.10, 297.11). I prefer to formulate it as not messing with other people’s stuff.5 The formulation has within it factors specific to the moment in time and place, factors that play a role in delineating, in that moment, “stuff,” “other people’s,” and “messing with.” Whether the plot of land is property, whether it is Jim’s, whether picking its flowers is stealing, whether certain terms are implicit in an agreement—​all depend on factors specific to the moment. Here we have uniformity amidst variety—​uniformity in the broad formulation, and variety in the specifics of “stuff,” “other people’s,” and “messing with.” But the veins of variety, of historicity, matter within elements of the general formulation, and matter only within limits. For example, in all moments in time and place, a soul owns the person it animates and comes with; one’s hand is one’s hand. The soul of Frederick Douglass owned, even in slavery to 1838, the person it animated and came with; the fact of Douglass’s slavery is the fact that other people messed with Douglass’s stuff. CJ “is neither free from historicity nor reducible to it” (Griswold 2006, 185; see likewise Haakonssen 1981, 43–​44). The guts of CJ are most fully described in TMS as follows: The most sacred laws of justice, therefore, those whose violation seems to call loudest for vengeance and punishment, are the laws which guard the life and person of our neighbour; the next are those which guard his property and possessions; and last of all come those which guard what are called his personal rights, or what is due to him from the promises of others. (84.2) The “most sacred laws” description does not include reputation (nor does 339.32), but elsewhere Smith does include reputation as something that is covered by CJ. Perhaps Smith’s inclusions were less than whole-​hearted. Besides the inconstancy, there is the more important point that, short of inciting arrest or assault by tarnishing another’s “simple esteem” (Pufendorf 2009, 94), reputation does not fit what Smith says about CJ (Bonica 2013). I downgrade the standing of reputation as part of CJ. The “most sacred laws” description communicates the idea that the chief concern in CJ is the injunction against initiating any messing with someone else’s stuff. What CJ says about just response to messing is secondary, and is not treated in the present paper.

The equal-​equal jural relationship (E-​E) and the superior-​inferior jural relationship (S-​i) The concept of CJ affords us the distinction between two kinds of jural relationships. By “jural relationships,” I  mean uncloaked, publicly displayed,

84  Daniel B. Klein conventional relations in which the initiation of physical force (or threat thereof) is potentially exercised. Following especially Hume,6 Smith insisted on accepting two fundamental and distinct kinds of jural relationships: 1 The equal-​equal jural relationship, denoted as E-​E. 2 The superior-​inferior jural relationship, denoted as S-​i. In expositing CJ, Smith signals E-​E by saying “among equals” or “for equals” or “from equals” (notably at TMS 80–​82.7–​9). Here, “equals” means jural equals. Within E-​E, all are equal as regards CJ. Each is expected to practice that virtue, and each expects it from fellow equals. The criminal acts of ordinary criminals also occur in E-​E. In robbing or burglarizing, the ordinary criminal does not step outside of E-​E. Acting within E-​E, he simply fails in the duty of CJ. Amid his exposition of CJ in the context of E-​E, Smith pauses to turn out from E-​E. He averts the reader from any misapprehension that what he says about conduct within E-​E also goes for conduct within S-​i. The paragraph begins: “A superior may, indeed, sometimes, with universal approbation, oblige those under his jurisdiction to behave…with a certain degree of propriety to one another” (81.8). Smith signifies the meaning of “a superior” by methodically varying terms throughout the paragraph, starting with “A superior” and then substituting in turn “The laws,” “The civil magistrate,” “the sovereign,” and “a law-​giver.” Smith apprehends a special player, a jural superior, one who is special in regards to jural relationships, as opposed to someone who happens, within E-​E, to be a merely comparative superior: Sir Isaac Newton was a comparative superior but not a jural superior (Diesel 2021). A jural superior is a player whose actions may overtly traverse the lines of CJ, as well as affect the locations of those lines in the historical context. A superior faces bounds on his behavior, of course, but the point here is that he is not bound by the rules of CJ in the same way that people in E-​E are. Another way to put S-​i would be the governor-​governed relationship.The distinction between E-​E and S-​i allows us to formulate a principle that perhaps illuminates why the historicity inside of “stuff,”“other people’s,” and “messing with” does not render CJ amorphous and thoroughly malleable. We understand our formulations such that the following holds: a sort of action is a CJ violation in S-​i if and only if is it a CJ violation in  E-​E.

The specialness of commutative justice Smith speaks of “that remarkable distinction” between CJ and all the other virtues.7 CJ’s specialness may be enumerated in six points: 1 Unlike the rules of all the other virtues, the rules of CJ are “precise and accurate” (TMS 327.1). Items (2) through (6) depend on (or are co-​extensive with) the “precise and accurate” feature, and therefore are, also, among the virtues, unique to CJ:

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  85 2 The “messing” actions it treats are mostly aptly seen as ones we are not to do; as a corollary, doing nothing (passiveness) is often sufficient to fulfilling CJ (TMS 82.9). 3 Feedback on one’s performance of CJ is only negative (or neutral); one does not receive positive feedback on fulfilling CJ (TMS 82.9, 330.8). 4 In E-​E, an observance of the rules of CJ is “indispensable,” in that otherwise society stagnates or degenerates (TMS 175.11, 86.4, 211.16). 5 In E-​E, we feel a stricter obligation (and a higher presumption) to observe CJ than we do for other virtues; violations provoke resentment, and the duties associated with CJ’s rules may even be forced (TMS 79–​80.5, 175.10, 269.10).8 6 The formulation of CJ admits of a flipside: you practice CJ by not messing with other people’s stuff. The flipside is others not messing with your stuff. That flipside is by Smith usually signified by either of two names: in E-​E, “security,” and in S-​i, “liberty” (sometimes “natural liberty”).

The justices table Smith’s major paragraph on justice (TMS 269–​270.10) I call the Justices Paragraph. In it Smith distinguishes and describes the three senses of justice. In all of its senses, justice pertains to an action, but the “action” may be non-​muscular, such as an act of deciding to do something, and even quite notional or hypothetical, such as an act of maintaining a certain attitude or sentiment in regard to some object. An action implies an actor. Next I introduce a figure that that reader will not find to be readily comprehensible. Much of the remainder of the present paper is devoted to explaining its scheme and different cells. Refer to Figure 6.1, which I call “the Justices Table.” Figure 6.1 has columns CJ, DJ, and EJ. But what it is that is categorized by, for example, the CJ column is matters of CJ. Using the word jurisprudence playfully, we may understand the columns as commutative jurisprudence, distributive jurisprudence, and estimative jurisprudence. Indeed, the abbreviations CJ, DJ, and EJ are often best understood with those significations. The rows correspond to different types of actors. The first row speaks of the ordinary, non-​government person, an “equal,” acting in E-​E.The second row also speaks of an equal, and again acting in a sort of E-​E, but a special sort, namely, as an employee, officer, or owner of a governmental organization, such as a school, a facility, a department, or an agency. The third row is an actor qua superior, the capital S in S-​i.The fourth row represents the actor qua inferior, the little i in S-​i. Such inferiority would seem to be primarily or even exclusively passive.

Commutative justice among equals (cell A1) In the Justices Paragraph, Smith writes: “The first sense of the word coincides with what Aristotle and the Schoolmen call commutative justice, and with what Grotius calls the justitia expletrix, which consists in abstaining from what is

86  Daniel B. Klein

Justices characterized in terms of someone’s own. The actor acts as …

Commutative Justice

An Equal


Other’s Own: Grammar-like stuff (However, Smith frequently included reputation.)

Government actor as a sort of Equal, not qua Superior A Superior


Other’s Own: Grammar-like stuff


Inferior’s Own: Grammar-like stuff

An inferior


Not applicable


Distributive Justice (B1)

Actor’s Own: Social resources available for distributing. Includes: grammar-like stuff; social capital; approbation; assistance; etc. (B2)

Actor’s Own: Social resources (as above in B1)


Not applicable (B4)

Actor’s Own: Social resources (as above in B1)

Estimative Justice (C)

Actor’s Own: Estimations (esteem, valuations, regard, appreciation, etc.) of:

1. Objects external to his/her self 2. Objects internal to his/her self: one’s own judgments, habits, sentiments, purposes, estimations, intentions, and interests. EJ recursivity: The estimation of an object can be treated as another object of estimation.

Figure 6.1 The justices table.

another’s, and in doing voluntarily whatever we can with propriety be forced to do” (269.10). Of this sense of justice, Smith, in the same paragraph, says: “This is that justice which I have treated of above…,” meaning especially in Part II, Section II, “Of Justice and Beneficence” (78–​92).

Distributive justice among equals (cell B1) In Smith’s famous parable, the now-​rich poor man’s son trades and contracts for “his luxury and caprice.” In so doing, he inevitably renders benefits upon those who “would in vain have expected it from his humanity and his justice”

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  87 (184.10). Benefits flow from CJ-​abiding transactions, but could not have been expected from “his justice.” That is, from his distributive justice (DJ). Smith says that DJ consists “in the becoming use of what is our own” (270.10). In the Justices Paragraph, Smith writes that DJ consists in proper beneficence, in the becoming use of what is our own, and in the applying it to those purposes either of charity or generosity, to which it is most suitable, in our situation, that it should be applied. In this sense justice comprehends all the social virtues. (269–​270.10) The elaboration that Smith gives to the noun “use” helps to authorize us, when talking of DJ, to think of the use in question as a sort of distributing. We have “what is our own,” that is, a set of resource, and, Smith says, we are to apply it to purposes that are most suitable, in our situation. Your conformance to DJ consists in how you distribute your resources. As for “what is our own,” as perceived through the lens of DJ, we step toward the loose, vague, and indeterminate, and toward the metaphorical.Whereas the “stuff ” of CJ consists in the tangibles of property, person, and promises due, the stuff of our own of DJ includes that stuff but also other resources, such as your energy, attention, assistance, approbation, love, privacy, influence, and so on, so long as we understand them to include a performative social element, a distributing of social resources. These things could be rendered in terms of “stuff ” in the CJ sense, since, say, approbation involves a use of one’s tongue or hands, but it is more natural to allow approbation etc. to be a species of “one’s own” when talking DJ. DJ, Smith says, “comprehends all the social virtues.” DJ tends to view your act of distributing as an act that is social in that you are distributing resources to people (or their interests). It might be the case that you fall short in DJ when you fail to serve, assist, or applaud some praiseworthy person, or when you fail to shun, reprimand, or blame some blameworthy person. The personalization of the ones to whom DJ is done often becomes vague and indeterminate. But the tendency of DJ is to see DJ as something done to a person or persons (including, possibly, to the actor himself or herself). Here is another passage, from the Justices Paragraph, describing DJ: In another sense we are said not to do justice to our neighbour unless we conceive for him all that love, respect, and esteem, which his character, his situation, and his connexion with ourselves, render suitable and proper for us to feel, and unless we act accordingly. It is in this sense that we are said to do injustice to a man of merit who is connected with us, though we abstain from hurting him in every respect, if we do not exert ourselves to serve him and to place him in that situation in which the impartial spectator would be pleased to see him. (269.10, italics added) I italicize “and unless we act accordingly” and “exert ourselves” to emphasize that DJ entails acting, and is done to persons.

88  Daniel B. Klein TMS: equitable justice 62.2; so unjust are mankind 98.2; no just pretensions 115.4; justly merited the blame 116.5; act of justice 117.8; injustice of unmerited censure 121.15; justest eulogy 123.19; has so unjustly been bestowed 131.32; the deformity of injustice 137.4; unjust preference 142.13; what is just and unjust in human conduct 160.11; with exact justness 162.1; magnanimity, generosity, and justice 167.9; justly complain 172.4; justly refuse to lend 174.9; just magnanimity 176.11; from his humanity or his justice 184.10; perfectly just and proper 228.2; is justly condemned 244.16; is justly blamed 246.21; what he thinks, justice 255.35; unjust superiority 257.41; injustice which he does to himself 261.52; injustice of popular clamour 283.29; That other species of justice 297.11; exposed to unjust censure 311.10; the general rules of justice 330.8; just reason 336.26; justly condemned him 339.30; do them justice 339.31. WN: justly complained of 726.9. EPS: justly renowned 62.14; justly indeed 70.25; justly exposed 77.35; just occasion of suspicion 247.7; just panegyric 254.16.

Figure 6.2 Thirty-​six samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as distributive justice.

The justice that is due is due not upon any grammar-​like rules, but upon the rules of what is pleasing to the impartial spectator. Such rules for what is due, or duties, are aesthetic. The rules for what is pleasing to the impartial spectator are like rules for what is beautiful. Fulfilling such duties is becoming. And the adjective becoming itself suggests personal development confirmed in the reaction of others, confirmed in sympathy. Becoming is a social affair. Figure 6.2 indicates 36 samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as distributive justice.

The parallel between writing rules and moral rules Smith draws a parallel between writing rules and moral rules: The rules of [commutative] justice may be compared to the rules of grammar; the rules of the other virtues, to the rules which critics lay down for the attainment of what is sublime and elegant in composition. The one, are precise, accurate, and indispensable. The other, are loose, vague, and indeterminate, and present us rather with a general idea of the perfection we ought to aim at, than afford us any certain and infallible directions for acquiring it. A  man may learn to write grammatically by rule, with the most absolute infallibility; and so, perhaps, he may be taught to act justly. But there are no rules whose observance will infallibly lead us to the attainment of elegance or sublimity in writing; though there are some which may help us, in some measure, to correct and ascertain the vague ideas which we might otherwise have entertained of those perfections. And there are no rules by the knowledge of which we can infallibly be taught to act upon all occasions with prudence, with just magnanimity, or proper beneficence: though there are some which may enable us to correct and ascertain, in several respects, the imperfect ideas which we might otherwise have entertained of those virtues. (175–​176.11) Figure 6.3 depicts the parallel. The parallel is reiterated by Smith at the start of the final section of TMS (327.1–​2).

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  89 Nature of the rules “precise and accurate”

Rules of Writing Rules of Conduct (Morals) Feedback on how well your performance accords with

“loose, vague, and indeterminate”


“rules which critics lay down for the attainment of what is sublime and elegant in composition”

Commutative justice (CJ)

All other virtues: Distributive justice (DJ) and Estimative justice (EJ)

Only negative (or neutral)

Negative and positive

Figure 6.3 The parallel between the rules of writing and those of morals.

Suppose you are a student with an assignment to turn in. If you turn in a blank piece of paper, though it commits no grammatical errors, you get an F. You must show regard not merely for the rules of grammar but also other rules of good writing. Likewise, in sitting still and doing nothing, you might fulfill CJ. But the rules of prudence, magnanimity, beneficence, friendship, and so on are not grammar-​ like, but organized around propriety. Propriety is the “fair to middling” or “just OK” region within your reference group; performance above propriety is praiseworthy (positive) and below blameworthy (negative) (TMS 26.9, 80.6). Sitting still and doing nothing, you must eventually flunk prudence and the other non-​grammar-​like virtues, even if you satisfy CJ.

Estimative justice, in E-​E, for objects external to the estimator In the Justices Paragraph, after treating CJ and DJ, Smith continues on to a third sense of the word justice, a sense that he does not name, and that I call estimative justice (EJ):9 There is yet another sense in which the word justice is sometimes taken, still more extensive than either of the former, though very much a–​kin to

90  Daniel B. Klein the last; and which runs too, so far as I know, through all languages. It is in this last sense that we are said to be unjust, when we do not seem to value any particular object with that degree of esteem, or to pursue it with that degree of ardour which to the impartial spectator it may appear to deserve or to be naturally fitted for exciting. Thus we are said to do injustice to a poem or a picture, when we do not admire them enough, and we are said to do them more than justice when we admire them too much. (270.10) Notice, first, that EJ is said to be “very much a-​kin to the last,” that is, to DJ. The kinship, I believe, is, at least in part, that EJ is like DJ in having rules that are loose, vague, and indeterminate; in often finding expression in figurative language; in very often entailing difficult and complex knowledge problems; and in being susceptible to both positive and negative feedback. Smith says that EJ is “still more extensive” than CJ or DJ. But its extreme extensibility does not render it totally amorphous. Estimative jurisprudence has the following logic: 1 Jim, the estimator, estimates an object; 2 Mary, the estimative jurisprude, estimates the justness of Jim’s estimation. Like commutative jurisprudence and distributive jurisprudence, estimative jurisprudence is still about a person, Jim, taking an action, if only in a loose, figurative sense of “taking” and a broad sense of “action.” The action is that of estimating the object. Smith uses the EJ logic quite pervasively. One indication of such pervasiveness is that the noun object(s) occurs 228 times in the final 1790 edition of TMS. In the preceding block quotation, Smith gives two examples of an object for estimation: “a poem or a picture.” Smith says that Jim “does injustice” to them when he values or pursues them too little, and “more than justice” when he admires them too much. In either case we may say he estimates them unjustly.

Estimative justice, in E-​E, for objects internal to the estimator In the Justices Paragraph, after “a poem or a picture,” Smith turns to objects internal to our own self. He writes: “In the same manner we are said to do injustice to ourselves when we appear not to give sufficient attention to any particular object of self–​interest” (270.10). An object of self-​interest might be one of Jim’s own actions, interpretations, judgments, beliefs, habits, sentiments, purposes, or intentions. Anything of which consciousness is conscious is an object: an object of consciousness. Jim estimates the forest. But the estimation may be turned into an object of estimation: Jim estimates Jim’s estimation of the forest. And then, at yet another moment, there is the Jim who estimates Jim’s estimation of Jim’s estimation of

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  91 the forest. Earlier in TMS Smith writes: “The second is the agent, the person whom I properly call myself, and of whose conduct, under the character of a spectator, I was endeavouring to form some opinion” (113.6). Of these Jims, Smith says: “But that the judge should, in every respect, be the same with the person judged of, is as impossible, as that the cause should, in every respect, be the same with the effect” (113.6).Think of the Jims corresponding to the loops of a spiral, with a distinct subscript on each Jim. Such iteration can also be applied to Smith’s analogy of cause and effect. We can inquire after the cause of the cause of the effect. Some say both spirals lead to God. Treating an idea as the object of estimation, and applying EJ to such estimation, resembles the pragmatist idea that to say an idea is “true” is to say that it is worth holding, believing, giving weight or consideration to. For any action, such as buying toothpaste, it is natural for us to look for the knowing that inheres in the action: we understand that people buy toothpaste because they know of its utility to them in cleaning teeth and freshening breath. But EJ invites us to turn the matter around, to see action or choice in knowing. Knowing entails interpretations, but, moreover, judgment regarding many things. We roll up the manifold responsibilities of judgment into an assessment as to how responsibly one estimates some idea X, how responsibly one forms and keeps associated beliefs. Jim’s believing X entails not only an estimation on Jim’s part of idea X; it also points to another object for estimation: Jim’s responsibility or scruple in believing X.

Tri-​layered justice: EJ blankets DJ, which blankets CJ It might be contended that Jim’s esteem is a sort of resource, a part of Jim’s “own,” and that EJ consists in Jim’s distributing his esteem to various objects. It might be said, then, that EJ, too, is “the becoming use of what is our own.” In this view, DJ swallows up EJ. But I incline against such a view. In the three places in which Smith explicitly writes of “distributive justice,” it is associated with “proper beneficence,” “charity or generosity,” “the social virtues” (269.10), “the social and beneficent Virtues” (Fragment on justice,TMS, 390), giving praise that is due, and again giving charity (in examples in LJ[A]‌, 9). It seems that the objects of DJ attach to a set of persons; DJ would not apply to a poem, a picture, or an idea abstracted from any particular set of persons. Moreover, to say that we have a supply of esteem points to distribute to the objects of the world usually works poorly, even as loose metaphor. Such a metaphor would need some notion of the budget constraint on esteem points, as well as some sense of the relevant objects over which such points are to be distributed. But, for EJ, we are talking about all manner of objects, including ideas. But ideas are not merely large in number, they are innumerable. As interpretative creatures, we create ideas as we go, such that one idea soon gives rise to others. Ideas and sentiments form concatenations, and a single tweak or addition might render the larger concatenation deserving of much different estimation.

92  Daniel B. Klein The tweak or addition makes for a new and distinct concatenation. Whereas DJ has a sense of confronting a robust set of objects—​people, particularly those “connected” to us—​over which one is to distribute one’s social resources, with EJ we do not have much sense of a complete set of objects. EJ is a more elementary operator than DJ; the minimal elements of EJ do not of themselves make for a distributing of one set of things (resources) to another set of things (objects). The minimal nature of EJ makes the requirements of its operation weaker and hence makes EJ “still more extensive” than DJ. In discussing the authority of the general rules of morality, Smith says that moral faculties, though a set of sensibilities, “bestow censure and applause upon all the other principles of our nature… It belongs to our moral faculties, in the same manner to determine when the ear ought to be soothed, when the eye ought to be indulged, when the taste ought to be gratified, when and how far every other principle of our nature ought either to be indulged or restrained” (165.5). If one justice swallows another, it is EJ that swallows up both DJ and CJ. EJ is like a whale that swallows up all objects presented to its view. But DJ and CJ do not disappear inside the whale of EJ, because we too are inside the whale. There, within the whale, we perceive a rather clearly formed CJ and a vaguely formed DJ. The relationship might be diagrammed as in Figure 6.4. The EJ circle represents the outer boundaries of one’s consciousness. Points within that space represent instances of human conduct. Any particular point is an instance of conduct, or a human action. The action can be assessed through three lenses: EJ, DJ, and CJ. But it is not always the case that all three are pertinent. Suppose Jim is deciding whether to donate $500 to a certain charity.We, as commutative jurisprude, would certainly be ready and able to comment on the CJ aspect of Jim’s decision. But, really, it is hardly pertinent: whether Jim




Figure 6.4 Tri-​layered justice: CJ within DJ within EJ.

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  93 does or does not make the donation, there is no real issue of CJ; the CJ aspect of donating to the charity is uncontested and uninteresting. Thus, that point is outside of the CJ circle, but within the DJ circle. The three circles are drawn to convey the nested nature of the pertinence of each lens of justice. By the way, such uninterestingness is on display when X tweets something obnoxious (but not violence inciting), and a journalist asks Y, an affiliate of X, what he thought of what X tweeted, and Y says: “I believe that everyone has the right to his opinion (or right to free speech).” That response is a dodge: the journalist asked Y to apply his DJ lens to X’s conduct, but instead he applied his CJ lens. Now consider a real matter of CJ, such as breach of contract or a trespass. Any matter of CJ occasions a pertinent application of the DJ lenses. When Jim decides whether to mess with Albert’s stuff, Jim is necessarily making a decision about the use of some of his own stuff (his hands, time, energy, attention, reputation, etc.); any matter that a commutative jurisprude takes up can also be taken up by a distributive jurisprude: is Jim, in stealing bread from Albert, making a becoming use of his own? But, again, the converse is not true: suppose Jim glimpses Albert flailing in a river, and leaps to his aid. That action can be treated as DJ, but CJ does not pertain in an important way. As far as CJ goes, Jim is simply and obviously satisfying the background default of not messing with anyone’s stuff. Every social act we take is making a use, a distribution, of our own, and, since we are under a perpetual duty to make a becoming use of our own, we may ask how we are doing, DJ-​wise. But few of our social acts raise any issue as to whether we are messing with someone else’s stuff. Yes, we are under perpetual duty to mind CJ, but that duty is of a very different nature, and usually is satisfied so simply, completely, and obviously that it isn’t an issue at all.Your inner distributive jurisprude continually has eyes on what you are doing, and is constantly expressing to you approval or disapproval, if only of slight weightiness, as you negotiate the misty lines of propriety. But your inner commutative jurisprude is merely on-​call, and gets called in only when there arises hazards to the precise and accurate lines of CJ, hazards that trigger our violation-​detector to emit alarm noises and flash red lights. Likewise, any matter of DJ occasions a pertinent application of the EJ lenses: any decision about the use of one’s own reflects estimations of objects. The diagram, then, depicts the moral embeddedness of a social problem: issues of CJ point to questions of DJ, which point to questions of EJ. Meanwhile, actions lacking any social impingement—​that do not present a social issue—​say, estimating a poem or a picture, may be regarded outside the DJ circle but within the EJ circle.10 One might take a relatively expansive view of “social impingement” and expand the DJ circle toward EJ; such considerations would prompt a discussion of what it means for one person to have a “connexion” with another (269.10). Figure 6.5 indicates 57 samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as estimative justice in E-​E.

94  Daniel B. Klein TMS: just and proper, and suitable to their objects 16.1; the extent and superior justness 20.3; as just, as delicate and as precisely suited to its objects 20.4; nothing can be more just 90.11; Its selfevident justice 93.4; a more just sense 96.5; with some justice 97.2; the justest, the noblest, and most generous sentiments 106.3; most unjust resentment 107.4; just and equitable maxim 108.6; a just comparison 135.2; sense of propriety and justice 136.3; the just standard 139.8; applied with great justness 150.31; a just observation 150.32; not altogether just 157.3; those unjust passions 158.4;They Are Justly Regarded 161; may much more justly be denominated 165.6; justly places a double con‡idence 170.13; if just, and reasonable 187.11; so justly expose them 206-207.9; sometimes most unjustly 228.2; is justly called 233.16; this just indignation 240.9; seems justly to merit 240.9; justly feel themselves 249.27; the justness of his taste 252.30; sober and just esteem 254.32; justly observed 318.4; may very justly be considered 319.6; may justly be considered 320.9; uncommon and surprising justness 323.10; justness as well as delicacy 329.6; cannot indeed justly be considered 335.21; decisions to be just 339.33. WN: may justly be considered 140.16; may very justly be regarded 282.16; just reason 621.73; justly observes 744.21; any just judgment 782.50; is perfectly just 873.9. EPS: it is just 33.5; with justify them 48.1; justly conceived 65.18; justness of his corrections 88.55; unjust degradation 103.74; justly enough apprehended 120.1; justly passed 128.10; justly changed 128.10; justly observes 150.50; justi‡ied by examples 232.1; just arrangement 244.4; justness of their criticisms 248.7; just proportion 248.7; just arrangement 249.9; any just idea 251.12.

Figure 6.5 Fifty-​seven samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as estimative justice in E-​E.

The topsy-​turvy of justice paramountcy In one sense CJ is paramount, because of its manifold specialness, its pillar-​like importance, and its immanence in E-​E; it is the justice that most often most immediately calls loudly against violations. But in another sense it is lowliest because it is always dependent on DJ and EJ, and it is answerable to them; they are higher than CJ in that they provide the warrants for the presumption we give to CJ and can override CJ (i.e., it is they that authorize exceptions to CJ). The dependence of CJ on DJ and EJ throws an interesting light on Smith’s remark that CJ is “what is peculiarly called justice” (TMS 82.9). Is it not peculiar that we call “justice” something which is some instances is unjust in a larger sense?

A comprehensive perfection of EJ would be yet something else again The operations of estimative jurisprudence can be applied to Jim’s estimation of a poem, a picture, or any object whatever. I see Smith’s discussion of EJ as consisting of, first, his expositing of the basic operation, and then, second, his saying that, according to Plato, as EJ may be applied to any of Jim’s estimations, if Jim made an A+ in what seemed to be for practical purposes every application of EJ, Jim’s conduct would be perfect. (One might think of the A+ as a grade on Jim’s eternal report-​card, issued, as it were, in “the life to come.”) Smith explains that in the EJ sense “we are said to do injustice to ourselves when we appear not to give sufficient attention to any particular object of self-​ interest” (270.10, italics added), and then proceeds to speak of “the perfection

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  95 of every sort of virtue,” which might be termed Platonic justice. I  see EJ as an operation pervasively applicable and indeed pointing toward unfathomed depths.11 But in itself the operation of EJ is minimal. It may be applied to some of Jim’s estimations without treating the entirety of Jim’s conduct. Even a quite imperfect person might estimate an object quite justly (cf. Griswold 1999, 232; Smith 2013, 785; Raphael 2001, 115, 123).

A jural equal who is of the governmental sector (cells A2, B2, C) We proceed to the second row of the Justices Table.The row is labeled: government actor as a sort of Equal, not qua Superior.This row accommodates governmental actors as owners or agents of owners of specific government resources, such as a street, a park, or a university. In such capacity, the government-​sector actors act as an equal among equals. Thus this row basically follows the grooves of the previous row, for non-​governmental equals. Consider George Mason University, the state university in Virginia at which I am employed. I would be inclined to say that the university and its resources are owned (as opposed to being unowned), and I would be inclined to say that the owners are the residents (“the people”) of Virginia. An alternative would be to say that the university is owned by the government of Virginia. But do the people own the government? Perhaps that makes sense. It is obvious that government-​sector ownership is usually quite different from normal private-​sector ownership, and that is one reason for breaking out a separate row. But it is the similar “equal-​ness” that is important here: I suggest that such actors—​such as the Provost of the university—​do not act as jural superiors. As owners or the agents of the owners of George Mason University, such actors make rules for the use of resources that they own.Yes, they may be huge players with tremendous economic and cultural influence; yes, they subsist greatly on tax-​dollars, which are garnered by the initiation of coercion, but that, as it were, is outside their sphere of action as contained in the second row of the Justices Table. As an employee of George Mason University, I subsist in part on such tax-​dollars, but I hardly think that that makes me either a jural superior or an initiator of coercion. In the narrow jural sense that concerns us here, such government-​sector actors do not mess with other people’s stuff (unless, of course, they do, like a burglar).12

The actions of a jural superior, in terms of CJ, DJ, and EJ (cells A3, B3, C) The contrast to the equal-​equal relationship (E-​E) is the superior-​inferior relationship (S-​i). By definition, any actor that did not ever practice the open initiation of the violation of CJ would not be a jural superior. Thus, not only does a superior pursue rules that are beyond the grammar of CJ, he violates that grammar. A superior does things, often with authority, often with a legitimacy,

96  Daniel B. Klein and sometimes with the approval of the impartial spectator, that would be criminal of an equal or neighbor. In S-​i relations, the CJ-​flipside, that is, others not messing with your stuff, Smith generally called “liberty” (sometimes, “natural liberty”). Smith expressed the flipside relationship between CJ and liberty quite clearly when he wrote of two government interventions: “Both laws were evident violations of natural liberty, and therefore unjust…” (WN, 530.16, italics added). Likewise, Smith acknowledges that government requirements to build a firewall and restrictions on the issuance of small-​denomination bank notes are, in each case, “a violation of natural liberty,” while he endorses them (WN, 324.94). Edwin Cannan affirmed the flipside relationship when he introduced the following entry to the index of WN: “Natural liberty, violations of, unjust.”13 One might ask: but if the boss at work has powers and prerogatives, and a superior authority, and yet does not violate CJ, why can we not say the same for the magistrate? The magistrate also enjoys a superior authority. His authority also resides within an organization of sorts, the polity, the rules of which, like those of the private organization, people are free to exit from and submit to voluntarily. The suggestion, it seems to me, implies a configuration of ownership wherein the collectivity of the polity owns some kind of substratum upon which all privately owned property within the polity depends. Up from the collectively owned substratum stems a complex of contract, a complex that envelops those existing within the boundaries of the polity. If we accept such configuration of ownership, the reasoning has force; the polity would be organizational in that sense, and duly made laws that do things like, say, restrict the rate of interest that a lender can charge would not be violations of CJ. CJ “consists in abstaining from what is another’s” (269.10), and, on the collectivist configuration, the owners of the vast club (e.g., the United States of America) would be satisfying that requirement. The club rules are their stuff, not some separate affairs of others. I submit, however, that Smith tended to reject any such collectivist configuration. We may detect Smith’s rejection of the collectivist configuration, for example, where he writes in WN of “the violence of law” and related expressions,14 and in TMS of “fortunate violence” (253.30). Knud Haakonssen (1981, 96)  notes that Smith recognized that taxation “involved forcible infringement of liberty, privacy, and property of individuals.” Smith often declares duly enacted laws to be violation of the simple rules of CJ—​as in many of the passages indicated in Figure 6.6—​and violation of CJ’s flipside in S-​i, liberty. In this connection Smith even grows sarcastic, as when he writes about Englishmen’s “boasted liberty” and how they “pretended to be free” (WN 660.47; 326.100). Following Hume, Smith rejected social contract (LJ 315–​ 324, 402–​ 404, 434–​ 435), instead understanding political authority on Hume’s conventionalist ideas. Perhaps relevant here is Smith’s footnote in the Justices Paragraph regarding distributive justice: “The distributive justice of Aristotle

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  97 TMS: laws of police, not of justice 341.37 WN: consistent with liberty and justice 145.27; natural liberty and justice 157.59; such violent injustice 326.100; and therefore unjust 530.16; ordinary laws of justice 539.39; Unjust, however, as such prohibitions 582.44; the natural system of perfect liberty and justice 606.44; of perfect justice 669.17; perfect liberty and perfect justice 674.28 [twice]; the ordinary principles of justice 826.6.

Figure 6.6 Twelve samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as commutative justice in S-​i.

is somewhat different. It consists in the proper distribution of rewards from the public stock of a community” (TMS 269.10n*). Peter Minowitz (1993, 50) comments: “Smith’s decision here to employ a footnote, especially given the paucity of footnotes in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, suggest the distance he wishes to put between his own position and a more political approach to justice.”15 The configuration Smith subscribed to is non-​collectivist. On the Smithian configuration, usury restrictions initiate coercion against people who have not themselves coerced anyone. Usury restrictions do not abstain from what is another’s. The affairs of the usurer and his trading partner are, CJ-​wise, separate from the community, but they are not separate in other terms. The atomism of CJ does not imply atomism in the other justices; it does not imply an ethical atomism. Figure  6.4 showed CJ nested within DJ nested within EJ:  we are ethically embedded. As numerous scholars have noted,16 Smith taught a presumption against violation of CJ by superiors, a presumption of liberty, but the presumption admits of exceptions. In fact, Smith endorsed the usury restrictions of his society. In pondering an exception to the principle, Smith is sometimes found talking of the polity in organizational terms: The expence of government to the individuals of a great nation is like the expence of management to the joint tenants of a great estate, who are all obliged to contribute in proportion to their respective interests in the estate. In the observation or neglect of this maxim consists, what is called the equality or inequality of taxation. (WN 825.3)17 But such talk is figurative. Smith uses such figures, not to trace out the lines of CJ, but to explore the vague rules of estimative justice, which may indeed trump CJ. Indeed, on the page preceding the “great estate” passage, Smith speaks of “the people contributing a part of their own private revenue in order to make up a public revenue to the sovereign or commonwealth” (WN 824.21, italics added). Smith’s talk of the polity as a great estate is metaphorical in a manner rather like when he suggests, in espousing “the liberal system,” that the different states of Europe “so far resemble the different provinces of a great empire” (WN

98  Daniel B. Klein WN: the just liberty 138.12; a just proportion 620.71; as just as it is generous and liberal 678.38; It is unjust that 815.3; without any injustice 815.4; without injustice 815.5; The evident justice and utility 827.7; equally just and equitable 834.20; most unjust and unequal 893.55; not contrary to justice 944.88; ought justly to be charged 946.92.

Figure 6.7 Eleven samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as estimative justice in S-​i.

538.39). Figure 6.7 indicates 11 samples of Smith’s “just” talk that may aptly be understood as estimative justice in S-​i. Earlier I quoted Smith referring to two laws that “were evident violations of natural liberty, and therefore unjust.” Smith then adds directly: “and they were both too as impolitick as they were unjust. It is the interest of every society, that things of this kind should never either be forced or obstructed” (WN 530.16). I propose that we read this as Smith saying: both laws violated CJ, and, moreover, were estimatively unjust. Again, Smith allows that EJ can trump CJ. He is pointing out that in the matter of the two laws referred to, that is not the case. Likewise, when Smith allows that taxes may be used to defray the expenses of roads or schools “without any injustice” (WN 815.4; and “without injustice” in 815.5), that is not a CJ commentary on either taxation or such spending, but an EJ commentary on such spending (or perhaps on the DJ of a government-​ sector equal). Just prior, Smith writes of related matters in terms of propriety (“There is no impropriety” 814–​815.2): propriety is a feature of the aesthetic sort of rules that are beyond CJ; it is not an important feature of CJ’s grammarlike sort of rules. And directly following the second “without injustice,” in his final words on schooling, he says that the expense might perhaps be left “with equal propriety” entirely to voluntary action (WN 815.5; on this matter see Drylie 2020). Smith’s bracketing of the two without-​injustice remarks with two propriety remarks signals that he was talking justice beyond CJ. In the Justices Table, in the superior row, for the DJ column I write “Not applicable.” I propose that we see Jim as not owning anything in his capacity as a jural superior, and therefore DJ not applying to the jural superior. I think that such a suggestion can be made to work with some creative expounding of the multiple facets of Jim and his world, using the other rows, notably the government-​sector equal row. The following passage illustrates policy as an object of EJ:  “[T]‌he praises which have been bestowed upon the law which establishes the bounty upon the exportation of corn, and upon that system of regulations which is connected with it, are altogether unmerited” (WN, 524.1). Smith says “unmerited,” but he might just as well had said unjust: people unjustly praise, or estimate, the bounty. There are two ways to talk about a jural superior’s policy in terms of justice: (1) CJ, that is, does the policy initiate messing with other people’s stuff?; and (2) EJ, that is, would a belief in it or a habit of affirming and espousing it be estimatively just?

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  99

Concluding remarks Many scholars have read Smith as though he confined his justice talk to CJ, while many have read otherwise. Such disparities in readings evince a contrariety residing in justice in Smith’s work. Although parts of Smith’s texts, examined in isolation, give the impression of his favoring that justice talk be confined to CJ, Smith embraced and pervasively practiced talking all three senses of justice. This paper has offered explication of the three senses and advanced the idea of such embrace by Smith. If there is merit here, it leaves us with the question: why didn’t Smith make his justice polysemy clearer, and clarify pervasively in the instant, by prominently using modifiers (as in, CJ, DJ, EJ)? If I were to approach the question, I would begin with Arthur Melzer’s four purposes or motives to esotericism: defensive, protective, pedagogical, and political (Melzer 2014).

Acknowledgments This paper benefitted from feedback received when presented at the International Adam Smith Society conference in Glasgow 2015. I am grateful to Brandon Lucas and Austin Middleton for their help in coding all of the justice talk in TMS and WN, to Eric Hammer for creating figures for the paper, and to Jason Briggeman, Tyler Cowen, and Erik Matson for feedback. I thank the Earhart Foundation for having supported this project (years ago).

Notes 1 The notation 269–​270.10 means pages 269–​270 of the standard edition of TMS, paragraph 10. 2 Other indications of doctrine (1) include Smith’s unpublished words: “which can alone properly be called Justice” (Frag, TMS 390) and “not in a proper but a metaphorical sense” (LJ, 9). 3 Works that seem to explicitly portray Smith as confining justice to commutative justice include Cropsey (2001, 35, 126–​127); Campbell (1971, 187–​189); Winch (1978, 99, 174); Buchanan (1979, 121); Winch (1992, 110); Salter (1994, 301); Brown (1994, 113, 211);Young (2005, 98); Ross (2010, 117); Forman-​Barzilai (2010, 227). 4 Works that seem to portray Smith as recognizing and embracing commutative and distributive justice but give no notice to estimative justice include Young and Gordon (1996) and Witztum (1997). 5 I see several advantages to “not messing with other people’s stuff ” over “abstaining from what is another’s”: (1) “stuff ” affords us a term to correspond to the Latin suum; also, the colloquial quality of “stuff ” allows us to include as stuff not only one’s own person and property but promises due to one by voluntary consent or contract; (2) it is useful to separate questions of “stuff ” from “other people’s” or questions of whose stuff it is; (3) it is useful to be able to remove the “not” so that we can focus on “messing with.” Think how weak the flipside would otherwise sound: Others abstaining from one’s stuff. One is said to “abstain” from a restaurant

100  Daniel B. Klein even though one partakes of it!—​provided that the partaking is voluntary. The vagueness of “abstain” misses the definite misdeed of “messing with.” And again I think well of the colloquial quality, for notions of “messing with” bubble up not only from formal legal authorities but also, even primarily, from norms, practice, and experience of ordinary life and sentiment. In sum, the preferred formulation more neatly frames the three important historicistic questions about CJ:  What counts as stuff?, What makes the stuff one person’s rather than another’s (or no one’s)?, What counts as messing with it?, and the colloquial quality (of “stuff ” and “messing”) is actually a plus and much in the spirit of Lon Fuller’s The Morality of Law (1969). 6 It was common in natural jurisprudence (e.g., Grotius and Pufendorf) to speak of government authority as a “superior” and to imply jural dualism (E-​E and S-​i) (Diesel 2017a).What is special about Hume, however, is that, in developing a notion of convention, broader than consent, he explicitly rejects the notion of jural superiority being based on a lineage of political consent or contract: allegiance to the established government (and to the principles of CJ) are matters of convention, not consent. Hume’s conventionalist interpretation of the jural superior and political authority is discussed by Hardin (2007) and Sabl (2012). 7 Smith speaks of “that remarkable distinction” at 80.5; he also points out CJ’s specialness at 79.5, 175.10 (juxtapose the opening of that paragraph with the opening of 174.9), 175.11, 327.1, 329.7. Smith is less direct when it comes to the crucial role of CJ in many of the book’s important ideas. 8 On points 2 and 3, see Weinstein (2001, 83–​85); on points 1 through 5 see Forman-​ Barzilai (2010, 221–​237). 9 I had been using “esteem justice,” and around 2011 Austin Middleton suggested “estimative justice” to me, which I subsequently adopted. I feel that running a very close second to “estimative” is “evaluative,” a term that would in some respects be better, and in some respects worse. 10 Noteworthy in this connection is TMS (20–​21.5), where Smith adds “a system of philosophy” to “a picture, or a poem.” 11 As many scholars have noted, Smith’s approach is non-​foundationalist (Griswold 1999, 165; Fleischacker 2004, 23–​26; Rothschild 2004, 152; Haakonssen 2016, 61; and Klein 2016). The nature of EJ relates to such ethical non-​foundationalism. 12 At WN, 866.7 Smith talks justice (“a just proportion”) aptly interpreted as DJ in a government-​sector-​equal context. 13 For that entry, Cannan cited pages that translate in the Glasgow/​OUP/​Liberty Fund edition to 157, 324, 530; see page 1057 of the last publisher. Incidentally, there on page 1057, there should be an open-​bracket before “Natural liberty.” 14 See WN 525–​526.4–​5, 248.9, 285.31, 342.30, 372.32, 422.16, 586.52, 653.28. 15 Incidentally, that is the last substantive footnote of TMS, and the last note of Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality (1997, 221–​ 222), and concerned distributive justice and affirmed a collectivist approach. 16 That Smith affirmed a presumption of liberty is stated explicitly by Viner (1927, 219); Hollander (1973, 256); Young and Gordon (1996, 22); Griswold (1999, 295); C. Smith (2013, 790, 796); and Otteson (2016, 508). 17 Cf Fleischacker 2004, 194, who also quotes the “great estate” passage and tends rather to ascribe the collectivist configuration to Smith.

Commutative, distributive, estimative justice  101

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102  Daniel B. Klein Raphael, D.D. 2001. Concepts of Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ross, Ian Simpson. 2010. The Life of Adam Smith, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rothschild, Emma. 2004. Dignity or Meanness. The Adam Smith Review 1: 150–​162. Rousseau, Jean-​Jacques. 1997. Rousseau: The Discourses and Other Early Political Writings, V. Gourevitch (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sabl, Andrew. 2012. Hume’s Politics:  Coordination and Crisis in the History of England. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Salter, John. 1994. Adam Smith on Justice and Distribution in Commercial Societies. Scottish Journal of Political Economy 41(3): 299–​313. Smith, Adam. 1976a. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, David D. Raphael and Alec L. Macfie (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, Adam. 1976b. The Wealth of Nations, R.H. Campbell and A.S. Skinner (eds.), 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Smith, Adam. 1980. Essays on Philosophical Subjects, ed. W.P.D. Wightman and J.C. Bryce. New York: Oxford University Press. Reprint: Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982. Smith, Adam. 1982. Lectures on Jurisprudence, R.L. Meek, D.D. Raphael, and P.G. Stein (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, Adam. 1987. The Correspondence of Adam Smith, E.C. Mossner and I.S. Ross (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, Craig. 2013. Adam Smith: Left or Right? Political Studies 61(4): 784–​798. Viner, Jacob. 1927. Adam Smith and Laissez-​Faire. Journal of Political Economy 35(2): 198–​232. Weinstein, Jack Russell. 2001. On Adam Smith. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Winch, Donald. 1978. Adam Smith’s Politics:  An Essay in Historiographic Revision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Winch, Donald. 1992. Adam Smith: Scottish Moral Philosopher as Political Economist. The Historical Journal 35(1): 91–​113. Witztum, Amos. 1997. Distributive Considerations in Smith’s Conception of Economic Justice. Economics and Philosophy 13(2): 241–​259. Young, Jeffrey T. 2005. Unintended Order and Intervention: Adam Smith’s Theory of the Role of the State. In: The Role of Government in the History of Economic Thought, S.G. Medema and P. Boettke (eds.): 91–​119. Durham: Duke University Press. Young, Jeffrey T. and Barry Gordon. 1996. Distributive Justice as a Normative Criterion in Adam Smith’s Political Economy. History of Political Economy 28(1): 1–​25.

Two superiors, two jural relationships in Adam Smith Jonathon Diesel

Introduction In Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith establishes his system of moral philosophy based on a sympathetic mechanism where individual’s actions are formed and informed by a feedback mechanism of judging and being judged. Early in his exposition Smith discusses how acts of benevolence work within his sympathetic system, and in doing so he brings out an interesting yet underutilized distinction. Acts of benevolence are initiated voluntarily between individuals in an equal legal relationship; however, he directly notes that some acts of benevolence can be forced. The key distinction is that in such a case the enforcer is no longer in an equal legal position. I  refer to this asymmetric legal relationship as the Superior-​inferior relationship. I use Smith’s multifaceted definition of justice to better distinguish these two legal, or jural, relationships, and then show how acknowledging the jural relationships strengthens the case for Smith’s system of natural liberty. Smith’s simplest and most concrete form of justice is commutative justice, which can be described as abstaining from another’s person and property, or doing no harm.Then, according to Smith’s commutative justice, when someone does harm to another’s person or property, they are rightly subject to punishment.Yet that is true only if the aggressor and victim are of equal legal standing. There are cases when harm can be done without legal repercussions. Such is the case when the jural superior (the superior of the Superior-​inferior relationship) coerces actions that would otherwise be avoided. Within an Equal-​Equal jural relationship both actors have symmetric expectations about what is punishable. The expectations are asymmetric in the Superior-​inferior relationship. The difference in symmetry of justice is a key feature distinguishing the two jural relationships. Smith’s chapters on rank and distinction help bring out how the two jural relationships fit differently into Smith’s sympathetic system and natural liberty. Smith speaks of a superior using the term to refer to someone acting in both jural relationships. Superiors within the Equal-​Equal relationship, a comparative superior, are part of a harmonious process where being distinguished amongst one’s peers often leads to both respect and material success. Bad behavior is

104  Jonathon Diesel discouraged naturally as part of the sympathetic mechanism governing the Equal-​Equal relationship. Cheating to get ahead comes at the risk of losing one’s place in society and the desired material representation of that respect. Such is not the case in the Superior-​inferior relationship. Here the asymmetric application of justice encourages the type of behavior that is eschewed in the Equal-​ Equal relationship. Smith’s powerful sympathetic mechanism breaks down. The temptation to use the coercive powers of the jural superior are not checked by the feedback mechanism of sympathy to the point that Smith notes those who seek power will take unethical means to get there knowing that he or she can escape punishment as the jural superior. Recognizing that Smith’s sympathetic system does not work properly for the Superior-​inferior relationship places greater importance on his system of natural liberty. Using the jural relationships strengthens the argument for a presumption of liberty meaning that interactions default to the Equal-​Equal relationship, which is a harmonious and self-​reinforcing system. It is only when conflict cannot be resolved, or real harm has been done, that the jural superior should be invoked, because of the potential for the jural superior to take advantage of his or her position. In other words, a presumption of liberty favors utilizing the Equal-​Equal relationship thereby minimizing the scope in which the jural superior governs affairs.

The jural relationships: of beneficence, justice, and the superior Each jural relationship has a different scope in which matters can be effectively governed. Smith uses justice as a distinguishing function between matters that can be governed between equals and those that cannot.There is a recognized and accepted authoritative role in the Superior-​inferior relationship, and unpunished coercion is an easily identifiable indicator of when this relationship is invoked. A number of key paragraphs occurring early in TMS provide the clearest example of Smith’s distinction. The passages are in Part II of TMS titled, ‘Of Justice and Beneficence’. The section focuses on voluntary acts of kindness, yet Smith notes some acts of kindness need to be imposed. First, Smith lays out the rules of beneficence. Beneficence is always free, it cannot be extorted by force, the mere want of it exposes to no punishment; because the mere want of beneficence tends to do no real positive evil…His benefactor would dishonour himself if he attempted by violence to constrain him to gratitude, and it would be impertinent for any third person, who was not the superior of either, to intermeddle. (TMS II.ii.1.3, emphasis added) In this passage, Smith is describing how beneficence is voluntary. Choosing not to reciprocate is contrary to propriety (social norms), but is not grounds for

Two superiors, two jural relationships  105 punishment. Punishment is reserved for incidents involving real harm (damage to persons or property) (TMS II.ii.1.3; Haakonssen 1989: 85–​86). But Smith adds an interesting caveat about a ‘superior’. Smith’s passage suggests two separate social relationships, one of which involves a superior. Even more interesting is that this superior can do what Smith’s equal cannot; he can force the performance of beneficent acts.1 On the following page, Smith further describes the social relationship involving a superior by framing the discussion of beneficence as one occurring between two equals. Smith states, ‘Even the most ordinary degree of kindness or beneficence, however, cannot, among equals, be extorted by force’ (TMS II.ii.1.7). Smith has clearly defined a unique relationship of Equal-​Equal and one that includes a superior. Beneficence is a voluntary action between those of equal standing. Failing to act beneficently is contemptible, but not punishable. Beneficence is expected, and failing to adhere to social norms by fulfilling those expectations subjects the violator to scorn and contempt. However, there is no direct mechanism to force beneficence. Failing to adhere to social norms violates propriety, but does not violate justice. When justice is violated, the violator does real harm and should be punished (TMS II.ii.1.7–​8; Haakonssen 1989: 85). Compelling a person to adhere to social norms against their will would violate justice. Smith’s description of the superior makes it clear he has in mind a superior outside of the Equal-​Equal relationship, because Smith excludes beneficence by coercion from the Equal-​ Equal relationship (TMS II.ii.1.8–​ 10). Smith introduces the superior shortly after his beneficence passages, and in doing so, solidifies the second relationship. A superior may, indeed, sometimes, with universal approbation, oblige those under his jurisdiction to behave, in this respect, with a certain degree of propriety to one another. The laws of all civilized nations oblige parents to maintain their children, and children to maintain their parents, and impose upon men many other duties of beneficence. The civil magistrate is entrusted with the power not only of preserving the public peace by restraining injustice, but of promoting the prosperity of the commonwealth, by establishing good discipline, and by discouraging every sort of vice and impropriety; he may prescribe rules, therefore, which not only prohibit mutual injuries among fellow-​citizens, but command mutual good offices to a certain degree. When the sovereign commands what is merely indifferent, and what, antecedent to his orders, might have been omitted without any blame, it becomes not only blamable but punishable to disobey him. When he commands, therefore, what, antecedent to any such order, could not have been omitted without the greatest blame, it surely becomes much more punishable to be wanting in obedience. Of all the duties of a law-​giver, however, this, perhaps, is that which it requires the greatest delicacy and reserve to execute with propriety and judgment. To neglect it altogether exposes the commonwealth to many gross disorders

106  Jonathon Diesel and shocking enormities, and to push it too far is destructive of all liberty, security, and justice. (TMS II.ii.1.8) In the first sentence Smith separates the superior from the Equal-​Equal relationship by showing how the superior differs regarding forced beneficence. The superior can force beneficial acts perhaps even to ‘universal approbation’. The superior can initiate coercion and, in some instances, such coercion has the approval of the impartial spectator. Smith expects the superior to restrain injustice, preserve peace, punish those that disturb the peace, and promote the welfare of his or her subjects (TMS II.ii.1.8; WN IV.ix.51). Smith places different roles within each social relationship which distinguishes the two types of interpersonal relationships. Here Smith does not state the alternative to a superior, but elsewhere he uses the term inferior (TMS I.iii.2.3–​ 5 and I.iii.3.5–​8).There are three distinct roles within these relationships, which are: the superior, the inferior, and the equal. The roles operating within each relationship define that relationship in a clear and concise manner. Moving forward these relationships are denoted as the Superior-​inferior (S-​i) and Equal-​ Equal (E-​E) relationships. Examples of a superior are not limited to TMS. Smith makes clear use of a superior in WN as well: In other countries, rent and profit eat up wages, and the two superior orders of people oppress the inferior one. But in new colonies the interest of the two superior orders obliges them to treat the inferior one with more generosity and humanity; at least where that inferior one is not in a state of slavery. (WN IV.vii.b.3) Here Smith emphasizes the imbalance in the application of justice between the superior and inferior similar to his ‘superior’ paragraph of TMS (II.ii.1.8). Smith describes the superior’s treatment of the inferior as commonplace. A  similar example of asymmetric standards of behavior occurs earlier in WN without mentioning the inferior directly. In those unfortunate countries, indeed, where men are continually afraid of the violence of their superiors, they frequently bury and conceal a great part of their stock, in order to have it always at hand to carry with them to some place of safety, in case of their being threatened with any of those disasters to which they consider themselves as at all times exposed. (WN II.i.31) The Superior-​inferior relationship is not explicit; however, the actions of hiding one’s wealth imply an inferior clearly motivated by the fear of expropriation. In both cases, it is clear that the superior is behaving in ways that are coercive

Two superiors, two jural relationships  107 towards his or her jural inferiors. More broadly put, an asymmetric application of justice between the superior and inferior is present. Justice differentiates the jural relationships An examination of Smith’s concept of justice helps separate the jural relationships. I refer to these two relationship as jural relationships because justice applies differently within each relationship. Smith has three particular usages of the word justice suggesting his concept of justice is nuanced and layered. In fact, it might be best to think of each form of justice as being enveloped by the next, broader layer of justice. The first, and most precise, is commutative justice (CJ); the second and more abstract is distributive2 (DJ) (Haakonssen 1989: 99).The third, and most abstract is coined estimative justice (EJ) (Klein 2020: 3–​17). Commutative justice is the clearest and most concrete form of justice, which is the core of Smith’s justice (Haakonssen 1989:  86, 99). He describes CJ a number of ways that separate it from the other forms of justice. Smith calls CJ ‘precise’ and ‘accurate’, much like ‘the rules of grammar’ (TMS III.6.11; VII. ii.1.9). Elsewhere Smith refers to justice using an architectural analogy where justice is the ‘main pillar’ (TMS II.ii.3.4). Smith’s other two forms of justice are more loosely defined than that of CJ. Where CJ is ‘precise’ and ‘accurate’ Smith describes distributive justice as ‘loose, vague, and indeterminate’ (TMS III.6.11; Haakonssen 1989:  86, 99). According to CJ, if your actions do no harm, then you are free to do as you please with your property. Under DJ, acceptable uses of your own property are subject to CJ (i.e., causing no harm) and the additional constraints of propriety (Klein 2020: 12–​13). Among equals, violating DJ by failing to behave in accordance with propriety results in dislike and anger, but not physical punishment (Haakonssen 1989: 85–​86). The exception is when such matters have been legislated (Haakonssen 1989:  94). Legislatures can, and have, forbidden actions like consuming alcohol or tattooing your body making those actions punishable offenses. Individuals interact in a world governed by both CJ and DJ. People do as they please according to DJ, and receive feedback when their choices are contrary to propriety. Being ostracized by your neighbors for violating standards of propriety is DJ in action.Violating DJ creates no direct harm, and so there is no physical form of punishment. Rather the punishment is voluntary disassociation. CJ serves as a backdrop until someone’s actions harm others, and then CJ is invoked. Smith’s third justice is referred to as estimative justice (Klein 2020: 14). EJ describes our evaluations or judgments of an object and involves our estimation of its beauty or merit (TMS VII.ii.1.10). EJ is often more abstract and indeterminate than DJ. In a sense, we do an injustice to someone or something when we do not give it proper regard. EJ can be thought of as the valuation of judgment about what we do with ourselves and our property, such as our judgment of others’ judgment including matters of justice (Klein 2020: 14–​20).

108  Jonathon Diesel The symmetry of justice in the jural relationships A deeper understanding of Smith’s multi-​faceted use of justice helps when bringing the concept home to the jural relationships. In the Equal-​Equal relationship the rules of justice can be thought of as symmetrical. In the E-​E relationship the rules for punishment and recompense are the same for both parties. Punishing violators is the same when either party harms the other. Each party carries the same set of expectations. They expect violators of their property to be punished, and likewise expect to be punished for violating another’s property. Individuals behave harmoniously knowing that reciprocal sets of expectations exist. Note, however, there is not necessarily an expectation of symmetric punishment. Further, there is an expectation regarding violations of propriety. Equals understand that their resentment can translate into physical punishment only when real harm has been done, unless codified by law (TMS II.ii.1.9–​10). An asymmetry exists in the Superior-​inferior relationship where the rules of CJ do not apply to the superior the same way as they do for the inferior (Klein 2020:  5–​6; TMS I.iii.3.8). The jural superior acts in ways considered coercive for an equal or inferior. Further, the jural superior acts without being subject to punishment or recompense.The jural superior is expected to enforce justice in matters beyond simple CJ (TMS II.ii.1.8). Smith’s ‘superior’ passage suggests the jural superior is empowered to enforce both CJ and DJ. Equals can do no more than resent the actions of an offending party until real harm has occurred. Even after real harm has occurred, immediate danger is the only acceptable cause for an equal to take justice into his or her own hands; however, the jural superior can intervene before real harm has been done (TMS II.ii.1.7–​8). Enforcing standards of propriety presents the same type of asymmetry between the jural superior and inferior on matters of commutative justice. The superior may institute laws that force individuals to limit or abstain from certain behaviors normally governed by propriety. Some family-​oriented municipalities have laws against obscene language where using such language is fined (Shane 2014). Limitations on individual’s activities and private enterprise are examples of the superior’s enforcing standards of propriety through the jural mechanism by making them a matter of justice. The jural relationships and Smith’s use of rank and distinction Smith’s chapters on distinction and rank are ripe for both exploring and expanding upon the jural relationships. These chapters provide a practical example of how Smith uses the jural relationships, and it delves deeper into the nature of the jural superior. Smith provides a secular, conventionalist explanation for the jural superior’s source of authority. Further, these chapters demonstrate how nuanced Smith’s use of superior can be. Throughout these two

Two superiors, two jural relationships  109 chapters Smith talks about superiors and inferiors, yet he is at times talking about jural superiors and at other times superiors of equal jural standing. For Smith, there are two motivations for seeking approbation, but only one which is easily visible.We desire approbation from others for our moral behavior, yet it is difficult for others to discern our intentions (Smith 2013: 4). Wealth is a symbol of our successful endeavors and as Maria Pia Paganelli observes, ‘in contrast to our virtuous behaviours, wealth is visible and an easily recognizable sign of distinction’ (2013: 341). Wealth’s lower cost of discernment make it a more convenient and widely used measure for distinction and rank in commercial society. Seeking approbation through wealth accumulation leads to a system of distinction where society admires the wealthy (TMS I.iii.3.4; Paganelli 2013: 341). Observers of the wealthy want to enjoy the same attention that the wealthy receive, and so ‘The distinction of ranks emerges when interpersonal comparison comes to be practiced and weighted with social meaning’ (Smith 2013: 6). The adoption of the wealthy’s style and manners is what Smith refers to as fashion, and he refers to such a leader as a ‘man of fashion’ (TMS I.iii.3.6–​7). An individual emerges from the mob of mankind and gains the attention they desire by adopting the fashion of the wealthy (Smith 2013: 13). The fashionable superior arises from the judgment of his or her peers, and wealth is a valid standard of judgment, therefore the man of fashion can be considered a specific form of a comparative superior. He is judged a superior by his peers, but is not a jural superior. Yet even though Smith attributes influence to the man of fashion, he also notes his ‘area of discretion is constrained by the bounds of a more durable set of beliefs embodied in custom’ (Smith 2013: 16). The man of fashion is influential in a specific area limited by custom, so he is less influential and powerful than a jural superior. Smith has built a form of distinction from fashion, and he has done so within the E-​E relationship. He uses terms like ‘rank’ and ‘station’ which are deceiving because they suggest a hierarchy, which is true, yet the hierarchy is not jural in nature (TMS I.iii.3.2.2; I.iii.3.5). Further, Smith makes it clear that most of society is operating within the E-​E relationship, ‘Men in the inferior and middling stations of life, besides, can never be great enough to be above the law’, which includes a respect for ‘the more important rules of justice’ (TMS I.iii.3.5). Smith is reiterating the symmetric set of expectations that is paramount within the E-​E relationship. Respect for justice  –​the ‘pillar’ of any civilized society  –​is enough to keep the process functioning among equals (Paganelli 2013:  340). Luckily, when the process is working as expected the outcome is beneficial to both the individual and society, ‘In the middling and inferior stations of life, the road to virtue and that of fortune…are, happily in most cases, very nearly the same’ and this is because ‘success of such people…[is] almost always dependent upon the favour and good opinion of their neighbours and equals.’ (TMS I.iii.3.5)

110  Jonathon Diesel People must behave themselves, pursue honest profit, and rely on their peers to be successful. So even though there is rank and distinction among equals based upon wealth, this hierarchy is one consistent with the concept of a comparative superior within the E-​E relationship. During Smith’s time, owning land often came with the opportunity for a title and a vote, so political authority ties to wealth differently from today. For Smith, the gulf between the wealthiest and the common folk is fairly wide, and it is unlikely that many will move into the highest ranks of distinction (TMS I.ii.5.1; I.iii.2.5).Thus, most of society views the wealthiest from afar.We observe the admiration, attention, and imitation of the wealthy and desire the same experience for ourselves (TMS I.iii.2.1; Smith 2013: 9).Veneration for the wealthy comes with the additional side effect of the lower ranks of man tending to be deferential to their jural superiors. It takes egregious acts to excite resentment or anger, and even then, men rarely act against their jural superiors (TMS I.iii.2.3). Smith implies that such errant behavior is occurring within the S-​i relationship.The jural superior is represented primarily by titled individuals, but the concept extends to anyone exercising sanctioned coercion (TMSI.iii.2.3–​ 4). Where Smith saw the potential for harmony between the pursuit of wealth and virtue in the E-​E relationship, he sees conflict in the S-​i. This dissonance between pursing wealth and virtue in the S-​i relationship has negative consequences. Smith worries the jural superior can create negative outcomes within a commercial society where rank and distinction are measured by wealth. The desire for approbation can lead some to immoral activities to attain their wealth. Some will seek the favor of the jural superior in order to get an advantage (Paganelli 2013: 341). Some will seek to become the jural superior to achieve their goal regardless of the means used to get there: ‘In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it’ (TMS I.iii.3.8).The pursuit of coercive power is often at odds with the pursuit of virtue in the S-​i relationship. The asymmetric application of justice in the S-​i relationship tempts individuals to immorally pursue wealth. The asymmetry significantly reduces the cost of immorally achieving one’s goals. The same temptation is absent in the E-​E relationship, because violations of CJ warrant punishment and risk the individual’s desired prize. The introduction of coercion creates a conflict between the pursuit of wealth and virtue, which is clearly a concern for Smith (Paganelli 2013:  340; Tegos 2013: 361). He provides a secular theory for why we venerate the wealthy and powerful in a manner that supports his encouragement of a commercial society. The use of terms like station and rank imply inequality, true, but this inequality does not necessarily extend to jural matters. Further attention must be given to identifying which jural relationship Smith is using. He maintains two jural relationships while exploring how our admiration for wealth drives our desire for commercial pursuits.

Two superiors, two jural relationships  111 The comparative superior: a superior in the Equal-​Equal relationship Starting with the Equal-​Equal relationship, any determination of superiority is a matter of judgment. A superior within the Equal-​Equal relationship is a comparative superior, because he or she achieves such distinction by comparison to his or her peer group. There are two ways in which a person can be considered a comparative superior. The first is when individuals are judged as excelling by some standard of judgment. Standards of judgment can include things like propriety of character or conduct, or demonstrations of skill. These individuals excel within certain dimensions relative to their peers. The second method for being considered a comparative superior is voluntary associational roles of authority such as bosses and coaches. Comparative superiors emerge naturally as part of Smith’s sympathetic mechanism through social interaction when a person’s actions and behavior are judged by his or her peers. Individuals that consistently exceed propriety along some standard of judgment become synonymous with that type of behavior. Individuals identify the comparative superior with that particular characteristic or quality. For example, a person who consistently engages in acts of charity will become known for their generosity. When that person’s peers think of benevolence they will associate the actor with their demonstrated behavior. There is, however, no universal standard to use in establishing a comparative superior. Judgment is a culmination of individuals’ opinions whose standards will all have varying degrees (TMS III.218–​19; Hume 1994: 238–​243). Hume describes the comparative superior well while describing men of taste, ‘though men of delicate taste be rare, they are easily to be distinguished in society, by the soundness of their understanding and the superiority of their faculties above the rest of mankind’ (Hume 1994: 243).Thus, a person’s reputation, as judged by his or her peers, establishes them as a comparative superior. This process is not limited to matters of virtue, such a process can occur along any standard of judgment including physical characteristics, athletic or intellectual acumen, work-​ethic, or even particular performances. Smith considers John Milton a comparative superior, because compared to others, Milton is a superior poet. He establishes himself as a superior by consistently demonstrating his ability to exceed propriety at writing poetry. Smith describes Milton’s work as ‘sublime’ (TMS III.2.19). Smith also praises Cicero, but limits the praise to certain aspects of Cicero’s works, mainly his orations. Smith says, ‘The eloquence of Cicero was superior to that of Caesar’ (TMS VII. ii.1.32). A further example of a comparative superior found in TMS is where Smith discusses the motivation for acting generously. In order to act generously one must deny his or her own sense of self-​worth, and put the interests of another first. Doing so requires the person acknowledge that an impartial spectator deems the other a comparative superior relative to himself or herself.

112  Jonathon Diesel We never are generous except when in some respect we prefer some other person to ourselves, and sacrifice some great and important interest of our own to an equal interest of a friend or of a superior. The man who gives up his pretensions to an office that was the great object of his ambition, because he imagines that the services of another are better entitled to it. (TMS IV.2.10) There is no indication of an asymmetry in jural standing in the above passages. The judgment of one person’s worth over another suggests a comparative superiority and not a legal superiority. It is not just the actions or characteristics of a comparative superior that are important. These are what establishes the person as a comparative superior, but once established a comparative superior can also influence the opinions of his or her peers thereby influencing their judgment.The recursive nature of Smith’s sympathetic system explains this process. The first stage occurs when a person acts, is judged, and receives feedback. The second stage is when the actor and observer reflects upon the feedback from stage one. Over time the comparative superior emerges from this process, and eventually his or her prominence folds back into the feedback mechanism. The comparative inferior values the opinion of the comparative superior and will adjust their standard of judgment to more align with the comparative superior’s input. By this process the comparative superior establishes himself or herself as a type of authority through respect. Returning to Smith’s praise of Milton, aside from being renown, he also occupies a role of authority among poets. Poets and laypeople value his opinion on poetry more highly than they value the opinions of others; thereby John Milton serves as a sort of authority on poetry. These two aspects of comparative superiority can be closely related, but can exist separately. A person may be judged as exceeding propriety and deemed a comparative superior without the consideration of authority. In the case of John Milton, being a good poet can lead to being considered an authority on poetry. Note though, that Milton’s authority does not imply coercive control. He does not control who is allowed to write poetry, nor does he control what is considered poetry. Rather, his authority suggests that people may value his opinion on poetry and his opinion informs their own. The second type of comparative superior is a voluntary associational type of authority. Authority is the defining characteristic of the second type of comparative superior, but this authority differs from the first form of comparative superiority. This second type of comparative superior may exercise his or her authority without having achieved it through others’ direct judgment. This second, and separate, way in which a person can be a comparative superior is described by the employer-​employee or the coach-​player relationship. Your boss is your superior because he or she occupies a role of responsibility separate from those being managed, and he is responsible for directing and monitoring employees. Likewise, a coach is a superior to his or her players. The coach is

Two superiors, two jural relationships  113 responsible for the overall performance of the team including managing the performance and growth of each individual while each player is primarily concerned with his or her own performance. The manager and coach occupy roles that require authority over others in order to coordinate activity. Employees or players voluntarily give up some amount of authority within the E-​E relationship. There is an agreement to defer individual judgment and direction, but only within the confines of what is acceptable under the E-​E relationship. The relative inferior voluntarily diminishes his or her authority under the comparative superior. The purpose of voluntarily ceding individual authority is to achieve a larger goal that can be obtained only through coordinating and/​or direction of multiple individuals. Taking direction from a boss is standard in employment contracts, and participation on a sports team is voluntary.Taking direction from a boss or a coach is tacit in the agreement to participate, yet commutative justice still governs these relationships. If an employer violates CJ by harming the employee, then the employer has exceeded the authority of a comparative superior within the E-​E relationship and violates the voluntary agreement of employment. The agreement between the comparative superior and inferior exists within the E-​E relationship. Anything that violates CJ would result in the comparative superior being punished like any other person within the E-​E relationship. Either type of comparative superior must establish himself or herself under the rules of conduct within the E-​E relationship. Smith describes the process in TMS, In the race for wealth, and honours, and preferments, he may run as hard as he can, and strain every nerve and every muscle, in order to outstrip all his competitors. But if he should justle, or throw down any of them, the indulgence of the spectators is entirely at an end. (II.ii.2.1) Individuals are respected so long as they obey the agreed upon rules of conduct. Smith’s statement requires this to be within the E-​E relationship because the coercive nature of the S-​i relationship immediately places it outside the context of his statement. The jural superior does not need the indulgence of spectators to act, but the comparative superior does. The authority of the comparative superior is limited by the context within which his or her superiority is determined. Respect for John Milton’s poetry justifies valuing his opinion on poetry. Perhaps some may even value his opinion of the arts, but there are limits to his authority. Milton’s prowess as a poet does not qualify him as an authority in physics, political science, or economics. Understanding the limitations of the comparative superior is endogenous to the process of judging comparative superiority. The comparative superior’s authority can be used to persuade or influence, much like Smith’s man of fashion. Such persuasion can be active or passive. Comparative superiors can passively persuade by being emulated. They can

114  Jonathon Diesel actively persuade by knowingly using their reputation to influence others’ opinions through discourse. In either the passive or active scenario, CJ still holds for the comparative superior and the relative inferior. The scope of the jural superior is limited by design Smith longs for a world guided by men of wisdom and virtue, but he is a realist. He recognizes the pursuit of such lofty goals appeals to a select few (TMS I.iii.3.2; VI.ii.1.20). For the rest of us, we operate in a world driven by more material standards, mainly wealth. Although an imperfect standard of judgment, it still provides a great deal of benefit even to the lowliest person (TMS VI.iii.30). The vast majority of humanity operates within the E-​E relationship where the pursuit of honest profit coincides with propriety. Smith recognized that such a system had shortcomings. He addresses these concerns by explicitly limiting the realm in which the jural superior operates, first in TMS, ‘The civil magistrate is entrusted with the power not only of preserving the public peace by restraining injustice, but of promoting the prosperity of the commonwealth, by establishing good discipline’ (TMS II.ii.1.8), and more directly in WN: According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to…the duty of protecting the society from the violence of invasion…the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice, and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and public institutions. (IV.ix.51) Smith emphasizes limits to the scope of the jural superior’s authority. He does so because he is cautious about the pitfalls of the jural superior. How long can a system of political economy persist if the jural superior’s scope of authority goes unchecked given he or she can avoid punishment when performing unsavory actions to acquire power? The E-​E relationship has a natural tendency to create beneficial outcomes, while the jural superior has a dangerous potential to create negative outcomes. Under Smith’s system of natural liberty, the norm within the E-​E is harmony. Such harmony is maintained by a presumption of liberty. Matters default to the E-​E relationship until unresolvable conflicts arise. It is when harmony breaks down that the jural superior is invoked. However, Smith’s presumption of liberty also constrains the avenues in which the jural superior can exercise his or her coercive discretion. Early on Smith warns that the jural superior’s job is a difficult one, which ‘requires the greatest delicacy and reserve to execute with propriety and judgment’. So Smith advocates limiting the jural superior’s scope of authority to reduce the risk of tyranny by preventing acts ‘destructive of all liberty, security, and justice’ (II.ii.1.8).

Two superiors, two jural relationships  115

Conclusion Two jural relationships exist throughout Adams Smith’s written works. Smith uses the Equal-​Equal and the Superior-​inferior relationships in both TMS and WN. The greatest distinction between the two is the application of justice, most notably CJ. In the Equal-​Equal relationship justice is symmetric. In the Superior-​inferior relationship justice is asymmetric. Such asymmetry allows the jural superior to act in ways that violate justice without suffering the punishment a jural equal or inferior would receive for the same action. My analysis shows Smith’s shrewd awareness of two forms of equality and inequality coexisting. Comparative inequality exists amongst legal equals while jural inequality defines the separate legal relationship of the governor and governed. Smith’s exploration of the jural relationships emphasizes his support for natural liberty as fundamental to the Equal-​Equal relationship, yet it also shows the necessity of a sovereign and its jurisprudent role. Not enough focus has been given to the way Smith handles the evolution of government and natural liberty. There is a tendency to read Smith as describing comparative inequality begetting jural inequality, but the two are distinct and separate. This paper shows that Smith considered the jural relationships as distinct and fundamental to how he defends natural liberty. Recognizing the special nature of the jural superior helps highlight the importance of Smith’s system of natural liberty and the need for a Superior-​ inferior relationship to administer justice. It calls attention to the types of justice Smith lays out, and the inter-​relationships between the types of justice. Smith was clear on the proper roles for the jural superior. For Smith, the more interpersonal exchanges that can be governed within the E-​E relationship the better. The default assumption is that interactions fall under the E-​E until a failure occurs, and then the jural superior is invoked.This minimizes the areas in which the jural superior can be tempted to utilize his or her coercive powers to subvert the natural, harmonious process existing within E-​E exchanges.

Notes 1 When such actions become forced, they may be beneficial, but cease to be beneficent. 2 Smith uses distributive justice differently from the historical use found in Greek philosophy, so he provides the distinction between Aristotelian and his own concept of distributive justice in a footnote (TMS, 269–​270; Klein 2020: 26; Minowitz 1993: 50).

References Haakonssen, Knud. (1989) The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume & Adam Smith. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hume, David. (1777) Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, Eugene F. Miller (ed), Indianapolis: Liberty Press (Foreword and editorial by Eugene Miller dated 1994).

116  Jonathon Diesel Klein, Daniel. (2020) ‘Commutative, Distributive, and Estimative Justice in Adam Smith’, Adam Smith Review, vol. 12, 1–​39. Minowitz, Peter. (1993) Profits, Priests, and Princes: Adam Smith’s Emancipation of Economics from Politics and Religion, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Paganelli, Maria Pia. (2013) ‘Commercial Relations:  From Adam Smith to Field Experiments’, The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith, Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli, and Craig Smith (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Shane, Brian. 2014. ‘Ocean City, Md., Looks to Curb Public Profanity’, USA Today,​story/​news/​nation/​2014/​01/​20/​ocean-​city-​curb-​public-​ profanity/​4674981/​ (accessed 24 August 2015) Smith, Adam. (1790) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Library of Economics and Liberty,​library/​Smith/​smMS.html (accessed 14 January 2017) —​—​ (1904) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Edwin Cannan (ed), Library of Economics and Liberty,​library/​Smith/​smWN. html (accessed 14 January 2017) —​—​ (1976a) An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1981). —​—​ (1976b) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphaell and A. L. Macfie (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Reprinted, Liberty Press (1982). Smith, Craig. (2013) ‘Adam Smith’s “Collateral” Inquiry; Fashion and Morality in the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nation’, History of Political Economy, http://​​74589 (accessed 10 July 2018). Tegos, Spyridon. (2013) ‘Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption’, The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith, Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli, and Craig Smith (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Deference to authority in Adam Smith Spyridon Tegos

In contemporary political theory the notion of authority often recalls legitimacy. Yet the dimensions of psychological investment and sentimental loyalty to authority rarely move center stage. In an early modern context,Adam Smith’s doctrine fills this gap in an original way. This paper engages with Istvan Hont’s recurring treatment of the problem of authority in David Hume and Adam Smith. My interpretation differs from Hont’s in terms of focus; Hont focuses on the institutional structures of authority, whereas I  focus on the psychological mechanisms.That is, most of Adam Smith’s discussions of authority (and discussions of his discussions) focus on the origins of authority. I’m interested instead in the process or mechanisms of sympathy with “the rich and the great” (TMS, I.iii.ii–​iii). In order to examine this topic, I shall examine his account in the TMS closely, while also being more explicit about its implications for what is left unsaid in LJ. Smith states in the second report of the Lectures on Jurisprudence that the discussion over the claim to authority within the context of commercial societies should be carried out in terms of sympathy as developed in the Theory of Moral Sentiments (LJB, 13: 401). Is sympathetic identification with authority a properly modern or a trans-​historical phenomenon? Despite divergences, scholars agree that Smith means to describe a basic feature of human psychology across the ages. They assume that Smith’s account of natural deference is part of an account of human nature as such (Harris, 2019). Instead I  argue that Smith is describing and analyzing a peculiarly modern phenomenon. The second claim of this paper rests on Adam Smith’s peculiar theory of prestige. Smith’s doctrine of disinterested sympathetic identification with the wealthy and famous, as opposed to socio-​economic dependence, comprises a theory of prestige as vital component of authority that turns Smith into a precursor of theories of charismatic leadership from Max Weber onwards. Quite famously, Weber (1947[1913]) borrows the religious term of charisma and extends its use to a secular meaning. The charismatic leader possesses an aura of sacredness. Adam Smith studies carefully the peculiar deference to royalty, the “peculiar sympathy” (TMS, I.iii.ii), and his quasi-​religious prestige;

118  Spyridon Tegos yet some form of deference to authority (Dunn, 1986: 133)1 is necessary for any sustainable regime. The paper is organized as follows. In the first part of the paper I explore David Hume’s stance on the origins and mechanism of deference to authority. In the second part I examine Adam Smith’s history and theory of the “sympathy with the rich and the great” (TMS, I.iii.ii–​iii). I thoroughly explore the modernity of deferential sympathy in the first section of this part. The key to this question lies in the often understudied distinction that Smith draws between materially based sympathy to the pastoral chieftain or the feudal lord and disinterested deference to authority proper to the commercial era. In the LJB, echoing TMS I.3.2–​3, Smith draws a divide between sympathy with the tribal leader or the feudal lord, based on socio-​economic dependence and sympathetic deference to authority, a purely psychological mechanism that operates on a mental level in the commercial modernity. According to my reading of Smith, this distinction has tremendous consequences that go far beyond the servile tribute to established wealth, let alone the upstart wealth in commercial society. It leads to a further distinction within the sympathy with “the rich and the great” (TMS, I.iii.ii–​iii): the sympathy with leaders, especially royalty is not identical with the sympathy with the rich and great. The prestige of political authority attracts a spontaneous, disinterested admiration –​the supreme ruler overawes the subjects “commanding their willing obedience” without physical violence. Smith cuts deeper in subtle political psychology. In line with later developments of crowd psychology in Le Bon and Freud, the prestige of authority is doomed to fluctuate between a “habitual state of deference” (TMS, I.iii.3, 62): “the great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers, and, what may seem more extraordinary, most frequently the disinterested admirers and worshippers, of wealth and greatness” (TMS, I.iii.3, 62) and rare uprisings against royalty when, exceptionally, the “most furious passions fear, hatred and resentment” seize the “bulk of the people” (TMS I.iii.2.3, 53). The final section of the second part of this paper discusses Smithian alternatives to this anti-​liberal scenario of prestigious titled aristocracy and royalty. It is focused on the enigmatic prestige of the meritocratic “middle stations of life” and the form of deference they could potentially trigger as leading elite.

David Hume: sympathetic deference to authority and atavism Despite their differences, both Hume and Smith couch their analysis of the deference and respect shown to social and political authority in terms of sympathy. Hume and Smith themselves classified sympathy in various ways. In this context, there is one form of sympathy that has been underemphasized as a form in its own right:  in Humean and Smithian terms, the sympathy with the rich and the great, which is the sympathy between socially unequal individuals. Let us call this kind of sympathy deferential sympathy. While heavily

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  119 drawing on Hume, Smith sheds light on an aspect of deferential sympathy that remains underestimated in Hume: its natural history or as we would say today its genealogy. Smith seems to embrace and further historicize this Humean position within his unfinished project of a “theory and history of law and government.” Hume and Smith grant a socially integrative function to sympathy. For Hume sympathy, the basis of sociability is responsible for all social bonds facilitating communication of opinions and sentiments. The esteem for the rich and great belongs to a category of sympathetic feelings primarily accounting for vertical differences  –​interpersonal comparison and social distance. Far from undermining the integrative function of sympathy though, distance, comparison, and hierarchy are aspects of a complex yet potentially orderly and robust commercial society. In line with his overall method in the Treatise, Hume sets out to inquire into the causes of the esteem of the wealthy in terms of sympathy. He then flags three classes of causes as candidates for an explanation of the admiration for the rich (THN, 2.2.5).2 Initially, Hume merges the first class of causes into the third. Recalling the principle of the double relation of ideas and impressions as applied in the case of property and riches and the pride or humility3 that it triggers, Hume concludes that we pass easily and smoothly in our imagination from the idea of the object to the idea of proprietor. Therefore the sympathetic pleasure stemming from the sharing of the rich man’s pleasure is more comprehensive than the sympathetic pleasure deriving simply from the view of an agreeable object such as houses, gardens, or any attractive possession (THN, 2.1.10, 2.2.5).4 We should be able to enter sympathetically into the potential satisfaction of a rich person’s might because she is able to buy any means to happiness without actually doing so (THN, 2.2.5). Sympathetic participation to the rich man’s life is the explaining principle (THN, 2.2.5).5 Furthermore, Hume explores the second hypothesis, namely the interested “agreeable expectation of advantage” from the rich and powerful that he rules out once confronted with the “uniformity of human experience.”Very few can gain favors from the wealthy while the admiration of wealth and power is ubiquitous. The esteem towards a noble family, “a long succession of rich and powerful ancestors” amounts to the deference shown to the lineage of dead ancestors from whom we expect nothing in return (Taylor, 2015: 78–​82).6 Note the integrating force (Finlay, 2007: 10) of this form of sympathy for the system of social ranks without any personal acquaintance between social inferiors and superiors (THN, 2.1.10; Hume, 1987 [“Of Refinement in the Arts],” 277).7 It is useful to relate Hume’s analysis of the sympathy towards the rich and great to his narrative of feudal, servile dependence  –​especially his Essays, such as “Of Refinement in the Arts.” In this context, Hume underscores the subordination to and the material dependence of the poor on the rich and powerful that create a situation similar to Asian despotic regimes in terms of

120  Spyridon Tegos arbitrary power of the barons and enslavement of the subjects. This explains why people are bound to think that we esteem the rich because of the expectation of advantages from him, in other terms by the “selfish hypothesis.” To put it bluntly, the long past of European history has created an atavistic expectation of protection and succor from the wealthy that is still alive in people’s minds in a quasi-​inertial way although the socio-​economic reality has drastically evolved. In Hume’s account, a modern theory of authority, while grounded in custom, should be able to provide an illustration of the respect paid to the wealthy disencumbered of feudal remnants, of “aristocratical or monarchical tyranny” (Hume, 1987 [“Of Refinement in the Arts],” 277–​278). The harmony of a correspondence of sentiments with spectators is the privilege enjoyed by the wealthy and powerful, not the control of an army of protégés or the upholding of a patronage network –​in other words sympathetic identification with the wealthy is disinterested and, in Hume’s view, should be understood in aesthetic terms: it is the prestige and the lifestyle of the wealthy and great to which the dazzled spectators vicariously participate in. In dissecting the psychology of subordination in the Treatise, Hume constructs an approach of social stratification that goes beyond what he develops in his Essays and seems proper to commercial modernity. Therefore he points to a natural history of sympathy with social authority that begins with the rise of commons and the emergence of “middle stations of life” (Hume, 1987 [“Of the Middle Station of Life],” 547). However, such a natural history of the sympathy with the rich and the great has never been fully developed. By contrast, Hume lays out a hugely important distinction between force and opinion: political obligation in general and deference in particular rely on opinion not on force; in the essay “Of First Principles of Government” (Hume, 1987: 33–​34), Hume introduces the subject by stating that obedience and government are founded on opinion not on power. Consequently, he classifies the different kinds of opinion in two categories, opinion of interest, that is, the advantages reaped by the existence of government, security, and peace, as reasons why people adhere to it, and opinion of right, which is divided into right to power and right to property. Opinion based on right to power transfers the significance of custom and habit as principles of Hume’s epistemology in the political realm through the “sanction of antiquity of ancient governments”: “Antiquity always begets the opinion of right… What prevalence opinion of the first kind has over mankind, may easily be understood, by observing the attachment which all nations have to their ancient government, and even to those names which have had the sanction of antiquity” (Hume, 1987 [“Of the First Principles of Government],” 33). Adam Smith draws heavily on this stock of observations and principles in order to construct his own theory and history of sympathy with the rich and the great. According to Hume, authority relies on opinion not force; therefore subordination due only to mere physical force is not sustainable. Alongside time and custom, authority’s reliance on opinion needs also to be further historicized, a task undertaken by Adam Smith.

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  121

The “history and theory” of the “sympathy with the rich and the great” in Adam Smith Adam Smith I: from material dependence to disinterested sympathy –​ is deferential sympathy a modern phenomenon? Thus Hume sets the argument up with his abstract discussion of time, custom, and authority.8 Smith seems to embrace and further historicize this Humean position within his unfinished project of a “theory and history of law and government.”9 Smith closely follows Hume10 in this line of thought (Hont, 2009: 153 n.72)11 but he gives a different twist to the argument. To be sure, modern deference relies heavily on opinion not on force. The role of the nascent public opinion in modern liberty cannot be properly understood without reference to modern deference (Winch, 1978; Bernardi, 2011). Despite the republican critique of luxury in commercial society or Rousseau’s (Rothschild, 1990: 122)12 denigration of the calculation of interest as the emblematic passion of modernity, Smith emphatically states that “the great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers, and, what may seem more extraordinary, most frequently the disinterested admirers and worshippers, of wealth and greatness” (TMS, I.iii.3, 62).13 Note that Smith parallels Rousseau’s concerns about steep inequality (Boucoyannis, 2013); he is nowhere near oblivion regarding the pathologies of poverty and the necessity to address them as intrinsic ills in commercial society.14 At the same time he shifts the attention to a different direction. Is sympathetic identification with authority a properly modern or a trans-​historical phenomenon? (Hont, 2009: 151–​152).15 In a very revealing passage of the LJ (LJB, 13: 401;16 Winch, 1983: 261)17, Smith clarifies his intentions on this topic by pointing to his theory of sympathy with the rich and the powerful (Haakonssen, 1981: 184). Several things tend to give one an authority over others. 1st, superiority of age and wisdom which is generally its concomitant. 2dly, superior strength of body; and these two it is which give the old an authority and respect with the young. 3d, superior fortune also gives a certain authority, caeteris paribus; and 4thly, the effect is the same of superior antiquity when everything else is alike. (LJA, 129: 321) Before the institution of property, in the societies of hunters, the natural superiority of body, mind, age, or wisdom entails authority.18 During this period (Hont, 2009: 143),19 material dependence and sympathy with social authority are almost completely disconnected insofar as authority is slim –​no social ranks properly speaking exist –​it concerns only the security of the group and cannot be inherited (LJA, 9–​10: 202–​203). In the pastoral age, the property of flocks and herds created a mass of the poor deprived of any means of subsistence and as a result completely dependent on a few rich proprietors. Smith contends

122  Spyridon Tegos that the leaders in the nations of shepherds bequeath their fortune to their offspring and as a result the distinction of birth takes place among them. Antiquity of family and antiquity of wealth become synonyms and cause a customary subordination while authority becomes a heritage, an inherited authority. The authority of the superior over the inferior is a matter of tradition; the great shepherd is respected because of his wealth and the number of those who depend upon him for their subsistence, namely for his material power. He can then be revered for “the nobleness of his birth, and of the immemorial antiquity of his illustrious family” (WN,V, 912). Smith analyzes the mechanics of material dependence that sustain the real authority of the chieftains very subtly. It relies heavily on the bare fact of the direct dependence on the chieftain both of the poor and the less important proprietors of flocks and herds. The lesser shepherds realize that the security of their flocks depends on the security of the chieftain and the authority of their restricted nobility on the great authority of the rich chieftain (LJA, 7–​9: 202–​ 203). To be sure, no recourse to naked violence was needed to account for shepherd inequality; the military chief has served as judge during peace and has amassed great wealth through gifts from the clients who require his service as arbiter of private conflicts (Hont, 2009: 154).20 As a result every leader creates a mass of servitors who depend on his jurisdiction and survival during peace while they obey his orders and follow him blindly to war (LJA, 130–​132: 322). In other words, genuine authority –​that is, veneration and spontaneous subordination –​is based on wealth and the power that results from it. Therefore there is no sympathy, strictly speaking, with the chieftain; the subordination of the poor or the less powerful to the immensely powerful shepherd seems to rely heavily, according to Smith’s analysis, on material dependence and so on self-​ interested behavior; the veneration for the nobility of ancient families and the contempt for upstarts has become a customary reflex. In the chapters of the Wealth of Nations bearing respectively the titles “Of the Rise and Progress of the Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire” and “How the Commerce of the Town Contributed to the Improvement of the Country” (Book III, iii and iv) Smith seeks to account for the transition from feudality to post-​feudal commercial modernity. Feudal regimes were post-​ shepherding regimes in the sense that their elites, lords, and barons had the attitude of the chieftains of the pastoral age of society, despite the King’s effort to restrain their power and violence. At this point, Smith’s famous description of the violence and anarchy of feudal institutions turns into an explanation of their collapse. Retrospectively we grasp why he has placed so much emphasis on the lack of luxury consumption during the pastoral age: the chieftains didn’t have the possibility of dissipating their fortune. The gradual development of manufacturing and foreign commerce through the cities and the towns of feudal Europe provided to the rich barons the opportunity to spend their fortune in other ways than by maintaining tenants and retainers (WN, III.iv.418–​419).21 The emergence of market relations that is of the limited dependence or relative independence of merchants and tradesmen from lords and barons marks the

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  123 beginning of the history of disinterested sympathy that is the sympathetic identification with the rich and the great (LJA, 117–​118).22 This is a true turning point in the history of authority, with far-​reaching consequences. Indeed, the fact that the sympathy towards the rich and the great does not proceed from “any dependence that the poor have upon the rich” is a specifically modern phenomenon unknown to the pastoral stage or the feudal society (Haakonssen, 1981: 128),23 and is due to the emergence of the modern institution of the market (LJB:  “…for in general the poor are independent and support themselves by their labor, yet tho’ they expect no benefit from them they have a strong propensity to pay them respect”). Thus the doctrine of sympathy with the rich and the great in Hume and Smith is more subtle than Istvan Hont suggests in his classic paper on “the history and theory of law and government” with regard to its role in integrating the members of different social ranks into an hierarchical order. Alternatively, the claim that “The moral psychology that Smith identified in his theory of sympathy operated throughout history” (Hont, 2015:  154) can be challenged on the abovementioned distinction between materially based and disinterested sympathy with the wealthy. Indeed “modern deference” does not reflect the balance of power (Hont, 2009: 153).24 Adam Smith II: deference to status and early modern theory of prestige There is a distinct dimension within the sympathy with the great, the sympathy with awe-​inspiring authority, based on the prestige of greatness. Significantly, Smith himself calls the sympathy with the rich and the great “peculiar sympathy” and dissects its corrupting potential for moral and political sentiments (TMS, I.iii.2.3, 52; Schliesser, 2017: 140). This analysis necessitates an ultimate distinction between sympathy with the wealthy –​socio-​economic sympathy –​ and prestige of the supreme ruler –​triggering political sympathy. In stark contrast with the normal functioning of sympathy, sympathy between political unequal rests on the immense rift between royalty and commoners. Overall, Smith considers this as an impediment to sympathetic identification: when men are very unequal, they may be unable to put themselves into the other person’s shoes. In politics, however, matters proved to be more complex. Regarding humane treatment, monarchical authority works in favor of protection of the lower classes:  recall Hume’s case for monarchies. The comparative analysis of ancient and modern monarchies and republics regarding the treatment of inferiors in the Essay and the principle of comparison in his analysis of envy among equals in the THN lead to the following conclusion: the potential of extensive sympathy is greater when the political ruler is far removed and thus out of comparison  –​“the more the master is removed from us in place and rank, the greater liberty [and apparently one should add the greater and more distinctive sympathy with the ruler] we enjoy” (Hume, 1987 [“Populousness of Ancient Nations],” 383). Smith follows his lead and further conceptualizes this “peculiar sympathy” with the monarch.

124  Spyridon Tegos In the essay “Of the Protestant Succession,” as he evaluates the grounds of royal hereditary right and the legitimacy of succession, Hume states that it is utterly wrong to consider kings at the same level as the meanest of mankind. Even if “the anatomist fins no more in the greatest monarch than in the lowest peasant or day labourer; and a moralist may perhaps frequently finds less,” Hume cynically claims that “all of us, still retain these prejudice in favor of birth and family” (Hume, 1987 [“Of the Protestant Succession],” 504). It is quite telling that Hume, constantly ironic about mystifications and notoriously deglamorizing the sacred symbols of Whigs and Tories does not further scrutinize this “prejudice” within his science of human nature. Instead, he turns to exactly the same example with the one that Smith gives in the TMS (I.iii.2, 52–​53): the King’s life and misfortunes are the only serious topic for tragedies (TMS, I.iii.2, 51–​52). In other words royal lifestyle is supremely glamorous, ideal to vicariously sympathize and identify with. Smith’s account of “ambition and the origin of distinction of ranks” is definitely ironic; moving beyond Humean lines though, Smith constructs a theory of prestige in the foundation of authority. Kings are taken to be of a different, superior race than simply humans.25 In this context, the appeal to eastern adulation (Forbes, 1985:  189–​190)26 is telling. The “bulk of mankind” defers to the wealthy and the great, almost idolizing them, after “the manner of eastern adulation” (TMS, I.iii.2.2). It belongs to a frame of reference with explicit theologico-​political overtones regarding the deification of the rulers.27 On these lines, Smith’s account of the “natural disposition to respect” controversial kings such as Charles I  is striking (Tegos, 2013). He lucidly recalls that there is no utilitarian motivation behind our tendency to worship the king.28 The Lockean tradition of the right to resist an unlawful king (TMS, I.iii.2, 53)29 is declared at odds with deep-​seated affections of human psychology: “The kings are the servants of the people.To be obeyed, resisted, deposed or punished, as the public conveniency may require, is the doctrine of reason and philosophy; but it is not the doctrine of Nature” (TMS, I.iii.2.3, 53). Oddly enough Smith’s main thesis is that crowd psychology is fundamentally similar to the superstitious factional spirit of intimidated believers, let alone the mentally mutilated by the woes of commercial life –​urban ills, pathologies issue from the division of labor –​modern crowd. Therefore is doomed to fluctuate between a “habitual state of deference” to authority proper to common people and a manic-​ depressive outbursts of insurrectional resentful stance to established authority. Smith’s narrative can hardly avoid cynicism but is stunningly lucid and informative on the nature of sentimental loyalty to royalty: …and their conduct [of the rulers] must, either justly or unjustly, have excited the highest degree of all those passions, before the bulk of the people can be brought to oppose them with violence, or to desire to see them either punished or deposed. Even when the people have been brought this length, they are apt to relent every moment, and easily relapse into their habitual state of deference to those whom they have been accustomed to look upon as their

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  125 natural superiors. They cannot stand the mortification of their monarch. Compassion soon takes the place of resentment, they forget  all past provocations, their old principles of loyalty revive, and they run to re-​establish the ruined authority of their old masters, with the same violence with which they had opposed it. The death of Charles I brought about the Restoration of royal family… . (TMS, I.iii.2.3, 53; italics added) Deference to royalty ends up being a distinct form of sympathy in Adam Smith. He understands the sympathy with the rich and great in terms of a fetishism of greatness that idealized royal authority. This form of deferential sympathy rests on a theory of prestige in politics and bolsters the impersonal, “impartial administration of justice,” thereby entailing deference and not mere obedience to authority. Leadership and prestige in modernity: the challenge of “middle stations of life” It has been already stated that Adam Smith’s account of ambition and the distinction of ranks involves irony and satire. It suggests, to a certain extent, that Smith would have welcomed a different way of picking out political leaders. He’s clear that wisdom and virtue won’t do (TMS,VI –​they are too hard to determine). In a world where titled aristocracy was criticized and subsided, the threat of upholding “an unworthy ruling elite that might have outlived its distinction” (Khalil, 2005: 63) looms large.Then, could commercial-​minded elite be a candidate to rule? Coleman (1988: 167–​169) has rightly emphasized that merchants and manufacturers could not possibly claim any legitimate political authority in Smith’s “science of the legislator.” He argues, rather convincingly, that in Smith’s “pre-​industrialized, non-​factory, trading and manufacturing community,” businessmen and merchants30 with their “mean rapacity” (WN, IV.iii.493) and their tendency to conspiracy in order to obtain privileged measures at the expense of public interest are not entitled to any form of authority (Coleman, 1988: 167). According to Smith, merchants and manufacturers “neither are nor ought to be the rulers of mankind” (WN,V.638). Regarding hereditary nobility, Forbes reminds us of Smith’s distaste for the oppressive privileged aristocracy of Scotland. Landed gentry, hereditary nobility (relics of the feudal past), merchants, and manufacturers (clergy or laboring poor are not even mentioned for obvious reasons), none can possibly be candidates for the title of “natural aristocracy.” The only credible candidate is the famous “middle station of life,” men of “middling rank.” This hypothesis seems to gain Smith’s approval. According to Duncan Forbes, Smith could not have been more “feudal” in his preferences than Hume; he leans quite normally towards the “middling rank” as “support of liberty” (Hume, 1987 [“Of Refinement in the Arts],” 277; Forbes, 1976: 196–​ 197). In his short reference to the “men educated in the middle and inferior ranks of life,” Smith eventually notices that the highest offices in all government, even in monarchies, are possessed by this class of people whose virtues

126  Spyridon Tegos are “long exertion of patience, industry, fortitude and application of thought” (TMS, I.iii.2, 56). In accounting for the nature of the newly formed establishment, the “leading men” in British America, Smith makes reference to the “natural aristocracy” of the country as a legitimate locus of authority (WN, IV.vii.622).31 The socio-​ economic and political identity of this aristocracy remains a matter of interpretation.Therefore, Smith “when employs the concept of natural aristocracy, as he does in a couple of occasions, we are justified in thinking that it is not synonymous with actual aristocracy: the former would entail a larger element of leadership based on genuine achievement” (Winch, 1996: 182). But should we admit that the middling rank could obtain what merchants and manufacturers have not, namely the “sort of authority which naturally over-​awes the people, and without force commands their willing obedience”? (WN, IV.vii.638, Rothschild, 2002: 220).32 But when, in modern democracies, a person from the “lower” ranks attracts enough political attention to trigger a “political” star worship process, he can win a national election (Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, Obama), and is then invested with leadership by way of great public pomp. Perhaps that’s enough to win the “natural” obeisance that Smith thought we generally give only to wealth and age. Overall, Smith’s view of authority does not require that it go to the wealthy aristocrat. In view of the necessity of deference to authority for any sustainable regime and the dangerous ambivalence inherent to the sympathetic deference to royalty, we can assume that the ritualistic aspect of authority is unsurpassable and constitutes an important Smithian legacy for any liberal approach to deference to authority.

Conclusion In this paper I’ve endeavored to hone in the psychological dimension of authority in Adam Smith at the expense of its institutional dimension. Echoing the legacy of Roman auctoritas, authority constitutes an uneasy conceptual path. It is a constant preoccupation in modern legal studies (Kelsen, 1934, 2005) not to reduce compliance with the law to the fear of sanctions or mere habit. The authority of law and legislation is taken to be a vital component of legal obligation regardless of the differing accounts in respect to its origin and status. Beyond legal studies, in the context of the emotional economy of politics, the prestigious authority of the ruler remains a fairly understudied topic in the scholarship of the European Enlightenment.33 Authority triggers respect and, when legitimate, authority triggers legitimate respect. Yet is it a radically different respect than that shown to parents and elders? The transition from domestic to social and political authority receives a properly Smithian treatment within the natural history of law and government. Drawing on the legacy of Roman auctoritas, Adam Smith seeks to determine the conditions of a transition from paternalistic deference to the impersonal authority of the laws. In line with Hume, Adam Smith participates

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  127 in the general schema of the move from concrete to abstract in the Scottish Enlightenment34 –​akin to, for example, money from shells to credit notes. Yet he is fully aware that “impersonality” of law and institutions may be insufficient to bind. Deference to authority, distinct from socio-​economic dependence, seems necessary for any sustainable modern liberal regime. According to Smith, I argue, deferential sympathy with authority, distinct from sympathy based on material dependence, is a properly modern phenomenon. Despite systematic efforts to mitigate its impact on rationally stirred politics, reverence to authority invokes an emotional foundation that ultimately remains supra-​rational.This imaginary, affective element seems nonetheless vital to account for political obligation beyond the fear of sanctions from the secular or divine sovereign.35 There is, of course, no sharp distinction between the “rational” and “sentimental” senses, since following Hobbes (and moderns like Joseph Raz36) “authority” works pre-​emptively turning opinions of many into one decision, so it is the common focus of affection that serves to bind the common people. Akin to his theory and history of deferential sympathy, Adam Smith sketches an original theory of prestige that pervades his treatment of authority. Smith offers several hints pointing to a liberal “history and theory of prestige” in modernity  –​anticipating Max Weber and other jurists and sociologists from nineteenth century onwards  –​about the modalities according to which personal (or “personified”) authority is and should be transformed in modernity while title aristocracy was disappearing. This project remained unfinished. In this paper I’ve tried to reconstruct the mains threads of the “history and theory” of deference to authority throughout his oeuvre. Smith never loses sight of the ineradicable elements of prestige tied up in any realistic theory of auctoritas. Whether deference to political authority unambiguously amounts to deference to personified authority or can equally operate on impersonal forms of authority remains an open issue.

Acknowledgments The author is grateful for comments and suggestion in various stages of this paper to Aaron Garrett, Ryan Hanley, Christopher Berry, Maria Paganelli, Catherine Marshall, Craig Smith, Eric Schliesser, Fonna Forman, Yannis Tassopoulos and Liberty Fund fellows, especially Doug Den Uyl, for input during my Templeton tenure.

Notes 1 It is therefore doubtful the extent to which Adam Smith has been “too optimistic” in trusting without further inquiry the successful combination of “the dynamics of capitalist development with the deferential socializing capacities of pre-​capitalist societies,” Dunn (1983). Conceived differently by the positivist German jurist Hans Kelsen (1934: ch. 1, 5) as stemming from a fundamental legal norm in his Pure Theory of Law, the authority

128  Spyridon Tegos of law backs the effectiveness of abstract legal fictions. It is ultimately associated, in a republican vein, with the doctrine of unity of state’s “legal personality,” the personification of which exclude deference to state’s authority. 2   First, to the objects they possess, such as houses, gardens, equipages; which, being agreeable in themselves, necessarily produce a sentiment of pleasure to everyone that either consider or surveys them. Secondly, To the expectations of advantage from the rich and powerful by our sharing their possessions. Thirdly, to sympathy which makes us partake of the satisfaction of everyone, that approaches us. All these principles may concur in producing the present phenomenon.The question is, to which of them we ought principally to ascribe it. (TNH, 3 TNH, 4 TNH,,7; see also Hume (1987 [“Of Property and Riches],” 2.1.10). 5   Upon the whole, there remains nothing, which can give us an esteem for power and riches, and a contempt for meanness and poverty, except the principle of sympathy, by which we enter into the sentiments of the rich and poor, and partake of their pleasure and uneasiness. Riches gives satisfaction to their possessor; and this satisfaction is conveyed to the beholder by the imagination, which produces an idea resembling the original impression in force and vivacity. This agreeable idea or impression is connected with love, which is an agreeable passion. It proceeds from a thinking conscious being, which is the very object of love. From this relation of impressions, and identity of ideas, the passions arises, according to my hypothesis. (THN, 6 Regarding the sympathy with the wealthy and powerful as prone to envious comparison when practiced within a small social distance, see the classic essay “Master passions” (Baier, 1980: 409–​411). 7 Hume seeks to show the influence on the passions for one in the position of powerlessness and for one who has an extreme power over others.The power of the master is the power to command another, to have another subject or in thrall to one. If we are masters, we have a “power or an authority over others [that] makes us capable of satisfying all our desires.” In contrast, “slavery, by subjecting us to the will of others, exposes us to a thousand wants, and mortifications” ( Possessing this kind of power, having dominion over another, is a source of pride or vanity, as powerlessness or slavery is a source of shame or humility. In rude and unpolished nations, where the arts are neglected, all labour is bestowed on the cultivation of the ground, and the whole society is divided into two classes, proprietors of land and their vassals or tenants. The latter are necessarily dependent, and fitted for slavery and subjection; especially where they possess no riches and they are not valued for their knowledge in agriculture; as must always be the case where the arts are neglected. The former naturally erect themselves into petty tyrants; and must either submit to an absolute master, for the sake of peace and order; or if they preserve their independency, like the ancient barons, they must fall into feuds and contests among themselves, and throw the whole society into such confusion, as it perhaps worse than the most despotic government. But where luxury nourishes commerce and industry, the peasants, by a proper cultivation of the land, become rich and independent; while the tradesmen and merchants acquire a share of the property.

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  129 (Hume, 1987: 287) 8 See Berry (2018, ch.11 “Hume and the Customary Causes of Industry, Knowledge and Commerce”). 9 The masterly recent posthumous book of Istvan Hont contains numerous insightful comments on the issue of authority in Adam Smith (Hont, 2015). 10 See Hume, 1987 [“Of the First Principles of Government],” 33. 11 Hont (2015: 153, n.72): “Smith’s remark in WN, I, p. 48, about the category error of equating modern market power with the political power that wealth used to convey to the rich through dependency relations in earlier societies.” 12 Rothschild (1990: 122). 13 TMS, I.iii.3.2. See also Tegos (2013). 14 As we now know from recent scholarship (Hanley, 2017; Rasmussen, 2016; Sagar, 2016:  3–​4), the Adam Smith–​Rousseau connection runs deeper. Smith showed interest in Rousseau beyond Rousseau’s Discourse.The piece of evidence here is primarily Rousseau’s Encyclopédie article, which would in time be separately published as the Discours sur l’économie politique. 15 In this essay I follow the thread of Istvan Hont (2009) while challenging his conception of the history of the sympathy with the rich and the great: Military rulers and judges were showered with gifts by the grateful beneficiaries of their activities.These gifts were a sign of respect towards such leaders, creating a custom whereby gifts were expected from those who wanted to avail themselves of such leadership services. Thus, when the transition to private property took place, wealth was already readily available to the natural rulers of early societies without any recourse to violence. The admiration of the rich, then, is not simply a feature of modern societies and commercial regimes. The moral psychology that Smith identified in his theory of sympathy operated throughout history. With all its potential weaknesses, it offered Smith a way out of the suggestion that the history of government and its corruption can be explained in a moralising way, as in Locke’s Treatise, by blaming luxury. 16  

Age and long possession of power have also a tendency to strengthen authority. Age is naturally in our imagination connected with wisdom and experience; and a continuance in power bestows a kind of right to the exercise of it. But superior wealth still more than any of those qualities contributes to confer authority. This proceeds not from any dependence that the poor have upon the rich, for in general the poor are independent and support themselves by their labor, yet tho’ they expect no benefit from them they have a strong propensity to pay them respect. This principle is fully explained in the Theory of moral sentiments, where it is shewn that it arises from our sympathy with our superiours being greater than that with our equals or inferiors: we admire their happy situation, enter into it with pleasure, and endeavour to promote it. (LJB, 13: 401)

17 In a slightly different context, Winch claims that the “theory” component of the “theory and history of law and government” to which Smith refers to in his famous letter to La Rochefoucauld “is likely to be the theory of natural justice, the social and psychological foundation of which were laid in the Theory of Moral Sentiments.” Therefore, the lectures should be considered as a bridge between the Theory… and the Wealth of Nations, “Adam Smith’s ‘enduring particular result’,” (1996: 261).

130  Spyridon Tegos 18  




Among nations of hunters, such as the native tribes of North America, age is the sole foundation of rank and precedency. Among them, father is the appellation of a superior; brother of an equal; and son, of an inferior. In the most opulent and civilized nations, age regulates rank among those who are in a every other respect equal and, among whom, therefore, there is nothing else to regulate it. (LJA: 129, 321) Leadership arrangements were accepted voluntarily, for they answered a common need and were instruments of public utility, the salus populi.This kind of consent developed historically, through customary practice, because for ages there were no express stipulations that office-​holding should be conditional on performing a genuine service for public utility. Rule by natural authority, Locke emphasised, was based on naïve trust and unguarded ignorance of the looming danger of cumulative and eventually irreversible corruption. (Hont, 2009: 143) In the Wealth of Nations Smith claimed that significant inequality in property holding could never have been stabilised without the simultaneous emergence of the state to protect it. Shepherd inequality could survive only because rich rulers invented and used the state to protect themselves from the poor. This explanation was not quite sufficient. It still left open the question how the inequalities in wealth that needed the protection of the state could have arisen in the first place. Smith needed to fill in the missing historical and logical link between rule based on natural authority alone and the first shepherd states in which authority was assisted by power based on wealth. Hont (2009: 154) But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about. These gradually furnished the great proprietors with something for which they could exchange the whole surplus produce of their lands, and which they could consume themselves without sharing it with tenants and retainers. …For a pair of diamond buckles perhaps, or for something as frivolous and useless, they exchanged the maintenance, or what is the same thing, the price of the maintenance of thousand men for a year, and with it the whole weight and authority which it could give them. The buckles, however, were to be all their own, and no other human creature was to have any share of them; whereas in the more antient method of expence they must have shared with at least a thousand people. With the judges that were to determine the preference, this difference was perfectly decisive; and thus, for the gratification of the most childish, the meanest and the most sordid of all vanities, they gradually bartered their whole power and authority. (WN, III. Iv. 10.418–​419)

22 LJA, i. 117–​118: “a tradesman to retain your custom, may perhaps vote for you in an election, but you need not expect that he will attend you to a battle.” 23 Therefore I  think it is slightly misleading to claim, as Haakonssen does, that the “basis of this deference is that such ‘superiors’ naturally attract the sympathetic attention of other men.” 24 “Modern deference was not a faithful mirror of prevailing property relations, and hence of the balance of power, but diverged from it in this important respect.”

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  131 25  

A stranger to human nature, who saw the indifference of men about the misery of their inferiors, and the regret and indignation which they feel for the misfortunes and sufferings of those above them, would be apt to imagine, that pain must be more agonizing, and the convulsions of death more terrible to persons of higher rank, than to those of meaner stations. (TMS I.iii.2.30)

26 In the parlance of the period, eastern monarchies constitute the archetype of arbitrary rule. For a comprehensive analysis of despotic power in Smith, see Forbes (1976: 189–​190). 27 Smith’s scathing tone is remarkable: “Great King, live for ever! is the compliment which, after the manner of eastern adulation, we should readily make them, if the experience did not teach us its absurdity…His air, his manner, his deportment, all mark that elegant and graceful sense of his own superiority, which those who are born to inferior station can hardly even arrive at” (TMS, I.iii.2, 52, 4). 28 There is a striking similarity in language and tone with La Bruyère’s analysis regarding deference towards the wealthy, broadening the debate about Smith’s relationship with French moralists further than the “narrow” Smith–​La Rochefoucauld connection (1992:  812):  “La prévention du peuple en faveur des Grands est si aveugle, et l’entêtement pour leur geste, leur visage, leur ton de voix et leurs manières si général; que s’ils s’avisaient d’être bons, cela irait à l’idôlatrie”; compare with Smith’s scathing critical tone in the TMS I.iii.2.2, 4: “Great King live for ever! is the compliment which, after the manner of eastern adulation, we should readily make them, if the experience did not teach us its absurdity…His air, his manner, his deportment, all mark that elegant and graceful sense of his own superiority, which those who are born to inferior station can hardly even arrive at.” “We could even wish them immortal…Great King, live forever! is the compliment which, after the manner of eastern adulation, we should readily make them, if the experience did not teach us its absurdity…” 29 “Neither is our deference to their inclinations founded chiefly or altogether, upon a regard to the utility of such submission and to the order of society, which is best supported by it” (TMS I.iii.2.3). 30 Besides, they belong to no country because they can remove their capital and residence elsewhere without difficulty (WN,V.ii.k. 906). 31   Men desire to have some share in the management of publick affairs chiefly on account of the importance which gives it them. Upon the power which the greater part of the leading men, the natural aristocracy of every country, have of preserving or defending their respective importance, depends the stability and duration of every system of free government. In the attacks which those leading men are continually making upon the importance of one another, and in the defence of their own, consists the whole play of domestick faction and ambition. The leading men of America, like those of all other countries, desire to preserve their own importance.” Smith continues:  “The leading men of America, like those of all other countries, desire to preserve their own importance. They feel, or imagine, that if their assemblies, which they are fond of calling parliaments, and of considering as equal in authority to the parliament of Great Britain, should be so far degraded as to become the humble ministers and executive officers of that parliament, the greater part of their own importance would be at an end. (WN, IV.vii.c.74, 622)

132  Spyridon Tegos 32 The profession of merchant “in no country in the world carries along with it that sort of authority which naturally over-​awes the people, and without force commands their willing obedience” (WN, 638). 33 In an insightful book, sociologist Richard Sennett discusses authority in terms of emotional bonds, in the double sense of the term bond, as connection but also constrain: “the bond of authority is built of images of strength and weakness: it is the emotional expression of power.” See Sennett (1980: 4). 34 A point convincingly made by Berry (2013, ch. 4). 35 To be sure, there is a very important rational tradition of authority, related with reason giving. One has to bear in mind distinction between having authority and being an authority. This paper aims to highlight the indispensable sentimental underpinnings of the latter. 36 See in particular Raz (1979, 1990).

References Baier,A. (1980) “Master passions,” in Explaining Emotions, ed.Amelie Rorty, Berkeley, CA. Bernardi, Br. (2001) Du Contrat Social, Paris: GF. Berry, Chr. (2013) The Idea of the Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Berry, Chr. (2018) Essays on Hume, Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Boucoyannis, D. (2013) “The equalizing hand: Why Adam Smith thought the market should produce wealth without steep inequality,” Perspective in Politics, 11 (4): 1051–​1070. Broadie, A. (2012) Agreeable Connexions:  Scottish Enlightenment Links with France, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Coleman, D.C. (1988) “Adam Smith, businessmen, and the mercantile system in England,” History of European Ideas, 9 (2): 161–​170. Dunn, J. (1983) “From applied theology to social analysis: the break between John Locke and the Scottish Enlightenment,” in Wealth and Virtue.The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. I. Hont and M. Ignatieff, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Finlay, J. (2007) Hume’s Social Philosophy. Human Nature and Commercial Sociability in “A Treatise of Human Nature,” London-​Oxford: Bloomsbury Forbes, D. (1976) “Sceptical whiggism, commerce and liberty,” in Essays on Adam Smith, ed. A.S. Skinner and T. Wilson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 179–​202. Haakonssen, K. (1981) The Science of the Legislator,The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hammer, D. (2015) “Authoring within history: the legacy of Roman politics in Hannah Arendt,” Classical Receptions Journal, 7 (1): 129–​139. Harris, J.A. (2020, forthcoming) “ ‘The protection of the rich against the poor’: the politics of Adam Smith’s political economy,” Social Philosophy and Policy Hont, I. (2009) “Adam Smith’s history of law and government as political theory,” in Essays for John Dunn, ed. R. Bourke and R. Geuss, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Hont, I. (2015) Politics in Commercial Society. Jean-​Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith, ed. B. Kapossy and M. Sonenscher, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Deference to authority in Adam Smith  133 Hume, D. ([1739–​1740] 2000) A Treatise of Human Nature, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hume, D. (1987) Essays Moral, Political and Literary, ed. Eugene F. Miller, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund. Kelsen, H. (1934) Pure Theory of Law, 2nd ed. 1960, trans. 2005, New Jersey: Lawbook Exchange. Khalil (2005) “An anatomy of authority: Adam Smith as political theorist,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 29 (1): 57–​71. Pack, S. (2000) “The Rousseau-​Smith connection:  towards an understanding of Pr West’s ‘Splenetic Smith’,” History of Economic Ideas, 8 (2): 35–​62. Rasmussen, D. (2016) “Adam Smith on what is wrong with economic inequality,” American Political Science Review, 110 (2): 342–​352. Raz, J. (1979) Authority of Law. Essays on Law and Morality, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Raz, J. (1990) “Authority and justification,” in Authority, ed. J. Raz, New York: University Press, 115–​141. Rothschild, E. (1776) Rousseau Judge of Jean-​Jacques, in The Collected Writings of Rousseau, vol. 1, ed. Roger D. Masters and Christopher Kelly, trans. Judith R. Bush, Christopher Kelly, and Roger D. Masters, 1990, Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. Rothschild, E. (2002) Economic Sentiments, Adam Smith, Condorcet and the Enlightenment, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rothschild, E. and Rousseau, J-​J. (1755) “Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men,” in The Discourses and Other Early Political Writings, trans. V. Gourevitch, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, http://​​ titles/​rousseau-​the-​social-​contract-​and-​discourses Sagar, P. (2016) “Smith and Rousseau after Hume and Mandeville,” Political Theory.46.1,  29–​58. Schliesser, E (2017) Adam Smith. Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sennett, S. (1980) Authority, New York: W.W. Norton. Smith, A. (1978) Lectures on Jurisprudence, ed. R.L. Meek, D.D. Raphael, and P.G. Stein, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 129, 321. Taylor, J.A. (2015) Reflecting Subjects. Passion, Sympathy and Society in Hume’s Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tegos, S. (2013) “The Two Sources of Corruption of Moral Sentiments in Adam Smith,” Adam Smith Review, 7. 130–​147. Winch, D. (1996) Riches and Poverty. An Intellectual History of the Political Economy in Britain 1750–​1834, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Weber, M. (1947[1913]) Theory of Social and Economic Organization, ed. Talcott Parsons, New York: Free Press.

Deriving ‘general principles’ Adam Smith’s pervasive use of equilibrium and comparative statics analysis Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast1

Introduction Since the widespread rejection of ‘Das Adam Smith Problem’ in the last quarter of the twentieth century, scholars have searched for unity in the wide-​ ranging corpus of Adam Smith.2 Many scholars seek to understand his corpus by speculating about the so-​ called missing second book on jurisprudence that Smith promised at the end of The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) but never completed. Seemingly, this missing book was to have bridged TMS and the Wealth of Nations (WN), drawing on ideas developed in his lectures on jurisprudence.3 An alternative but less common approach has been to analyze Smith’s social scientific methodology rather than the substantive content of his work. Several scholars have observed that Smith sought to apply the scientific method, which he described at length in his essay on the ‘History of Astronomy’ (Berry 2006, Montes 2003a,b, Montes 2006, and Skinner 1996b). Dow (2009) also illustrates how Smith’s reliance on the concrete, historical analysis owes ‘explicit debt to Newton’s [scientific] methodology.’ As Dow and others have observed, such a method was intended to uncover the fundamental principles of the human order as Newton uncovered the fundamental principles of the natural order. Henderson (2006:117–​118) shows that Smith carefully uses the logical ‘if/​then’ form of analysis to state many propositions. Otteson (2002, 2011:130–​131) describes an overall ‘Smithian’ approach, arguing that Smith’s TMS, the ‘Essay on Language,’ and his analysis of markets in WN share the same structure he calls a ‘market model.’4 Blaug (1992:52) also observes that ‘Books I and II of the Wealth of Nations make liberal use of the method of comparative statics later associated with the work of Ricardo.’5 Finally, Ryan Hanley has lucidly demonstrated how Smith’s was able to recognize patterns in one field and applied them in a way to make sense of patterns in another field. For example, Smith repurposes the key insight of the pin factory—​that the division of labor and specialization yields gains in productivity—​in the academy to argue that philosophers specializing in different topics (mechanical, moral, political, or natural) are more productive when they are ‘subdivided into various provinces’ (Hanley 2017:279–​ 281; LJ[A]‌.vi.43). Needless to

Deriving ‘general principles’  135 say, the emphasis on Smith’s unifying scientific and rhetorical methods—​as opposed to the substantive ideas contained in his works—​has further enabled scholars to disprove Das Adam Smith Problem and draw attention to the breadth of Smith’s social science beyond economic analysis. We take up a similar task in this paper by highlighting a pervasive form of analysis in Smith’s works, namely, his use of equilibrium and comparative statics-​like arguments. Though Smith himself did not use these terms—​as we explain later—​he consistently employed this form of analysis to explain how and why a certain outcome is achieved in a strategic interaction (an equilibrium argument), and how and why that outcome changes under certain conditions (comparative statics).That Smith uses this form of analysis to explain cooperation and conflict across vastly different realms of the human order is an indispensable—​albeit, not the only—​feature of Smith’s oeuvre and one which reflects the multifaceted nature and capacious scope of the Enlightenment science of man. Many of Smith’s most powerful insights rely on equilibrium and comparative statics arguments.6 Indeed, these forms of argument are a major reason why modern economists are so inclined to think of Smith as the founder of the discipline. However, as we demonstrate, Smith employs the logic of equilibrium and comparative statics analysis beyond the realm of economic behavior. His analysis of political and institutional development—​such as stability and fall of the Roman Catholic Church, the stability of feudalism and its later decline—​ takes the form of equilibrium and comparative statics arguments.7 The central theme of TMS—​how and why individuals come to follow the ‘general rules of morality’ (TMS III.4.8; III.4.10–​12)—​can also be ascertained through the same underlying form of analysis. Smith’s approach to uncovering general principles of order and the conditions under which that order changes is evident throughout his lesser-​known works as well, from his essay on the formation of languages to his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-​Lettres (LRBL). The heart of our analysis in this paper focuses on two main examples. The first concerns Smith’s explanation of the rise and decline of feudalism in Europe: how was it possible that feudalism, a period marked by low growth and violence, was sustained for so long? What enabled its decline and the subsequent rise of commercial towns with higher growth, greater security, and greater liberty? The second concerns Smith’s explanations for sustaining moral behavior: how do individuals come to follow the ‘general rules of morality’? What makes some people able to sustain higher levels of moral behavior than others? Smith’s answers to these questions, in their substance as well as in their method, but more importantly so in the latter, underscore an important feature of his approach to social science: it contains elements of both normative and positive political theory. Traditionally, normative and positive concerns are seen to be two distinct endeavors:  normative theory making statements about what ought to be and positive theory making statements about what is. Smith, however, frequently provides positive models to show how a set of

136  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast normative principles—​whether economic growth, political liberty, or moral behavior—​can be sustained in practice.Though this is by no means a novel discovery or interpretation, few scholars have fully appreciated the centrality and, indeed, innovativeness of this particular feature of Smith’s works. We argue that understanding the importance and pervasiveness of equilibrium and comparative statics analysis in Smith’s works leads to a fuller understanding of Smith’s contributions not just to economics, but to the scientific study of the whole of human order. This paper proceeds as follows. In the next section, we define what we mean by equilibrium and comparative statics arguments. Although Smith himself did not use these terms, he nonetheless appealed to their logic. We show how to identify the underlying logic of these arguments in his works. In subsequent sections, we reconstruct three examples of how Smith applies this logic in political economic development, moral behavior, and language. In the final section, we discuss the implications our framework has for understanding Smith’s political theory and his contributions to social science more generally.

Equilibrium and comparative statics: a brief primer The concept of equilibrium is one of the most important concepts in modern economics today. Although it has taken on many meanings and applications, at its core, an equilibrium is a ‘balance of forces’ in a strategic interaction of individuals with motivating behavior (Miltgate and Stimson 2009:84).8 It is also commonly thought of in the following way: no individual has an incentive to deviate from the behavior that leads to the equilibrium outcome. The simplest and most obvious illustrations of equilibrium conditions often come from market interactions, such as that between a buyer and seller in a market. The buyer and seller each has a specified goal, and their behavior is motivated by a desire to ‘better their condition,’ to use Smith’s phrase: the buyer wants to buy at a lower price, while the seller hopes to make more profit by selling at a higher one. Both the buyer and seller are potentially better off with an exchange, at least within some range of possible prices. Each has several options or strategies from which to choose: announcing a price at which they are willing to exchange; walking away from the exchange. If we hold constant a variety of environmental elements or what are now called ‘exogenous parameters’—​say, the time of year, the price of related goods, the state of the economy—​the equilibrium condition exists when neither the buyer nor the seller can be better off by changing their strategy: the seller cannot make more money by raising or lowering his price; and the buyer cannot do better either by buying a different quantity or by going elsewhere to make his purchase. Smith presents the canonical example of the equilibrium quantity and price of a good in Book I, Chapter 7 of the Wealth of Nations. When sellers bring a quantity of a good that exceeds the demand for it, it ‘cannot be all sold to those who are willing to pay the whole value of the rent, wages, and profit which must be paid’ in order to bring that good to the market in the first place; thus,

Deriving ‘general principles’  137 ‘the market price will sink more or less below the natural price.’ If, however, ‘the quantity brought to market is just sufficient to the effectual demand and no more,’ then the market price of that good ‘comes to be either exactly, or as nearly as can be judged of, the same with the natural price.’ The natural price—​or the long-​term equilibrium price—​is that which the seller cannot sell for any more or less, and buyers do not buy for any more or less; or, as Smith writes, it is that price for which ‘the whole quantity [of the good] on hand can be disposed of for this price, and cannot be disposed of for more.’9 To this well-​worn example of natural price as equilibrium price, Smith adds a remark worth underscoring: the natural price is ‘the central price, to which the prices of all commodities are continually gravitating.’ There might be ‘different accidents’ (i.e., changes in exogenous parameters) that keep the price of the good hovering just above or just below it temporarily, but ‘whatever may be the obstacles which hinder them from settling in this center of repose and continuance, they are constantly tending towards it.’10 We want to draw out this concept of equilibrium in Smith’s work: it is a ‘central tendency’ in a system that forces are constantly gravitating towards. As Milgate and Stimson (2009:85) have suggested, Smith’s (implicit, we should add) concept of equilibrium price ought not to be confused with the idea of a stable competitive equilibrium in modern economics. Contemporary notions of equilibrium conditions are formal expressions—​a type of analytic reasoning—​of the notion that there are forces that produce patterns, regularity, and order in a system (Milgate and Stimson 2009:86).11 Smith’s ideas have much in common with those ideas, but Smith did not formalize his ideas and his analysis is often incomplete. The natural prices and quantity of goods is a classic example of equilibrium analysis in an economic system (a market), and it became a pillar of the science of political economy in the late-​eighteenth century. But, as scholars today well know, there were many more ‘systems’ of human cooperation and conflict in which Smith sought to unveil the central tendencies, general principles, and rules that governed them. By ‘representing the invisible chains’ that bound together disjointed events and occurrences, Smith endeavored ‘to introduce order into this chaos of jarring and discordant appearances,’ to make sense of the ‘discordant phaenomena of nature,’ and to soothe our psychological need to make sense of the unexpected (History of Astronomy [HA], II.11–​12; IV.76; Phillipson 2010:283).12 Our goal in this paper, then, is to demonstrate that these types of central tendencies and ‘general principles’ are a defining feature of Smith’s works—​not just in his economics, but importantly, in his approach to political development, institutional change, and morality. While a handful of scholars have explored Smith’s methodological approach to equilibrium in his economics, to our knowledge, no one has interpreted Smith as pervasively using this idea throughout his corpus and fewer scholars have observed Smith’s pervasive use of some comparative static ideas. There is, undoubtedly, some good reason for this. To start, ‘equilibrium’ is a modern term that Smith did not use, and to read comparative statics back in time on to Smith’s works runs the risk of anachronism.13 To be sure, we are not claiming

138  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast that Smith invented equilibrium and comparative statics analysis, nor are we arguing that Smith intended to and did do equilibrium and comparative statics analysis exactly along the lines of modern economics.We are simply marshaling modern terminology in service of gaining clarity about the underlying logic of Smith’s method of analysis. Our use of the terminology of comparative statics, then, is in the following way: it is an analytic device used to understand how an equilibrium outcome changes in response to a change in an exogenous factor. To return to the market price example: suppose that at a given income, the buyer will purchase two units of the good at the natural, or equilibrium, price. However, if the buyer’s income falls significantly, she will purchase less of the good—​perhaps just one unit at the equilibrium price. Comparative statics analysis of this situation yields the following insight: as the buyer’s income falls, she purchases less of a particular good. Smith’s Wealth of Nations abounds with comparative statics examples—​too many to list here, but some we have included in the table that constitutes Appendix 1. One of the clearest examples of Smith’s comparative statics arguments occurs in his discussion of wages in Book I, Chapter 10. Smith explains that, subject to the ‘advantages and disadvantages of different employments of labor and stock,’ wages tend to an equilibrium level. Specifically, wages must, in the same neighbourhood [i.e., area or region], be either perfectly equal or continually tending to equality. If in the same neighbourhood, there was any employment evidently either more or less advantageous than the rest, so many people would crowd into it in the one case, and so many would desert it in the other, that its advantages would soon return to the level of other employments. (WN I.x.a.1:116) Smith’s discussion of wages has the markers of an equilibrium and comparative statics argument. The central tendency or equilibrium wage in a neighborhood (read:  a given area) generally trends toward the same levels; otherwise, workers will alter their choices, deserting lower paying jobs for higher paying ones. For comparative statics, Smith’s theory uses a variety of parameters—​ riskiness of the job, constancy of the employment, and so on—​and he explains how changes on these parameters affect wages. ‘The wages of labour vary with the ease or hardship, the cleanliness or dirtiness, the honourableness or dishonourableness of the employment,’ and ‘the wages of labour in different occupations vary with the constancy or inconstancy of employment’ (WN I.x.b.2:117; I.x.b.11:120). Smith further argues that:  ‘In years of scarcity, … [m]‌ore people want employment than can easily get it; many are willing to take it upon lower terms than ordinary, and wages of both servants and journeymen frequently sink.’ The opposite occurs in years of plenty (WN I.viii.45–​47:100–​ 101). In addition, wages tend toward a higher equilibrium (i.e., a higher level) in more difficult or risky jobs.

Deriving ‘general principles’  139 A final note about comparative statics: it is important to differentiate comparative static results from simple behavioral relationships, both of which often can take the form of an assertion that ‘an increase in X results in an increase in Y.’ Behavioral relationships are not derived from assumptions, but asserted or inferred from observation or data analysis. For example, scholars of American elections report many behavioral relations: the older the voter, on average, the more conservative; the higher the turnout in American elections, the higher the proportion of voters who vote for Democratic party; and the worse the weather, on election day, the lower the proportion of voters voting for Democrats. Smith himself makes many behavioral assertions. In the Lectures on Jurisprudence, for example, Smith observes a relationship between prosperity and military preparedness. In agricultural societies, Smith reports that one in four people can fight, whereas in commercial republics, only 1 in 100 can fight (LJ[A]‌ iv.74–​ 87:228–​233). Behavioral relations are therefore descriptive, not explanatory. In contrast, comparative statics are one of the principle ways in which we derive causal relationships. Although much wisdom may be embodied in a behavioral relationship between X and Y, these types of statements do not constitute a comparative static result because the association is not based on a demonstration of the underlying equilibrium logic to explain behavior. Comparative statics, on the other hand, necessarily derive from the logic of the underlying equilibrium tendency, which itself is determined by a set of assumptions about motivating behavior and controlled parameters. In the example from LJ(A) mentioned, Smith merely posits a relationship, but does not provide any assumptions or intuition about the underlying equilibrium behavior. If he had provided an explanation of, say, a general rule for understanding the opportunity costs of time in certain societies in training as soldiers, this behavioral relationship might then be an equilibrium and comparative statics result.14 We pose the following standard for identifying equilibrium and comparative statics in Smith: first, Smith articulates an equilibrium condition, that is, a central tendency in which, all else equal, no actor has an incentive to choose an alternative set of actions; second, for comparative statics, he articulates how the equilibrium changes in response to a change in a given parameter. We do not insist on a formal demonstration of an equilibrium condition in the manner of modern economics. To reiterate: Smith does not use the terminology of equilibrium and comparative statics. Our purpose in leveraging familiar concepts from modern economics is not to ‘economize’ Smith, so to speak, by forcing him into the framework of modern economic analysis. Rather, it is to show that Smith regularly relied on the logic of one of the most important methodological tools of social scientific analysis. Further, these techniques are a major feature of Smith’s rhetoric—​that he used this set of concepts as a means of organizing and conveying his theories. As Ryan Hanley has observed, Smith employed

140  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast ‘techniques of pattern detection’ in disparate, but interrelated, fields of inquiry (Hanley 2017:295). Our argument, then, is that the equilibrium and comparative statics logic are a defining feature of that method of pattern detection—​or what Smith might have called the deriving of ‘general principles’—​across political, moral, and economic life.

Smith’s analysis of the feudal equilibrium and the political-​economic development of Europe One of the most interesting equilibrium and comparative analyses Smith provides is an extended explanation of why certain societies emerge from and continue to develop after the feudal order, while others remain at an earlier stage of development. His analysis comprises the whole of Book III and elements of Books IV and V of the Wealth of Nations, and also elements of the earlier Lectures on Jurisprudence. This section explains how Smith used equilibrium logic to understand why Europe endured such a long period of low growth under feudalism, and how Smith explains the transition from feudalism to nascent commercial society as a comparative static.15 The feudal equilibrium following the fall of Rome Book III of Smith’s Wealth of Nations and his earlier Lectures on Jurisprudence are often viewed as paradigmatic, early theories of political economic development. Why some countries became rich and others became poor was a central question for Smith and his contemporaries. ‘When one considers the effects of the division of labour, what an immediate tendencey it has to improve the arts, it appears somewhat surprizing that every nation should continue so long in a poor and indigent state as we find it does,’ Smith commented in the Lectures (LJ[B]‌ 281:521). A careful analysis of his explanations in both the Lectures on Jurisprudence and Book III of The Wealth of Nations reveals how Smith used equilibrium and comparative statics arguments to illustrate the long and difficult process of political economic development in Europe. As Smith explained, the violence associated with the fall of Rome caused a downward economic spiral. As a result, exchange—​the necessary basis for the division of labor and hence of opulence in his theory—​became riskier and vulnerable to plunder. No government could provide security except on a local basis. As Smith writes, ‘The king also found it absolutely necessary to grant the power of jurisdiction to these lords; for as he had no standing army there could be no other way of bringing the subjects to obey rules’ (LJ[A]‌iv.119:246). No one could maintain peace; the great lords ‘were always at war with each other and often with the king, their whole power depended on the service of their retainers and tenents’ (LJ[A] iv.126–​127:249). In order to maintain some semblance of power and order, then, the feudal system emerged as the most natural and rational response to the political uncertainty and constant threat of violence (Moss 1979:85).

Deriving ‘general principles’  141 Yet feudal Europe continued to be characterized by violence, predation, and little economic growth. Investment, in Smith’s view, was generally fruitless; indeed, to invest, improve, accumulate, and better one’s condition was to become a target of plunder. As Smith writes, ‘the occupiers of land in the country were exposed to every sort of violence…to acquire more might only tempt the injustice of their oppressors’ (WN III.iii.12:405). Moreover, Smith argues that serfs, the bulk of the feudal population, had incentives to eat as much as possible and work as little as possible (WN III.ii.9:387–​388).The constant threat of violence and predation inhibited economic development. Smith provides an explanation for the following puzzle:  if feudalism was characterized by low growth and high violence, how and why was it sustained for so long? In other words, why was feudalism a central tendency—​the equilibrium condition—​in the course of political and economic development? Just as Smith outlined the parameters that influence the levels of wages, Smith’s answer to this question also outlines key features of the environment that sustained the feudal order. Violence is central to Smith’s analysis. Because no one could impose order, the lords were constantly fighting each other. As Smith writes, the great lords ‘were always at war with each other and often with the king, their whole power depended on the service of their retainers and tenents’ (LJ[A]‌ iv.126–​ 127:249).To survive in this environment, lords had to turn their surplus into military might in the form of ‘retainers and tenents’ who fought for their lord. Failing to use the surplus in this manner left a lord vulnerable to the plunder of other lords. A second key feature of the feudal world concerns the nature of property rights in land. Relying on a similar logic, Smith shows why the feudal lords adopted an extremely restrictive code of property rights. Land was the dominant economic asset during the Middle Ages (serfs, whom Smith calls slaves, were another important asset; see LJ(A) III.115-​16:187). Because land represented not only economic, but also political and military power in this period, the feudal system’s form of property rights was central to its survival.16 As Smith writes, land was considered ‘as the means, not of subsistence merely, but power and protection,’ and as such, the security of a landed estate constituted the very protection of political power. Thus, ‘to divide [a large landed estate] was to ruin it, and to expose every part of it to be oppressed and swallowed up by the incursions of its neighbours’ (WN III.ii:838–​883). In short, because land was an asset that produced not only material wealth but also political security, laws—​such as primogeniture—​emerged to severely restrict property rights in a manner that enhanced that security. In commercial societies, such laws significantly hindered economic growth, but in the feudal environment of Europe, they were indispensable for providing security. In sum, the paramount nature of security forced feudal lords to adopt property rights that furthered this end, even at the expense of increasing growth. Our brief summary here of Smith’s account of feudalism can be read as his answer to the question of why so many societies fail to sustain economic

142  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast development. Endemic violence meant that individuals have few incentives to invest in capital improvements or new productive techniques because it risked being plundered. The ever-​present threat of violence determined the form of political exchange which was based on land-​holding; a particular form of land rights emerged to facilitate the local lords’ ability to provide local security, even at the expense of long-​term economic growth. In Smith’s view, the feudal world was violent and poor, but stable. In modern terms, we variously characterize this equilibrium of violence as a ‘vicious circle of poverty’ (Macfarlane 2000:98) or a ‘violence trap’ (Cox, North, and Weingast 2017). For a long period, feudalism was the ‘central tendency’ that societies in Europe gravitated towards in terms of their political and economic development; due to the constant threat of violence and plunder, rulers and ruled had little incentive to deviate from a system that prioritized the protection of exclusive land rights at the cost of widespread economic growth. Comparative statics: the towns escape the feudal equilibrium Just as the natural or equilibrium price of a commodity can change due to exogenous shocks to a system, so Smith also envisioned how the equilibrium state of political economic development might also change. His explanation of how European states escaped the low-​growth order of feudalism and attained a new order of commercial society involves several steps. In this section we discuss the first step in the development of the new commercial society, the emergence of towns characterized by liberty, commerce, long-​distance trade, and economic growth. Smith’s argument about this phenomenon takes the form of a comparative statics account of how a ‘central tendency’ of a certain stage of political economic development evolves into another. First, the rise of towns independent of the dominion of the local lords and kings reflected a new mode of political bargaining. Initially, towns were small and lacked power. Traders, or burghers, were often subject to the violence and plunder of local lords. The wealth of the burghers ‘never failed to provoke [the] envy and indignation’ of the local lords, who would plunder them ‘upon every occasion without mercy or remorse’ (WN III.iii.8:402). As Smith writes, this ‘lawless and disorderly state of the country rendered communication dangerous’ (LJ[A]‌ iv.142–​143:255–​256). Thus, as part of the feudal equilibrium, the constant threat of violence limited the ability of townsmen to invest and expand trade. However, a critical political exchange between the traders in the town and the king, took place. Because the king and the burghers had a ‘mutual interest’ in defending each other against the local lords, the king found it ‘in his interest to render [the burghers] as secure and independent of those enemies [the lords] as he could’ (WN III.iii.8:402).Thus, the king granted the towns political independence in exchange for taxes and military support against the local lords, their common enemy. With newfound political independence and protection from the king, burghers were able to make their own laws, establish an administration

Deriving ‘general principles’  143 of justice, build walls for defense, and expand their long-​distance trade, their great source of wealth (WN III.iii.8–​9:401–​402). Whereas prior to these political exchanges between towns and king, an increase in wealth and independence made the cities vulnerable to attack and plunder, now the cities had greater security. In addition to building walls, towns and cities cultivated military discipline amongst their inhabitants, forming leagues of ‘mutual defence’ against the lords. The strength of these cities would eventually rival that of the king. Smith describes that in Italy and Switzerland, ‘the sovereign came to lose the whole of his authority, the cities generally became independent republicks, and conquered all the nobility in their neighbourhood’; while in France and England, the authority of the cities became ‘so considerable that the sovereign could impose no tax upon them…without their own consent’ (WN III.iii.10–​11:403–​404). Lest the king should lose a great source of revenue and military support against the lords, or the cities lose their political independence, this balance of political and economic incentives fostered ‘order and good government, and along with them the liberty and security of individuals’ in the cities (WN III.iii.12:405). At this point, Smith makes a crucial point that draws on the underlying equilibrium logic that explains this shift in the towns from the feudal equilibrium to one of liberty, long-​distance trade, economic growth, and security. He observes that, at the same time as the cities were gaining their power, serfs in the countryside were in a ‘defenceless state,’ ‘exposed to every sort of violence’; thus, productivity never exceeded that of subsistence ‘because to acquire more might only tempt the injustice of their oppressors’ (WN III.iii.12:405, emphasis added). Under background conditions of violence and insecurity, those who work the land had no incentive to attempt to acquire more material possessions or produce more from the land—​hence, the persistence of the feudal order. However, as Smith notes, once the cities obtained greater security through their agreement with the king, men were more secure and therefore better able to enjoy ‘the fruits of their industry,’ and moreover,‘naturally exert it to better their condition, and to acquire not only the necessaries, but the conveniencies and elegancies of life,’ (ibid.). In other words, security from external violence led to higher levels of productivity—​something that the cities were able to achieve following their political exchange with the king. As Smith explains in the following chapter, the growth of the cities of Europe also contributed to the growth of the countryside. Prior to the cities, serfs, facing an absence of markets and the constant threat of predation, lived at subsistence. The rise of towns with the military capacity to subdue the local lords created and extended a security umbrella around the town. Local producers under the security umbrella were became subject to the laws and liberty of the town. Raw produce found markets in the city, which encouraged greater cultivation and improvement of the land (WN III.iv.2:411). The growth of foreign commerce and manufacturers eroded the authority of the nobility and ‘great proprietors’ who sought to exchange their wealth ‘in the wantonness of plenty, for trinkets and baubles’ and in doing so, ‘became as insignificant as

144  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast any substantial burgher or tradesman in a city’ (WN III.iv.15:421). In short, the growth of trade allowed the towns to escape the feudal equilibrium. At this point Smith reiterates a key component of his overarching analytic framework by identifying the Lords’ motivating behavior: for the great proprietors and nobles, it was the gratification of ‘the most childish vanity’ by purchasing luxuries obtained through foreign commerce; for the merchants and artificers, merely to pursue their ‘pedlar principle of turning a penny wherever a penny was to be got’ (WN III.iv.17:422). The balance of these forces enabled the gradual introduction of ‘order and good government, and with them, the liberty and security of individuals, among inhabitants of the country,’ to wit, the emergence of a new equilibrium that fostered political economic development. Whereas under feudalism, the inhabitants of the country lived ‘almost in a continual state of war with their neighbors, and of servile dependency upon their superiors,’ the shift in background conditions—​most importantly, the security and independence afforded to the towns and new currencies of bargaining power—​enabled the rise of a new equilibrium order: commercial society. Interpreting Smith’s account of the ‘different Progress of Opulence in different Nations’ not merely as an agglomeration of historical cases but as a systematic analysis of the preconditions for behavioral, economic, and institutional change informs our understanding of his works in a number of ways. First, despite Smith’s lack of acquaintance with the modern terminology of equilibrium and comparative statics, Smith clearly anticipated (some might say invented) the logic that underpins them. His account in Book III of The Wealth of Nations takes history as ‘data,’ so to speak, in order to produce ‘general rules’ of political economic development. Equilibria of political and economic development reflect different ways of organizing power and production that societies are constantly gravitating toward, be it feudalism or a commercial society. Key factors, however—​such as the prevalence of external violence, the various forms of property rights, and modes of exchange—​can cause these outcomes differ. Second, Smith’s systematic treatment of the history of European development demonstrates his dedication to conducting a scientific inquiry that could render coherent seemingly unintelligible, disconnected events (Berry 2006, Montes 2006). The course that Europe took, as Smith described it, was ‘in many respects, entirely inverted’ compared to the ‘natural order of things,’ and hence has been considered an ‘unnatural and retrograde order’ (WN III.i.9:380; see e.g., Berry 2006). But Smith is not passing a value judgment; rather, Smith is presenting the puzzle to which he is about to answer:  why did Europe develop commerce and manufacturing first, as opposed to agriculture? What was the effect of this ‘unnatural’ trajectory of development? Our suggestion is that Smith’s answers to these questions at least in part takes the form of an equilibrium and comparative statics argument, one that produces some of the most profound and axiomatic insights about political and economic development today. The prevalence of violence and exclusive institutions of property

Deriving ‘general principles’  145 rights sustained an order of low growth and constant conflict; however, the introduction of commerce, liberty, and security produced new forms of political and economic exchange that shifted the equilibrium order to one of greater peace, prosperity, and liberty.

Equilibrium and comparative statics in The Theory of Moral Sentiments The Theory of Moral Sentiments was Smith’s attempt to explain the process by which humans learn, understand, and follow moral norms. Sympathy and the role of the impartial spectator play a crucial role in his account, and numerous scholars have discussed their importance at length.17 For our purposes, we aim to demonstrate how Smith’s account of moral psychology draws on an analytic framework that parallels his political economy. We can interpret some of the core ideas of TMS as equilibrium and comparative statics analysis of the following puzzles: how and why do individuals gravitate towards a shared set of moral norms? What causes some people to follow the ‘general rules of morality’ (as Smith calls them) more than others? Equilibrium argument: ‘It is thus that the general rules of morality are formed’ Sympathy allows us, to a degree, to understand the feelings of others and hence evaluate the basis for their judgments and motivation. It is, as scholars have noted, both a process (I can sympathize with you) as well as an objective (I want your sympathy) (Montes 2005, Broadie 2006:166, Schliesser 2016:37–​38). The process of sympathizing with another person is fundamentally an imaginative process: through the imagination, we enter to a degree into the position of another and try to make sense of the agent’s sensations, feelings, and experiences. It is through this imaginative process, then, that any feelings or passions of another person can ‘call forth our fellow-​feeling’ (TMS I.i.1.4:10), and ‘nothing pleases us more than to observe in other men a fellow-​feeling with all the emotions of our own breast’ (TMS I.i.2.1:13). Smith grounds both the process and outcome of sympathy in man’s natural sociability. A  person ‘could no more think of his own character, of the propriety or demerit of his own sentiments and conduct’ if he were born and raised in solitude; but ‘Bring him into society, and he is immediately provided with the mirror which he wanted before’ (TMS III.1.3:110). In other words, society provides the terrain on which we judge the propriety and merit of other peoples’ conduct; society provides the ‘mirror’ in which we reflect on our own behavior. Because individuals constantly engage in some sympathetic exchange with the conduct of others, they begin to be anxious about whether their own conduct is worthy of blame or approbation, and they begin to cultivate the capacity for ‘[their] first moral criticisms’ (TMS III.1.4:111–​112). The sympathetic process is thus inseparable from spectatorship: individuals are spectators

146  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast of their own behavior just as they are spectators of others, and they ‘endeavor to imagine what effect it [our self-​spectatorship] would, in this light, produce upon us’ (TMS III.1.5:112). At this point, Smith presents one of his fundamental assumptions about behavioral motivations: that individuals desire not just the approval of others, but desire to be seen as worthy of approval. In Smith’s famous words, Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely; or to be that thing which is the natural and proper object of love… He desires, not only praise, but praise-​worthiness…He dreads, not only blame, but blame-​worthiness. (TMS III.2.1:114) The desire for this type of moral approval, to be seen as ‘deserving and obtaining this credit and rank among our equals,’ is, according to Smith, ‘perhaps, the strongest of all our desires’ (TMS VI.i.4:212–​213). This motivation, then, is a key determinant in understanding how and why individuals can agree upon cooperative, pro-​social, and moral behavior. Smith explains these incentives in another way. In our search for ‘love and admiration,’ ‘[w]‌e must at least believe ourselves to be admirable for what [in others is] admirable.’ With respect to our ‘character and conduct,’ we draw ‘pleasure and contentment’ when others see us as we wish to be seen. Their reactions confirm our sympathetic evaluation of our own conduct. Moral encounters are thus ‘two-​way affairs’: our attempt to understand and evaluate the conduct of others is reciprocated by others’ attempts to understand and evaluate our own (Phillipson 2010:151). We raise or lower our passions ‘to that pitch, which the particular company we are in may be expected to go along with’ (TMS I.i.4.7,9:22–​23). Taking the standpoint of an impartial spectator allows us, to a degree, to see ourselves as others see us and hence to judge our thoughts and actions from the perspective of others. Although people are self-​centered and largely concerned about themselves, they dare not act solely on this basis. Instead, the desire to be seen as deserving admiration and praise means that people must strive to view themselves as others see them; they learn from experience of interaction with others to ‘humble the arrogance of [their] self-​love, and bring it down to something which other men can go along with’ (TMS II.ii.2.1:82–​83). None of this should be news to Smith scholars. However, it is important to underscore that the operation of the sympathetic mechanism through repeated interaction and the sympathetic observation of our behavior constitutes the emergence of the central equilibrium outcome in TMS: ‘our continual observation upon the conduct of others, insensibly lead us to form to ourselves certain general rules concerning what is fit and proper either to be done or to be avoided,’ Smith writes (TMS III.4.7:159, emphasis added). We argue that Smith's framework of the ‘general rules’ of morality reflects the equilibration of

Deriving ‘general principles’  147 our actions vis-​à-​vis our sympathetic evaluation of our own conduct as well as that of others. Smith’s repeated use of the phrase ‘general rules of morality’ underscores its analytic status as an equilibrium in moral life. As in the case we outlined in Smith’s political economy, the ‘central tendency’ here is an actually existing feature of human order, and it is something that interactions are constantly trending towards. The general rules of morality are founded on experience—​ as opposed to divine right or reason alone—​and repeated interactions with others, discovering ‘that all actions of a certain kind, or circumstanced in a certain manner, are approved or disapproved of ’ (TMS III.4.7:159); they can be determined ‘in no other way than by observing what actions actually and in fact excite them’ (TMS III.4.10:160). Finally, it is worth underscoring the stability of the equilibrium ‘general rules of morality.’ A community sustains moral norms because, according to Smith, ‘when they are universally acknowledged and established, by the concurring sentiments of mankind, we frequently appeal to them as to the standards of judgment,’ and invoke them as ‘the ultimate foundations what is just and unjust in human conduct’ (TMS III.4.911:160). To use modern language, once these ‘general rules’ become entrenched, individuals have little incentive to deviate from them—​to do so would be costly because it hinders an individual from being praised and, more important, from being deserving of praise. Smith provides an illustration of this principle by imagining the thought process of a vengeful man: The man of furious resentment, if he was to listen to the dictates of that passion, would perhaps regard the death of his enemy, as but a small compensation for the wrong, he imagines, he has received; which, however, may be no more than a very slight provocation. But his observations upon the conduct of others, have taught him how horrible all such sanguinary revenges appear. Unless his education has been very singular, he has laid it down to himself as an inviolable rule, to abstain from them upon all occasions. This rule preserves its authority with him, and renders him incapable of being guilty of such a violence. (TMS III.4.12:160) To sum up our discussion, the underlying equilibrium logic of Smith’s account of the ‘general rules of morality’ relies on two key assumptions. First, individuals desire the approbation and mutual sympathy of others. Second, man’s capacity to sympathize with others through the imaginative process enables our moral evaluation of self and others. Finally, the general rules are formed—​ and stabilized—​when it becomes apparent to all that deviating from them will result in disapproval. Our next task, then, is to show how Smith demonstrated the extent to which these ‘general rules of morality’ adapt in predictable ways with respect to certain exogenous factors—​that is, the comparative statics of moral norms.

148  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast Comparative statics in TMS: self-​command and wealth In this section, we interpret two discussions in TMS as comparative statics analyses of the ‘general rules of morality.’The first involves the issue of self-​command, the second, the relative wealth and status of the agent being observed. Smith discusses the virtue of self-​command at length in Book VI of TMS, alongside the virtues of justice, prudence, and beneficence. A complex virtue from which ‘all other virtues seem to derive their principle lustre’ (TMS VI.iii.11:241), self-​command plays a key role in Smith’s ethics.18 While self-​ command does, at times, seem to involve the control of the passions (hence, the interpretation of Stoic influence on Smith), Smith’s idea of self-​command is probably closest to a modern notion of self-​mastery or autonomy, with elements of temperance and prudence as well (Montes 2016).19 Moreover, self-​command comes in varying degrees; one does not simply have full or no self-​command. Furthermore it is learned over time. For the sake of our discussion, though, we are less interested in the precise nature of self-​command than we are in Smith’s analysis of how different degrees of self-​command influence how individuals adopt the position of the impartial spectator, and in turn, follow the general rules of morality. Smith unfolds his analysis in a series of passages comparing the behavior of a young child to that of a grown man. A young child ‘has no self-​command,’ Smith writes, and it does ‘whatever are its emotions, whether fear, or grief, or anger’ dictate in order to attract (‘to alarm’) the attention of its parents and caregivers. But, as soon as the child goes to school, it realizes it cannot simply act on its volatile emotions in this way—​the child ‘soon finds that [the other children] have no such indulgent partiality.’ So, in seeking to gain their approval of his conduct, the child ‘enters into the great school of self-​command,’ and ‘studies to be more and more a master of itself ’ (TMS III.3.22:145). A man of weak self-​command does slightly better than a child when it comes to evaluating his actions considering how others and an impartial spectator would view him. He considers their perspective immediately—​‘their view calls off his attention from his own view’—​but it is a fleeting, ‘mechanical’ exercise and ‘not of long continuance.’ His actions vacillate between being dictated by his own partial self-​evaluation, and that of the impartial spectator (TMS III.3.23:145–​146). A man of ‘a little more firmness’ does better, according to Smith. He frequently endeavors to ‘fix his attention upon the view which the company are likely to take of his situation,’ and he is more capable of evaluating his own situation in light of how others view him. But he is easily tired of this ‘restraint’ of the ‘hard discipline of self-​command,’ and as a result, is in danger of ‘abandoning himself to all the weakness of excessive sorrow’ (TMS III.3.24:146). Someone who possesses strong self-​command, ‘the man of real constancy and firmness’ as Smith calls him, never forgets ‘for one moment the judgment which the impartial spectator would pass upon his sentiments and conduct.’ This is Smith’s model of an individual whose moral conduct perfectly reflects

Deriving ‘general principles’  149 the evaluation of the ‘awful and respectable judge’ of the impartial spectator through constant practice. Thus, he abides by the general rules of morality because he consistently adopts the standpoint of the impartial spectator, ‘almost [becoming] himself that impartial spectator’ (TMS III.3.26:147). Smith then provides the following insight:  our ability to follow the general rules of morality and to see ourselves the way others see us—​what Smith calls ‘self-​approbation’—​is directly proportional to our level of self-​command.20 But—​and this is crucial—​‘where little self-​command is necessary, little self-​ approbation is due’ (TMS III.3.26:147). It seems out of proportion to congratulate a man for his great self-​command if all he did was merely forget that he had scratched his finger, for example; similarly, it would seem unnatural for a man who just lost his leg to a cannon to ‘[speak] and act with his usual coolness and tranquility’ to display his high degree of self-​command (TMS III.3.26:147). Interpreting Smith’s argument here reveals the following insight: individuals learn and follow moral norms via the sympathetic mechanism of the impartial spectator; however, the degree to which they do so consistently varies with their degree of self-​command. Furthermore, the necessity of high self-​command in determining one’s moral conduct is highly contingent. The logic underlying Smith’s argument still appeals to the fundamental assumptions of the equilibrium condition. Our desire to be seen as worthy of approbation incentivizes us to accept and follow the ‘general rules of morality.’ Exogenous factors—​our age, our amount of socialization, for example—​influence our ability to overcome our partial self-​evaluation, consistently adopt the standpoint of the impartial spectator, and internalize the general rules. Another powerful example of Smith’s comparative statics analysis can be drawn from Book I, Chapter 3 from TMS—​a chapter that has received considerable scholarly attention (Fleischacker 2004, Hanley 2009, Rasmussen 2008, 2016). As is well known, Smith added this chapter to the last and final edition of TMS in 1790, along with the whole of Book VI. Seen in this light, Smith’s substantial revisions respond to some of the anxieties brought on by the features of commercial society he detailed in The Wealth of Nations (Hanley 2009). For the purposes of our discussion, however, we set aside these debates about why Smith included his discussion in TMS I.iii and instead show how what he included employs the same equilibrium and comparative statics logic that underlines the work. Smith’s explanation of the ‘corruption of our moral sentiments’ can be interpreted as an analysis of how moral behavior changes in response to changes in the relative material standing of agents. Smith’s claim is the following: that our ‘disposition to admire, and almost worship, the rich and powerful, and to despise, or, at least to neglect the persons of poor and mean condition’ is ‘the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments’ (TMS I.iii.3.1). Again, what may at first appear to be a simple behavioral observation—​we admire the rich more than we do the poor—​is in fact a deeper analysis based on the logic that sustains the equilibrium of moral behavior. Smith bases his argument that we admire and worship the rich and neglect the poor on two critical assumptions. First,

150  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast sympathy and fellow-​feeling are the primary objects of our behavior. In addition, because there is a tendency to sympathize more with joy than with sorrow, we ‘make parade of our riches and conceal our poverty.’ We pursue material wealth because we hope ‘To be observed, to be attended to, to be taken notice of with sympathy, complacency, and approbation’ by others (TMS I.iii.2.1:51). The second key assumption is the following: material possessions are a more visible and socially recognized signal of desert—​in terms of moral approval—​ than immaterial virtues. Smith observes that ‘we frequently see the respectful attentions of the world more strongly directed towards the rich and the great, than towards the wise and virtuous’ (TMS I.iii.3.2:62). Why? In a famous analogy, Smith describes how two roads lead to same destination, namely, the moral approval and fellow-​feeling of others. One road is that of wealth, the other, wisdom and virtue. Our sentiments of approval are very similar in both cases, and we have trouble distinguishing them. The one paved by wealth and greatness, however, appears more ‘gaudy and glittering in its colouring’ and its social rewards are more immediately recognizable and tangible; hence, Smith concedes that only a ‘small party’ of men really admire wisdom and virtue, while the ‘great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers…of wealth and greatness’ (TMS I.iii.3.2–​3:62).21 With these assumptions in place, we can more clearly see the comparative statics analysis at work. The tendency ‘to go along with all the passions of the rich and the powerful’ and corruption of our moral sentiments is, at its core, an account of how our capacity to sympathize with others and obtain sympathy from others changes in response to changes with our relative material condition. The rich man ‘glories in his riches, because he feels they naturally draw upon him the attention of the world,’ while the poor man is ashamed of his condition and ‘feels it either places him out of the sight of mankind, or if they take any notice of him, they have, however, scarce any-​feeling with the misery and distress which he suffers’ (TMS I.iii.2.1:51). Wealth provides more than a material advantage but, more importantly, a social and moral advantage: being seen as more worthy of sympathy than others.Thus, we might interpret Smith’s analysis in the following way: the greater the wealth disparity between two people, the greater the sympathetic gap between them.22 The social consequences of this peculiar tendency trouble Smith, and it is worth emphasizing the way in which he draws out this criticism with the same analytic form as he used to explain the political economics of development and the development of self-​command. Smith compares how people of different ‘stations’ or ranks accord one another with different degrees of sympathy and approval. For instance, Smith claims that among people in the ‘middling and inferior’ stations of life, there is a high degree of mutual admiration; few people see themselves as either greatly superior or inferior to their fellow men. This greater level of equality reinforces mutual sympathy and good conduct. Nobody is seen as being ‘great enough to be above the law’ or worthy of a respect that enables them to transcend moral norms because their success and their social approval ‘almost always depends upon the favour and good

Deriving ‘general principles’  151 opinion of their neighbours and equals; and without a tolerably regular conduct these can very seldom be obtained’ (TMS I.iii.3.5). In short, Smith has here posed another comparative static idea: when wealth disparities are minimal, the ability to sympathize with one another and follow the ‘general rules of morality’ is much more consistent, and ‘we may generally expect a considerable degree of virtue’ (TMS I.iii.3.5). However, in what Smith calls ‘the superior stations of life,’ things look different. Obtaining the social and moral approval of others depends more on the ‘fanciful and foolish favour of ignorant, presumptuous, and proud superiors’ rather than the ‘esteem of intelligent and well-​informed individuals’ (TMS i.iii.3.5). Even more worrying, though, is that this desire for social approval distorts our ability to uphold the general rules of morality. In societies that reward wealth much more than virtue, ‘all the great and awful virtues…are, by the insolent and insignificant flatterers…held in the utmost contempt and derision.’ Wealth in these conditions becomes a source of power, a license to deviate from the accepted moral norms. Smith describes a man who, in pursuit of wealth and power, imagines ‘commanding the respect and admiration of mankind’ and how if he reaches his goal, ‘the lustre of his future conduct will entirely cover, or efface, the foulness of the steps by which he arrived at that elevation’ (TMS I.iii.3.8:64).Thus, disproportionate amounts of wealth and power held by a few erodes the equilibrium moral rules. Those with the means to achieve wealth and power are rewarded not only in terms of their material goods, but also in their ability to evade social sanctioning for immoral behavior, and ‘they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired [their position]’ (TMS I.iii.3.8:64). In short, as Dennis Rasmussen (2016) has argued before us, Smith’s comparative statics of wealth and moral norms reveals the following insight: as the relative standing between the haves-​and have-​nots widens, our sympathies are corrupted or ‘distorted.’ We see the wealthy as more deserving of our sympathy than others. Furthermore, at the social level, this distortion of our sympathetic capacity has the tendency to undermine the equilibrium moral norms of society writ large (Hanley 2009, Rasmussen 2016). In sum, we call these equilibrium and comparative statics arguments because Smith builds each case from a set of fundamental assumptions about human behavior to show (1)  how the ‘general rules of morality’ (the equilibrium moral norms) are formed, and (2) how those general rules change in response to changes in the underlying conditions. The incentives to act according to the general principles of morality arise from our desire for social approval, to be seen as worthy of the fellow-​feeling of others, to seek peace of mind and our own self-​approbation. Smith assumes that, all else constant, this is the mechanism at work that determines how the general rules of morality arise—​ not necessarily what the general rules are. We begin to uncover Smith's logic of comparative statics in his analysis when he introduces certain exogenous factors—​the degree of self-​command, the relative material standing of individuals or groups of individuals—​and explains how changes in those factors

152  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast affect the moral equilibrium outcome. Once attuned to this analytic method, we can read Smith as doing something much more than merely providing a descriptive account of moral sentiments. He is, in fact, engaging in a systematic analysis of morality as a ‘central tendency’ in human behavior. In doing so, he was not prescribing the rules of moral behavior, but more importantly, demonstrating how to study moral behavior in a systematic—​some might say scientific—​way.

Smith’s ‘considerations concerning the first formations of languages’ In his essay entitled ‘Consideration Concerning the First Formations of Languages’ (1761), Smith advanced a model of the emergence and stability of language. He also presented hypotheses about the evolution of language.We can readily understand his arguments using the logic of equilibrium and comparative statics.23 As means of communication, language is, among other things, a classic coordination problem (Laitin 1994): what sounds should correspond to what objects, actions, modifiers, and ideas? To be understood, people ‘endeavour to make their mutual wants intelligible to each other, by uttering certain sounds, whenever they meant to denote certain objects’ (Languages 1:203). Because it creates a shared sense of meaning in the form of a connection between sounds and actions, objects, ideas, and so on, a common language solves the coordination problem for the community that uses it.24 As with most complex coordination games, multiple equilibria exist. Even the simplest coordination games, such as which side of the road to drive on, has two (reasonable) equilibria: all people drive on the right; all drive on the left. This means that there is no unique way to solve the complex language coordination game. The existence of so many different languages around the world underscores this point. Because we observe so many distinct languages, each solving this same coordination problem, no natural solution to the coordination problem exists. How, then, is any one language an equilibrium? Smith shows that members of a community face both positive and negative incentives to adhere to a single, common language. On the positive side, an individual who uses the community’s language benefits from the ease of communication with others. On the negative side, Smith explains, individuals pay a ‘price’ for deviation from standard usage. Many of Smith’s illustrations involve parents correcting children, but adults naturally correct one another as well. Smith explains that people are embarrassed when they make improper uses of the language, so they pay a modest penalty for an improper or non-​standard use in the form of social embarrassment (Languages 33:220). Individuals who make substantial deviations by failing to use the community’s language pay a larger price—​they cannot be understood. Otteson (2011:19–​20) explains the equilibrium logic in Smith’s essay: ‘though rules are a human construction, they are neither arbitrary nor unenforced’ [19]:

Deriving ‘general principles’  153 For, first, there are rules of language. Language is not an anarchy with each person making things up for himself. Second, at any given time, most of the rules are commonly accepted; no debate is expected or even allowed. And third, infractions of the rules are usually noticed and frequently punished. (Otteson 2011:20–​21, emphasis in original) We thus see why adherence to their community’s language is an equilibrium. For the same reason that people have incentives to drive on the same side of the road that everyone else drives on, a member of a community who deviates from the community’s common language pays a price for that deviation. Taken together, the positive and negative incentives just described imply that each individual in a community has incentives to use the community’s language. As in all coordination games, if everyone else uses a particular language, an individual has strong incentives to use that language as well, thus sustaining the coordination equilibrium. If, as Smith says, the value of language is to communicate, to make ourselves understood, then significant deviations from a community’s language make the deviator worse off.25 Although Smith never put it this way, his logic establishes the idea that language itself is an equilibrium. Languages are dynamic, not static, features of human life, and Smith recognizes this fact in his use of comparative static-​like arguments. For example, Smith argues that languages evolve in everyday life as circumstances and needs of the community change, typically in incremental ways that most people never notice. In describing the growth of language, Smith explains that ‘their necessary occasions obliged’ that people add or make minor alterations to the language (Languages 1:204). The third lecture in LRBL illustrates this idea. This lecture focuses on language and is in the form of a conjecture about the evolution of language. Smith devotes most of the lecture to suggesting how, as new circumstances arise that necessitate expression of new ideas, new words and new figures of speech emerge (LRBL i.17–​34:9–​13; see also Languages 32:218–​ 220). Smith also describes the evolution of grammar. In the beginning, Smith conjectures: every case of every noun, and every tense of every verb, was originally expressed by a particular distinct word, which served for this purpose and for no other. But succeeding observation discovered that one set of words was capable of supplying the place of all that infinite number, and that four or five prepositions, and half a dozen auxiliary verbs, were capable of answering the end of all the declensions, and of all the conjugations in the ancient languages. (Languages 41:223–​224) In other words, the coordination equilibrium evolves as circumstances arise that require changes in word usage. As another illustration, we mention Smith’s extended, theoretical account in Languages about what happens when two ‘nations’ with different languages mix,

154  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast say through conquest or through extensive and on-​going commercial interaction (Languages 33:220–​221). He begins with two different communities or nations, each with a unique and different ‘original’ language, and where each language possesses complex forms of declensions and conjugations. Smith asserts that people who learn such a language from infancy can master it. Therefore, ‘as long as a particular language was spoken only by those who learned it in their infancy, the intricacy of its declensions and conjugations could occasion no great embarrassment’ (Languages 33:220). But most adults who attempt to learn this sort of complex language find it too difficult to master. For this reason Smith argues that when two nations intermix, language evolves into a simpler form with fewer declensions and conjugations so that the new language is easier for adult members of both nations to master.26 As an example, Smith mentions Italian, a mix of ancient Lombard and Latin: [A]‌Lombard, who was attempting to speak Latin, and wanted to express that such a person was a citizen of Rome, or a benefactor to Rome, if he happened not to be acquainted with the genitive and dative cases of the word Roma, would naturally express himself by prefixing the prepositions ad and de to the nominative; and, instead of Roma, would say, ad Roma, and de Roma. Al Roma and di Roma, accordingly, is the manner in which the present Italians, the descendants of the ancient Lombards and Romans, express this and all other similar relations. (Languages 33:220) As in the earlier cases of political economic development, and moral behavior, Smith’s account of languages begins with a set of assumptions about human motivation, and builds an argument about how and why certain outcomes are sustained—​in this case, how and why people coordinate around the use of a particular language. Furthermore, his examples illustrate conditions under which logical deviations from this equilibrium arise, reflecting comparative statics arguments. Taken together, Smith’s equilibrium and comparative statics arguments illuminate our understanding of a key feature of human society, namely, the organization and evolution of languages.

Conclusion We have argued that Adam Smith appealed to what we now recognize as equilibrium and comparative statics arguments throughout his works. Equilibrium arguments explain how and why certain political, economic, and social outcomes are stable; they are ‘central tendencies’ in a system toward which forces continually gravitate. Equilibrium analysis involves explicit theorizing: who are the relevant parties, what are their interests, and why do they choose certain strategies instead of others? Comparative statics arguments explore the conditions under which the equilibrium outcomes change in a predictable manner in response to changing circumstances. The logic of

Deriving ‘general principles’  155 equilibrium and comparative statics together afforded a method that allowed Smith to go beyond the narrative and the reporting behavioral relations. He used this method to explain why some patterns of behavior are stable in some periods or under some circumstances; why patterns change in other circumstances; and why specific types of behavior vary in different contexts. Whether explaining the political economics of development, moral behavior, or the evolution of languages, Smith’s analytic method offers a way to discover and explain aspects of the human order that are regular, predictable, and even certain. This type of method is one of the hallmarks of modern social science. Our approach in this paper lends greater credence to the notion of an integrated Smithian project that extends beyond the realm of economics despite our use of contemporary economic terminology. By this, we do not simply mean that the world of self-​interest in the Wealth of Nations is subsumed under the sympathy-​guided oversight of the Theory of Moral Sentiments (or vice versa). Rather, we argue that Smith uses the same form of analysis across different realms of human behavior, namely, political, moral, and economic life. Highlighting Smith’s integrated, synthetic approach enables us to appreciate how Smith connected disparate fields into a holistic science of man. In addition, our effort to highlight the analytic power of Smith’s method speaks not just to unity across his works, but also to the ambitious scope of his whole project (see also Otteson 2002). As Smith scholars well know, Smith planned to write—​and perhaps nearly completed—​a work on the principles of law and government, which he advertised in the last edition of the Theory of Moral Sentiments and mentioned in private correspondence.27 The work was never completed, and Smith ordered that the manuscript he had prepared burned just before his death in 1790. We do not, here, speculate about the content of this missing book. However, our discussion does point to one plausible interpretation of Smith’s approach to the ‘general principles of law and government.’ Consistent with his analytic method in The Wealth of Nations and the Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith is likely to have presented many cases—​most of them drawn from history—​of how laws and principles of rule arise and change, and his explanations would have had two key components: an equilibrium argument to illustrate how a balance of motivating forces reaches some central tendency, and comparative statics arguments to illustrate how that equilibrium changes in different circumstances. As we alluded to in our introduction, this analytic form combines aspects of positive and normative analysis.This form of Smith’s ‘general rules’ of law and government would not have been a set of normative prescriptions of how governments ought to function across all space and time. Rather, as with his explanation of the ‘general rules of morality’ in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith would most likely have provided an explanatory account of how and why the norms and institutions that govern political society arise in general, while still granting the differences in specific laws, customs, and political norms from society to society. Thus, taking on board our framework suggests that Smith’s project in the ‘missing second book’ was not

156  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast only possible, but also entirely compatible with his methods and models in his surviving works.28 Finally, reading Smith’s analyses as equilibrium and comparative statics arguments illuminates several powerful insights relevant for scholars today. From his political economy, we learn that insecurity—​both in terms of the prevalence of external violence and an absence of guarantees of property rights—​is a significant barrier to economic growth. In other words, in order for markets to flourish, certain institutional preconditions have to be obtained (see North, Wallis, and Weingast 2009). Without security, a society cannot achieve the great benefits of Smith’s commercial society—​freedom from relations of dependence, greater prosperity, an absence of predation, and increased welfare of the poorest members. From his moral philosophy, Smith points us in a direction to ‘take the social seriously’ (Herzog 2016). Social contexts are critical for developing our individual moral agency. Our self-​command is not developed in a vacuum, but at school and in our interactions with other people; our capacity for sympathizing with others of different social and material standing is tried and tested only when we confront those who have more or less than we do in our society. Taken as a whole, then, Smith’s works prove that a systematized approach to the study of human nature and human history was more than possible—​it was profoundly enlightening.

Appendix 1: A short list of equilibrium and comparative statics-​like ideas in the Wealth of Nations In this appendix, we exhibit a number of discussions in the Wealth of Nations that suggest the logic of equilibrium and comparative statics ideas. As we emphasized in the text, Smith did not define equilibrium and comparative statics, and the completeness of his analysis varies across the cases (see Milgate 1987). •

A ‘publick mourning raises the price of black cloth,’ not to mention the wages of journeymen tailors. [WN I.vii.19:76] • The discovery and mining of new world silver lowered the price of silver. [WN I.xi.e.32:207] • Regulatory restrictions on employment, such as apprenticeship statutes, lower wages. [WN I.vii.28:79] • Granting a firm a monopoly raises prices above free competition. [WN I.vii.26–​27:78–​79] • An improvement in the skill of labor lowers the cost of production. [WN I.i.6:17–​18] • The ‘price of necessities of life’ become ‘exorbitant’ ‘during the blockade of a town or in a famine.’ [WN I.vii.9:74] • ‘It is not the actual greatness of national wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions a rise in the wages of labor… England is certainly, in the

Deriving ‘general principles’  157 present times, a much richer country than any part of North America. The wages of labour, however, are much higher in North America than in any part of England.’ [WN I.viii.22:87] • The relative bargaining power of masters relative to laborers lowers wages relative to what would occur if labor possessed equal bargaining power. [WN I.viii.12–​13:83–​84] • The high price of overland transportation relative to water transportation means that far more goods are transported between two towns with access to waterways than if no reasonable water route exists between them. [WN I.iii.3:32–​33] • Countries with ‘tolerable security’ lead to much more accumulation of stock and investments than ‘in those unfortunate countries, indeed, where men are continually afraid of the violence of their superiors, they frequently bury or conceal a great part of their stock.’ [WN II.i.30–​31:284–​285] • As agriculture develops,‘rent, though it increases in proportion to the extent, diminishes in proportion to the produce of the land.’ [WN II.iii.9:334] • Remuneration for effort affects how hard people work:  ‘Our ancestors were idle for want of a sufficient encouragement to industry. It is better, says the proverb, to play for nothing, than to work for nothing. In mercantile and manufacturing towns, where the inferior ranks of people are chiefly maintained by the employment of capital, they are in general industrious, sober, and thriving; as in many English, and in most Dutch towns.’ [WN II.iii.12:335] • War lowers economic growth. [WN II.iii.5:345] • Mercantile restrictions that require a country’s trade to be carried in ships from that country increase the supply of sailors and hence lower the costs of war. [WN II.v.30:371] • The medieval Church’s monopoly was stable for several centuries, yet it lost this monopoly due in part to the clergy’s demand for luxury. [WN V.i.g:788–​814] • A wide variety of restrictions on trade raise the price of goods and lower the quantity available: • •

Restrictions on the export of gold. [WN IV.i.9:433] The monopolization of trade lowers the public benefits of trade. [WN IV.i.33:448–​49] • ‘Restraints upon the importation from foreign countries of such good as can be produced at home.’ [WN IV.ii.1:452] • Attempts to manipulate the balance of trade. [WN IV.iii.c.1ff.488ff] • Various forms of subsidies to exporters, such as bounties [WN IV.v.2ff:505ff] and drawbacks [WN IV.iv.1–​2ff:499ff]. •

The discovery of America improved the ‘real revenue and wealth’ of Europe. [WN IV.i.32:448]

158  Glory M. Liu and Barry R. Weingast

Notes 1 The authors gratefully acknowledge Anthony Endres, Samuel Fleischacker, Charles Griswold, Lisa Herzog, Josiah Ober, James Otteson, Stephen Pincus, Emma Rothschild, Paul Sagar, and Shannon Stimson for helpful conversations. 2 In brief, ‘Das Adam Smith Problem’ was a conceptual debate amongst Adam Smith scholars that dates to late nineteenth-​century German scholarship. These scholars argued that there exists a disconnect between Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, in which the primary force of social analysis is sympathy, and The Wealth of Nations, in which the primary force is self-​interest. Ultimately, the idea of a fundamental break in Smith’s thinking has been largely rejected, though the debate has evolved into one of reconciling the relationship between TMS and WN. Teichgraeber (1981), Dickey (1986), Montes (2003b), and Tribe (2008) discuss the historiography of ‘Das Adam Smith Problem.’ 3 On the issue of unity in Smith’s corpus and the so-​called missing book, see the very different arguments of Fitzgibbons (1994), Griswold (1999), Fleischacker (2004), Haakonssen (1981), and Teichgraeber (1986). 4 Otteson’s market model has four ‘central structural elements’:  (1) an assumption about human motivation, such as the desire to communicate; (2) a set of rules, such as rules of grammar; (3) a currency, or what gets exchanged; and (4) an ‘unintended order’ that results from the exchange, such as shared standards of morality. 5 See also Endres (1991:76–​77), Hollander (1973, ch. 2), Milgate (1987), Milgate and Stimson (2009:78–​87). 6 To be precise, Smith relies on equilibrium and comparative static—​like arguments. He does not possess the language necessary to derive a complete equilibrium or a comparative static result. Nonetheless, we can usefully interpret his logic from this modern perspective, especially if we acknowledge that some of his equilibrium and comparative statics arguments are highly simplified and incomplete. As we hope to demonstrate, Smith’s sustained arguments on the medieval feudal equilibrium, aspects of TMS, and his essay on language all appeal to arguments that—​if not formally comparative statics—​clearly anticipate this form of logic. So the language is less cumbersome, we will typically omit the ‘like’ in our use of the phrase ‘equilibrium and comparative statics-​like arguments.’ 7 We discuss these examples in the forthcoming sections. Smith covers them in WN Book III; LJ(A) iv.114–​159:244–​262; LJ(B) 285–​309:521–​530; and WN V.i.g: 788–​ 814. See also the analysis in Weingast (2017). 8 For more on the various meanings of equilibrium, see Milgate (1987). 9 WN I.vii.10–​11:74. See also Ekelund and Hebert (2007:110–​111), Fleischacker (2004:123–​124), Evensky (2016:70). 10 WN I.vii.15:75. 11 Formally, we define comparative statics as follows. Consider an economic or political relationship, say a production function that describes the relationship between output, on the one hand, and input (the variable set by the firm) and the price of inputs (the exogenous parameter which varies according to a process assumed independent of choices made by the firm, such as wages or technology) on the other. Formally, we let f be the production function, x be the amount of inputs chosen by the firm, z is the price of the input, and y is total output. Then we write y = f(x,z); that is, output is a function of the amount of input and the input’s price. Comparative statics calculate how the equilibrium amount of inputs, x, and output,

Deriving ‘general principles’  159 y, vary as the value of the exogenous parameter, z, changes. In this case, we can show that as w rises, y decreases. Formally, we make some technical assumptions, such as the production is twice differentiable and concave, and then we calculate ∂y/​∂z, which shows that it is  δF. This observation yields a comparative static result: VR, the value of a slave in a commercial republic, exceeded VF, the value of a slave in the feudal world, probably by a large magnitude. This result follows from the formula (1) above and holds even if the payoff from a slave in each year was identical in a commercial republic as under feudalism. The example calculated showed that if δ = .95, then V = 10S/​3; whereas if instead the discount factor is δ = .75, then V = 2S/​3. The lower the discount factor, the lower is the present value of future returns, V. As V rises, the problem of credible commitments underlying the exchange between master and slave for freedom becomes increasingly difficult.The larger value of the slave makes solving the long-​term compensation problem more difficult over a period of several, perhaps many, years. Hence abolition was less likely in a republic than in an agrarian feudal-​style society (see Fogel and Engerman 1974a).

Conclusions In this paper, I  study three ideas concerning Adam Smith’s views on slavery. The first is that Smith’s discussion of slavery creates a puzzle. He argues that slavery was against the material interests of the slaveholders. But if so, why did slaveholders persist so long in maintaining slavery? Smith provides two explanations to this puzzle. In the first, Smith asserts that slaveholders have a ‘love of domination and tyrannizing’. Slave owners therefore maintain this institution because the love of domination outweighs the costs of maintaining slavery. His second explanation differs considerably from the first and involves commitment problems. Smith raised the problem of how slave owners would be compensated for their property so that they would, in fact, be better off under emancipation. Simple abolition may create a larger net product in the society, but if it makes slaveholders worse off because they are deprived of their property and income, they will oppose emancipation. To these two explicit Smithian answers to the persistence of slavery, I add a third. Elsewhere in WN and LJ, Smith is deeply concerned with the problem of order and violence. Freeing the slaves raises the problem of order. As free men, the former slaves would amass property and wealth. Over time, they would become more powerful, potentially allowing the much more numerous former

Persistent inefficiency  305 slaves to threaten their former masters. Even if the slaves explicitly agreed, as part of their emancipation, to honor the rights of slaveholders, once freed, the former slaves would have no incentive to honor that bargain. Slaveholders would therefore rationally fear the consequences of emancipation. Although most scholars who discuss Smith on slavery emphasize the first explanation, I argue that this thesis cannot be sustained. Instead, commitment problems seem far more plausible as an explanation. Although emancipation held the prospect of making all better off, commitment problems in less developed societies prevented slave owners from realizing those gains. The persistence of slavery, therefore, reflects the politics of underdeveloped societies. Although emancipation holds the promise of making everyone better off, in practice, masters had reason to worry that compensation would fail in practice and, further, that the freed slaves might gain sufficient political power and wealth as to threaten masters. Under these circumstances, masters would rationally prevent emancipation and maintain their property. Smith considers a second question about slavery, namely, its abolition in Western Europe. As part of the process of economic and political development, Europe underwent many changes. Among the most important changes in feudal Europe was the rise of commerce associated with towns and cities that at once pacified the surrounding countryside and provided new markets in luxury goods. In response, the local landed elite gave up support of their retainers, and with it, the latter’s military obligations to their lords. Rights in land grew, and the local lords became consumers of luxury goods. In Smith’s words: But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about. These gradually furnished the great proprietors with something for which they could exchange the whole surplus produce of their lands, and which they could consume themselves without sharing it either with tenants or retainers. All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. As soon, therefore, as they could find a method of consuming the whole value of their rents themselves, they had no disposition to share them with any other persons. For a pair of diamond buckles perhaps, or for something as frivolous and useless, they exchanged the maintenance, or what is the same thing, the price of the maintenance of a thousand men for a year, and with it the whole weight and authority which it could give them. (WN III.iv.10:418–​419) The growth of markets and the provision of order altered the position of the lords sufficiently that they gave up their militarism and support of armies for luxuries. The process of emancipation shows how Europe overcame the commitment problems that prevented emancipation of slaves during feudalism. The growth

306  Barry R. Weingast of towns provided the ability to protect rights and to produce political order. Freed tenants within the orbit of nearby towns joined the commercial economy. At the same time, they came under the security umbrella of the towns. The resulting political order protected both the rights of tenants and the rights of the lords. Put another way, the property rights and the town’s system of justice provided a solution to the commitment problem. I end with a third aspect of Smith’s discussion of slavery. Smith’s discussion combines both normative and positive ideas, falling into the category of normative and positive theory (NPPT). Normative political theory (NPT) focuses on ideals, such as ethics, morality, and justice. NPT scholars study how best to conceptualize these ideals; for example, what principles ought to underlie ethics or justice? In contrast, positive political theory (PPT) attempts to model the world and explain why particular events occur, such as war, economic development, ethnic conflict, and stable cooperation. For decades, these two modern literatures have remained largely separate, although many historic political theorists  –​Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Harrington, Hume, Smith, and Madison –​provided NPPT arguments, often embedding their normative discussions in their positive understanding of the flaws of their societies. Smith’s arguments about the abolition of slavery in Western Europe fall in the NPPT category. Slavery for Smith involved a wide range of normative evils: a person’s life is subject to the whims of another individual; slavery denies standard liberties; slaves are dominated by their masters and are subject to violence and arbitrary discretion. In Smith’s account, slavery is nearly universal in poor, underdeveloped countries. Its disappearance in some parts of the world therefore brought about normatively attractive outcomes, creating greater freedom, security, integrity of person, liberty, and non-​dominance –​that is, not being subject to arbitrary discretion of another. The path to abolition of slavery in Western Europe is therefore of great interest. Smith provides an NPPT explanation that shows how a normative evil –​slavery –​was generally sustained and how it was eliminated, at least in one portion of the planet.

Notes 1 Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; and Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University. The author gratefully acknowledges Claudia Goldin, Glory Liu, and Josiah Ober for helpful conversations. 2 Abbreviations are listed at the beginning of the references. 3 For this reason and because of the productive efficiencies of the gang labor system, slavery in the context of the United States differed from the contexts studied by Smith. 4 Gary Becker (1957) made a similar argument with respect to discrimination against minorities, the American South in particular. 5 N.B., Smith assumes that the production technology is identical under slavery and freedom, perhaps a reasonable assumption for feudal Europe. In contrast, the gang-​labor system in the Antebellum American South differed considerably from

Persistent inefficiency  307 the tenant farming system that arose following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. The gang labor system made slavery more productive than the alternatives for certain crops (Fogel and Engerman 1974b).Therefore, Smith’s arguments do not apply to slavery in the antebellum United States. 6 Smith repeats the ‘love of dominance’ thesis a few pages later (LJ(A) 129: 192); and again in his discussion of this topic in WN: ‘The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen’ (WN III.ii.10: 388). 7 Further, ‘The power of the great lords consisted in their vassalls and their villains. The whole of the land at this time was … cultivated by villains or slaves’ (LJ(A) III.118: 187–​188). 8 Smith also asserts that every subject –​meaning the entire elite –​had slaves. Moreover, a ‘man of a considerable estate would have some thousands of slaves upon it, and the meaner sort in proportion, but allmost every one if the country be tollerably wealthy will have some slaves; and in them the greatest part of their wealth will consist’ (LJ(A) III.115–​116:187). 9 The NEH literature on slavery adds an additional level of complexity, allowing different types of slaves to have different values (e.g., children, prime field hands, women of child-​bearing ages); I ignore this complexity, though it could easily be added. ∂V > 0. 10 That is, ∂δ 11 Goldin (1973) studies the economics of compensation schemes in the American context (see also Fogel and Engerman 1974a). American law combines with a working judicial system to make the antebellum American context considerably different from those Smith studied. 12 Editors here cite WN ii.95, 152; iii.7, 106, 129, 143. 13 Smith does not say so, but his logic implies that the eighteenth-​century slaveholding European colonies differed from the slaveholding societies he discusses because of the European colonies had advanced judicial systems. 14 WN book III; see Weingast (2017) for a more extended interpretation of Smith’s views on this topic in terms of modern economics and political science. 15 An electronic search of the Glasgow editions found that Smith used this phrase solely in his two similar discussions of slavery, in the Lectures on Jurisprudence and in the Wealth of Nations, Book III. 16 Smith contrasts the method of Aristotle with that of Newton in LRBL, Lecture 24, pp. 145–​147. 17 This section draws on Anderson (1989), Clark (2008), Lieberman (2006), Pack (1996), Pitts (2005), Salter (1996), Skinner (1975), and Wells (2010). 18 Smith continues: The words that were used in this bargain were that they should hold according to the custom of the manor. The court took advantage of this expression for the benefit of the dependents and interpreted them thus: that as the lords did not commonly or customarily turn them out unless for some great offence, so they made their agreement to be that they were to continue in possession for ever, unless on any such transgressions or offences as were punishable by law. In this manner they became from being speciall villains to be copyholders’ (LJ(A) 119–​120: 188, emphasis in original)

308  Barry R. Weingast 19 Further, the clergy, a body at that time very powerfull, thought it their interest to encourage the villains, and the authority of the king, the head of the state, coincided with theirs. They in this manner agreeing rendered the authority of the masters of the villains but very inconsiderable, compared to what it had been some time before. They saw too perhaps that their lands were but very ill cultivated when under the management of these villains. They therefore thought it would be more for their own advantage to emancipate their villains and enter into an agreement with them with regard to the cultivation of their lands. In this manner slavery came to be abolished. (LJ 120–​121:188–​189) 20 Notice that the type of compensation mechanisms studied by Goldin (1973) concerning emancipation of slaves before the American Civil War presumes a legal system of this sort. 21 Cox, North, and Weingast (2019,Table 1) show that the median developing country experiences violent leadership turnover in a little less than every eight years. The richest developing countries fare only mildly better, once every 12.5  years. Violence and the potential for violence is an on-​going problem throughout the developing world. 22 Obvious exceptions exist to this general statement, such as Bates (2001), Collier (2007), and Tilly (1992). But such scholars have yet to transform mainstream economics. 23 Smith makes this same point elsewhere. In a passage from TMS, ‘The peace and order of society, is of more importance than even the relief of the miserable’ (TMS VI.ii.1.20:226). Also in TMS in his famous passage on justice: Society, however, cannot subsist among those who are at all times ready to hurt and injure one another… Justice … is the main pillar that upholds the whole edifice. If it is removed, the great, the immense fabric of human society, that fabric which to raise and support seems in this world … must in a moment crumble into atoms. (TMS II.ii.3.3–​4,86) And again in WN when discussing education aimed at alleviating ‘the gross ignorance and stupidity which, in a civilized society, seem so frequently to benumb the understandings of all the inferior ranks of people’, Smith writes: The more [the poor] are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition, which, among ignorant nations, frequently occasion the most dreadful disorders… In free countries, where the safety of government depends very much upon the favourable judgment which the people may form of its conduct, it must surely be of the highest importance that they should not be disposed to judge rashly or capriciously concerning it. (WN V.i.f-​61:788) 24 In Smith’s words, ‘The slaves when numerous and in a rich and free country, as they become an object of dread and terror to the body of the people are never trusted with arms, as they are there the naturall enemies of the governing part’ (LJ 119:188).

Persistent inefficiency  309

References All references to Adam Smith’s works are to the Glasgow edition, as reprinted by Liberty Fund. The text uses the following abbreviations. ‘History of Astronomy’: Smith,Adam. 1795 [1982].‘The History of Astronomy,’ in Essays on Philosophical Subjects, ed. W.P.D. Wightman and J.C. Bryce, vol. 3 of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. LJ(A): Smith, Adam. 1762–​1763; [1981]. Lectures on Jurisprudence: Report of 1762–​3. R.L. Meek, D.D. Raphael, and P.G. Stein, eds. vol. 5 of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. LJ(B): Smith, Adam. (1766)[1981] Lectures on Jurisprudence:  Report dated 1766 in: Smith, Adam. 1762–​1763; 1763–​1764(1767)[1981]. Lectures on Jurisprudence. R.L. Meek, D.D. Raphael, and P.G. Stein, eds. vol. 5 of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. LRBL:  Smith, Adam. Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. J.C. Bryce, ed., Glasgow Edition. Indianapolis: LibertyFund. TMS: Smith, Adam. 1759 [1982]. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie, eds. vol. 1 of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. WN: Smith, Adam. 1776 [1981]. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 2 vols. R.H. Campbell, A.S. Skinner, and W.B.Todd, eds. vol. 2 of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J.A. (2006) ‘Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective’, American Political Science Review 100: 115–​131. Acemoglu, D. and Robinson J.A. (2012) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, New York, USA: Crown Business. Anderson, G.M. (1989) ‘The Butcher, the Baker, and the Policy-​maker: Adam Smith on Public Choice’, History of Political Economy 21(4): 641–​659. Bates, R.H. (2001) Prosperity & Violence: The Political Economy of Development, New York: W.W. Norton. Becker, G. (1957) The Economics of Discrimination, Chicago:  Cambridge University Press. Besley,T.J. and Persson T. (2011) Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Brown, M. (2010) ‘Free Enterprise and the Economics of Slavery’, Real-​World Economics Review 52: 28–​39. Clark, H.C. (2008) ‘Montesquieu in Smith’s Method of “Theory and History”’, Adam Smith Review 4: 132–​57. Collier, P. (2007) The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cox, G.W., North, D.C., and Weingast, B.R. (2019) ‘The Violence Trap:  A Political-​ Economic Approach to the Problems of Development’, Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice 34 (1), 3–19. Fogel, R.W. and Engerman, S.L. (1974a) ‘Philanthropy at Bargain Prices:  Notes on the Economics of Gradual Emancipation’, Journal of Legal Studies 4 (October): 377–​401. Fogel, R.W. and Engerman, S.L. (1974b) Time on the Cross, Boston: Little, Brown.

310  Barry R. Weingast Goldin, C. (1973) ‘The Economics of Emancipation’, Journal of Economic History 33: 66–​85. Huntington, S.P. (1968) Political Order in Changing Societies, New Haven: Yale University Press. Lieberman, D. (2006) ‘Adam Smith on Justice, Rights, and Law,’ in K. Haakonssen (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Liu, G.M. and Weingast, B.R. (2019) ‘Deriving “General Principles”:  Adam Smith’s Pervasive Use of Equilibrium and Comparative Statics Analysis’, Adam Smith Review 9, 134–65. North, D.C.,Wallis J.J., and Weingast, B.R. (2009) Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Recorded Human History, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Pack, S.J. (1991) Capitalism as a Moral System: Adam Smith’s Critique of the Free Market Economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Pack, S.J. (1996) ‘Slavery, Adam Smith’s Economic Vision, and the Invisible Hand’, History of Economic Ideas 4(1–2): 253–​269. Pitts, J. (2005) A Turn to Empire:  The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Salter, J. (1992) ‘Adam Smith on Feudalism, Commerce and Slavery’, History of Political Thought 13(2): 219–​241. Salter, J. (1996) ‘Adam Smith on Slavery’, History of Economic Ideas 3(2–​3): 225–​251. Skinner, A.S. (1975) ‘Adam Smith:  An Economic Interpretation of History’, in A.S. Skinner and T. Wilson (eds.) Essays on Adam Smith, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Tilly, C. (1992) Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–​1992, Revised ed., Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Weingast, B.R. (2017) ‘Adam Smith on Violence and the Political Economics of Development,’ in N.R. Lamoreaux and J.J.Wallis (eds) Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development, Chicago: NBER and University of Chicago Press. Wells,T. (2010) ‘Adam Smith’s Real Views on Slavery: A Reply to Marvin Brown’, Real-​ World Economics Review (53), 156–60. Wright, G. (1978) Political Economy of the Cotton South, New York: W.W. Norton. Wright, G. (2006) Slavery and American Economic Development, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.


Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought Chapter II (Part V) of The Theory of Moral Sentiments Michele Bee Until a few weeks before Adam Smith’s death in 1790, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) ended with Part VI, devoted to review the other systems of moral philosophy.1 We may reasonably deduce that when Smith published The Wealth of Nations (WN) in 1776, he considered that the exposition of his own moral system was finished with Part V of TMS. Furthermore, the second and last chapter of Part V ends with the difference between primitive and civilized societies and the example of infanticide, precisely where WN begins. A possible link appears between Chapter II (Part V) of TMS and the beginning of WN. The aim of this article is to explore what insights we gain by provisionally supposing that TMS ends where WN begins, with moral and economic reflections on infanticide. This article first presents arguments in support of considering Part V as the concluding part of TMS. To this end, it offers in evidence some overlooked similarities in the argumentation of TMS and WN, and refers to the information supplied by the editors of the Glasgow edition about Smith’s lectures on ethics. It then goes on to highlight the difference between savages and the civilized which closes TMS and opens WN, focusing in particular on the last example in Part V of TMS and the first example in WN, in the ‘Introduction and Plan of the Work’, both dealing with infanticide.The article also shows how the revisions of the last edition of 1790 may provide further evidence to consider Part V as the conclusion of TMS, until this final edition appeared. Since Raphael and Macfie (1976) proposed the approach, it is generally recognized that TMS and WN are not inconsistent, but rather belong to the same broad project.2 If, however, it is true that TMS and WN pursue the same line of argument, then we may well expect the line of reasoning in WN to follow directly from the end of TMS. And, indeed, this is how it appears when we trace the connection between Chapter II (Part V) of TMS and the Introduction to WN.To read Chapter II (Part V) as the concluding part of TMS not only offers important evidence for the consistency of the two books, but also for their close relationship.3 This possibility was overlooked for at least two reasons. The first is that Part V of TMS seems to deal with special topics or marginal concerns (see

314  Michele Bee Otteson 2002, Singer 2004), and so to not be particularly relevant to Smith’s moral system. The second is that the current interpretations of the example of infanticide in TMS (see Griswold 1999, Rasmussen 2008, Forman-​Barzilai 2010) are formulated in isolation from its occurrence in WN. Instead, this article proposes a consistent reading of the two examples of infanticide in TMS and in WN, and explains why the aim in Part V is not merely to discuss points of marginal relevance to TMS. From this point of view, Chapter II (Part V) can appear as the natural prelude to the opening of WN, pointing out the relationship that Smith establishes between the variations in moral judgment discussed throughout TMS, and the variations in general economic circumstances he describes in WN.

Similarities in the structure of TMS and of WN In order to corroborate the idea that Chapter II (Part V) of TMS represents the conclusion of Smith’s personal theory, and not an intermediate part between Part IV and Part VI, this section will first point out certain neglected similarities in the structure of TMS and of WN.4 Both of Smith’s works start from considerations on the nature and causes of the topics addressed—​moral sentiments in one case, wealth in the other—​to go on to analyse their historical relations. In both cases, having expounded his own views, Smith compares them to the systems he intends to criticize. In his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Smith begins by clarifying the causes (‘of improvement in the productive powers of labour, and of the order according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks of the people’: Book I) before, subsequently, going on to consider the nature (‘accumulation, and employment of stock’: Book II) of the wealth of nations. He then goes on to explain how the causes and nature are articulated in what, with the last words of TMS (VII.iv.37) or in similar wording in the Advertisement to the last edition of the book, represents ‘the different revolutions’ that ‘the general principles of law and government’ have ‘undergone in the different ages and periods of society’ (Book III).5 Smith follows the exposition of his own system of thought with a critique of those of others (Book IV), and in particular of his Mercantilist predecessors. WN closes with Book V, which follows (and, significantly, does not precede) the book on the other schools of thought (Book IV), as the focus now turns away from the issue of ‘police’ (Book I, II and III), to rest on ‘revenue’ and ‘arms’, as he calls them (TMS VII.iv.37).6 Thus, Smith brings the actual exposition of his thought on ‘police’ to a conclusion in Book III, on the subject of changes in economic conditions in the history of human societies (in particular the transition from a country-​centred feudal system to a city-​centred commercial society). Symmetrically, just as his text on economics opens with an exposition of the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, TMS begins by expounding what

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  315 characterizes a theory of moral philosophy, namely ‘the nature and origin of moral sentiments’ (TMS VII.i.1, emphasis added). In Parts I and II, in particular, the focus is on the origin of moral sentiments, in answer to the question: ‘how and by what means does it come to pass, that the mind prefers one tenor of conduct to another, denominates the one right and the other wrong; considers the one as the object of approbation, honour, and reward, and the other of blame, censure, and punishment?’ (TMS VII.i.2). In Parts III and IV, he addresses the nature of moral sentiments, answering the question: ‘wherein does virtue consist? Or what is the tone of temper, and tenor of conduct, which constitutes the excellent and praise-​worthy character, the character which is the natural object of esteem, honour, and approbation?’ (TMS VII.i.2). Having examined the nature and origin of moral sentiments, in the last chapter of Part V—​as in Book III of WN—​Smith focuses on how they are articulated in the history of human societies, in particular with regard to primitive and civilized societies. Once again, after presenting the broad scope of his thought, Smith embarks on comparison with the thought of others. And again we find a relation between WN and TMS: Book IV of WN, titled ‘Of Systems of Political Oeconomy’, corresponding to Part VI (up to the last edition) of TMS titled ‘Of Systems of Moral Philosophy’. In Part VI (later Part VII) of TMS his criticism concentrates in particular on Hobbes and Mandeville, whom he associates with the Mercantilists, discussed in Book IV of WN.7 Additional confirmation that Part VI (later Part VII) does not expound Smith’s own thought, but rather deals with all the previous systems of moral philosophy, is offered by a letter Smith sent to Thomas Cadell in 1788 about his work of revising TMS. In this letter, Smith says that the last part of TMS concerns ‘the History of moral Philosophy’ (Smith 1788:  310–​311). Likewise, the editors of the Glasgow edition, Raphael and Macfie (1976), see this part as dealing with ‘a systematic survey of earlier theories’ and the rest of TMS as ‘Smith’s own views’ (Smith 1976b: 265). This last part of TMS ends with the issue of truth and speech. This is probably one of the reasons that led Smith, from the third edition of TMS onwards, to add his Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Languages immediately after this part even though it is a self-​standing essay, and is therefore not to be seen as the new conclusion of TMS after the third edition.8 In the last edition of TMS, this Part VI becomes Part VII, for Smith introduces a new Part VI after Part V. This circumstance does not contradict but, rather, bears out the reconstruction proposed here. Since the new Part VI develops his own argument, as I will briefly show later on, Smith adds the new part before entering into comparison with the other systems. This can confirm that the exposition of his own thought ends before the part on the different systems of moral philosophy, and not with it.

316  Michele Bee The editors of the Glasgow edition offer further confirmation. In the first note to Part VII (Part VI till the last edition), they write that: ‘it seems likely that the first version of Smith’s lectures on ethics began at this point, with a systematic survey of earlier theories before developing Smith’s own views’ (Smith 1976b:  265, emphasis added; see also Raphael 2007:  9–​10). The comparison with other systems, placed at the end of TMS probably for editorial reasons, was thus originally intended to open Smith’s lectures, probably for pedagogical reasons. Smith’s lectures therefore probably ended with the content we find in Part V of TMS. Up to the last edition—​over 14 years after the initial publication of WN—​ Smith’s exposition of his theory in TMS likely ends not with Part VI (later Part VII), but with Part V.9 Besides, it is only in Chapter II (Part V) that Smith decides to introduce the theme of savages and the civilized in TMS, a theme that we meet again at the very beginning of WN, and which he was never to cease returning to for purposes of comparison.10 This theme closes Part V of TMS together with the example of infanticide just as it opens WN, suggesting that a possible continuity between Chapter II (Part V) of TMS and the Introduction to WN needs to be explored.

The double example of infanticide Chapter II (Part V) deals with the differences between the situations and the characteristics of savages as compared with the civilized. This chapter ends with the problem of the acceptance of infanticide in early societies. In the first lines of WN we find the same two issues raised precisely at the point where Smith sets about defining the subject of the inquiry upon which he is embarking. Having enlarged upon the differences between savages and the civilized, in the TMS Smith approaches the problem of infanticide thus: Can there be greater barbarity, for example, than to hurt an infant? […] Yet the exposition, that is, the murder of new-​born infants, was a practice allowed of in almost all the states of Greece, even among the polite and civilized Athenians; and whenever the circumstances of the parent rendered it inconvenient to bring up the child, to abandon it to hunger, or to wild beasts, was regarded without blame or censure. This practice had probably begun in times of the most savage barbarity. The imaginations of men had been first made familiar with it in that earliest period of society, and the uniform continuance of the custom had hindered them afterwards from perceiving its enormity. We find, at this day, that this practice prevails among all savage nations; and in that rudest and lowest state of society it is undoubtedly more pardonable than in any other. The extreme indigence of a savage is often such that he himself is frequently exposed to the greatest extremity of hunger, he often dies of pure want, and it is frequently impossible for him to support both

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  317 himself and his child. We cannot wonder, therefore, that in this case he should abandon it. (TMS V.2.15) Smith raises the issue of the acceptability of such a practice—​ deemed barbaric—​among ‘the polite and civilized Athenians’. If the extreme indigence of savages drives them to abandon their children, this was no longer the situation experienced by the Athenians. In the Introduction to the WN, we find the line of argument followed in the TMS not only summarized, but also presented in reverse order: Among the savage nations of hunters and fishers, every individual who is able to work, is more or less employed in useful labour, and endeavours to provide, as well as he can, the necessaries and conveniences of life, for himself, or such of his family or tribe as are either too old, or too young, or too infirm to go a hunting and fishing. Such nations, however, are so miserably poor, that, from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or, at least, think themselves reduced, to the necessity sometimes of directly destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts. Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary, though a great number of people do not labour at all, many of whom consume the produce of ten times, frequently of a hundred times more labour than the greater part of those who work; yet the produce of the whole labour of the society is so great, that all are often abundantly supplied, and a workman, even of the lowest and poorest order, if he is frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the necessaries and conveniences of life than it is possible for any savage to acquire. (WN I.intro.4) While in the last part of the TMS Smith discusses the relationship between savages and the civilized in relation to their circumstances and characteristics, ending with the example of infanticide, the opening lines of the WN return to the same example of infanticide, and then go on to the difference in the conditions experienced by savages and the civilized. Symmetry and inversion are respected (WN I.intro.4). The possible direct connection between these two examples, linked to the hypothesis that TMS ends with Part V, has not been so far addressed explicitly for at least two possible reasons. The first has to do with the scant relevance usually attributed to Part V in TMS, the second with the current interpretations of the example of infanticide in TMS in isolation from its occurrence in WN. Since Smith observes in Part V that different customs are relative to different circumstances, one might assume that customs hold no great significance for him. Different customs in different times and places would show ‘minor difference’ related to the environments (Otteson 2002: 220). Customs would add

318  Michele Bee nothing essential from the moral point of view (except for their capacity to pervert judgment, see Young 1997: 40), and represent ‘minor variations around an immutable core’, which is the sense of justice (Singer 2004:  45). Smith’s reflections on the practice of infanticide would confirm this reading, customs accounting for the ‘cultural diversity’, which, nevertheless, cannot clash with that ‘universality of justice’ without which society cannot subsist (Forman-​ Barzilai 2010: 242–​250, see also Young 2013: 156). Customs, being relative to circumstances, would not generally comply with the universal judgment of the impartial spectator, apart from the sense of justice. Following this interpretation, we could assume that Part V deals only with special topics or marginal concerns, namely fashion and customs (see Otteson 2002; against this position, relatively to fashion, see Smith 2013). Only the previous parts—​in particular the first three parts dedicated to the natural judgment of the impartial spectator—​would deal with the central topics of TMS. Thus, Part III and not Part V would constitute the completion of Smith’s system of moral philosophy, and should be seen as the actual ending of TMS. Furthermore, the two examples of infanticide seem to have little to do with each other. Infanticide in TMS is usually addressed by commentators to discuss whether Smith’s impartial spectator allows people to depart from their ‘culture’s moral standard’, at least when justice is at stake (see Rasmussen 2008). In WN, however, infanticide seems to be considered in relation to the better economic conditions of the civilized, no longer obliged to practice it as the savages were. In these readings, any direct continuity appears between Chapter II (Part V) of TMS and the Introduction to WN, not indeed between their two examples of infanticide. The next two sections argue that Chapter II (Part V) does not deal with the minor concerns of TMS, and present a correlated interpretation of the two examples of infanticide in TMS and WN.

The centrality of chapter II (part V) of TMS In Chapter II (Part V) of TMS Smith seems to be saying that customs are not generally linked to the judgment of the impartial spectator because they are related to circumstances. However, what he is saying is quite the opposite: customs are usually linked to the judgment of the impartial spectator precisely because they are generally related to circumstances (after all, for Smith every impartial spectator judges according to situations, see TMS I.i.1). Yet the example of infanticide in TMS seems to contradict this idea. The practice has been legitimated by customs, but does not appear consistent with natural justice; the sense of the example seems to lie in this divergence (see Griswold 1999:  201–​202). Nevertheless, if we consider the example in the context of Chapter II (Part V), we can read it as confirming, rather than contradicting, the fact that customs are usually related to natural judgment. Smith introduces the example of infanticide at the end of Chapter II (Part V) to show that even when such a fundamental issue as justice is at stake customs

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  319 can ‘pervert’ the ‘natural propriety of action’ when they are no longer connected with the circumstances that generated them (TMS V.2.15). Smith condemns the infanticide practised by the ‘polite and civilized’ Athenians, but not by savages (see also Haakonssen 1981: 60). When we consider the harsh living conditions of the latter, it is little wonder that they can often be driven to this practice. This no longer applies when we consider the generally better conditions of the Athenians. It is the natural judgment of the impartial spectator that renders the same practice understandable in one situation and not in another. Smith notes that ‘we find, at this day, that this practice prevails among all savage nations’ (TMS V.2.15, emphasis added). He means to stress that infanticide is not a practice typical of some particular nations that have a specific ‘culture’, but the practice of all the nations that share the same harsh living conditions.11 Smith’s explanation runs thus: One who, in flying from an enemy, whom it was impossible to resist, should throw down his infant, because it retarded his flight, would surely be excusable; since, by attempting to save it, he could only hope for the consolation of dying with it. That in this state of society, therefore, a parent should be allowed to judge whether he can bring up his child, ought not to surprise us so greatly. (TMS V.2.15, emphasis added) The extreme living conditions of savages oblige them to become ‘familiar’ with this practice (TMS V.2.15), which lags on, making this particular usage persistent even when circumstances change. The Athenians, being so long accustomed to it by ‘the uniform continuance of the custom’ (TMS V.2.15), were insensitive to the atrociousness of carrying it out in their changed situation. But with the example of infanticide Smith also means to stress that this relation between customs and circumstances cannot constitute a pretext to avoid changes in the former, whenever the latter change (see also Pitts 2005: 43–​52). Since the two are related, they should change consequently. In this respect, he writes: ‘such a thing, we hear men every day saying, is commonly done, and they seem to think this a sufficient apology for what, in itself, is the most unjust and unreasonable conduct’ (TMS V.2.15). In WN, he maintains a similar argument when he deals with the right of primogeniture, which still continued to be respected at his time. According to him, it was not ‘unreasonable’ when the security of landed estates depended upon their greatness; but when security of estates is provided by the laws of their country ‘nothing can be more completely absurd’ (WN III.ii.6; see also Bee and Paganelli 2019). Thus, he writes: ‘Laws frequently continue in force long after the circumstances, which first gave occasion to them, and which could alone render them reasonable, are no more’ (WN III.ii.4). We find the same position in his Lectures of Jurisprudence (LJ), when Smith writes about the custom of considering the marriage between cousins-​german as incestuous. According to him, this custom was reasonable

320  Michele Bee when the sons did not separate from the family of the father as soon as they married, and the children of two brothers were considered part of the same family. On this account, Smith writes: ‘This like all other customs often continues after the reason of it is at an end; it was so amongst the Romans long after the sons lived in seperate families from their fathers’ (LJ A i.96–​97). Similarly, about the usage of fairs that ‘however necessary they then were, are now real nusances’, he says: ‘It is absurd to preserve in people a regard for their old customs when the causes of them are removed’ (LJ B, 305). With the example of infanticide Smith concludes Chapter II (Part V), pointing out that in any case customs can pervert moral judgment only with respect to ‘particular usages’ and not to ‘the general style and character of conduct and behaviour’: ‘No society could subsist a moment, in which the usual strain of men’s conduct and behaviour was of a piece with the horrible practice I have just now mentioned’ (TMS V.2.16). This means that, even among savages, infanticide does not represent the usual line of conduct, but only a particular usage dictated by very specific circumstances. The ‘obvious reason’ (TMS V.2.16) is that otherwise they would not have been able to produce a new generation and continue to exist. If we take the example of infanticide out of its context, the conclusion could lead us to think that Smith conceives of the general style of conduct in terms of justice alone, which is why it cannot be perverted (see Schliesser 2017: 188). But when Smith turns to the general character of behaviour in Chapter II (Part V), he approaches it in terms of hardiness and sensibility above all, or in other words ‘the difference between the degrees of self-​command which are required in civilized and in barbarous nations’ (TMS V.2.10). This difference, affirms Smith, ‘gives occasion to many others that are not less essential’ (TMS V.2.11, emphasis added), such as the difference between frankness and falsehood, openness and dissimulation. Thus, the differences of customs related to different circumstances are an essential issue for Smith. Just before raising the issue of infanticide, Smith writes: In general, the style of manners which takes place in any nation, may commonly upon the whole be said to be that which is most suitable to its situation. Hardiness is the character most suitable to the circumstances of a savage; sensibility to those of one who lives in a very civilized society. (TMS V.2.14, emphasis added) Here Smith means to stress that moral judgment on the general character of conduct is normally linked to general conditions, and can vary in accordance with their variations.Thus, variations in general circumstances are relevant from a moral point of view. This is not a minor concern in TMS, but a very central issue: it brings out the relationship between the subject of TMS and the subject of WN, that is, between moral judgment and amelioration of living conditions. Chapter II (Part V) of TMS seems to pave the way to WN, and to represent the completion of Smith’s system of moral philosophy. If Chapter II (Part V) is the

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  321 end of TMS, its centrality and linking role is emphasized by its position at the middle of Smith’s two books.

A correlated interpretation of infanticide in TMS and WN In Chapter II (Part V), Smith demonstrates that economic conditions play a decisive role in the domain of passions, evoking the difference between a society of savages and a civilized one. The evidence he produces to this end lies in the essential difference between the degrees of self-​command that is required by different circumstances, and this comparison is crucial to our understanding of the example of infanticide in both TMS and WN. If Smith raises again the issue of infanticide in the introduction to WN, it is not simply to observe that the improved living conditions offered to the civilized are to be seen in the fact that they are any longer forced to kill their own children. Taking up this example again, he points out the importance of improvement in economic conditions, through the changes they entail in the moral evaluations of the individuals. The question is:  what leads savages to such insensitivity that they can commit so brutal an action, when they are ‘reduced or, at least, think themselves reduced’ to it (WN I.intro.4)? If they were endowed with greater sensitivity, they would probably be unable to perform such a practice even in the most difficult circumstances, and at the risk of dying themselves. But if infanticide is possible among primitive people, according to Smith, it is because their general conditions compel them to become accustomed to an absolute indifference towards their own sentiments and those of the others. As Smith points out in various contexts in Chapter II (Part V) of TMS and in the Introduction to WN (I.intro.4), the spectres of death and precarious living are constantly, directly, and inevitably present to every savage. In such a situation, no savage would consider it appropriate to expect the sympathy of others, who should find themselves in the same circumstances (TMS V.2.9). It would be a sign of weakness and self-​centeredness, and any impartial spectator would disapprove of such a vain expectation. Thus, savages refrain from expressing their sentiments to others, and become accustomed to be insensible to them (TMS V.2.9).12 According to Smith, instead, the members of civilized society can expect of the others greater readiness to sympathize with their sentiments, thanks to the better general economic conditions (see Bee 2018). In this way, all are encouraged to express their sentiments more freely without this expression being perceived as inappropriate (see TMS V.2.8–​10).13 Absolute self-​command is appropriate for savages or savage-​like conditions, while a greater sensibility is generally more appropriate in commercial society (see also Bee 2015, Paganelli 2017, Bee and Paganelli 2019).14 This is a position that may seem to contradict the stress Smith places on the virtue of self-​command, especially in the last edition of TMS. However, this particular revision of the text confirms the interpretation proposed here if we take into due account the distinction between ‘absolute self-​command’ and

322  Michele Bee ‘stupid insensibility’ (see TMS VI.iii.18, see also Bee 2018). This distinction is clarified in the closing section of the new Part VI that Smith introduces in the last edition after Part V. This section is titled ‘Of Self-​command’ and becomes the new end of TMS, if we assume that, before this last edition of 1790, TMS had ended with Chapter II (Part V). Here Smith returns to the issue of Chapter II (Part V) with the precise intention of clarifying a point which he evidently deems decisive:  self-​command is not to be confused with that indifference towards the events of life, which leads to a stupid insensibility towards one’s own and others’ sentiments. Self-​ command is virtuous, insofar as it corresponds to the judgment of the impartial spectator resulting from attention to circumstances, and not insensitivity tout court. This is why: ‘This heroic and unconquerable firmness, which the custom and education of his country demand of every savage, is not required of those who are brought up in civilized societies’ (TMS V.2.10). The distinction between savages and the civilized that Smith discusses in depth at the beginning of WN (see also Hont and Ignatieff 1983) can assume a moral sense thanks to the distinctions made in Chapter II (Part V) of TMS. Indeed, the improved living conditions of commercial society discussed in the early pages of WN—​in which even of the lowest and poorest order ‘may enjoy a greater share of the necessaries and conveniences of life than it is possible for any savage to acquire’ (WN I.intro.4)—​are not an end in itself, but the conditions that favour the increased sensibility of society discussed in the last chapter of TMS.15 This historical development of moral judgment linked to changes in economic circumstances confirms the close relationships between TMS and WN and contrasts with the idea of ‘a genuine lack of harmony’ between them revealed by an alleged ‘static or non-​evolutionary theory of social psychology’ in TMS (see Viner 1972: 84).16 If we bear the content of Chapter II (Part V) in mind we can appreciate not only the consistency underlying the example of infanticide in TMS and WN, but also the continuity in the line of reasoning running through these two books.

Conclusions The continuity in the argumentation embarked upon with TMS and carried through with WN emerges more clearly when we take into account precisely where TMS could end. As shown in the article, the first two books of WN are devoted to discuss the causes and nature of the wealth of nations, while the third book deals with their historical relations. In TMS, the first four parts are dedicated to explain the origin and nature of the moral sentiments, while the fifth part discusses their historical relations. This similarity in the structure of TMS and WN, together with Smith’s correspondence and information supplied by the editors of the Glasgow edition, allows us to consider Part VI (Part VII in the last edition of 1790)  of TMS as dealing with the other systems of thought, as it

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  323 happens in Book IV of WN. When Smith published WN in 1776, the exposition of his own thought in TMS ends with Chapter II of Part V, that is, with the example of infanticide and the difference between savages and civilized, which we also find at the beginning of WN. The article shows the link that thus appears between TMS and WN, by first discussing the reasons that could have led to overlooking it:  the example of infanticide in TMS has been studied separately from that in WN, and read as confirmation that customs for Smith would not be related to the judgment of the impartial spectator, underestimating the role of Part V of TMS in Smith’s moral theory. This article argues that the variability of customs in relation to circumstances, discussed in the last chapter of Part V of TMS, does not mean that Smith attributes little relevance to them; it rather brings out a causal link that proves the close relationship between TMS and WN:  variations in moral judgment of the impartial spectator are connected to variations in general economic conditions. The example of infanticide confirms this connection instead of contradicting it. Smith criticises infanticide among Athenians but not among savages. With this example he does not mean to say that the judgment of the impartial spectator allows us to depart from customs because they are relative to context; rather, his intention is to stress that the impartial spectator allows us to depart from customs when they are no longer justified by context, as in the case of the marriages between cousins-​german still considered as incestuous among the Romans or the persistence of the right of primogeniture in Smith’s time. Savages are compelled to familiarize with infanticide by hard living conditions that lead them to become accustomed to absolute self-​command and indifference to their sentiments. The better living conditions of the more civilized Athenians should have led them to abandon this practice, but a prolonged lag may occur before societies adopt customs more appropriate to improved circumstances.The longer historical difference between primitive life and commercial society, whom WN starts with, constitutes besides eloquent evidence of the moral change entailed by a prolonged process of general amelioration of living conditions. By giving due weight to the connection between variations in moral sentiments and variations in economic conditions highlighted in Part V of TMS we can read consistently the example of infanticide in TMS and in WN, and appreciate the connecting role played by Chapter II (Part V) of TMS between Smith’s two books.

Notes 1 In the last edition of 1790, Part VI becomes Part VII, because Smith introduces a new Part VI, after Part V. 2 On the problem of consistency between TMS and WN, known as the ‘Adam Smith Problem’, see in particular the works of Viner 1927 and 1972, Macfie 1967,

324  Michele Bee Hirschman 1977,Winch 1978, Haakonssen 1981. Confutation of the alleged incompatibility between the two works has led the editors of the Glasgow edition to call it ‘a pseudo-​problem’ (Raphael and Macfie 1976). For an overview of the problem, see Montes 2003. For a converse reading of the problem, see Paganelli 2008. 3 Without going into the different interpretations of Smith’s key concepts, the article offers support to the answers to the ‘new’ Adam Smith Problem (see Young 1986) that attempt to explain one book through the other. Among others, see Young 1997, Fontaine 1997, Witztum 1998, Fleischacker 1999 and 2004. See also for different positions, Evensky 1987, Brown 1994, Otteson 2002, Hanley 2009, Forman-​Barzilai  2010. 4 These similarities are based not on the style (on the different styles of TMS and WN see Brown 1994; see also Pack 1991 and 1997) but on the structure of TMS and  of WN. 5 In the last paragraph of TMS, Smith says he will continue his argument by giving ‘an account of the general principles of law and government’ (TMS VII.iv.37). In the Advertisement to the last edition of the book, Smith says that through WN he fulfilled this promise ‘at least so far as concerns police, revenue, and arms’, and that he would like to accomplish his entire design with a theory of jurisprudence, the draft of which we can find in the Lectures of Jurisprudence (LJ). Thus, Smith clearly says that WN constitutes the continuation of his design started with TMS, and that his theory of jurisprudence, partially presented in LJ, should come afterwards. 6 See a similar distinction between ‘police’, ‘revenue’ and ‘arms’ in LJ. The section on ‘police’ (LJ B 203–​306) corresponds to the same arguments discussed in Books I, II and III of WN. The section on ‘revenue’ (LJ B 307–​333) and ‘arms’ (LJ B 334–​338) corresponds to the same arguments as set out in Book V of WN. 7 For analysis of Smith’s interpretation of Mandeville in relation to Mercantilist doctrine, see Hurtado-​Prieto 2006. See also Verburg 2013. 8 In the Glasgow edition, this essay is in Smith’s LRBL, and no longer at the end of TMS. On the origin of this essay, see Bryce’s introduction to LRBL. As we know (see among others Young 1997), the issue of speech is linked to the propensity to exchange presented by Smith only in Chapter II (Book I) of WN. 9 I show in the last section of this article how the content of the additional Part VI in the last edition can help confirm this reading. 10 Although this comparison was the object of Meek’s research, he accorded only a few meagre lines to this chapter, and solely to demonstrate that the ‘train of thinking’ that led to what he called the ‘four stages theory’ had actually been running through Smith’s mind as from TMS (Meek 1976: 115). Some other references to this chapter can be found in Pack 1991, Justman 1993, Berry 1997 and 2013, Griswold 1999, Otteson 2002, Schliesser 2003 and 2011, Rasmussen 2006, Montes 2008, Nohara 2010, Forman-​Barzilai 2010, Harkin 2002 and 2005. 11 Everyone would prefer not to practice infanticide, even savages; that is why infanticide is not really something approvable but anyway ‘excusable’ in their situation. 12 Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps (1724) by Joseph-​François Lafitau and Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France (1744) by Pierre-​François Xavier de Charlevoix, both present in Smith’s library (Bonar 1894, Mizuta 2002), with The Present State of the Cape of Good Hope by Peter Kolben (1731) are the most likely principal sources drawn upon for the account of the absolute self-​command of savages (see Ross 2010, 177–​178; Bee 2018).

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  325 13 Smith is considering the general economic conditions—​that is, the subject of WN—​that allows for the general development of greater sensitivity. The sense of what is blameworthy or praiseworthy in expressing sentiments can change when not just one of us attains a certain degree of well-​being, but when the others too enjoy better conditions. A  rich person can have more ‘time and occasion’ for ‘benevolent concerns’ (see Otteson 2002: 218), but this does not imply that people share their sentiments more freely. It is the ‘general security’ provided by civilized society (TMS V.2.8) that allows people to express their emotions more openly. 14 It does not mean that any degree of self-​command is appropriate in civilized society, rather that the improvements in living conditions decrease the degree of self-​command required for the impartial spectator to approve of a behaviour. 15 The civilizing effects of commercial society are usually connected with the reward of sincerity and friendship (see Herzog 2013, McCloskey 2006). However, according to Smith commercial society also produces the conditions for easier exercise of these virtues: a general security favouring the sharing of emotions. Of course, for Smith it is clear that in civilized society the opposite can also come about, as in the case of an excessive division of labour that tends to reduce people’s sensibility (see also Herzog 2013: 123–​124). 16 In The Role of Providence in the Social Order,Viner writes: I have found not even a casual reference in The Theory of Moral Sentiments to the moral sentiments being influenced by changes in the physical or political environment or of their being different in different countries or at different stages of history. Here is apparently a genuine lack of harmony between the static character of human psychology as pictured in The Theory of Moral Sentiments and Smith’s stress on patterned historical development in his treatment, in his other writings, of economic history, of the evolution of religious thought, and of many other social phenomena. (Viner 1972: 84)

References Bee, M. (2015) ‘Opening One’s Self Up’, IEPHI Working Paper Series n. 63, Lausanne: University of Lausanne. Bee, M. (2018) ‘Wealth and Sensibility. The Historical Result of Bettering One’s Condition According to Adam Smith’, The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 25 (3): 473–​492. Bee, M. and Paganelli M.P. (2019) ‘Adam Smith, Anti-​Stoic’, History of European Ideas, 45 (4): 572-​584. Berry, C.J. (1997) Social Theory of the Scottish Enlightenment. Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press. Berry, C.J. (2013) The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Bonar, J. (1894) A Catalogue of the Library of Adam Smith. London: Macmillan. Brown, V. (1994) Adam Smith’s Discourse:  Canonicity, Commerce, and Conscience. London: Routledge. Charlevoix, P.-​F. Xavier de (1744) Histoire et description générale de la nouvelle France, Paris: Rollin.

326  Michele Bee Evensky, J. (1987) ‘The Two Voices of Adam Smith:  Moral Philosopher and Social Critic’, History of Political Economy, 19 (3): 447–​468. Fleischacker, S. (1999) A Third Concept of Liberty. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Fleischacker, S. (2004) On Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’: A Philosophical Companion. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Fontaine, P. (1997) ‘Identification and Economic Behaviour: Sympathy and Empathy in Historical Perspective’, Economics and Philosophy, 13 (2): 261–​280. Forman-​Barzilai, F. (2010) Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Griswold, C. L., Jr. (1999) Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Haakonssen, K. (1981) The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hanley, R. P. (2009) Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Harkin, M. (2002) ‘Natives and Nostalgia:  The Problem of the “North American Savage” in Adam Smith’s Historiography’, Scottish Studies Review, 3 (1): 21–​32. Harkin, M. (2005) ‘Adam Smith’s Missing History: Primitives, Progress, and Problems of Genre’, ELH, 72 (2): 429–​451. Herzog, L. (2013) Inventing the Market: Smith, Hegel, and Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hirschman, A. O. [1977] (1997) The Passions and the Interests:  Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Hont, I. and Ignatieff, M. (1983) Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hurtado-​Prieto, J. (2006) ‘The Mercantilist Foundations of “Dr Mandeville’s Licentious System”: Adam Smith on Bernard Mandeville’, in New Voices on Adam Smith, (eds.) L. Montes and E. Schliesser., 221-​246. London: Routledge. Justman, S. (1993) The Autonomous Male of Adam Smith. Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press. Kolben, P. (1731) The Present State of the Cape of Good Hope. London: W. Innys. Lafitau, J.-​F. (1724) Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps. Paris: Saugrain l’aîné—​Hochereau. Macfie, A. L. [1967] (2010) The Individual in Society:  Papers on Adam Smith. London: Routledge. McCloskey, D. (2006) The Bourgeois Virtues:  Ethics for an Age of Commerce. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Meek, R.L. (1976) Social Science and the Ignoble Savage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mizuta, H. (2002) Adam Smith’s Library: A Catalogue. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Montes, L. (2003) ‘Das Adam Smith Problem: Its Origins, the Stages of the Current Debate, and One Implication for Our Understanding of Sympathy’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 25 (1): 63–​90. Montes, L. (2004) Adam Smith in Context:  A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought. Basingstoke: Palgrave-​Macmillan. Montes, L. (2008) ‘Adam Smith as an Eclectic Stoic’, Adam Smith Review, 4: 30–​56. Montes, L. (2009) ‘Adam Smith on the Standing Army versus Militia Issue:  Wealth over Virtue?’, in Elgar Companion to Adam Smith, (ed.) J.T.Young, 315–​335. London: Edward Elgar.

Exploring the continuity in Adam Smith’s thought  327 Nohara, S. (2010) ‘Adam Smith on the Cyclicity of the Rise and Fall of Civilization’, The Kyoto Economic Review, 79 (1): 77–​89. Nussbaum, M. (2002) ‘Mutilated and Deformed: Adam Smith on the Material Basis of Human Dignity’ (Manuscript) https://​​scholar?q=nussbaum+mut ilated+and+deformed&btnG=&hl=it&as_​sdt=0%2C5. Otteson, J.R. (2002) Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Pack, S.J. (1991) Capitalism as a Moral System: Adam Smith’s Critique of the Free Market Economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Pack, S.J. (1997) ‘Adam Smith on the Virtues: A Partial Resolution of the Adam Smith Problem’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 19 (1): 127–​140. Paganelli, M.P. (2008) ‘The Adam Smith Problem in Reverse:  Self-​Interest in The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments’, History of Political Economy, 40 (2): 365–​382. Paganelli, M.P. (2017) ‘Boys Do Cry: Adam Smith on Wealth and Expressing Emotions’, Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 15 (1): 1–​8. Pitts, J. (2005). A Turn to Empire:  The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Raphael, D.D. (2007) The Impartial Spectator:  Adam Smith’ Moral Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Raphael, D.D. and Macfie, A.L. (1976) ‘Introduction’, in Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rasmussen, D.C. (2006) ‘Does “Bettering Our Condition” Really Make Us Better Off? Adam Smith on Progress and Happiness’, American Political Science Review, 100 (3): 309–​318. Rasmussen, D.C. (2008) ‘Whose Impartiality? Which Self-​Interest?:  Adam Smith on Utility, Happiness and Cultural Relativism’, Adam Smith Review, 4: 247–​254. Ross, I. S. (2010) The Life of Adam Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schliesser, E. (2003) ‘“The Obituary of a Vain Philosopher”: Adam Smith’s Reflections on Hume’s Life’, Hume Studies, 29 (2): 327–​362. Schliesser, E. (2011) ‘Reading Adam Smith after Darwin:  On the Evolution of Propensities, Institutions, and Sentiments’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 77 (1): 15–​22. Schliesser, E. (2017) Adam Smith. Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Singer, B. C.  J. (2004) ‘Montesquieu, Adam Smith and the Discovery of the Social’, Journal of Classical Sociology, 4 (1): 31–​57. Smith, A. (1976a) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, (eds.) R.H. Campbell and A.S. Skinner. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Smith, A. (1976b) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, (ed.) D.D. Raphael and A.L Macfie. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Smith, A. (1978) Lectures on Jurisprudence, (ed.) R.L. Meek, D.D. Raphael, and P.G. Stein. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Smith, A. (1983) Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Language, in Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, (ed.) J.C. Bryce. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Glasgow edition. Smith C. (2013) ‘Adam Smith’s “Collateral” Inquiry:  Fashion and Morality in The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations’, History of Political Economy, 45 (3): 505–​522.

328  Michele Bee Verburg, R. (2013) ‘Bernard Mandeville’s Vision of the Social Utility of Pride and Greed’, The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 22 (4): 662-​691. Viner, J. (1927) ‘Adam Smith and Laissez Faire’, Journal of Political Economy, 35 (2): 198–​232. Viner, J. [1972] (2005) The Role of Providence in the Social Order: An Essay in Intellectual History. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Young, J.T. (1986) ‘The Impartial Spectator and Natural Jurisprudence: An Interpretation of Adam Smith’s Theory of the Natural Price’, History of Political Economy, 18 (3): 365–​382. Young, J.T. (1997) Economics as a Moral Science:  The Political Economy of Adam Smith. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Young, J.T. (2013) ‘A Review of Some Recent Smith Scholarship’, Œconomia, 3 (1): 147–​164. Winch, D. (1978) Adam Smith’s Politics: An Essay in Historiographic Revision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Witztum, A. (1998) ‘A Study into Smith’s Conception of the Human Character: Das Adam Smith Problem Revisited’, History of Political Economy, 30 (3): 489–​513.

Adam Smith goes Dutch The reception of Smith in the Netherlands, 1759–​18001 Joost Hengstmengel

Introduction To the best of our knowledge Adam Smith never honoured the Dutch Republic with a visit. Unlike Hume, he never set foot ashore in Hellevoetsluis or any other coastal town in the Netherlands.2 Unlike George Turnbull, Adam Ferguson, and James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, Smith did not dwell in Groningen, Utrecht, or one of the other university towns.Yet Smith sometimes makes it seem as if he did. His Lectures on Jurisprudence and Wealth of Nations abound with details on the Dutch economy, economic policy, tax system, and the economic advantages of its republican form of government. Also, the activities of the Dutch East India Company and the functioning of the Bank of Amsterdam receive a thorough discussion. Smith even provides his readers with information about the national character of the Dutch. We are told that in the province of Holland it is “unfashionable not to be a man of business” (WN I.ix.20). Traders from Holland, the most commercial of all the nations in Europe, “are the most faithfull to their word. The English are more so than the Scotch, but much inferiour to the Dutch”. Like in other commercial nations, people from the lower ranks there “are exceedingly stupid. The Dutch vulgar are eminently so, and the English are more so than the Scotch” (LJ(B) 326, 329). Nevertheless, it is likely that much of this was based on hearsay. In the absence of Smith’s physical visit to the Netherlands, this article deals with the travels of Smith’s intellectual offspring. It discusses the early reception of the Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) and the Wealth of Nations (WN) among Dutch contemporaries, between 1759 and 1800 (whereas the former date is the year in which TMS was published, the latter is chosen for reasons of convenience and demarcation). Curiously, this is the first attempt to do so.The travels of Smith’s works in other countries, ranging from France and Germany to Russia and Japan, are well-​documented, but such an account is still lacking for one of the nearest neighbours with close historical ties to Scotland. Assessing the influence of a writer or book in whatever context is an art in itself. Here the focus is on the diffusion of Smith’s thought in printed books and journals, and less on his presence in private letters and libraries.

330  Joost Hengstmengel Before treating the Dutch reception of TMS and WN in two separate sections, this article opens with an introductory sketch of Scottish-​ Dutch relationships and the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment in the Netherlands more general. It presents an overview of Dutch translations of Scottish theological, philosophical, and historical works, and seeks to explain the popularity of Scottish moral philosophy. The penultimate section presents hitherto unknown information about Smith’s membership of two learned societies in the Netherlands. I  describe what these memberships entailed, why and by whom he was elected, and which Scots were bestowed the same honour. The final section concludes.3

The Scottish Enlightenment in the Netherlands At the time that Adam Smith published his TMS, a long tradition of close Scottish-​Dutch ties existed.4 Scots were great travellers, and sailing times from the east coast to Holland were shorter than to, for instance, the English capital. Commercial links between both countries can be traced back to the twelfth century. For a long time Holland basically was Scotland’s most important trading partner. Many Scottish merchants received a mercantile training in bookkeeping and languages in the Netherlands, and groups of them established themselves in Rotterdam or elsewhere. Before the rise to prominence of the Scottish universities in the second half of the eighteenth century (a transformation modelled after the Dutch academic system), many Scots studied abroad. They often received legal, theological, or medical education in the country of Grotius,Voetius, and Boerhaave, taking courses at one of the Dutch universities. It was in Leiden, Utrecht, Groningen, and Franeker that some world-​renowned professors taught. Dutch universities were popular not only for their intellectual reputation but also for the affinity that existed between Scots and Dutch Law, and between Presbyterian and Dutch Calvinist theology. Some prominent Scottish gentlemen dwelled in Holland as part of their Grand Tour. Merchants, students and travelling visitors were welcomed at the Sunday services of one of the Scottish churches in the Netherlands, for example, in Rotterdam and Utrecht. And, up to 1782 the army of Dutch Republic was served by a Scottish Brigade of mercenaries. If traditionally Scotland imported learning and knowledge from Holland, as from the 1750s, it began to export enlightened books and ideas.5 The Dutch readership had access to the original Latin or English texts, or to French translations that were published in Amsterdam. For example, of Francis Hutcheson, the most popular Scottish writer in Dutch academic circles, a Latin edition of Philosophiae moralis instituto appeared in Rotterdam (1745) and a French translation of An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue in Amsterdam (1749; 1750). French translations of Hume, Smith, John Millar and other leading figures were published in the same city. The popularity of the Scottish Enlightenment to a wider public of educated readers is evidenced by the many Dutch translations that saw the light. Appendix 1 lists the titles of

Adam Smith goes Dutch  331 Scottish theological, philosophical and historical works that appeared in translation across the Netherlands, from printers in Leeuwarden to Dordrecht. Of all Scottish theologians and philosophers, the qualities of Hugh Blair and James Beattie received the highest praise.What Beattie offered, according to his translator, was more than philosophical edification:  the works of this “Christian philosopher” offered edification in a religious sense. “Beattie is a Christian”!6 There are a number of things to be observed from appendix 1.  First, the ‘father of the Scottish Enlightenment’ Hutcheson is completely missing. Also missing are some key works like Smith’s TMS, a full translation of Ferguson’s Essay on the History of Civil Society and, apart from a few anonymously published essays, all of Hume’s moral-​philosophical writings. This is striking because the question of the nature and social importance of morality that was central to Scottish moral philosophy was much discussed and debated in Dutch journals and societies.7 Second, most works, also those by non-​theologians, have a connection, one way or another, to religion and theology. This conforms with the fact that the eighteenth-​century Dutch reader was interested, probably more than elsewhere, in the theological implications of enlightened ideas. It may be no coincidence that of the commonsense philosophers not Thomas Reid was translated but James Beattie and James Oswald, who applied commonsense philosophy specifically to theological matters. Third, the forewords to some works reveal that the publishers and translators were attracted by the moderate or conservative tendency of the Scots. What they applauded was their attempt to counter scepticism, deism and atheism. The last point is exemplified by the Dutch reception of Hume.8 On the one hand, Smith’s friend was hailed as a “deep thinker” and “free thinker”, who never accepted a truth without having investigated things “to the bottom”. Both his Political Discourses and voluminous History of England were translated in Dutch. As “one of the cleverest minds” in England, he was an authority on questions of political philosophy and political economy.9 On the other hand, Hume was not to be trusted in matters of religion and moral philosophy. The “English Bayle”, as he was called, was frequently reckoned among the dangerous, ‘atheistic’ deists and sceptics. This explains why Hume’s moral-​philosophical works never saw a Dutch edition. One journal could recommend the Dutch translation of the Political Discourses because it gave no occasion of encountering Hume’s deistic ideas. His History of England received praise in Dutch review journals, but was also criticized for occasionally showing “evil seed of depraved philosophy, and paradoxical feelings about religion”.10 Humean scepticism in philosophy and religion was shocking to the great majority of Dutch readers.

The reception of the Theory of Moral Sentiments We now turn to Smith. The TMS published in 1759 was meant as a contribution to the eighteenth-​century debate over the foundations of morality.11 At stake was the definition of virtue, and the question what power or faculty of mind recommended virtuous behaviour: reason, self-​love or sentiment.

332  Joost Hengstmengel In Great Britain, the foundations debate was revived by Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees. The 1720s–​1750s saw the appearance of tens of works on the origin of virtue and morality, mostly defending a sentimentalist or egoist position. Among continental philosophers in Germany and France, the question of moral foundations came to the fore only in the second half of the eighteenth century. The same was true for the Dutch Republic, where academic moral philosophy had few practitioners anyway. Both in Germany and the Netherlands, the discussion, if any, was dominated by voluntarism and Leibniz-​Wolffian rationalism, according to which reason was the source of our moral distinctions.12 From the middle of the eighteenth century on, British moral philosophy began to exert a serious influence across the Channel, resulting in a new concern with the foundations of morality. The early reception of TMS in Great Britain,13 France14 and Germany15 is well-​documented.16 In France, where such concepts as sympathy and sentiment were already in vogue, the book soon found admirers. In Germany, Smith’s book had less impact. His theory of sympathy and the impartial spectator was widely discussed, though rather critically. Whether or not the same was true for the Netherlands has never been studied. As said, the eighteenth century did not see a Dutch translation of TMS, and there seems to have been no plans to market one either.17 Also missing is a French translation published in Holland, as was often done to avoid censorship or simply to serve a French-​reading public. Mostly not proficient in English, Dutch readers therefore had to rely on one of the French or German translations, the first of which were available in 1764 and 1770 respectively. And yet the appearance of TMS could barely have escaped the attention of Dutch intellectuals. No less than seven reviews, two in Dutch and five in French, were printed at Dutch soil. TMS reviewed The first review appeared as early as 1759, just two months after the book was published, in De Nederlandsche letter-​courant.18 The reviewer, either the Dutch jurist Elie Luzac or one of his anonymous informants, presented the “little book” TMS as another example of English moral philosophy, according to which moral truths can be derived from the sensible (sensibile) rather than intellectual (intelligibile) realm. Most of what follows is borrowed from the influential Scottish Critical Review, from a review now believed to be Hume’s. Smith is said to follow the natural philosophers in applying the experimental and empirical method to moral-​philosophical questions. Paraphrasing the famous opening lines of TMS, he continues to explain that Smith’s theory revolves around the principle of sympathy. In closing, the Dutch reviewer adds three lines of critique of his own:  (1) that experience shows that not all people are affected by the misfortune or fortune of their neighbours; (2) that it is not clear why sympathy rather than other general propensities in human nature, like man’s desire for happiness, should be taken as core principle; and (3) that sympathy as

Adam Smith goes Dutch  333 a product of our non-​rational and sensual nature cannot serve as a principle in moral philosophy. The second Dutch review, which appeared in Nederlandsche letter-​ verlustiging,19 offered no more than translated bits from the same Critical Review. It recommends TMS mostly for its clear and comprehensible style.The product of a “man of the great world”, Smith’s writing style “animated by experiences of virtue, flows like a clear, full and vibrant stream, and carries us softly and lovingly through many pleasant scenes of life and many rare reflections on science”. Thanks to his pleasant pen, the Scottish professor cannot be reckoned to the “large gang of metaphysicians” suffering from intellectual dryness. Again, the paraphrased opening lines of TMS are used to explain that there is such a thing as sympathy, or medeneiging in Dutch, that makes up the foundation of Smith’s system. Even if not all of Smith’s observations were warranted, which –​ the Dutch reviewer adds to the original –​is the same metaphysicians’ job to show, his book will undoubtedly delight all lovers of science. Both this and the previous review skipped the 14-​page summary of TMS, leaving the reader ignorant about Smith’s argumentation. Of the French journals that rolled of the Dutch presses, only one reviewed the first English edition of TMS. What makes this piece from “the Hague Review” particularly interesting is that Smith himself read it while taking stock of the responses to his book.20 In 1759, the journal in question, Bibliotheque des sciences et des beaux arts, announced TMS as an “ingenious” work “excellent” in its genre. The next year it lived up to its promise to publish a review. The reviewer praises Smith for his fine and judicious analyses of the human heart as well as his clear and elegant style. Enumerating the six parts of the book, he changes Smith’s order and provides a detailed summary of book 6 on the different systems of moral philosophy. The most interesting part is where he defends Hutcheson’s idea of moral sense against Smith’s criticisms. In the follow-​up, the focus is on the basic moral-​philosophical principles of “our very ingenious professor”.The reviewer explains that in Smith propriety is not based on a particular moral sense or reason but on sympathy. His final conclusion is that TMS is superior as a treatise on the principle of sympathy. As a system of moral philosophy, however, it falls short. Most importantly, the author failed to explain convincingly that sympathy is a “faculty that perceives virtue”.The correspondence of sentiments between actors and spectators envisioned by Smith is no criterion for virtue and vice.21 What the other reviews in French have in common is that they pointed at Smith’s sincere intentions. A 1774 review of the second French translation by Jean-​Louis Blavet, again from the Bibliotheque, opened with a telling motto from La Bruyère: “when a reading elevates your spirit, and inspires noble and courageous sentiments; look out for no other rule by which to judge it, it is good & made by the hand of a workman”. According to the reviewer, a system that recommends restraining our selfish affections and indulging our benevolent ones is far removed from Helvetius. Smith showed himself to be a “friend

334  Joost Hengstmengel of humanity, of virtue & of religion”. He, for example, holds that the idea of a rewarding and retributive God is conducive to our sense of duty.22 Earlier, in 1764, L’Année littéraire lyrically concluded that with his “excellent” work Smith inspires the taste for virtue. M. Smith seems filled with it, and his theory of the sentiments does as much credit to his heart as it does to his mind. If all our philosophers were like him, Religion, Morality, even Literature, that is to say, all that is most elevated, most holy, most lovable would be equally safe, and the fatherland would not have to take alarm at the sacrilegious outrages of all our false Sages who, under the pretext of instructing and enlightening, imperceptibly sap the most solid foundations, unrelentingly attacking by their impious and dangerous system the respectable principles from which derives the peace of Empires. The reviewer of the first French translation by Marc-​Antoine Eidous deems Smith’s discussion of our affections very satisfying, profound and enlightening. In summarizing the six parts of the book, he is particularly positive about Smith’s critique of “la Rochefoucaud, de Maudeville, de Hobbès [sic]”. Our Scotsman exposed the poison hidden in their writings, and found his way through the “tortuous labyrinth” of the philosophe de Dorth, Mandeville that is.23 The same literary journal reviewed Blavet’s 1774 translation. Again it is part six of TMS that made most impression. The Paris reviewer concludes that the philosophe Anglais has written a profound and eloquent book that breathes “honesty, virtue, and love of duty”.24 The debate on the moral sense The further dissemination of Smith’s ideas owed much to Allard Hulshoff, an Amsterdam Mennonite preacher. Hulshoff triggered a debate (contemporaries literally spoke of a geschil, dispute) on the existence and nature of the moral sense that raged from the 1760s to 1790s. With Hulshoff as its foremost exponent, Scottish moral sense theory found several supporters in the Dutch Republic.25 Even though he did not mention Smith by name, the Amsterdam preacher focused attention on Scottish moral philosophy more generally, and thus paved the way for his TMS. The publication that opened the Dutch moral sense debate was a 1765 prize-​winning essay on the foundation of God’s legislative power. It was there that Hulshoff introduced the ideas of Shaftesbury and Smith’s teacher Hutcheson. Hulshoff cleverly changed the question from a theological to a moral-​philosophical one: where does man’s knowledge of the divine moral order come from? Contra the rationalist approach of Clarke, Balguy and Price, who maintained that moral laws can be known through reason, Hulshoff defended the “famous doctrine of moral sense [zedelyk gevoel]” of the “English”, about which to his knowledge nothing or very little had been written in Dutch.26 Thanks to their sensus moralis, humans have immediate sense of and preference

Adam Smith goes Dutch  335 for morality without the intervention of reason. It produces feelings of approbation, duty, merit and guilt. Among the axiomata moralia are such virtues as benevolence, justice and honesty. The prescriptions of our moral sense, or conscience, are no less than divine laws –​it is the voice of God within. According to Hulshoff, not only humans but also God himself has some sort of moral sense. God approves of and delights in what is morally right. Hulshoff found his most ardent opponent in native Norwegian Johannes Petsch. A  strict ethical rationalist, Petsch launched the attack in 1769 by rendering Moses Mendelsohn’s Rhapsodie, oder Zusätze zu den Briefen über die Empfindungen in Dutch (but from the French translation, with its Smithian title Recherches sur le sentimens moraux). The translator’s foreword refers to the recent discovery, among philosophers, of a principle called the moral sense. Without mentioning his name, he further criticized Hulshoff for ruling out man’s reason in moral affairs. Mendelsohn’s book, in turn, is said to demonstrate that it would have been better if the theory of moral sense stayed in Great Britain.Any learned reader could “easily foresee, without the gift of prophecy, that this doctrine will fall into oblivion with other distasteful chimeras within a few years”.27 Nothing could be further from the truth. Partly in response to a lengthy letter in support of Hulshoff, Petsch felt the need to defend Leibniz-​Wolffian rationalism again in 1771 and 1774,28 incidentally without ever referring to Smith. In 1772, the spectatorial De onderzoeker edited by Petsch had to conclude that “our country is not lacking supporters of the moral sense”. By making morality a matter of private feelings, the danger of arbitrariness was lurking. In the decades that followed, there appeared a dozen of contributions to the Dutch debate over the moral sense and the foundation of morality.29 There is no need to review all of them, but a few moments in the debate should be highlighted.Three times the debate was fuelled by essay competitions. In 1772, the same Stolpian Fund that published Hulshoff ’s essay on God’s legislative power raised the question if there exists an innate moral sense, resulting in 11 Dutch and 21 Latin submissions. The golden medal went to Johan Frederik Hennert, a German-​ born Utrecht professor in philosophy who became Hulshoff ’s most prominent ally. In his essay, Hennert defended the idea of a moral sense, while contradicting Oswald’s claim in Appeal to Common Sense that it is a species of man’s common sense.30 In 1792, the Dutch Society of Sciences organized a contest on the foundation of moral duty, in response to the new theories of Kant. As late as 1796, Teyler’s Theological Society raised the question whether human behaviour is motivated by self-​love only or also by disinterested principles of benevolence. The golden essay by Leeuwarden minister Jan Brouwer that subscribed to the former position abounds with references to Smith. According to Brouwer, Smith was wrong to focus on sympathy as subject (substratum) of the moral sense. Just like Shaftesbury, Hutcheson and Hume, he tended to confuse self-​love and self-​interest. Silver medal winner and Mennonite preacher Willem Bruin defended the existence of disinterested benevolence, and argued that compassion (medelyden) is based on it.31

336  Joost Hengstmengel As was to be expected, moral sense theory was mainly associated with Hutcheson. Yet in the course of the century, increasingly the name of Smith was mentioned. In the end, the following defenders of moral sense were recognized as a group:  Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Smith and, less frequently mentioned, Fordyce. As continental followers, one identified Hulshoff and Hennert in the Netherlands, Johann Bernhard Merian, Johann Joachim Spalding and Johann Jakob Hottinger in Germany and Jean-​Baptiste Robinet in France. Since Smith did not subscribe to the existence of a moral sense as single faculty, the emphasis was on his theory of sympathy. Lacking an adequate Dutch equivalent, the term ‘sympathy’ was translated in various ways, for example, as medegevoel, meewarig gevoel, overeenstemming (rather agreement), or medelyden (compassion). A few more words must be spent on Hennert.32 Trained as a Wolffian philosopher-​mathematician, Hennert became a convert to the British style of philosophy. “I must confess”, he writes, that, when it comes to philosophy, I admire above all the approach of the English, who follow the footsteps of Locke, and consult experience and common sense; who are therefore averse to all too far-​fetched reflections, to subtle distinctions, to arbitrary artificial terms, which are not founded in the nature of things but in the minds of capricious people.33 Hennert studied all major Scottish philosophers including Kames, Oswald and Beattie, whose Dutch edition of Elements of Moral Science he prefaced. Like Hulshoff, he publically subscribed to Scottish moral sense theory. In an essay on this subject, he considered Smith as representing one of three possible positions in the Scottish debate. First, there was Campbell who defended self-​love as basic moral principle, second Hutcheson who derived moral distinctions from a general benevolence, and finally Smith who took sympathy as the foundational principle. According to Hennert, the three could arguably be reconciled. He discussed sijmpathie and the act of sijmpathiseeren at length, and related it to Spinoza and Horatius. Hennert believed that sympathy is irreducible to self-​ love and is distinct from benevolence. Within man’s moral sense, self-​love, benevolence and sympathy all have their role to play.34 Hennert was not the only academic philosopher who dealt with moral-​ philosophical problems, and moral sense theory more specifically. Also Bernard Nieuhoff and his pupil Abraham Jacob d’Outrein Schluiter and, outside academia, Frans Hemsterhuis defended the existence of some sort of innate moral sense, while Dionysius van de Wijnpersse and Paulus van Hemert rejected it.35 According to the latter, Kantian professor at the Remonstrant Seminary in Amsterdam, the “famous Englishman Adam Smith” said many valuable things about the idea of sympathy, but erroneously built a system of morality upon it.36 Typical for the Dutch adherents of a moral sense, both academics and learned ministers, was that they preferred a middle way. While subscribing to the Scottish idea that there are innate moral feelings, or even a moral faculty

Adam Smith goes Dutch  337 in man, they were not prepared to give up ethical rationalism altogether. One way or another, human reason continued to play a role in moral affairs, either as a guiding principle or final authority. As in Germany, one basically defended a form of a rational empiricism in ethics.37 Spectatorial enthusiasm In the eighteenth-​century Dutch debate on morality, spectators played a crucial part.38 Imitating the formula of The Tatler and The Spectator, the periodicals sought to cultivate the behaviour of Dutch citizens by providing moralistic commentary on a range of societal issues. It has been argued that Smith’s TMS “was taken up enthusiastically by the Dutch Spectatorial press and society journal” and even “became wholly integrated into Spectatorial social philosophy”, although the name of the author was seldom named.39 Whether or not this was the case remains to be seen. That Dutch spectators sought to guide their readers in the debate on the passions and the interests (to borrow a phrase from Hirschman) is a fact. Many spectatorial issues were devoted to, for example, the legitimacy of self-​love and the foundations of virtue and duty. Although the selfish hypothesis that reduced all behaviour to self-​love found advocates too, the dominant view was that man is endowed by God with both self-​interest and social affections.40 Whereas the former was requisite for the preservation and happiness of the individual, the latter had to be added to prevent the same individual from lapsing into selfishness. Without social or public affections, society after all could not survive and flourish. Examples of this kind were parental love, pity, compassion and sympathy. Even though observations like these were typical for an eighteenth-​century view of man and society, it is not farfetched to speak of an influence of Scottish sentimentalism here.The existence of a specifically Smithian influence, however, is less evident. For example, the commonly expressed belief in Dutch spectators that human nature has two principal passions, self-​love and benevolence, is Hutchesonian rather than Smithian. The more general experience cherished by all Scottish moral philosophers, that humans exhibit humanity, kindness and love of society, is not reserved to Smith. Even the idea of sympathy in spectatorial contributions, translated as medelyden/​medevreugde, medegewaarwordend gevoel or medegevoel, is not necessarily an echo of TMS. Hutcheson, Fordyce, Hume and Kames all used this term to denote man’s immediate feeling of pleasure and pain occasioned by the fortunes and misfortunes of others. Apart from the central place assigned to it in his moral philosophy, what distinguished Smith’s interpretation of sympathy is that it became a measure of propriety and virtue in human behaviour. Not a single Dutch writer seems to have adopted this moral-​philosophical framework. That said, an idea voiced a few times in Dutch spectators that can be traced specifically to Smith and Hume was that sympathy involves an act of imagination.41 Finally, it is difficult to establish how frequent Smith’s TMS found its way to private libraries in the Netherlands. Hume, in a private letter to Smith,

338  Joost Hengstmengel reported that Lord Fitzmaurice “had carryd over a few copies to the Hague for presents”.42 What we also know is that the book was read by Belle van Zuylen (Isabella de Charrière), enlightened writer of novels, music and plays. Though a rationalist and fan of the French philosophes,Van Zuylen also highly appreciated the Scots. Influenced by contemporary theories of moral sense and sentiment, she believed that God had implanted sympathetic principles in man’s heart. In 1764, James Boswell, the author of the Life of Samuel Johnson, wrote to her about “Mr. Smith, whose Moral Sentiments you admire so much”. Himself a student of Smith in Glasgow from 1759 to 1760, Boswell studied in Utrecht from 1763 to 1764 and regularly met Van Zuylen, with whom he fell in love.43 While in Utrecht, Boswell came into close contact with Rev. Robert Brown, minister of the local Scottish church. He also frequented a literary society, whose members were concerned with “lofty speculations of metaphysics [and] subtle refinements of morality”, probably “Dulces ante omnia musae” founded by Meinard Tijdeman and others (we will meet both him and Brown later on in this article). It is possible that Boswell suggested Van Zuylen to read Smith. His private notes and letters reveal that he was (re)reading TMS among several other Scottish Enlightenment works in the same period. Van Zuylen, in turn, urged the Swiss Constant d’Hermenches to read TMS.44

The reception of The Wealth of Nations The reception of WN in the Netherlands is a completely different story.45 The point is not that it was less favourable. To the Dutch reader TMS and WN simply were independent publications, bearing no relationship to each other. Hardly anyone remarked that both books flowed from the pen of one and the same author, let alone that there was such a thing as an Adam Smith Problem.The review of WN in the Journal des sҫavans, a Paris journal that was as well printed with some delay by Marc-​Michel Rey in Amsterdam, formed an exception. “One recognizes in this great work”, reads the opening line, “the superiority in genius and talents to which we owe the theory of moral sentiments”. The reviewer, probably the TMS translator abbé Blavet, speaks of Smith’s wisdom “that one cannot but admire, since it is extremely rare”.46 The publication of WN almost immediately caught the attention of the Dutch public. As early as 1777, three reviews of the book were published in Holland, two in French and one in Dutch. The first French review, again in the Journal des sҫavans, provided the reader with a lengthy summary, extending through three issues.47 The text is a literal translation of William Enfield’s in The Monthly Review. Echoing the English source, Smith is praised for his style and composition, the depth and accuracy of his investigations, the truth of the basic principles of his book, and the importance of its conclusions. The Scotsman managed to combine theory and practice in a system that is “much more satisfying than any of those that have appeared so far”. The Dutch review48 as well followed the text from The Monthly Review, but stopped after the summary of book 1. Its promise in the final sentence to discuss book 2 and 3 in the next

Adam Smith goes Dutch  339 issue was not fulfilled. Although the Dutch translation seems to be based on the French –​seeing that both reviews left out a single sentence on the price of money during the reign of Edward II –​it does copy the long book title from the English original. The above-​mentioned review by Blavet, curiously enough published one month later in the same French journal, came with a French translation of Smith’s introduction to WN. The Wealth of Nations in Dutch The first translation of WN in Dutch appeared as late as 1796.49 By way of comparison, by 1780 there existed multiple translations in French, German and even one in Danish, and in 1790 the first Italian and Spanish translations were published. But WN formed no exception. Other foreign works on political economy suffered from similar delays: a translation of Forbonnais’s Elémens du commerce (1751) appeared in 1771, of Hume’s Political Discourses (1752) in 1764, and of Iselin’s Träume eines Menschenfreundes (1755) in 1780.50 The Dutch edition of Condillac’s Le commerce et le gouvernement, considérés relativement l’un à l’autre (1776) was available within a much shorter period of six years. Both Condillac and Smith, and incidentally also Montesquieu’s De l’esprit des loix, were rendered in Dutch by Dirk Hoola van Nooten.51 Born in an Organist family of Schoonhoven regents, Hoola van Nooten studied law in Leiden and for many years served his place of birth as schepen and burgomaster. His contributions to Dutch economic thought include two lengthy introductions and numerous footnotes to the translations of Condillac and Smith, and two addresses at a local economic society. The Dutch WN, titled Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaaken van den rijkdom der volkeren … Met staat-​en geschiedkundige aantekeningen (… With political and historical notes), was published in successive instalments of eight sheets, at the expense of the translator. The reason for this unusual procedure was that two competing publishers failed to reach an agreement on the publishing rights. In 1792, Amsterdam publisher Johannes Allart announced a translation from English in four volumes. Three years later, his Amsterdam colleague Wouter Brave announced to print as soon as possible a two-​volume translation of the seventh English edition, “with annotations from the famous Condorcet, by a well-​known Dutch pen”. Rather unusually, in 1796 Allart’s translator Pieter van Woensel placed a newspaper advertisement in which he claimed to be the “only lawful translator of Smith on the wealth of nations”, a task that he promised to finish once he returned home from a one-​year trip abroad.52 Meanwhile the “well-​known Dutch pen” Hoola van Nooten decided to publish his heavily annotated translation of book 1 of WN with Brave, explaining in detail why he and not Van Woensel deserved to become the first translator of Smith. In brief, there was no such thing as a ‘lawful translator’, and the publishing rights were now in the hands of his publisher Brave. Hoola van Nooten’s Naspeuringen numbered 589 pages on top of a 60-​page foreword. Coming with numerous page-​long footnotes, not by Condorcet

340  Joost Hengstmengel but by the translator himself, it covered only the first 10 chapters of Smith’s book. Even though the translation is fairly literal, he called his work an imitation (navolging) rather than translation. Marginal notes in the manuscript of the entire five-​volume translation kept in the Utrecht University Library show that Hoola van Nooten was occasionally struggling with finding the right Dutch equivalents of English terms.53 By his own account, he did not fully understand some passages. That the translator felt free to disagree with Smith is clear from the footnotes, which at times are critical. In the manuscript of book 2–​7, remarks can be found that are rather dismissive. Most of them concern Smith’s interpretation of historical events that involved the Netherlands (accusing Smith of “defamatory falsehoods”) and the Dutch legal system (calling Smith a deaf “English blabber”). Of particular interest is a remark to article 3 of book 5, ‘Of the expense of the institutions for the instruction of people of all ages’. “This article is written in a manner that will greatly displease most readers in Holland. He is strongly Episcopalian and frequently takes an inappropriate swipe at the Presbyterians”. Hoola van Nooten promises a general footnote that will qualify this and other “crude” passages, that will explain why it was no option to leave this chapter out, and that will argue that the rest of the work was too fine to leave it untranslated.54 The first part of the Dutch translation received a positive review in the leading cultural monthly Vaderlandsche letter-​oefeningen of the same year.55 The anonymous, uninformed reviewer (who believed that Smith’s WN was first published in 1792, possibly miscopying Hoola van Nooten’s equally wrong assumption that it was in 1772) speaks of an “important” and “splendid” work now available in Dutch, and praises the erudite annotations. The review not only provided a summary of WN, clearly based on The Critical Review, but also of Hoola van Nooten’s “wordy” introduction, which is said to betray influences of Condillac, Bielfeld, Iselin and others. It also mentioned Hoola van Nooten’s critical remarks on guilds and monopolies and, more generally, his plea for freedom in agriculture, manufacturing and commerce. When it came to the issue of economic freedom versus intervention, Hoola van Nooten was not dogmatic. One the hand he was a supporter of government policies to stimulate and protect the Dutch economy. In his 1778 address at the Schoonhoven economic society, he explained that the eighteenth-​ century decline was due to “luxury, excess, foreign morals”, explicitly stressing the need for moral, and implicitly political, change. In the foreword to his Condillac translation, Hoola van Nooten assigned the task of recovering trade and manufacturing to government. Condillac’s remarks, in the chapter on monopoly, on the harmful effects of protectionism provoked a four-​page footnote in which the translator argued for the exceptional position of the Dutch Republic. Condillac might have been right with respect to France and England, but the Dutch cannot do without protection because of their “poor” soil. From his notes to WN, it appears that Hoola van Nooten actually did not find guilds that problematic. In criticizing guilds, Smith should have remarked that guild

Adam Smith goes Dutch  341 regulations in other countries like Holland were not as oppressive as in England, and even yielded benefits.56 On the other hand, our Smith translator became convinced that freedom is key to economic growth. In the foreword to Naspeuringen, Hoola van Nooten criticized such ideas as the balance of trade and jealousy of commerce, and stressed the existence of an international division of labour. The “most important lesson” of the new science of political economy “is freedom. All the compulsion carried through in agriculture, in factories, in trade and whatever companies and ranks, both passive and active, is completely contradictory to its intention”.57 Its practitioners regard restrictive laws, stimulating measures, customs duties, and the like as harmful. The best policy in economic matters was to leave things alone, and not to disturb the natural course of the economy. Hoola van Nooten made it seem that he sided with them. In a remark in the manuscript of book 5, responding to Smith’s discussion of a variable land-​tax (V.ii.c.18), he writes that “it is unbelievable how a man, who absolutely (and with good reason) does not want the sovereign to be concerned with laws on commerce, can in so many words recommend a plan according to which the sovereign would in an intolerable way lord over agriculture”.58 Among all the writers who devoted themselves to the new science, the “deep thinking” and “indefatigable” Adam Smith anyhow deserved the first place. More than anyone else, he succeeded in refuting the false and confused notions of his predecessors. In spite of this commendation, the first part of Naspeuringen did not sell well enough. To his regret, the translator had to conclude that the market for a Dutch WN was too small, and stopped publishing the remainder of the book.59 Apparently those interested in Smith were happy to read Smith in the original language or, more likely, in one of the existing French translations, two of which appeared in Holland.60 The first was the four-​volume Recherches sur la nature et les causes de la richesse des nations, published in 1778–​1779 in “the Hague” by an unknown publisher and translator, identified on the title page as “M***”. It was the most literal of all French translations, and second full translation outside Great Britain. As is shown by a letter to his bookseller, Smith was aware of its existence. “I understand that the Abbé Morellet has translated my book into French and has published it in Holland in four or six octavo volumes with large notes. I should be much obliged to you if you could procure me a copy of this translation and send it to me by the first convenient opportunity”.61 Although Smith was right that Morellet translated WN, he never published the manuscript. The identity of “M***” is still unknown. The second translation was a reissue of the first, now under the title Recherches très-​utiles sur les affaires présentes, et les causes de la richesse des nations, published in Amsterdam in 1789. Since this translation too lacks a foreword, it remains unclear what the “present circumstances” mentioned in the title referred to. Was it the French Revolution, or rather the urgent question of state finances? At any rate, the publisher thought it better to omit Smith’s name from the title page.

342  Joost Hengstmengel Smith in Dutch economic thought In the Dutch Republic, there was no such thing as a science of political economy. The first official lectures in ‘statistics and political economy’ were offered in Leiden in 1802, and only in 1815 the same Leiden University was ordered to offer such lectures as part of the study of law. Earlier, in the eighteenth century, at Dutch universities economic questions were the province of jurists. That being said, there did exist a public debate on the state of the Dutch economy, which in the eighteenth century was thought to be in serious decline. Ever since the Treaty of Utrecht, dozens of books and pamphlets addressed the causes and remedies of the economic decline of the once so powerful Republic. The debate comprised heated discussions about commercial neutrality during wartime, the possibility of restoring the staple market, and the economic effects of luxury.62 It was complicated by the political struggle between Orangists and Patriots. Both factions contributed to the rise of a new economic patriotism that resulted, among other things, in the creation of various economic societies. The Economic Branch (Oeconomische tak) of the Dutch Society of Sciences, the Department of Commerce of Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, and Society for Public Welfare (Maatschappy tot Nut van ‘t Algemeen), to mention some of the best-​known patriotic societies, discussed economic problems, organized prize essay competitions and stimulated domestic economic activity by means of premiums.63 The publication of WN in 1776 did not move the Dutch debate in a new direction. Although the Dutch started to lend their ears to foreign Enlightenment writers like Montesquieu, they became increasingly preoccupied with their loss of economic prominence,64 and in this regard Smith proved little helpful. Smith’s magnum opus was occasionally referred to in political-​economic texts, but mostly so for the economic historical and statistical information contained in it.65 Hendrik Herman van den Heuvel, founder of the Economic Branch and one of the early adopters of WN in the Netherlands, went a step further by explicitly imitating Smith’s approach. What Smith did for the English trade or trade more generally, Van de Heuvel in his discourse on the necessity of encouraging manufacturing wanted to do for his fatherland. He sought to explain that a truly advantageous commerce consists in it securing a living for a multitude of people, starting his discussion like Smith with labour and then moving to capital and commerce.66 Yet his main arguments were derived from Josiah Tucker, Isaac Iselin and Pedro Campomanes, the Spanish political economist whose work inspired Van den Heuvel to erect the Economic Branch. Most solutions proposed in the late eighteenth-​century debate on the nation’s economic decline (e.g., restoring old Dutch frugality, encouraging domestic consumption, banning foreign luxury goods) either were at odds with Smith’s views or were so general that they could have been suggested by other foreign writers on economics. In view of the wave of plans to reform and reregulate the Dutch economy, it would seem that Smith’s defence of the system of natural liberty fell on deaf

Adam Smith goes Dutch  343 ears. To leave the market forces alone was unthinkable to most of his readers. Generally speaking, Dutch writers on economics subscribed to the Republic’s traditional view to leave trade free as much as possible, but at their convenience could favour a variety of protectionist measures. The Orangist burgomaster and later Grand Pensionary Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel was such a writer –​ although most of his economic thoughts remained unpublished. A  “diligent reader and admirer” of Smith, Van de Spiegel was not averse to mercantilist policies. Meanwhile he proposed, with reference to the Scotsman, that the East India trade should be further liberalized. It has been argued that his advanced views on political economy, for example, on the relationship between the quantity of gold and silver and the prices of goods, show a thorough familiarity with WN. At the time of his death in 1800, Van de Spiegel’s library contained the French 1781 translation of WN, English sixth edition from 1791, and two instalments of Hoola van Nooten’s Dutch translation. He owned TMS and S.A. Joersson’s Adam Smith Author of an Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations and Thomas Paine Author of The Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance (1796), a criticism of WN as well. It may be interesting to add that William Eden, Lord Auckland, for some time Ambassador to the Netherlands in The Hague, was a common friend to Van de Spiegel and Smith.67 While in the second half of the eighteenth century protectionism was on the rise, the call for more economic freedom was also heard. In the eyes of some, the economic decline could partly be attributed to the corporate system and guilds. But in order to make a case against these forms of protectionism, there was no need to resort to the recently published WN. Advocates of self-​regulation could build on a long-​standing Dutch tradition of anti-​corporatism.68 Yet a few authors found inspiration in Smith. In a prize essay on the reorganization of trades and manufactories on behalf of the public good, Wijnand Koopman argued for a “reasonable” freedom of trade and transportation. Guild regulations were superfluous: anyone conferred with citizenship and able to master a trade should be allowed to do so. One of the ways to increase the productivity of a trade or manufacture, writes Koopman, himself a litmus manufacturer, was to apply a division of labour. As an example, he reproduced Smith’s pin factory.69 Another discourse on guilds, published in the spectator De Staatsman, at times betrays Smithian influence. According to the anonymous author, guilds basically are monopolies and as such harmful to the national interest.70 The dispute about the economic expedience of guilds reached a climax with the creation of the Batavian Republic in 1795.71 In an attempt to influence the deliberations on a new constitution, guild members began to speak out in public. When the issue came up for discussion in the National Assembly, the corporate system found no defenders, finally resulting in its abolition. Simon Schama’s suggestion that WN supplied critics of guilds with arguments seems to be unfounded.That in the National Assembly “laissez-​faire champions were sufficiently familiar with Adam Smith to cite him, often in extenso”,72 as he argues, lacks evidence. The only reference to Smith came from a Petrus van Zonsbeek. To his liking there was no need to repeat all the arguments against

344  Joost Hengstmengel guilds, the manifold disadvantages of which were well-​known and had been exhaustively described by “a certain English writer, a great man, named Smit [sic], if I”, he writes, “am not mistaken”.73 Two Dutch writers on economics deserve special attention. The first, Cornelis van der Oudermeulen, may have been the first to explicitly refer to Smith in a ‘Dutch’ discourse on political economy that began in 1778. The four-​volume, heavily footnoted work contains no less than 17 references to WN, mostly to the economic data gathered by Smith. Smith’s authority is called upon in connection to the Bank of London, the public debt of England, its prices of wheat and the circulation of money. His idea that the progress of society results in a multiplication of men’s needs and his use of the term “mercantile system” receive an approving mention. Referring to both the English and first French edition of WN, which proves he had access to both, Oudermeulen deems the Scottish writer “un auteur célebre de nos jour” (though he applied the same epithet as well to other political economists).74 The second writer to be discussed is Luzac.75 We already met the Dutch jurist and book seller as possible reviewer of Smith’s TMS, the central idea of which (a moral science departing from sympathy) he rejected. In a private correspondence with the Wolffian Frederik Vaster, later published by Petsch, he reasoned that Hutcheson failed to demonstrate the existence of a moral sense independent of human reason.76 Smith’s WN apparently pleased Luzac more. Even though the book does not feature in any of his anti-​revolutionary writings, many of Luzac’s economic ideas resemble those of Smith. Just like the Scotsman, Luzac favoured a historical-​inductive approach to political economy. In Hollands rijkdom he sought to imitate the “illustrious Newton” by substantiating his views with reliable observations and historical facts.77 Thus far, we have discussed some contributions to the public economic debate in the final quarter of the eighteenth century. WN also found its way to the Dutch academic literature, though with some delay. A  significant text in which Smith’s work was used is De aequabili descriptione subsidiorum inter gentes foederatas (1786), a dissertation on the determination of equal fiscal quota between federal states. Its author, the Orangist and liberal-​conservative Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp, was to become the leading Dutch economic thinker at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He developed a lifelong admiration of Smith, not the least because of his critique of the mercantile system.78 In his dissertation,Van Hogendorp echoed Smith’s four principles of taxation –​equality, certainty, convenience and economy –​quoting twice from the third edition of WN.79 The study of Smith’s work was recommended to him by Van den Heuvel, founder of the Economic Branch, and probably also by the “Smithians” Johann George Büsch and Christian Jakob Kraus, who helped Van Hogendorp find his way in the economic literature upon meeting him in Germany in 1780. Five years later, preparing for his dissertation,Van Hogendorp wrote to his mother: I have just finished Smith on the wealth of nations, and I am very happy with this book in which I have found several new ideas and the development

Adam Smith goes Dutch  345 of other ideas that were less foreign to me; there is only the first volume that almost annoyed me, because the author extends almost prolixly on principles that I already knew. It was especially in the third volume that I was rewarded for my perseverance, because it is very interesting. In other words, in his twenties Gijsbert Karel was particularly impressed by book 5, “Of the revenue of the sovereign or commonwealth”. In another dissertation defended at Leiden University, we find a reference to Smith’s discussion of the division of labour.80 Speaking about academic life in Leiden, we cannot pass over Adriaan Kluit, the first professor committed to lecture on statistics at a Dutch university. As said, political-​economic questions were never absent from Dutch academia, albeit always in connection to law. Ever since the 1720s, there existed in Leiden, Franeker, Groningen and Utrecht a legal discipline of statistics (notitia rerum publicarum), inspired by German tradition of state description.81 It presented law students and hence future politicians and civil servants with a comparative study of the political, economic, geographical and legal characteristics of the modern state. Calling himself “Professor of statistics or political economy”, Kluit did not make a distinction between both disciplines, and introduced much more economics in his lectures than his predecessors.82 As former professor of history, dismissed in 1795 because of his Orangist sympathies, he began to focus on statistics and political economy around the turn of the eighteenth century. It is unknown when he first acquainted himself with WN, but the fact is that he used the “famous English work” from the outset in his 1806 public lectures. A few years before, Kluit had recommended the study of foreign treatises on political economy to what he believed to be an uninformed Dutch audience. The lack of interest in Hoola van Nooten’s translation of WN he regarded a telling sign, which said more about the bad taste of his compatriots than the quality of Smith’s work.83 It is hard to say how popular WN was among men of practice who shied from publicity. An interesting case is the Amsterdam banker-​diplomat Willem Six. In a letter to Alexander Hamilton, inviting him to a correspondence, he described himself as Smith enthusiast. “The study of political economy and the immortal works of the Scots, and especially Adam Smith among them, has always been my favourite occupation”. Six possibly did not know that the Founding Father of the United States was an outspoken critic of Smith. Ten years later, Six wrote to the first Dutch Agent of the National Economy (Minister of Economic Affairs) of the Batavian Republic, Johannes Goldberg, about their compatriots being regrettably unfamiliar with Smith. He planned to publish an “extrait de l’ouvrage de Smith”, but never succeeded. His addressee studied WN thoroughly, and made use of Six’s summary of the book. Goldberg’s views on taxation were strongly influenced by Smith, but he did not abstain from protectionist measures. Incidentally, also Alexander Gogel, Minister of Finance around 1800, was familiar with WN. Tradition has it that Gogel’s tax policy was inspired by Smith too, but this has recently been contested. Although he

346  Joost Hengstmengel evidently read the Scotsman, his policies were rather based on best practices. As he expressed it himself, “I won’t study all those almost metaphysical arguments in which one, aspiring to go beyond Adam Smith, wraps political economy”.84 The picture that emerges from the above story is that before 1800 Smith was no supreme authority in economics yet.85 To his Dutch recipients, whether Patriots or Orangists, he was just one first-​class writer on economics among others. WN was read and cited right from the beginning, but did not attract substantially more attention than other works on political economy. In this respect the Dutch receptiveness resembled that of Britain,86 France87 and Germany88, where the process of canonization began in the 1790s at the earliest.89 Judging from the number of translations and original reviews and abstracts in journals, we can conclude that Smith’s book enjoyed a greater popularity in France, the nation where he resided for some years, and from which he had friends and acquaintances left, and Germany, a country receptive to the Scottish Enlightenment anyway. Unlike in Germany, there were no early academic “disciples” (one of them, Kraus, went as far to describe WN as the most important book since the New Testament) who used the Scot in their lectures and published popularizations of his work. What is more, the first and only Dutch translation of WN was unsuccessful. And yet Smith’s celebrity status was in the making. Van den Heuvel mentioned Smith’s work in an enumeration of works in political theory (staatskunde) most suitable to educate young people. In addition to Bielefeld, Iselin, Melon and Verri, they should study the political writings of Hume, Bolingbroke, Anderson and “above all” Smith.90 As said, it was Van den Heuvel who recommended WN to Van Hogendorp. In 1799, the Oeconomische courant went even further. It presented WN as a classic work by a famous author. Nobody has spread more light on [political economy] that the famous A. Smith in his Onderzoek over den aart en de oorzaaken van den rykdom der volken [WN]. This classic work gave the system a clarity and development, which for the philosophical observer is very important, and at which most later writers on political economy lit their torch.91

Smith’s membership of Dutch learned societies Adam Smith was a true clubman.92 Smith’s biographies pay due attention to his enthusiasm for eighteenth-​century clubs and societies. Most importantly, he joined the Royal Society of London (elected in 1768, admitted in 1773) and was one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Edinburg (in 1783). He was also a member in Glasgow of Simson’s Friday Club, the Hodge-​Podge Club, the Literary Society, and Cochrane’s Political Economy Club; in Edinburgh of the Philosophical Society, Select Society, Oyster Club and Ferguson’s Poker Club; and in London of the Anderston Saturday Supper Club; Johnson’s Literary Club and Wedderburn’s Dining Club. What is hardly known is that Smith was a member of two Dutch learned societies as well.

Adam Smith goes Dutch  347 Both societies, respectively in Haarlem and Utrecht, had a very similar aim and organizational structure. Supervised by a board of directors, their ideal was to promote the study of arts and sciences by publishing transactions and holding prize competitions. Unlike countless other scientific, literary and economic societies in the Netherlands, those in Haarlem and Utrecht in the course of time also allowed for members from abroad.93 Haarlem Three years after publishing WN, Smith was elected as a foreign member of the Dutch Society of Sciences (Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen), the oldest scientific society in the Republic founded in 1752 under the motto Deo et patriae.94 Its transactions mention the election in May 21, 1779, of “Adam Smith, Professor te Glaskow”. Apparently, the directors were unaware of the fact that he already was an emeritus professor succeeded by Reid, something that was communicated in one of the Dutch journals.95 To foreigners, a membership of the Dutch Society did not come with any obligations. Formally they were not expected to pay contribution nor to submit essays of any kind. The most important reason for their election was that it added to the prestige of both the person in question and the Dutch Society. In return for a laudatory diploma in Latin, their name was added to the list of members. We do not know if Smith ever formally accepted his election, something that was officially required. Unlike in the case of other foreign members, no letter of consent survives in the society’s archive. However, the example of Joseph Priestley (elected in 1786) shows that some foreign members expressed their approval in a private letter to one of the native members they were acquainted with. The fact is that Smith’s name was soon included in the list of members,96 and that his membership was repeatedly confirmed in the society’s transactions. In 1792, the same transactions announced the loss of their member Smith, “Prof. &c. etc. te Glaskow” to death. The minutes of the corresponding meeting reveal that his death was communicated to the Dutch Society by Martinus van Marum, one of its prominent members, upon request of Charles Blagden, Secretary of the Royal Society. As Blagden writes in a private letter to Van Marum, A few days ago I received a paquet from the society at Harlem containing several copies of their programmes for 1792, all of which I have put in the way of being delivered according to their direction, except two, which were addressed to members some time since death, namely Dr Adam Smith of Glasgow, and Mr [Jean Hyacinthe de] Magellan.97 Two other members addressed by Blagden arguably were Priestley and Charles Hutton. In previous years, the Dutch Society used the English ambassador James Harris at the Hague as intermediary.98 The first letter to Harris from 1786

348  Joost Hengstmengel forms a request to forward to his homeland two packets, probably containing a diploma and copy of the society’s laws, and two letters. “I have two small packets on behalf of our Dutch Society of Sciences, one for Mr Priestley & another for Mr Hutton, and two letters, one for Mr Magellan & another for Mr Smith your compatriots”. Judging from the reply of Harris’s secretary William Gomm, we can assume that the shipment had been dispatched two days later. Unfortunately, the message to Smith referred to in the letter to Harris was not drafted in the copybook. The next year, in 1787, the society’s secretary Van der Aa reported to have sent the society’s programme to Mr Gomm in order to have it distributed to, again, Smith, Priestley, Hutton and Magellan.99 It is no longer possible to determine why precisely Smith was elected as one of the first English-​speaking members. Unfortunately, this time the minutes of the society keep silent about why Smith was nominated and who brought up his name. Meanwhile what we do know is which of the Dutch Society’s directors and members were present on the day of his election.Three of them, Hendrik Herman van den Heuvel, Johannes Petsch and Jan Hope, can be linked directly to Smith.Van den Heuvel we have met as early adopter of WN, Petsch as critic of British moral sense theory. Jan or “John” Hope is also of interest, since the fourth edition of WN was dedicated to his nephew, Henry Hope, “the most eminent merchant of his time”.100 In the advertisement of the said edition of WN, Smith acknowledged his debts to “Mr. Hop [sic] of Amsterdam”, whose name is “so well known in Europe”, for liberally providing him with information (already included in the first edition) concerning the Bank of Amsterdam.101 Born in Boston, from 1762 on Henry cooperated with Jan as partners in Europe’s leading merchant house Hope & Co. in the Dutch capital.102 A contemporary of Henry epitomized him as merchant prince. He “was one than whom a more kind-​hearted and liberal man never existed. None ever more perfectly realised the idea of a merchant prince, diligent in gathering, delighted to distribute wherever he could find an object of commiseration”.103 Henry welcomed in his Amsterdam home several distinguished foreigners like Benjamin Franklin, Joshua Reynolds and Emanuel Swedenborg. He must have met Smith as well, possibly during one of his regular visits to Great Britain. In a letter to Henry Dundas, recommending Richard Elliston Philips as successor of Smith as Commissioner of Customs, Henry Hope literally referred to Smith as “my friend”.104 Unfortunately, most of Henry’s private correspondence has been lost. The letters that do survive in the Hope & Company archives show that he and Smith had common friends and correspondents in Scotland. It seems (but more specialist research is required here) that the Hopes of Amsterdam were involved in the failure of Douglas, Heron & Co., better known as the Scottish Ayr Bank, in which Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, had a partnership. Smith advised his former pupil and lifelong friend over this crisis, which might explain how he came into contact with Henry Hope.105 Incidentally, Henry also corresponded with the famous political economist James Steuart (see

Adam Smith goes Dutch  349 appendix 2, letter 1), author of the Principles of Political Oeconomy (1767), a work deliberately ignored by Smith. While Henry Hope was more of a practitioner (he only joined the Economic Branch of the Dutch Society of Sciences), Jan compensated his lack of mercantile skills with honourable memberships and directorships of at least five Dutch societies. It is very likely that Jan introduced Smith’s name at the meeting of the Dutch Society. If not, he would anyhow have supported his candidacy. Jan had a predilection for Scotland, the land of his ancestors, and maintained a correspondence with the Hopes of Edinburgh and Hopes of Hopetoun, whom he believed to be family.106 The Earl of Hopetoun once unsuccessfully sought to hire Smith as a tutor to his eldest son Charles, a position that went to Smith’s colleague William Ruat.107 In 1778, a year before Smith’s election in Haarlem, Jan proposed his namesake John Hope as foreign member. An admirer of Linnaeus, John Hope was professor of botany in Edinburgh, fellow of the Royal Society of London, and –​together with Smith –​one of the founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Both Jan and John were among the earliest members of the Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture (Maatschappy ter bevordering van den landbouw), founded in 1776 in Amsterdam. John Hope did formally accept his election in a letter (see appendix 2, letter 2). Utrecht The second society that welcomed Adam Smith as a member was the Provincial Utrecht Society of Arts and Sciences (Provinciaal Utregtsch Genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen). Founded in 1773, the Utrecht Society sub voce “spend time with art and diligence” in many ways resembled the Haarlem society.108 Initially aimed at improving intellectual life in the city of Utrecht, the society at some point allowed for “foreign” Dutch members outside Utrecht and eventually members from abroad. The transactions mention that “Adam Smith, te Glasgou” was elected as foreign corresponding member at a meeting in 1782. Again, the corresponding minutes do not elaborate on the reasons for his election. The fact that Smith’s name was recorded in membership directory suggests that he explicitly accepted it.109 If so, Smith would have corresponded with Meinard(us) Tijdeman, the society’s appointed secretary for foreign affairs. Unfortunately, no such letter survives.Tijdeman occasionally reported the consent of new foreign members in the society’s meetings, but not so in the case of Smith.Yet in an annual address to the general meeting in 1783,Tijdeman recalled the election of some “honourable, proficient and famous men” including Adam Smith.110 As in the case of Haarlem, Smith’s membership was merely a symbolic one, meant to enlarge the prestige of the Utrecht Society. Among the directors present at Smith’s election, two names deserve to be highlighted. First, the name of Tijdeman himself. He was known as supporter of moral sense theory, which he traced back all the way to classical antiquity. As law professor at Utrecht,Tijdeman also taught statistics in the sense of state description and in that connection probably studied WN. It seems, however, that he

350  Joost Hengstmengel did not bring up Smith in his lectures.What we do know is that he owned both TMS and WN and also referred to them in different contexts.111 The other person of interest is Johan Frederik Hennert, whom we have also met as moral sense advocate. He called WN in his additions to Beattie’s Elements of Moral Science an “excellent political work, most conceivable however to philosophical minds” and “in its kind one of the outstanding masterpieces of this century”.112 It might be that Smith’s election in Utrecht was somehow encouraged by William Laurence Brown.113 The son of William Brown, minister of the Scots Kirk in Utrecht, William Laurence studied theology and law under Tijdeman, and became a member of the Utrecht Society in 1779 (see appendix 2, letter 3). Before succeeding his father and uncle Robert Brown as the last minister of the Scottish church in 1778, he spent nearly a year in St Andrews, Scotland, the place where he studied from 1767 to 1774. In 1787, Brown was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy and Church History in Utrecht. His teaching in the former field was based on Hutcheson. In one of his prize essays published by the Teylerian Society, translated and enlarged as An Essay on the Natural Equality of Men (1793), Brown explicitly referred to Smith’s WN, where he explained that the progress in manufacturing and commerce is dependent on the “united and justly regulated efforts of the human species, and the equal application of the talents of each to the common interest”.114 Since Smith’s membership in Haarlem and Utrecht was at most a passive one, there is no need to rewrite his biographies. It is nevertheless relevant to the assessment of Smith’s early reception in the Netherlands. What it does show is that the directors of Dutch scientific societies were familiar with Smith, deemed him worthy to become an honorary member, and believed that the appearance of his name in the lists of members would enhance the prestige of their societies. That said, his membership as a foreigner was not exceptional. At the end of the eighteenth century, Dutch societies like the Haarlem and Utrecht society could boast of dozens of foreign members, including several Scottish ones. As early as 1769, the Zeeland Society of Sciences (Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Wetenschappen) at Vlissingen elected the Scottish anatomist and physician Alexander Monro secundus,115 and five years later they managed to gain the consent of the even more famous commonsense philosopher Beattie.116 Table 20.1 lists all Scottish members of Dutch societies in the eighteenth century. The Dutch enthusiasm for Scottish as compared to Enlightened French writers can be explained by the moderate character of the Scottish Enlightenment more generally.117 As the commotion caused by the election of the unitarian theologian Priestley in Haarlem evinced, Dutch societies feared to be associated with materialism and deism.118

Concluding remarks At the time of his death, some Dutchmen regarded Smith as a first rank philosopher. Reporting Smith’s passing away, the Algemene konst-​en letterbode wrote:

Adam Smith goes Dutch  351 Table 20.1  Scottish members of Dutch societies in the eighteenth century Dutch Society of Sciences, Haarlem 1778 1779

John Hope (1725–​1786), botany, Edinburgh Adam Smith Zeeland Society of Sciences,Vlissingen

1769 1774

Alexander Monro II (1733–​1817), anatomy, Edinburgh James Beattie (1735–​1803), moral philosophy, Aberdeen Provincial Utrecht Society of Arts and Sciences

1779 1782 1790 1790

William Laurence Brown (1755–​1830), divinity, Aberdeen Adam Smith John Hunter (1746–​1837), humanity, St Andrews William Brown (1719–​1791), ecclesiastical history, St Andrews

His literary abilities and equally excellent virtues made him known to the scholar and the philosopher; his morals and commerce will for a long time keep his person in the blessed remembrance of those who knew him:  since his Inquiry into the Causes of the Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments are deservedly famous in the philosophical, political and commercial world, his name will be passed down with due respect to posterity.119 In 1797, the leading journal Vaderlandsche letter-​oefeningen paid a tribute to Smith by publishing a translation of Dugald Stewart’s “Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith”.120 Notwithstanding these signs of admiration, the surprising conclusion of this article must be that Smith’s moment of fame in the Netherlands had to wait for later centuries. His reception was sympathetic but limited. TMS and WN did reach a Dutch readership, but Smith’s ideas found little to no followers. The Essays on Philosophical Subjects, first published in 1795, attracted no public attention at all.121 How to account for this relative lack of popularity? To begin with, Smith’s friendship with Hume could not have been the reason. Through the translation of The Life of David Hume the Dutch were familiar with Smith’s letter that praised his sceptic friend for “approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will admit”, a sentence that caused serious commotion in Great Britain. In the Dutch Republic, however, Smith was far from seen as a disguised friend of scepticism and deism. His name never figured in the usual lists of dangerous freethinkers, and the reviews of TMS rather applauded his anti-​radicalism in moral philosophy. His election by two Dutch learned societies only confirms this reputation as a moderate philosopher. The real reason for Smith’s limited impact we can only guess at. The fact is that Smith’s moral philosophy was overshadowed by Hutcheson’s moral sense theory. If TMS was

352  Joost Hengstmengel mentioned in the debate over the foundations of morality, it was seen as an exploration of the idea of sympathy as used by other moral sense theorists. For his liberal system of political economy the time was not yet ripe. It saw the light at a moment that Dutch writers on economics envisioned a protectionist turn. In two debates connected to the economic decline of the Republic, on luxury and public debt, Hume was a more obvious source of arguments than Smith. Apparently, TMS and WN did not provide for the intellectual wants of a late-​ eighteenth-​century Dutch audience.

Appendix 1 –​Dutch translations The table in this section comprises mainly, but not exclusively, works from writers that were affiliated with one of the Scottish universities. Theological works and sermons by Scottish ministers and preachers outside academia were mostly ignored.122 The second column gives short titles and dates of the first edition, even in the cases that Dutch translations were explicitly based on later ones. As far as partial translations in Dutch journals are concerned, I have only systematically checked Vaderlandsche letter-​oefeningen, published in Amsterdam by A. van der Kroe and others. Balfour, James

Beattie, James123

From ‘General ‘Proeve over de natuur der deugd’, observations HVLO 4/​2 (1775), 41–​45 concerning morality’, Delineation of the Nature and Obligation of Morality (1753), sect. 1 Essay on the Nature and Verhandeling over de natuur en Immutability of Truth onveranderlykheid der waerheid, (1770) in tegenstelling der sophistery en twyfelaery, transl. Petrus Gerardus Duker (Utrecht: J.C. Ten Bosch, 1773) –​with an introductory letter by Rev. Robert Brown ‘The triumph of ‘De zegeprael der zwaermoedigheid’, melancholy’, Original in [Willem Emmery de Perponcher Poems and Translations Sedlnitzky], Mengelwerk. III. Stukje (1760) (Utrecht: Wed. J. van Schoohoven, 1779), 25–​46 ‘Poetry considered with ‘Aanmerkingen over het doel der respect to its matter dichtkunde’, AVLO 2/​2 (1780), or subject’, in Essays 473–​483; ‘Aanmerkingen over de (1776) regelmaat der dichterlyke vinding’, 3/​2 (1781), 397–​408; ‘Vertoog, strekkende om aan te toonen, dat de dichtkunst een stelzel der natuure opgeeft, eenigzins van het weezen der dingen verschillende’, idem, 568–​576, 608–​616; ‘Vertoog

Adam Smith goes Dutch  353

Beattie, James Hay

Blair, Hugh

over de dichterlyke characters’, 4/​ 2 (1782), 21–​28, 66–​71; ‘Vertoog over de dichterlyke schikking’, idem, 195–​204, 242–​248; ‘Proeve, over de naavolging, en het vermaak daar uit ontstaande’, idem, 362–​366 ‘Of memory and ‘Aanmerkingen, over het geheugen imagination’, ch. 4, der dieren’, transl. [Petrus Dissertations Moral and Adriaanszoon Loosjes], AVLO 5/​2 Critical (1783) (1783), 498–​504 ‘An essay on laughter Proeve over het lachen, en and ludicrous gelachverwekkende in spreken en composition’, Essays schrijven, transl. [Daniël Hovens] (1776) (Dordrecht: A. Blussé, 1783) Dissertations Moral and Wysgeerige oordeel-​en zedekundige Critical (1783) verhandelingen, 2 vols., transl. Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes (Haarlem: A. Loosjes P.Z., 1785–​1786) ‘The theory of language’, ‘Bedenkingen over den oorsprong ch. 6, Dissertations der spraake, en derzelver Moral and Critical verscheidenheid: en de verwarring (1783) by Babels toorenbouw’, NAVLO 1/​2 (1786), 106–​113 Evidences of the Christian De baarblyklykheden van den christlyken Religion (1786) godsdienst: kort en duidlyk opengelegd, transl. Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes (Haarlem: A. Loosjes P.Z., 1790) Elements of Moral Science Grondbeginzelen der zedelijke (1790) wetenschappen, 4 vols., transl. [W.Y. van Hamelsveld] (Utrecht: Willem van Yzerworst, 1791–​1794) ‘Dialogues of the dead. ‘Zamenspraak, tusschen Mercurius, III. Mercury, Socrates, Socrates, en eenen hedendaagsche and a modern wysgeer’, AVLO 1796/​2, 561–​572 philosopher’, Essays and Fragments in Prose and Verse (1794) ‘An essay on taste’, ‘Proeve over den smaak’, HVLO 2/​2 Universal Magazine of (1773), 170–​175 Knowledge and Pleasure (1772) Sermons (1777)

Leerredenen van Hugo Blair, 10 vols., transl. [Hotto Tichelaar] (Amsterdam: Wed.Van Esveldt en Holtrop, 1778–​1803) –​a second impression appeared between 1794 and 1798

354  Joost Hengstmengel ‘On the divine government of the passions of men’, Sermons, vol. 2 (1780) ‘On the character of Hazael’, Sermons, vol. 2 (1780) From ‘Eloquence of the pulpit’, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, vol. 2 (1783), lect. 29 From ‘Criticism. –​ Genius. –​ Pleasures of taste. –​Sublimity in objects’, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, vol. I (1783), lect. 3 From ‘Introduction’, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, vol. 1 (1783), lect. 1 Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783)

Brown, Robert

Brown, William Laurence

Sentimental Beauties and Moral Delineations (1782) Sermon preached in the English Church at Utrecht (1772)

Dissertation [Essay] on the Folly of Scepticism (1787)

‘Redenvoering over Gods bestuur van der menschen driften’, AVLO 2/​2 (1780), 491–​505 ‘Het character van Hazaël, of redenvoering over 2 Koningen VIII. 12, 13’, AVLO 3/​2 (1781), 541–​554 ‘Regels tot het opstellen van leerredenen in agt te neemen’, AVLO 7/​2 (1785), 1–​8 ‘Aanmerkingen over het onderscheid tusschen smaak en vernuft’, AVLO 7/​2 (1785), 501–​503

‘De voordelen der reden-​en oordeelkunde’, NAVLO 2/​2 (1787), 49–​54 Lessen over de Redekunst en Fraaie Weetenschappen, 3 vols., transl. [Herman Bosscha] (Deventer: Lucas Leemhorst, 1788–​1790)124 –​ a second edition appeared in 1804 Zedekundige schoonheden (Amsterdam: IJntema, 1802) Een yder kan, en behoort het gemene welzyn te bevorderen. Ene leer-​rede gehouden op den plechtigen dank-​ vast-​ en bede-​dag, transl. [Rijklof Michaël van Goens] (Utrecht: J.V. Schoonhoven, 1772) Verhandeling ter beantwoordinge der vraage: Hoe betoogt men bondigst en kragtigst, de dwaasheid van het scepticismus of der twyffelaarye, en de onbezonnenheid van het meesteragtig beslissen omtrent godsdienstige voorstellen, met aanwyzing van den middelweg, tusschen die twee uitersten te houden [Haarlem: Joh. Enschedé en zoonen & J. van Walré, 1787]

Adam Smith goes Dutch  355

Essay on the Natural Equality of Men (1793)

Spirit of the Times Considered (1793)

Campbell, Archibald

Necessity of Revelation (1739)

Dalrymple, David Inquiry into the Secondary Causes Which Mr Gibbon has assigned for The Rapid Growth of Christianity (1787) Ferguson, Adam ‘Of the influences of climate and situation’, Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), prt. 3, sect. 1 ‘Of happiness’, Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), prt. 1, sect. 7

Antwoord op het voorstel, vorderende te betoogen het onredelyke der onverschilligheid omtrent godsdienstige waarheden, met aanwyzing hoe men, in ‘t voorstaan van de waarheid, verstandig hebbe te yveren [Haarlem: Joh. Enschedé en zoonen & J. van Walré, 1787] Redenvoering over het allerheilzaamst verband, en de vereeniging van den godsdienst met de wysbegeerte (Utrecht: A. van Paddenburg, 1788) Proeve over de natuurlyke gelykheid der menschen, en over de regten en pligten, welken uit die gelykheid voortvloeijen, transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] [Haarlem: Joh. Enschedé en zoonen & J. van Walré, 1793] Leerredenen over de tekenen der tijden, uitgesproken in de Engelsche kerk te Utrecht, op den algemeenen dank-​vast en bededag, den 13 Februarij, 1793 (Utrecht: B. Wild & J. Altheer, 1793) De noodzaekelykheid der Openbaering, of een onderzoek naer de uytgestrektheid der menschelyke vermoogens in ‘t stuk van godsdienst, en wel bepaaldelyk ten aenzien van deeze twee grond-​ artikelen: ‘t bestaen van God en de onstervelykheid van de ziel, 2 vols., transl. Jacob van Nuys Klinkenberg (Utrecht: Henricus van Otterloo, 1774–​1777) De tweede oorzaaken welke Mr. Gibbon heeft gesteld voor den spoedigen voortgang van het christendom door den Heer David Dalrymple onderzogt (Utrecht: W. van Yzerworst, 1793) ‘Verhandeling over den invloed der lugtstreek en landsgesteltenisse op den mensch’, NVLO 1/​2 (1768), 372–​384 ‘Proeve over het geluk’, HVLO 3/​2 (1774), 457–​465, 497–​504

356  Joost Hengstmengel

Findlay, Robert

Fordyce, David

Gerard, Alexander

From ‘Of rude nations ‘Afbeelding der onbeschaafde volken, under the impressions onder den invloed van eigendom of property and en belang’, HVLO 4/​2 (1775), interest’, Essay on the 208–​215 History of Civil Society (1767), prt. 2, sect. 3 From History of the ‘Aanmerkingen, over den invloed Progress and Termination der verschillende stelzels van of the Roman Republic, wysbegeerte, in den laatsten tyd van vol. 2 (1783), ch. 4 ’t Romeinsch gemeenebest, op de characters des volks, en byzonder op de characters van Cesar en Cato’, AVLO 6/​2 (1784), 439–​446 Vindication of the Sacred Verdeediging der Heilige Schriften, en van Books and of Josephus Josephus, tegen den heer De Voltaire, (1770) 2 vols., transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] (Amsterdam: A. van der Kroe /​Harlingen: F. van der Plaats & junior, 1773-​1774) Theodorus: A Dialogue Theodorus, een zamenspraak over de kunst Concerning the Art of van prediken (Leeuwarden: Abraham Preaching (1752) Ferwerda, 1754) –​republished as Verhandeling over de predikwyze (Leiden: Johannes le Mair, 1764) Influence of Piety on the De invloed van de godvrucht op het Public Good (1761) welzyn van het algemeen: Of eene leerreeden over Deut.VI. 24 (Utrecht: Abraham van Paddenburg, 1777) Dissertations on Subjects Verhandelingen over onderwerpen, relating to The Genius betreffende de eigen aart en and the Evidences of bewyzen van de christelyke leere Christianity (1766) (Utrecht: A. van Paddenburg, 1779) –​no copy known Liberty the Cloke of Vryheid de dekmantel der boosheid beide Maliciousness (1778) aangetoond uit den Americaanschen oproer en de gesteldheid der tyden. Eene leerreden (Utrecht: J. van Driel, 1780) ‘Justice the decorum ‘Regtvaardigheid, de hoofddeugd of the character of der regteren; of redenvoering over judges’, Sermons, vol. 1 Deut. XVI. 20’, AVLO 6/​2 (1784), (1780) 45–​57 From ‘The propriety ‘Redenvoering, strekkende ten of the manner in bewyze, dat de waarheid des which the Evidences christlyken godsdiensts bevestigd of Christianity were wordt, door de wyze, op welke de originally proposed’, blykbaarheden voor denzelven, Dissertations (1766), worden voorgesteld’, AVLO 6/​2 diss. 1, sect. 3 (1784), 93–​100, 147–​154 ‘The nature of sound ‘Redenvoering over de natuur der doctrine’, Sermons, vol. gezonde leere’, AVLO 7/​2 (1785), 2 (1782) 317–​330, 361–​370

Adam Smith goes Dutch  357 Sermons (1780–​1782) Home, Henry (Lord Kames)125

Hume, David126

Leerredenen (Haarlem: E.W. Cramerus jr., 1793) –​no copy known ‘Onderzoek waarom wy zo veel deel neemen in het ongeluk van anderen, en byzonderlyk zo veel vermaak in een goed treurspel vinden’, VLO 6/​2 (1766), 187–​200 ‘Waarnemingen, wegens de voortteeling der dieren, en de zorge welke zy voor hun kroost draagen’, HVLO 3/​2 (1774), 432–​436

From ‘Of our attachment to objects of distress’, Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1751), essay 1 ‘Concerning propagation of animals, and care of their offspring’, Sketches of the History of Man (1774), app. From ‘Differences in ‘Over de gelykheid van gevoelens, opinion make the voor zo verre deeze het geluk der cement of society’, maatschappy betreft’, AVLO 3/​2 Loose Hints upon (1781), 582–​583 Education (1781), art. 3 ‘Of love and marriage’; ‘Dat gelykheid tusschen man en ‘Of national vrouw het geluk des huwelyks characters’; ‘Of maakt’; ‘Dat de onderscheiden avarice’; ‘Of the karakters van verscheiden volken delicacy of taste … van zedelyke oorzaken and passion’; ‘Of afhangen’; ‘De buitenspoorigheid superstition and der gierigheid’; ‘Dat de smaak voor enthusiasm’, Essays, fraaije konsten en weetenschappen Moral and Political onze gestellen verbetert’; ‘Over (1741) de verschillende oorzaken en gevolgen van het bygeloof en de geestdryvery’, De philanthrope of menschenvriend 5 (1761), 305–​312; 337–​352; 353–​360; 361–​368; 377–​ 392 –​the translator might have been Cornelis van Engelen127 Political Discourses (1752) Wysgeerige en staatkundige verhandelingen (Amsterdam: Kornelis van Tongerlo, 1764) –​in 1765 and 1766 new editions were printed in Rotterdam From ‘A dissertation on ‘Verklaaring wegens eenige the passions’, Essays byzonderheden in der menschen and Treatises on Several hoogmoed en nederigheid, en de Subjects (1758) uitwerking welke deze driften op onze wyze van denken hebben’, VLO 7/​2 (1767), 95–​104 History of England (1762) Historie van Engeland, van den inval van Julius Caesar tot de staetsverandering in ‘t jaer 1688, of komste van Willem III. op den troon, 6 vols., transl. Nicolaes Smithof (Rotterdam: Bosch, Smithof, Burgvliet, Arrenberg & Beman, 1769–​1774) –​published, as claimed in the foreword, after having consulted the author himself

358  Joost Hengstmengel

Leechman, William

From ‘Richard I’, History ‘Menschlievendheid en of England, vol. 1 goedertierenheid, de cieraaden der (1762), app. I, ch. 10 menschlyke natuure’, HVLO 4/​2 (1775), 222–​223 From ‘Of the different ‘Vertoog over de onderscheidene species of philosophy’, soorten van zedelyke wysbegeerte’, Philosophical essays HVLO 5/​2 (1776), 493–​497 concerning human understanding (1748), essay 1 Life of David Hume Het leeven van David Hume, (1777) Schildknaap. Beschreeven door hemzelven (Amsterdam: Van Esveldt & Holtrop, 1777) Letter to Sir David ‘Brief van David Hume, betreffende Dalrymple (no. 176), de gedigten van Ossian’, European Magazine Vaderlandsche bibliotheek van (1784) wetenschap, kunst en smaak 1/​2 (1789), 81–​84 Letter to Sir John Pringle ‘Anecdoten van den pretendent van (no. 484), St. James Engeland, in een brief van den heer Chronicle (1788) or David Hume aan den heere John Edinburgh Magazine Pringle, geschreven in 1773’, AVLO (1788) 1794/​2, 163–​166 Temper, Character, and Den aard, karacter en pligten van een Duty of a Minister of the evangelie dienaar, in een leerreede, Gospel (1742) transl. Joannes Florentius Martinet (Leiden: Johannes Le Mair, 1759)

Wisdom of God in the Gospel Revelation (1758)

Millar, John

From ‘Of the rank and condition of women in different ages’, Observations concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society (1771), ch. 1

‘De vereischtens, geaartheid, en pligten van een waardig Leeraar des Evangeliums’, VLO 6/​2 (1766), 1–​7, 45–​58, 95–​104 De wysheid van God, in de openbaaring van het euangelie, voorgesteld in een eene leerreden (Amsterdam: H. Gartman, [1773]) ‘Twee redenvoeringen over Gods wysheid in de euangelische openbaaring’, in Richard Watson, Brieven tot verdeediging van de voortplanting des Christelyken godsdiensts (Amsterdam: Yntema & Tieboel, 1779) ‘Aanmerkingen over den invloed der tyden van de ridderschap op den wapenhandel, de verkeering met de sexe en de schryfwyze’, HVLO 1/​2 (1772), 216–​223

Adam Smith goes Dutch  359 Oswald, James

Reid, Thomas

Robertson, William128

Appeal to Common Sense in Behalf of Religion (1766)

Beroep op het gemeen gevoel (of het gezond verstand) ten behoeven van den Godsdienst, 2 vols., transl. [Cornelis de Vries] (Utrecht: J.C. ten Bosch, 1776 and 1782) ‘Of taste in general’, ‘Wysgerige proeve over den smaak’, Essays on the Intellectual NAVLO 2/​2 (1787), 285–​292 Powers of Man (1785), essay 8, ch. 1 From ‘Of the particular ‘Opmerking wegens de waardy, benevolent affections’, welke toegeschreven wordt aan Essays on the Active de onderscheidde beginzelen van Powers of Man (1788), werkzaamheden in den mensch’, essay 3, ch. 4 NAVLO 5/​2 (1790), 298–​300 From ‘View of the ‘De oorsprong en de gevolgen der progress of society in kruistogten of heilige oorlogen’, Europe, with respect to NVLO 3/​2 (1770), 433–​440 interior government, laws and manners’, History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, vol. 1 (1769) From History of the Reign ‘Het character van Keizer Carel den of the Emperor Charles Vyfden’, NVLO 4/​2 (1770), 74–​77; V, vol. 3 (1769), bk. 7 ‘Berigt van eenige merkwaardige and 8 omstandigheden betreffende de afgezonderde leevenswyze, en den dood van Keizer Carel V’, idem, 114–​120 History of the Reign of Historie der regeering van Keizer Karel the Emperor Charles V den Vyfden, 6 vols. (Rotterdam: D. (1769) Vis & P. Holsteyn, 1772–​1778) –​a second edition appeared in the same period History of America (1777) Geschiedenis van America, 5 vols., transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] (Amsterdam: Yntema & Tieboel, 1778–​1801) –​including in the foreword a short account of the life and writings of Robertson History of Scotland (1759) Geschiedenis van Schotland, geduurende de regeeringen van koningin Maria en koningin Jacobus den VI, tot diens komst op den Engelschen troon: benevens een kort verslag der Schotsche geschiedenisse vóór dat tydperk, 3 vols., transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] (Amsterdam: Yntema & Tieboel, 1779–​1780)

360  Joost Hengstmengel History of Ancient Greece (1768)

Robison, John

Smith, Adam

Geschiedenis van oud Griekenland, van de vroegste tijden af, tot dat het een Romeinsch wingewest werd, 3 vols., transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] (Amsterdam: A. van Paddenburg, W. Holtrop & C. van der Aa, 1780–​1781) –​the second edition was titled Grieksche geschiedenissen, 3 vols. (Dordrecht: A. Blussé en zoon, 1793) Situation of the World at Redenvoering over de gesteldheid der the Time of Christ’s waereld ten tyde van de verschyning van Appearance Christus en den invloed van dezelve op de voortplanting van zynen godsdienst (Amsterdam: Willem Holtrop, 1781) From Historical ‘Geschiedkundig verslag, wegens Disquisition Concerning het invoeren der zydewormen in the Knowledge which the Europa’, AVLO 1792/​2, 26–​28 Ancients had of India (1791), sect. 2 Historical Disquisition Geschiedkundig onderzoek wegens Concerning the de kennis, die de ouden hadden Knowledge which the van Indie: en den voortgang des Ancients had of India koophandels op dat land, vóór de (1791) ontdekking van den weg derwaards om de Kaap de Goede Hoop, transl. [Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes] (Amsterdam/​Haarlem: J.Yntema & A. Loosjes, 1793) Proofs of Conspiracy Proeven van zamenzweeringen tegen Against all the Religions alle godsdiensten en regeeringsvormen and Governments of in Europa, berokkend in de geheime Europe (1797) vergaderingen der illuminaaten, vrij-​ metzelaars en leesgezelschappen (Dordrecht: A. Blussé [etc.], 1799) Letter to William Strahan ‘Brief van Adam Smith, LL. D. aan (no. 178), Life of David William Strahan, schildknaap’, in Hume (1777) Het leeven van David Hume (1777), 18–​30 Inquiry into the Nature and Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaken Causes of the Wealth of van den rijkdom der volkeren, 1 vol., Nations (1776), bk. 1, transl. Dirk Hoola van Nooten ch. 1-​10 (Amsterdam: Wouter Brave, 1796)

Adam Smith goes Dutch  361

Appendix 2 –​Letters 1  From James Steuart to Henry Hope 129 Beckett September 16. 1772.

Sir The letter you did me the honour to write me of the 31st of July last came to my hand only a few days ago. It had been sent to Scotland, for which place I had set out from London on the 25th of same month; but being seized with a fit of the gout at my friend my Lord Barringtonsi house in Berkshire, from which place I now write, your letter remained in Scotland until it was brought to me a few days ago by my wife who has come to take care of me in my distress; and this is the first time, since my last relaps, I have been able to hold the pen. I never had a letter from any one which gave me more satisfaction. I know your character; and during my stay in Holland in 1761ii did my endeavours to be introduced to your acquaintance, by the means of my friend James Crawford of Rotterdam; but was disappointed you was a man of business, and so was he; I was an idle speculating philosopher. To my great regret we never met. I have also the honour of being your relation. I descend from Henry Hope elder brother of Sir Thomas Hope of Craig-​hall, and I even think I have the honour to represent that branch of your family, by his daughter Anne, wife of Sir James Stuart my great grandfather. The plan of borrowing money in Holland upon a permanent loan at a fixed interest, has been recommended by me as an absolutely necessary expedient to be adopted by all banks in this Kingdom. It is the only resource they can have, upon every occasion when the balance of trade is against us. It prevents the exportation of our coin. I  have on many occasions represented this plain principles to our banks in Scotland. I have lately proposed the same measure to the Bank of England. But Sir merchants have a language of their own, and I never have been able sufficiently to communicate any ideas to them so as sufficiently to impress them with the propriety of the measure. I had to no communication with those gentlemen from our country to who have been so long transacting the affairs of credit with the Bank of England; so could have no commission to interest my self in any proposal of the nature you mention. My friend the Justice Clerkiii imagined, naturally enough, that as I was at London at the time, I should probably know something of it. The proposal you make is just what I have always supposed to a practicable one; and just what I  wished might take place, were it rightly

362  Joost Hengstmengel land before parliament, I have reason to believe that it would meet with approbation. But Sir my views have always been national, and not adapted for private purposes, and until certain restrictions be laid upon the plan of Banking in Scotland, the more credit they get abroad, the more speedily will the our country be exhausted and mortgaged to foreign nations. The scheme you propose is rational, and sensibly proceeds from a man of parts deeply conversant in the affairs of commerce. I shall communicate the contents of your proposal to the gentlemen to whom the management of Scots credit is at present committed. I wish they may be able to convert it to the good of Scotland, and I congratulate my self not a little this subject should have introduced me to your acquaintance. I have the honour to be most respectfully Sir your most humble and most obedient servant Ja. Steuart i William Wildman, 2nd Viscount Barrington (1717-​1793) ii As Jacobite exile, Steuart spent many years on the Continent iii Thomas Miller of Glenlee (see p. 24, footnote 105)

2  From John Hope to the Holland Society of Sciences130 Ducibus abhinc mensibus, Domine Reverende, epistolam tuam, mense maio 1778 scriptam, cum diplomate a Societate illustri Scientorum Harlemensi accepi. Ob honorem gratissimum, a Societate in me collatum, sociis Praeclaris gratias plurimas habeo, & referre cupio Responsum citius reddidissem; sed frutice a Linnaeo non memorato comitatum volui. Hicce frutex (Budleia globosa) laete in horto Edinensi jam quatuor annis viguit, ex seminibus a Do [William] Anderson chirurgo eximis Dm [James] Cook in circum navigatione orbis comitatu ortus. Quoniam frutix iste est frigoris patiens, semper vireus, floribus pulchre aureis, & odore suavi, ut mihi contingeret voluptas, eum in Bataviam introducendi, multum desiderasi. Plantam virentem cum icone ad Dominum Dominum Hope transmisi Descriptionem ejus includo, quam si approbaveris, mihi gratum feceris, si eandem cum icone societati obtuleris. Ut dice valeas Vir Reverende enixe precatur. Cultor tui observantissimus Edinb 27 Oct 79 Jo. Hope

Adam Smith goes Dutch  363 3  From William Laurence Brown to the Provincial Utrecht Society of Arts and Sciences131 A monsieur J[ohannes] van Ha[e]‌ften secretaire de Societe Provincale des Arts & des Sciences J’ai eu l’honneur de votre lettre par laquelle vous m’informer de celui que m’a fait la Societe de Arts & des Sciences de cette Province en faisant choix de moi pour un de leurs Membres ordinaires. Je suis tres sensible à cette marque de leur Bonté, & je vous prie de leur en presenter mes remercimens respectieus. Je accepte volontiers de leur Election comme Membre contribuant, & pour cet effet je vous remets, par le Porteur de celle ci le Prix d’Entrée. J’ai l’honneur d’etre, avec une entiere consideration, Monsieur,Votre tres humble & tres obeissant serviteur Utrecht de 25 de May 1779 W.L. Brown

Notes 1 I would like to thank Wiep van Bunge, Henri Krop, Ida Nijenhuis, Gertjan Schutte, Koen Stapelbroek, Rudi Verburg and two anonymous reviewers of this journal for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. 2 As secretary to General St Clair, Hume travelled across Europe. In March 1748, he landed at “Helvoet Sluice” and successively attended “the Brill” (Den Briel, Brielle), “Maitlan-​ Sluyse” (Maaslandsluis, now Maassluis), Rotterdam, the Hague and Gorcum (Gorinchem) in the province of South Holland, Breda and “Bois-​le-​duc” (‘s-​Hertogenbosch) in North Brabant, and Nimeguen (Nijmegen) in Gelderland. See J.Y.T. Greig, The Letters of David Hume, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932), letter 64. 3 In this article, the following abbreviations are used: AUL = Aberdeen University Library; GUL  =  Glasgow University Library; NHA  =  Noord-​Hollands Archief, Haarlem; SA  =  Stadsarchief Amsterdam; UA  =  Utrechts Archief; ZA  =  Zeeuws Archief, Middelburg.The frequent references to the journal (Nieuwe /​Hedendaagsche /​Algemeene /​Nieuwe algemeene) Vaderlandsche letter-​oefeningen are abbreviated as follows: NVLO, HVLO, AVLO and NAVLO, VLO. 4 This paragraph draws on Andrew L.  Drummond, The Kirk and the Continent (Edinburgh:  The Saint Andrews Press, 1956), ch. 6; Robert Feenstra, ‘Scottish-​ Dutch legal relations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, in T.C. Smout (ed.), Scotland and Europe 1200–​1850 (Edinburgh:  John Donald, 1986), 128–​142; Hugh Dunthorne, “ ‘An inseparable alliance’? Scotland and Holland in the Age of Improvement”, Documentatieblad werkgroep achttiende eeuw 19 (1987), 157–​170; John W. Cairns, “Importing our lawyers from Holland: Netherlands influences on Scots Law and lawyers in the eighteenth century”, in Grant G. Simpson (ed.), Scotland and the Low Countries 1124–​1994 (East Linton: Tuckwell, 1996), 136–​153; Roger Emerson, “The world in which the Scottish Enlightenment took shape”, in Aaron

364  Joost Hengstmengel Garrett & James A. Harris (eds.), Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, vol. 1, Morals, Politics, Art, Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 16–​35; Esther Mijers, ‘News from the Republick of Letters’. Scottish Students, Charles Mackie and the United Provinces, 1650–​1750 (Leiden: Brill, 2012). 5 On the reception of the Scottish Enlightenment in Scotland and France, see Norbert Waszek, “Bibliography of the Scottish Enlightenment in Germany”, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 230 (1985), 283–​303; Waszek, The Scottish Enlightenment and Hegel’s Account of ‘Civil Society’ (Dordrecht:  Kluwer Academic, 1988), ch. 2  “The Scottish Enlightenment in Germany”; Fania Oz-​Salzberger, Translating the Enlightenment. Scottish Civic Discourse in Eighteenth-​Century Germany (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1995); Waszek, “Christian Garve als Zentralgestalt der deutschen Rezeption schottischer Aufklärung”, in Daniel Brühlmeier, Helmut Holzhey & Vilem Mudroch (eds.), Schottische Aufklärung. “A Hotbed of Genius” (Berlin:  Akademie Verlag, 1996), 123–​ 145; Heiner F.  Klemme (ed.), Reception of the Scottish Enlightenment in Germany:  Six Significant Translations, 1755–​ 1782 (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2000);Waszek,“The Scottish Enlightenment in Germany, and its translator, Christian Garve (1742–​98)”, in Tom Hubbard & R.D.S. Jack (eds.), Scotland in Europe (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), 55–​72; Alexander Broadie, Agreeable Connexions. Scottish Enlightenment Links with France (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2012). 6 Petrus Adriaanszoon Loosjes, “Voorbericht”, in James Beattie, Wysgeerige oordeel-​en zedekundige verhandelingen (Haarlem: A. Loosjes P.Z., 1785), 2; NAVLO 1/​1 (1786), 617; AVLO 7/​1 (1785), 565. See on the Dutch translations of Beattie and Blair, Christophe Madelein, Juigchen in den adel der menschlijke natuur. Het verhevene in de Nederlanden (1770–​1830) (Gent: Academia Press, 2010), 140–​164. 7 P.P. de Quay, De genoegzaamheid van het natuurlijk gezond verstand. Prijsverhandelingen over godsdienst, zedenkunde en burgerlijke maatschappij in Nederland aan het einde der 18e eeuw (The Hague: Sdu Uitgevers, 2000). 8 Willem Prins, Hume, genoemd. Een inventarisatie van Nederlandstalige reacties op David Hume, 1739–​1800, master’s thesis​en/​scriptie/​ 420181 (University of Amsterdam, 2011); Lina Weber, “Predicting the bankruptcy of England. David Hume’s political discourses and the Dutch debate on national debt in the eighteenth century”, Early Modern Low Countries 1 (2017), 135–​155. 9 ‘Voorrede’, in David Hume, Wysgeerige en staatkundige verhandelingen (Amsterdam: Kornelis van Tongerlo, 1764), iv; VLO 4/​2 (1764), 287. 10 Nederlandsche letter-​verlustiging 2/​4 (1763), 526. 11 Surveys include Luigi Turco, ‘Moral sense and the foundations of morals’, in Alexander Broadie (red.), The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2003), 136–​156; David Fate Norton & Manfred Kuehn, ‘The foundations of morality’, in Knud Haakonssen (red.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-​Century Philosophy (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2006), 941–​986; Julia Driver, ‘Moral sense and sentimentalism’, in Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 358–​376; Jacqueline Taylor, ‘Moral sense and moral sentiment’, in Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy (London: Routledge, 2014), 421–​441. 12 The return of rationalism in mainly but certainly not exclusively the Northern Netherlands is discussed in Henri A.  Krop, ‘Der Wolffianismus’ (§63), in Helmut Holzhey & Vilem Mudroch (eds.), Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie. Die

Adam Smith goes Dutch  365 Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts, vol. 1, Grossbritannien und Nordamerika, Niederlande (Basel: Schwabe, 2004) and Wiep van Bunge, From Bayle to the Batavian Revolution. Essays on Philosophy in the Eighteenth-​Century Dutch Republic (Leiden: Brill, 2018), ch. 7. 13 John Reeder (ed.), On Moral Sentiments. Contemporary Responses to Adam Smith (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1997); Richard B. Sher, ‘Early editions of Adam Smith’s books in Britain and Ireland, 1759–​1804’, in Keith Tribe (ed.), A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith (New York: Routledge, 2002), 13–​26. Cf. Roger J. Fechner, ‘Adam Smith and American Academic moral philosophers and philosophy in the age of enlightenment and revolution’, in Mizuta & Sugiyama, Adam Smith:  International Perspectives, 181–​197. 14 Deirdre Dawson, ‘Is sympathy so surprising? Adam Smith and French fictions of sympathy’, Eighteenth-​Century Life 15/​1–​2 (1991), 147–​162; Takaho Ando, ‘The introduction of Adam Smith’s moral philosophy to French thought’, in Hiroshi Mizuta & Chuchei Sugiyama (eds.), Adam Smith: International Perspectives (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993), 199–​211; Evelyn L. Forget, ‘Cultivating sympathy:  Sophie Condorcet’s letters on sympathy’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought 23/​3 (2001), 319–​337; Gilbert Faccarello & Philippe Steiner, ‘The diffusion of the work of Adam Smith in the French language: an outline history’, in Tribe, A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith, 61–​119; Dawson, ‘From moral philosophy to public policy: Sophie de Grouchy’s translation and critique of Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments’, in Deirdre Dawson & Pierre Morère (eds.), Scotland and France in the Enlightenment (Lewisburg:  Bucknell University Press, 2004), 264–​ 283; Harevy Chisick, ‘The representation of Adam Smith and David Hume in the Année Littéraire and the Journal Encyclopédique’, in idem, 240–​263; Ruth Scurr, ‘Inequality and political stability from Ancien Régime to revolution: The reception of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments in France’, History of European Ideas 35/​4 (2009), 441–​449; Broadie, Agreeable Connexions, ch. 5  ‘Morality and sentiment’; Catriona Seth, ‘Sophie de Grouchy-​Condorcet’s translation of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments’, The Adam Smith Review 7 (2014), 18–​23; Michaël Biziou, ‘French translations and re-​translations of Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments’, The Adam Smith Review 8 (2015), 53–​80 (see the bibliography for secondary literature in French). 15 Heiner F.  Klemme, ‘Introduction’, in Adam Smith, Theory der moralischen Empfindungen (Bristol:  Thoemmes Press, 2000), v–​x; Keith Tribe, ‘The German reception of Adam Smith’, in A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith, 120–​152; Fania Oz-​Salzberger, ‘Adam Smith’s early German readers: reception, misreception, and critique’, The Adam Smith Review 9 (2017), 201–​217. 16 For general surveys, see D.D. Raphael & A.L. Macfie, ‘Introduction’, in Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), 25–​32 and Hiroshi Mizuta,‘Introduction’, in Adam Smith: Critical Responses, vol. 1, Contemporary Response to the First of the Posthumous Works (London/​New York: Routledge, 2000), xv–​xlv. 17 As a matter of fact, the first translation appeared only very recently: Adam Smith, Theorie van de Morele Gevoelens, transl. Ad Marijs (Raalte:  A.&W. Uitgeverij, 2018). 18 Nederlandsche letter-​courant, vol. 1, Jan. –​Jun. 1759 (1760), 402–​403. 19 Nederlandsche letter-​verlustiging 1/​3 (1762), 409–​410.

366  Joost Hengstmengel 20 Ian Ross, The Life of Adam Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 178. 21 Bibliotheque des sciences et des beaux arts 11/​2 (1759), 476; 14/​1 (1760), 31–​54; 15/​1 (1761), 118–​135. 22 Bibliotheque des sciences et des beaux arts 42/​2 (1774), 448–​452. 23 The belief that Mandeville was born in Dort (Dordrecht) rather than Rotterdam derives from Bibliothèque Britannique 1/​1 (1733), 244. It is repeated in Christian Gottlieb Jöcher’s much-​used Allgemeines Gelehrten-​Lexicon (1750). 24 L‘année littéraire 6 (1764), 145–​168 (the long quotation is from 167–​168, its translation from Chisick, ‘The representation of Adam Smith and David Hume’, 243) –​an identical review appeared in the Amsterdam Gazette littéraire de l’Europe 4 (1764), 91–​115; L‘année littéraire 7 (1774), 23–​48. A short notice of Blavet’s translation can be found in the Amsterdam Journal des sҫavans 79/​4 (1775), 453–​454. 25 Joost Kloek & Wijnand Mijnhardt, 1800:  Blueprints for a National Community (Assen:  Royal Van Gorcum, 2004), 162–​163; De Quay, Genoegzaamheid, 8–​13, 49–​55. 26 Allard Hulshoff, Verhandeling over den grondslag der wet-​ geevende magt /​ Dissertatio Belgica de fundamento potestatis Dei legislatoriae ([Leiden:  Sam. en Joh. Luchtmans, 1766]), 28ff. Earlier, in 1764, Hulshoff established the existence of an innate “moral sense, or conscience” that needs to be cultivated in educating children. See ‘Verhandeling over de zedelyke opvoeding’, in Verhandelingen uitgegeeven door de Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen te Haarlem 9/​2 (1764), 55ff. 27 Moses Mendels Zoon, Onderzoek der zedelyke gevoelens, transl. Johannes Petsch (Utrecht: Roeland de Meyere, 1769), 10. 28 A.B., De leer van het zedelyk gevoel, opgeheldert en verdedigt in eenen brief aan een geleerd man [i.e., Petsch] (Groningen:  Jacob Bolt, 1770); Johannes Petsch, Briefwisseling van Philagathos en Philalethes over de leer van het zedelyk gevoel (Utrecht:  J.  van Schoonhoven, 1771); Petsch, ‘Verhandeling over het gewicht en de waarde van het nog steeds aanhoudend geschil nopens den grondslag van ‘s menschen zedelykheidt’, Verhandelingen, uitgegeeven door de Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen 15 (1774), 233–​277; Petsch, ‘Over de verschillende begrippen van den aart en natuur des gewetens’, idem, 401–​466. 29 [Abraham Perrenot], Antwoord van eenen regtsgeleerden aan zynen vriend, met voorgestelde vereffening van de geschillen nopens de leer van het zedelyk gevoel (Utrecht:  J.  van Schoonhoven, 1774); J. van Nuys Klinkenberg, Onderwijs in den godsdienst, vol. 2 (Amsterdam: Johannes Allart, 1780), ch. 4 ‘Over het zeedelyk gevoel’; A. Perrenot, ‘Over het zedelyke gevoel’, in Bedenkingen over de beoeffening der rechtsgeleerdheid, benevens vier verhandelingen over wysgerige stoffen (Dordrecht: A. Blussé, 1781), 224–​ 268; H.C. Cras, ‘Verhandeling over de zucht van den mensch tot geluk’, Algemeen magazyn van wetenschap, konst en smaak 3/​1 (1788), 4–​31; ‘Tweede verhandeling: tot onderzoek, wat men doorgaans door het zedelyk gevoel verstaat’, idem, 179–​220; ‘Derde verhandeling tot onderzoek wat eigenlyk het zedelyk gevoel is’, Algemeen magazijn 3/​2 (1788), 523–​575; Anonymous, ‘Proeve van nadere toeligting der leer van ‘t zedelyk gevoel, ter vereffening der geschillen over dezelve’, Algemene konst-​ en letter-​bode 11 (1793), 161–​164; Hendrik Constantyn Cras, ‘Verhandeling over den eersten en algemenen grond van zedelyke verpligting’, Verhandelingen, uitgegeeven door de Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen, te Haarlem 30 (1793),  1–​174. 30 Johannes Frederik Hennert, ‘Dissertatio de sensu morali’, in Disquisitio utrum homini innatus sit aliquis sensus (Leiden: Sam. & Joh. Luchtmans, 1774).

Adam Smith goes Dutch  367 31 Jan Brouwer, ‘Verhandeling over de vraage:  is er in den mensch geen ander beginsel van werking dan eigenliefde…?’, Verhandelingen, raakende den natuurlyken en geopenbaarden godsdienst uitgegeeven door Teyler’s Godgeleerd Genootschap 18 (1799), 6, 16, 40, 66–​67, 70–​71, 80, 92, 104, 112, 125–​127, 132. Willem Bruin, ‘Verhandeling’, idem, 193ff. I  disagree with De Quay, Genoegzaamheid, 55 that Bruin follows Smith. 32 Nicoline Hooymans, ‘Hennert inzake de zeden’, Batavia academia 6/​1 (1988), 1–​8. 33 Joh. Fred. Hennert, ‘Voorreede van den uitgeever’, in Uitgeleezene verhandelingen over de wysbegeerte en fraaje letteren (Utrecht: A. van Paddenburg & J.W. van Vloten, 1780), *2. See 213 for a comment on Spinoza and Smith, and 394ff for a rare discussion of the “excellent” Henry Home, Lord Kames. 34 Joh. Fred. Hennert, ‘Over de natuur van het zeedelijk gevoel’, Uitgeleezene verhandelingen, over de wysbegeerte en fraaje letteren 4 (1784), 340–​407. 35 Nieuhoff was influenced by Hutcheson:  Adrianus Alphons Maria de Haan, Het wijsgerig onderwijs aan het gymnasium illustre en de hogeschool te Harderwijk 1599–​1811 (Harderwijk:  Flevo, 1960), ch. 8  ‘Bernard Nieuhoff, een veelzijdig wijsgeer’. He refers to TMS in De sensu pulcri (Leiden: Johannes Lemair, 1773), 12n‘b’ and 13n‘f ’. In Hemsterhuis’s dialogue Aristaios the very Humean-​Smithian ideas of sympathy and spectatorship are linked to man’s moral sense. Krop, ‘Frans Hemsterhuis’ (§68), in Holzhey & Mudroch, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie deals with his idea of an organe morale. 36 Paulus van Hemert, Proeve ter beantwoording der vrage … betreffende het bestaan van beginzelen ener belangloze goedwilligheid, in het menschlyk hart (Amsterdam:  Matthys Schalekamp, 1798), 16. 37 Taylor, ‘Moral sense and moral sentiment’, 437. 38 Dorothée Sturkenboom, Spectators van hartstocht. Sekse en emotionele cultuur in de achttiende eeuw (Hilversum: Verloren, 1998). On two philosophical spectators and their position in the debate on the moral sense, see Lotte Jensen, ‘Onderzoeker, de (1768–​72) /​De opmerker (1772–​8)’, in Wiep van Bunge et  al. (eds.), The Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-​ Century Dutch Philosophers, vol. 2, K–​Z (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2003), 749–​752. 39 Kloek & Mijnhardt, 1800, 156–​157 and 275. 40 Examples include De Nederlandsche spectator no. 261 (1759), 1–​2; ‘Onderzoek na de grondbeginselen van de zedelyke daaden der menschen’, VLO 1 (1761), 271–​285; ‘De eigenliefde gepaerd met de algemeene goedgunstigheid’, VLO 1 (1761), 350–​ 366; De onderzoeker no. 12 (1769), 98–​91;‘Verhandeling over de eigenliefde als tegen de eigenbaat overgesteld’, NVLO 2/​2 (1769), 251–​258; ‘Wysgeerige beschouwing van den mensch’, De rhapsodist 3 (1773), 1–​18, 183–​210; De opmerker no. 201 (1776), 353–​360; De opmerker no. 265 (1777), 33–​40; De opmerker no. 266 (1777), 41–​47; De opmerker no. 280 (1778), 153–​160; De borger no. 37 (1779), 289–​291; ‘Iets over de vriendschap’, Bijdragen tot het menschelijk geluk 4 (1790), 516–​520; ‘Hoe verwekt en versterkt men best menschlievende welwillendheid bij kinderen van aanzien’, Bijdragen tot het menschelijk geluk 6 (1791), 208–​215; ‘Menschkundige waarnemingen over de drift tot hoogächting’, Vaderlandsche bibliotheek van wetenschap, kunst en smaak 5/​2 (1793), 97–​109; Govert Jan van Ryswyk, ‘Proeve over den grond der zedelyke verplichting’, Nieuw algemeen magazyn van wetenschap, konst en smaak 4/​1 (1797), 3–​22. See also the next note. 41 ‘Gedachten over het interesseerende in ’t schryven’, De rhapsodist 3 (1773), 254–​258 (distinguishes between three kinds of sympathy); De borger no. 88 (1780), 297–​299;

368  Joost Hengstmengel ‘Menschkundige verhandeling over sympathie en antipathie’, Vaderlandsche bibliotheek van wetenschap, kunst en smaak 6/​2 (1794), 337–​350 (explicitly mentions Hutcheson and Smith). 42 Letter from David Hume to Adam Smith (28 July 1759), in Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E.C. Mossner & I.S. Ross (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1987), no. 36. 43 Frederick A. Pottle (ed.), Boswell in Holland 1763–​1764 (New York: McGraw-​Hill, 1928), see 23, 160 and 30 for the relevant passages; cf. Robert Zaretsky, Boswell’s Enlightenment (Cambridge/​ London:  The Belknap of Harvard University Press, 2015), chs. 5–​6. 44 See letter 103 (16–​17 July 1764) and 104 (21–​22 July 1764) in Isabelle de Charrière, There Are No Letters Like Yours.The Correspondence of Isabelle de Charrière and Constant D’Hermenches, transl. & ed. Janet Whatley & Malcolm Whatley (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000). Letter 271 (22–​26 April 1767) relates of her meeting with David Hume in London. 45 In writing this section, I  benefited from Etienne Laspeyres, Geschichte der volkswirtschaftlichen Anschauungen der Niederländer und ihrer Literatur zur Zeit der Republik (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1863), 41n173; Joannes Franciscus Benjamin Baert, Adam Smith en zijn onderzoek naar den rijkdom der volken (Leiden: Van der Hoek, 1858), 53–​ 67 and J.P. Duyverman, ‘Feiten en feitjes betreffend de groei van de economische wetenschap in Nederland’, De Economist 126/​1 (1978), 3–​4. 46 Journal des sçavans … Avril 1777. Tome IX 4 (Amsterdam:  Marc-​ Michel Rey, 1777), 311. 47 Journal des sçavans … Janvier 1777. Tome VIII (1777/​1), 177–​236; Fevrier 1777. Tome VIII (1777/​2), 400–​429; Mars 1777. Tome IX (1777), 178–​212. This review is not mentioned in Kenneth E.  Carpenter, The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France 1776–​1843 (New  York:  The Bibliographical Society of America, 2002). 48 Algemeene bibliotheek 1 (1777), 77–​92. 49 Arnold Heertje,‘Naspeuringen naar de eerste Nederlandse vertaling van The wealth of nations van Adam Smith’, in Jan Bos & Erik Geleijns (red.), Boekenwijsheid. Drie eeuwen kennis en cultuur in 30 bijzondere boeken. Opstellen bij de voltooiing van de Short-​ Title Catalogue, Netherlands (Zutphen: Walburg Press, 2009), 258–​266; Hans Blom, ‘Note on Dutch editions’, in Tribe, A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith, 391–​392. 50 The background of the Forbonnais translation is discussed in Ida Nijenhuis, ‘For the sake of the Republic:  The Dutch translation of Forbonnais’s Elémens du commerce’, History of European Ideas 40/​8 (2014), 1202–​1216, that of Hume in Prins, Hume, genoemd and Weber, ‘Predicting the bankruptcy of England’. 51 Karel Davids, ‘Tussen Smith en Schoonhoven. De verloren wereld van Dirk Hoola van Nooten (1747–​1808)’, in Theo Engelen, Onno Boonstra & Angélique Janssens (eds.), Levenslopen in transformatie (Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2011), 222–​235; Gertjan Schutte, A trade model to promote Dutch welfare during a period of decline: the ideas of Dirk Hoola van Nooten, master’s thesis (​pub/​34932/​Schutte.pdf) (Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2016). 52 Oprechte Haerlemsche courant, 10 July 1972; Rotterdamsche courant, 15 October 1795; Oprechte Haerlemsche courant, 25 August 1796. 53 On this subject, see Erik Krämentsä,‘Adam Smith als Mittler englisch-​niederländischer Spracheinflüsse’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 64/​2 (1963), 143–​170.

Adam Smith goes Dutch  369 54 Dirk Hoola van Nooten, ‘Naspeuringen van natuur en oorzaken van de rykdom der volkeren’, manuscript, Utrecht University, HS 8 A 45-​46, 805. 55 ‘Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaken van den rijkdom der volkeren’, AVLO 1797/​1, 480–​487. 56 Dirk Hoola van Nooten, Aanspraak aan het departement van den oeconomischen tak te Schoonhoven (Gouda: W. Verblaauw, 1778); Abt De Condillac, De koophandel en het staatsbestuur, beschouwt in hunne onderlinge betrekkingen (Utrecht:  Bartholomé Wild, 1782), v–​vi and 186–​189n(a); Smith, Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaken van den rijkdom der volkeren (Amsterdam:  Wouter Brave, 1796), 519–​520n(n)–​(o) and 524n(r). 57 Smith, Naspeuringen, xlvi–​xlvii. I followed the translation from Hiroshi Mizuta (ed.), Adam Smith: Critical Responses, vol. 5, Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, India, China and Japan (London/​New York: Routledge, 2000), ch. 96. 58 Hoola van Nooten, Naspeuringen, 859. 59 Letter from Dirk Hoola van Nooten to Adriaan Kluit (1797), Leiden University Library, LTK 1000: “het debiet van Smith is te klein”. 60 Carpenter, The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France, 20–​24, 79–​80. In a private communication (dated 19 February 2019), Gabriel Sabbagh argued that these books have a false place of publication, and were actually printed in Deux Ponts/​Zweibrücken, Germany. He and Carpenter have presented, and are currently preparing, a paper on ‘The mysteries of the first French translation (1778–​ 1779) of the Wealth of Nations’. 61 Letter from Adam Smith to Thomas Cadell (19 June 1784), in Correspondence of Adam Smith, no. 239. Smith repeats his request in letter 240. 62 For recent English literature, see Koen Stapelbroek’s ‘Dutch commercial decline revisited:  the future of international trade and the 1750s debate about a limited free port’, Annali della Fondazione Feltrinelli 43 (2009), 193–​221; ‘Neutrality and trade in the Dutch Republic (1775–​1783): preludes to a piecemeal revolution’, in Manuela Albertone & Antonino De Francesco (eds.), Rethinking the Atlantic World (Basingstoke:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 100–​119; ‘The Dutch debate on commercial neutrality (1713–​1830)’, in Stapelbroek (ed.), Trade and War: The Neutrality of Commerce in the Inter-​State System (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2011), 114–​142; ‘The emergence of Dutch neutrality:  trade, treaty politics and the peace of the Republic’, in Antonella Alimento (ed.), War, Trade and Neutrality (Milan: FrancoAngeli, 2011), 129–​145; ‘Economic reform and neutrality in Dutch political pamphlets, 1741–​ 1779’, in Femke Deen, David Onnekink & Michel Reinders (eds.), Pamphlets and Politics in the Dutch Republic (Leiden:  Brill, 2011), 173–​204; ‘Reinventing the Dutch Republic:  Franco-​Dutch commercial treaties from Ryswick to Vienna’, in Antonella Alimento & Koen Stapelbroek (eds.), The Politics of Commercial Treaties in the Eighteenth Century (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 195–​215. 63 Evert Schoorl, ‘Patriots, the poor and economic progress. Economic Societies in the Netherlands’, in Massimo N. Augello & Marco E.L. Guidi (eds.), The Spread of Political Economy and the Professionalisation of Economists (London/​New  York:  Routledge, 2001), 138–​151; Koen Stapelbroek, ‘The Haarlem 1771 prize essay on the restoration of Dutch trade and the Economic Branch of the Holland Society of Sciences’, in Koen Stapelbroek & Jani Marjanen (eds.), The Rise of Economic Societies in the Eighteenth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 257–​284.

370  Joost Hengstmengel 64 Ida Nijenhuis,‘Republican risks: commerce and agriculture in the Dutch Republic’, in André Holenstein, Thomas Maissen & Maarten Prak (eds.), The Republican Alternative:  The Netherlands and Switzerland Compared (Amsterdam:  Amsterdam University Press, 2008), 259–​277. 65 Hendrik Herman van den Heuvel, Verhandeling over de noodzaaklijkheid van het ondersteunen der gemeene industrie, en de middelen daar toe dienende, met betrekking tot ons vaderland (Utrecht: B. Wild, 1780), 12; [Van den Heuvel?], Onpartydig onderzoek nopens het voordeel en nadeel, hetwelk de Republiek uit de te verklaarëne independentie van Noord-​America te wacht heeft (The Hague: J.F. Jacobs de Agé, 1782), 4, 15 and 24 (refers to “Ingnizy [sic] in to the nature, and causes of the wealth of nations”); Anonymous, ‘Welke Europische natie heeft het sijsteme van koophandel eerst volledig in gang gebragt?’, Vaderlandsche bibliotheek van wetenschap, kunst en smaak 5/​2 (1793), 178; Gerhard Dumbar, De oude en nieuwe constitutie der Vereenigde Staten van Amerika, vol. 2 (Amsterdam: J.A. Crajenschot, 1794), 107n‘g’. According to Hedendaagsche historie of tegenwoordige staat van alle volkeren (Amsterdam: J. de Groot et al., 1790), 426n6, Dumbar’s principles in Vertoog over de algemeene grondregels, welken by ’t invoeren van lands schattingen in agt te neemen (Kampen:  J.A.  de Chalmot, 1782)  were mostly derived from Smith’s WN. 66 Van den Heuvel, Verhandeling over de noodzaaklijkheid van het ondersteunen der gemeene industrie, 30. 67 G.W. Vreede, Mr. Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel en zijne tijdgenooten (1737–​1800), vol. 4 (Middelburg: J.C. & W.W. Altorffer, 1877), 38 and 559 (see 581–​588 for his views on moral sense and the foundation of morality); J.C. Boogman, Raadpensionaris L.P. van de Spiegel:  een reformistisch-​conservatieve pragmaticus en idealist (Amsterdam:  KNAW, 1988), 32–​33; Joh. de Vries, ‘Van de Spiegel’s “Schets tot een vertoog over de intrinsique en relative magt van de Republijk” (1782)’, Economisch-​historisch jaarboek 27 (1958), 85–​86; Catalogus van twee uitmuntende verzamelingen van welgeconditioneerde boeken … De eerste nagelaten by wylen den Hoog Ed. Gestr. Heer Mr. L.P. van de Spiegel ([Utrecht: J.Visch, 1801]). 68 Karel Davids, ‘From De La Court to Vreede. Regulation and self-​regulation in Dutch economic discourse from c.  1660 tot the Napoleonic era’, The Journal of European Economic History 30/​2 (2001), 245–​289. 69 Wijnand Koopman,‘Tweede antwoord op de vraag …: hoe zoude men de fabrijken en trafijken, welken in ons land, en, bijzonder, in de provincie van Utrecht, zijn, best kunnen inrichten tot algemeen voordeel?’, Verhandelingen van het Provinciaal Utregtsch Genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen 1 (1781), 168–​170; According to F.J. Baert, ‘Een blik op de economische ontwikkeling van ons vaderland in de xvii en xviii eeuw’, Het bijblad van De economist 14/​1 (1865), 31, Koopman was one of the first “followers” of Smith in the Netherlands. 70 ‘M.F***’, ‘Korte verhandeling over de gildens’, Mengelwerk van de staatsman 3/​2 (1780), 129–​143. 71 Cornelis Wiskerke, De afschaffing der gilden in Nederland (Amsterdam:  H.J. Paris, 1938), ch. 4. 72 Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators. Revolution in the Netherlands 1780–​ 1813 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), 259. 73 Dagverhaal der handelingen van de nationaale vergadering, vol. 5 (The Hague:  Van Schelle, 1797), 261. I owe this reference to Davids, ‘From De la Court to Vreede’, 283. Pieter Leonard Van de Kasteele mentioned Smith in connection to the issue of taxation: Dagverhaal, vol. 3 (1796), 691. In his dissertation, Specimen academicum

Adam Smith goes Dutch  371 inaugurale exhibens miscellanea juridica (Utrecht: Abraham van Paddenburg, 1771), he briefly discussed the idea of sympathy of the “most elegant” Smith. Cf. Kirk Willis, ‘The role in parliament of the economic ideas of Adam Smith, 1776–​1800’, History of Political Economy 11/​4 (1979), 505–​544. 74 [Cornelis van der Oudermeulen], Recherches sur le commerce. Ou idées rélatives aux intérêts des différens peuples de l’Europe, vol. 2/​1 (Amsterdam:  Marc-​Michel Rey, 1779), 175, 177, 182, 219–​220, 224, 226, 228, 229; vol. 2/​2 (Amsterdam: S.N. van Vlissingen, 1784), 5, 21, 37, 43, 248, 250. Note that the author also frequently refers to Hume’s Political Discourses and, only once, to Steuart’s An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy. It is worth mentioning that Oudermeulen, as director of the Amsterdam chamber of the Dutch East India Company, maintained a correspondence with Smith’s friend Benjamin Franklin. 75 W.R.E.Velema, ‘Homo mercator in Holland. Elie Luzac en het achttiende-​eeuwse debat over de koophandel’, Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden 100/​3 (1985), 427–​444; Enlightenment and Conservatism in the Dutch Republic. The Political Thought of Elie Luzac (1721–​1796) (Assen/​Maastricht:  Van Gorcum, 1993), ch. 4. 76 The correspondence was published by Petsch as Briefwisseling van Philagathos [i.e., Vaster] en Philalethes [Luzac] over de leer van het zedelyk gevoel. See also Wyger R.E. Velema, Enlightenment and Conservatism in the Dutch Republic. The Political Thought of Elie Luzac (1721–​1796) (Assen/​Maastricht: Van Gorcum, 1993), 72–​74. 77 Elias Luzac, Hollands rijkdom, vol. 1 (Leiden: Luzac & Van Damme, 1780), xvii. 78 O.  van Rees, Verhandeling over de verdiensten van Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp als staathuishoudkundige (Utrecht:  C.  van der Post, 1854), 66 and 139, incorrectly asserting that our author did not read WN before 1802; Irene Hasenberg Butter, Academic Economics in Holland 1800–​1870 (The Hague:  Martinus Nijhoff, 1969), 32; P. Chr. H. Overmeer, De economische denkbeelden van Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp (1762–​1834), diss. (Tilburg: H. Gianotten, 1982), esp. 15–​17, 101–​105 (the following quotation, in my translation from French, is from 101–​102); ‘De economische denkbeelden van Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp’, in A.J. Vermaat, J.J. Klant & J.R. Zuidema (eds.), Van liberalisten tot instrumentalisten. Anderhalve eeuw economisch denken in Nederland (Leiden: H.E. Stenfert Kroese, 1987), 1–​17; J.R. Zuidema, ‘Economic thought in the Netherlands between 1750 and 1870’, in J. van Daal & A. Heertje, Economic Thought in the Netherlands:  1650–​1950 (Aldershot:  Avebury, 1992), 35–​ 42; Evert Schoorl & Henk W.  Plasmeijer, ‘Managing markets and money. Issues and institutions in Dutch nineteenth-​century economics’, Paper presented at the ESHET 2004 conference, 6, 8–​10. 79 Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp, De aequabili descriptione subsidiorum inter gentes foederatas (Leiden: Luzac & Van Damme, 1786), 13 and 29. See 20 for a reference to Hume’s Essays. 80 David van Hees, De foederibus mercaturae gratia factis (Leiden:  Samuel & Johannes Luchtmans, 1788), 4. 81 A. Th. van Deursen, ‘History and prognostication’, Acta Historiae Neerlandicae /​ Studies on the History of the Netherlands 8 (1975), 67–​84; Corjo J.H. Jansen, ‘The teaching of statistics in the eighteenth century at the law faculties of the Republic of the United Provinces’, in Paul M.M. Klep & Ida H. Stamhuis (eds.), The Statistical Mind in a Pre-​Statistical Era: The Netherlands 1750–​1850 (Amsterdam: Aksant, 2002), 149–​170; C.K.F. Nieuwenburg, Staathuishoudkunde en Statistiek aan de universiteit van Utrecht van 1636 tot 2002 (Universiteit van Utrecht, 2002).

372  Joost Hengstmengel 82 Ida J.A. Nijenhuis, ‘The University of Leyden: Adriaan Kluit’s lectures on statistiek or staathuis-​houdkunde’, Transactions of the Seventh International Congress on the Enlightenment (Oxford:  Voltaire Foundation, 1989), 141–​ 145; Ida H.  Stamhuis, ‘Cijfers en aequaties’ en ‘kennis der staatskrachten’. Statistiek in Nederland in de negentiende eeuw (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1989), 137–​144; Ida H. Stamhuis, ‘The differentiation of statistics and political economy:  the teaching of Kluit and Vissering’, in Klep & Stamhuis, Statistical Mind, esp. 174–​184; Koen Stapelbroek, Ida H. Stamhuis & Paul M.M. Klep, ‘Adriaan Kluit’s statistics and the future of the Dutch state from a European perspective’, History of Economic Ideas 36 (2010), 217–​235. 83 Adriaan Kluit, ‘Aanprijzend voorbericht’, in Friedrich von Gentz, Proeve over den tegenwoordigen staat van het bestier der geldmiddelen, en van den nationalen rijkdom van Groot-​Brittanniën (Utrecht: J.L. Augustini, 1802), xiii. According to Van Rees, Kluit knew WN only in Hoola van Nooten’s translation, but in Historie der Hollandsche staatsregering, vol. 5 (Amsterdam: Wouter Brave, 1805), 199 and 213 references to the French edition can be found. 84 Letter from Willem Six to Alexander Hamilton (17 December 1790), in Harold C.  Syrett (ed.), The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 26 (New  York:  Columbia University Press, 1979), 591–​ 592; W.M. Zappey, De economische en politieke werkzaamheid van Johannes Goldberg (1763–​ 1828) (Alphen aan den Rijn:  N. Samsom, 1967), 58–​59 and 231; I.J.A. Gogel, Memoriën en correspondentiën, quoted in Jan Postma, Alexander Gogel (1765–​1821). Grondlegger van de Nederlandse staat (Hilversum: Verloren, 2017), 104. 85 Davids, ‘From De la Court to Vreede’, 284–​287. 86 Salim Rashid, ‘Adam Smith’s rise to fame: a reexamination of the evidence’, The Eighteenth Century 23/​1 (1982), 64–​85 (revised in The Myth of Adam Smith, 1998); Richard F. Teichgraeber III, ‘ “Less abused than I had reason to expect”: the reception of the Wealth of Nations in Britain, 1776–​90’, The Historical Journal 30/​2 (1987), 337–​366; Ian S.  Ross (ed.), On The Wealth of Nations. Contemporary Responses to Adam Smith (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1998), xi–​xxvii; Teichgraeber, ‘Adam Smith and tradition:  the Wealth of Nations before Malthus’, in Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore & Brian Young (eds.), Economy, Polity, and Society. British Intellectual History 1750–​1950 (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2000), 85–​ 104; Richard B. Sher, ‘Early editions of Adam Smith’s books in Britain and Ireland’, 13–​26. Sher, ‘New light on the publication and reception of the Wealth of Nations’, The Adam Smith Review 1 (2004), 3–​29. Cf. Samuel Fleischacker, ‘Adam Smith’s reception among the American Founders, 1776–​1790’, The William and Mary Quarterly 59/​4 (2002), 897–​924. 87 Daniel Diatkine, ‘A French reading of the Wealth of Nations in 1790’, in Mizuta & Sugiyama, Adam Smith: International Perspectives, 213–​223; E. Carpenter,‘Recherches sur la nature et les causes de la richesse des nations d’Adam Smith et politique culturelle en France’, Économies et Sociétés 10 (1995), 5–​30; Richard Whatmore, ‘Adam Smith’s role in the French Revolution’, Past & Present 175 (2002), 65–​89; Carpenter, The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France; Gabriel Sabbagh, ‘The early diffusion of Wealth of Nations, Turgot, and the Abbé Morellet. A Note’, Contributions to Political Economy 31 (2012), 121–​128. 88 Wilhelm Roscher, ‘Die Ein-​und Durchführung des Adam Smith’schen Systems in Deutschland’, Berichte über die Verhandlungen der Königlich Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig 19 (1867), 1–​74; Carl William Hasek, The Introduction of Adam Smith’s Doctrines into Germany, diss. (New York: Columbia University, 1925);

Adam Smith goes Dutch  373 Judith Grünfeld, Die leitenden sozial-​und wirtschaftsphilosophischen Ideen in der deutschen Nationalökonomie und die Uberwindung des Smithianismus bis auf Mohl und Hermann, diss. (Vienna:  Carl Konegen, 1913); Hugo Graul, Das Eindringen der Smithschen Nationalbkonomie in Deutschland und ihre Weiterbildung bis zu Hermann, diss. (Halle, 1928); Alfred Nahrgang, Die Aufnahme der wirtschaftspolitischen Ideen von Adam Smith in Deutschland zu Beginn des XIX. Jahrhunderts, diss. (Frankfurt, 1933);Wilhelm Treue, ‘Adam Smith in Deutschland. Zum Problem des “Politischen Professors” zwischen 1776 und 1810’, in Werner Conze (ed.), Deutschland und Europa (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1951), 101–​133; Peter Thal et al., ‘Die Smith-​Rezeption in Deutschland am Ende des 18. und in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts’, in Adam Smith gestern und heute. 200 Jahre “Reichtum der Nationen” (Berlin:  Akademie-​Verlag, 1976), 79–​95; Harald Winkel, ‘Adam Smith und die deutsche Nationalökonomie, 1776–​1820’, in H. Scherf (ed.), Studien zur Entwicklung der ökonomischen Theorie (Berlin, 1986), vol. 5, 81–​109; Keith Tribe, Governing Economy. The Reformation of German Economic Discourse 1750–​1840 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), ch. 7 ‘The “Smith reception” and the function of translation’; Norbert Waszek,‘Adam Smith in Germany, 1776–​1832’, in Mizuta & Sugiyama, Adam Smith: International Perspectives, 163–​180; Tribe, Strategies of Economic Order. German Economic Discourse, 1750–​1950 (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1995), 24–​31; Oz-​ Salzberger, ‘Adam Smith’s early German readers’. 89 For general surveys, see Melchior Palyi, ‘The introduction of Adam Smith on the Continent’, in John Maurice Clark et  al. (eds.), Adam Smith, 1776–​1926. Lectures to Commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the Publication of “The Wealth of Nations” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928), 180–​233; Cheng-​chung Lai, ‘Receptions of the Wealth of Nations’, The European Legacy 1/​7 (1996), 2069–​ 2083; Ross, On the Wealth of Nations, xxvii–​xxxvi; Lai, Adam Smith across Nations. Translations and Receptions of “The Wealth of Nations” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Mizuta, ‘Introduction’, in Adam Smith:  Critical Responses, vol. 1, xv–​xlv. 90 Van den Heuvel, Verhandeling over de noodzaaklijkheid van het ondersteunen der gemeene industrie, 10n. 91 Oeconomische courant no. 12 (16 maart 1799), 89–​90. 92 J.F. Bell, ‘Adam Smith, clubman’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy 7 (1960), 108–​ 116; Nicholas Phillipson, Adam Smith. An Enlightened Life (London: Penguin Books, 2010), 128–​130. 93 On the history of Dutch society life, see Wijnandus Wilhelmus Mijnhardt, Tot heil van’t menschdom. Culturele genootschappen in Nederland, 1750–​ 1815 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1987). 94 J.A. Bierens de Haan, De Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen 1752–​1952 (Haarlem: Tjeenk Willink, 1970); The Dutch Society of Sciences at Harlem (Haarlem: Loosjes, 1876). 95 C.C.H.  van der Aa, ‘Voorbericht’, Verhandelingen, uitgegeeven door de Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen 19/​1 (1779), vii; ‘Letternieuws uit Engeland’, De letter-​historie-​, konst, en boek-​beschouwer no. 20 (1764), 331. 96 ‘Lijst van directeuren en leden, 1752–​1792’, NHA 444.263. 97 C.C.H. van der Aa, ‘Voorbericht’ (14 November 1792), Verhandelingen, uitgegeeven door de Hollandsche Maatschappye der Weetenschappen 28 (1792), lxx; ‘Notulen 1782–​ 1795’, NHA 444.14, 1609; Letter from C. Blagden to Martinus van Marum (24 July 1792), NHA 529.14.

374  Joost Hengstmengel 98 On Harris and his earlier period in Leiden and The Hague, see Kees van Strien, ‘James Harris, student at Leiden and apprentice-​diplomat at The Hague, 1765–​ 1766’, Lias 32/​1 (2005), 91–​184. 99 Letter from C.C.H. van der Aa to Monsieur l’Ambassadeur d’Angleterre (9 August 1786), in ‘Copieboek voor de Holl. Maatsch. der Weetenschappen 1782’, NHA 444.70. 100 Joost Jonker, ‘Hope, Henry’, in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland resources.​bwn1780-​1830/​lemmata/​data/​hope (2013); John Orbell, ‘Hope family’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography https://​​10.1093/​ ref:odnb/​49405 (2004). The quotation is from ‘Memoir of the late Mr. Henry Hope’, The Gentleman’s Magazine (March 1811), 292–​293. 101 ‘Advertisement to the fourth edition’, in Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations… The Fourth Edition, vol. 1 (London: A. Strahan & T. Cadell,  1786). 102 Marten G. Buist, At Spes Non Fracta. Hope & Co. 1770–​1815 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974), 16–​18. 103 Quoted in Henry William Law & Irene Law, The Book of the Beresford Hopes (London: Heath Cranton, 1925), 272. 104 Letter from Henry Hope to Henry Dundas (7 May 1790), GUL MS Gen 512/​5. 105 The following letters to Henry Hope from the Hope & Co. archives (SA 735/​ 115 and 735/​124) are most relevant: from Thomas Miller of Glenlee (1717–​1789), dated 17 November 1772 (thanking for a cask of butter, reminding of an encounter between the two in Spa, relating of a meeting of the Ayr Bank, mentions Dukes of Buccleuch, advising him to correspond with James Steuart, “an ornament of this countrey”); from Robert Mayne (1724–​1782), dated 15 December 1772 (discussing a loan to the Ayr Bank that will be signed by the Duke of Buccleuch among others); from William Forbes (1739–​1806), dated 24 May 1788 (responding to Hope’s letter on the crisis in the British cotton industry, promising to keep him informed about developments in “the mercantile line in Scotland”; providing information about the Scots house Stirlings, Douglas & Hunter). On Smith and the Duke, see Brian Bonnyman, Third Duke of Buccleuch and Adam Smith. Estate Management and Improvement in Enlightenment Scotland (Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press, 2014), 76–​81. 106 In this connection, it is interesting to mention the existence of another John Hope (1739–​1785), who authored Letters on Credit. The Second Edition. With a Postscript, and a Short Account of the Bank at Amsterdam (London, 1784). At age 13, he was sent to Amsterdam for seven years to learn the merchant trade from the Dutch Hopes. His father studied in Leiden. See J.W. Niemeijer, ‘De kunstverzameling van John Hope (1737–​1784)’, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 32 (1981), 132 and 220n7; Francis Watt, ‘Hope, John’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography https://​doi. org/​10.1093/​ref:odnb/​13729 (2004). 107 Ross, Life of Adam Smith, 152–​153. 108 N.J. Singels, Uit de geschiedenis van het P.U.G. (Provinciaal Utrechtsch Genootschap) 1773–​1923 (Utrecht: A. Oosthoek, 1925). 109 ‘Vervolg van de naamlyst der Heeren leden’, Verhandelingen van het Provinciaal Utrechtsch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen 2 (1784), xxiii; [Notulen der directievergaderingen, 1778–​1793], UA 713/​11.9, 240; ‘Alfabetische Naamlijst der Heeren Buitenlandsche en Buitenlandsche Correspondeerende Leden’, UA 713/​ 11.5.2.

Adam Smith goes Dutch  375 110 ‘Aanspraak uitgesproken door den Heer Meijnardus Tijdeman … Op Woensdag den 30. April 1783’, UA 713/​11.23, 8. 111 Syntagma dissertationum ad philosophicam moralem pertinentium (Utrecht:  Abraham van Paddenburg, 1777), xlix; J.J. Björnstähl, Reize door Europa en het Oosten, vol. 3 (Utrecht/​Amsterdam:  G.  van den Brink/​Wed. van Esveld & Holtrop, 1782), 283–​284n‘w’ (the notes, including this to Smith’s account of the division of labor, are Tijdeman’s); Bibliotheca Tydemanniana, sive catalogus librorum … vir clarissimus Meinardus Tydeman (Leiden: H.W. Hazenberg jr., [1826]). 112 ‘Aantekeningen op de zedelijke wetenschappen’, in James Beattie, Grondbeginzelen der zedelijke wetenschappen, vol. 3 (Utrecht: Willem van Yzerworst, 1794), 282. 113 David Irving, ‘William Laurence Brown’, in Lives of Scottish Writers (Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, 1850), 325–​348; D.F.Wright, ‘Brown,William Laurence’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography https://​​10.1093/​ ref:odnb/​3663 (2004). 114 William Lawrence Brown, An Essay on the Natural Equality of Men (Edinburgh, 1793), 37. 115 Monro was nominated by his friend Eduard Sandifort (Leiden University). The diploma was sent via the “English minister” in The Hague, probably Archibald Maclaine (1722–​1804). Monro expressed his reverence and gratitude in a 1771 letter to Sandifort. See ‘Notulen der vergaderingen van directeuren 1769–​1772’, ZA 26/​3, 117 and the letters from Sandifort dated 1 September 1770, 24 March 1771 and 19 April 1771 to the Zeeland Society: ‘Ingekomen stukken, 1768–​1770’, ZA 26/​58 and ‘1771–​1772’, ZA 26/​60. 116 Notulen der vergaderingen van directeuren 1772–​1775,ZA 26.4,243;Verhandelingen uitgegeven door het Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Wetenschappen te Vlissingen 4 (1775), xxii. Unfortunately, Beattie’s letter of consent to the Zeeland Society was destroyed in World War II. Cf. Margaret Forbes, Beattie and his Friends (Westminster: Archibald Constable, 1904), 111–​112. 117 Mijnhardt, Tot Heil van ‘t Menschdom, 156–​159. 118 Bierens de Haan, Hollandsche Maatschappij,  54–​55. 119 Algemene Konst-​en Letterbode no. 111 (1790), 50; see also no. 162 (1791), 41. 120 ‘Leevensberigt van Adam Smith, L.L.D. Lid van de Koninklyke Maatschappyen te Londen en te Edenburg’, AVLO 1797/​2, 542–​548, 592–​600. A shorter version appeared in Nieuwe algemene konst-​en letter-​bode no.  170 (1797), 100–​102 and no. 171 (1797), 106–​110. 121 The only exception may be ‘Engelsche letterkunde. Vyfde beschouwing’, Nieuwe algemene konst-​en letter-​bode no. 152 (1796), 173. 122 ‘Preken vertaald uit het Engels’, in Jelle Bosma, Woorden van een gezond verstand. De invloed van de Verlichting op de in het Nederlands uitgegeven preken van 1750 tot 1800 (Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1997), 655–​678 shows that Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine were by far the most popular Scottish authors in the Netherlands. 123 An account of Beattie’s life and works appeared in AVLO 2 (1807), 213–​222. 124 See on this translation J.  Noordegraaf, ‘Hugh Blair en zijn Lessen over de Redekunst en Fraaie Letteren’, Onze Taal 49-​1 (1980), 8–​9 and ‘Schotse Verlichting en Nederlandse grammatica: Weiland en Blair’, Voortgang 1 (1980), 46–​52. 125 An account of the life and writings of Kames, taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica, was published in AVLO 1792/​2, 552–​560. 126 Sketches of Hume’s character were published as ‘Eenige anecdoten en character-​ trekken uit het leven van David Hume’, Algemene konst-​en letter-​bode, no.  193

376  Joost Hengstmengel (1792), 79 and ‘Karakterschets en lotgevallen van Hume’, Algemeen magazijn van wetenschap, konst en smaak 1/​2 (1785), 889–​894. 127 Prins, Hume genoemd,  37–​38. 128 A sketch of Robertson’s character appeared in HVLO 3/​2 (1774), 344–​347, an account of his life and writings in AVLO 1796/​2, 266–​275. 129 SA 735/​115. This letter is published for the first time here. 130 NHA  529/​x. 131 UA 713/​1.4.88.

Book reviews

Charles L. Griswold, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith: A Philosophical Encounter London and New York: Routledge, 2018, pp. xxi, 275 ISBN: 978-1-138-21895-6 Reviewed by Glory M. Liu

In many ways, Jean-​Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith could not be more different as thinkers and personalities. One praised the moral and material benefits of commercial society, while the other condemned them. The former seemed ever-​conscious of his philosophical celebrity, while the latter, though self-​conscious of his work, appeared unconcerned about his reception and the possibility that he might have called a new intellectual tradition into being.1 The Genevan had more than one romantic relationship, fathered five children and sent them to the Foundling Hospital; to talk the Scotsman’s love life, as his biographer Ian Simpson Ross writes, is perhaps little more than to ‘contribute a footnote to the history of sublimation’.2 Rousseau had a spectacular fall-​out with David Hume while seeking refuge from persecution, while Smith remained one of Hume’s closest friends until Hume died in 1776. Yet recent scholarship has brought the two eighteenth-​century thinkers closer together than ever before, and Charles Griswold’s volume, considered here, is no exception. Works such as Dennis Rasmussen’s The Problems and Promise of Commercial Society (2008), Istvan Hont’s Politics in Commercial Society (2015), and Paul Sagar’s The Opinion of Mankind (2018) have focused primarily on Rousseau and Smith as synchronic political theorists of commercial society, comparing and contrasting the thinkers’ approaches to man’s natural sociability, the foundations of political society, and the problems therein. That is a natural approach for political theorists, which Rasmussen, Hont, and Sagar are. Griswold’s work, by contrast, views Rousseau and Smith through the lens of the philosopher—​and not just any philosopher, but one of the highest order. In my view, this is an unexpected, but much-​needed viewpoint. To be sure, this is a challenging book. As other reviewers before me have noted, its intellectual demands are high, there are a near-​ insurmountable amount of densely packed footnotes, and it assumes an extraordinary amount of

380  Book reviews background knowledge of the two thinkers in question.3 Smith and Rousseau aside, the central topic—​ the possibilities of self-​ knowledge, self-​ deception, and self-​ creation—​ are themselves difficult to grapple with in the abstract. Yet Griswold proceeds with the penetrating clarity, analytical efficiency, and studious care that one would expect of the same scholar who delivered the groundbreaking work, Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1999). The style of presentation is lucid and direct; no space is wasted on topics that are not immediately germane to the discussion at hand. For those resilient enough, the virtues to be uncovered in Griswold’s latest book are profoundly enlightening. The animating theme of the book is what Griswold terms the ‘question of the self ’:  who are we, humans, by nature? Are we naturally sociable or not? Furthermore, how can we possess true self-​knowledge, particularly in the context of social relations and political society? And how does our possession of self-​knowledge—​or lack thereof—​bear on our possession and/​or experience of freedom? Given the limited space of this review, I  will provide only the most cursory overview of the book’s answers to these questions. I spotlight a few examples that I think represent the value and acuity of Griswold’s analysis before raising two questions about the implications of self-​knowledge and self-​ deception on moral freedom in Rousseau’s Social Contract and civil religion in Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Griswold’s analysis of the (un)naturalness of sociability in the works of Rousseau and Smith is especially attuned to issues of reflection and recursion. For Rousseau, sociability is ‘acquired and “artificial” ’ (p. 107, 130), that is, the conception that we are social creatures is somewhat an illusion. Rousseau illuminates the paradox of self-​knowledge in the Preface to Narcissus. We are unwittingly projecting our own images onto others, but our ultimate reckoning of that fact—​that is, self-​knowledge—​leads to our ‘withering away’, just like the character Narcissus in Ovid’s tale. This tension between knowledge of self and others is also consistent with the genealogical narrative in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, in which humans become ‘self-​conscious’—​in a very loose sense of the word—​when they begin singing, dancing, and competing with one another for adulation. But because this self-​image is socially mediated and we are unaware of that deep social fact, we can never really know our true selves and are unable ‘to inhabit the situation of others from their standpoint’ (p. 250). This unknowingness of ourselves in society makes us depraved beings, locked into a ‘social script’ (p. 248) and ultimately unfree. By contrast, Smith treats sociability and selfhood as inseparable. We cannot see into ourselves without first imagining ourselves in the selves of others (pp. 114–​ 115). Smith’s reflexive and reflective imagery underscores the point. A  lone individual ‘is provided with no mirror’ which might present him with some evaluative criteria for one’s own character, but ‘Bring him into society, and he is immediately provided with the mirror which he wanted before’ (TMS III.i.3). Our imaginative capacity for sympathetic exchange in the social mirror is the foundation for what Griswold calls ‘ground-​level sociability’: epistemic

Book reviews  381 access to the world of others and their view of ours. And yet, as Griswold rightly points out, the problems of vanity, self-​deception, and rationalizing our self-​interest through the impartial spectator are strong possibilities—​if not pervasive—​in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations.Thus, for Smith, self-​knowledge, though not impossible, is still certainly imperfect, and freedom is entirely compatible with self-​delusion and deception (p. 179). If we are at worst fundamentally unfree on Rousseau’s account, or at best imperfectly free on Smith’s account, the question that arises—​which Chapter 5 takes up—​is the following:  how might civil religion in political society be an enabling device for freedom in the context of society? In delivering the responses of both authors, Griswold reveals his skepticism towards Rousseau, and not without good reason. For Rousseau, a citizen of the social contract must make a ‘civil profession of faith’, which includes (among other things) profession of an intelligent, powerful, and provident divinity, a belief in the afterlife, and that any religious intolerance will not be tolerated.This is not to be taken lightly. How is it possible that man can be free—​if not freer—​in society by committing to these dogmas, on penalty of death? Griswold tries on a number of different answers, but the one that fits best is ultimately the most pragmatic. Rousseau’s defense of the need for civil religion to uphold the social contract falls back on his empirical assumptions: man’s propensity to believe in the divine, the political difficulty of overcoming religious authority, and the need for a higher moral calling to overcome the pull of self-​interest. This is not without its internal problems, as Griswold discusses in Section 3 of the chapter, but in the interest of space, I leave these concerns aside and turn to Smith’s ‘response’ briefly. For Smith, the institution of civil religion supported moral behavior, cultivated one’s sense of justice, and provided psychological comfort with the hope of ultimate justice in the afterlife. Very much unlike Rousseau, however, Smith endorsed the free play of religious sects, arguing that competition among different sects would minimize intolerance and fanaticism and enable the ‘pure and rational religion’ to win out and encourage moral behavior. Griswold more readily accepts Smith’s response here, but questions whether the free play of religion can withstand ‘darker pronouncements’ in Smith’s works, for example, man’s love of domination, and vast histories of violence and oppression (p. 253). This final chapter, for me, raised the most questions. I would have liked to have seen a more explicit link between the problem of the self and what I will call the ‘problem of belief ’. In his treatment of Rousseau, Griswold highlights the importance of belief—​that is, the importance, for Rousseau, that people ‘feel very strongly that’ or ‘are moved to affirm and act accordingly’ (p. 199). Only belief—​as opposed to say, shared practices, rites, and rituals—​is strong enough to lend its authority to principles of right and convince people that it is in their interest to be ‘forced to be free’ (pp. 204–​205). Griswold makes the case that the Rousseauean civil profession of faith is necessary for a ‘transformation of the individual will’ that enables one to fully exercise one’s freedom in political society (p. 206). In other words, the civil profession of faith is a necessary

382  Book reviews condition for the General Will to operate; it is a key condition of political legitimacy in Rousseau’s social contract. Political freedom is not the only kind of freedom ‘gained’ in society, though. To be sure, Griswold notes the intimate connection between political freedom and moral freedom, political self-​governance and moral self-​mastery (p. 206). It is less clear to me, however, that the civil profession of faith enhances the latter in some meaningful way. One aspect of being master of oneself, for example, is to not be a slave to our appetitive, baser selves; we are free from pursuing only primal desires and needs. But given the problem of self-​knowledge and self-​deception, it is often difficult to know at what point we are morally free in this way. A toy example I often think of is the following. Suppose I am not a very healthy person, I do not exercise regularly, I do not eat enough vegetables, I frequently indulge in sweets upon sight, and I only think about maximizing my own hedonistic desires. But I recognize that I am not healthy and I want to change my ways. I thus impose on myself a diet, and I tell my friends that if I am near a jar of cookies, they must ‘force me to be free’ from my appetitive self, using maximal persuasion or physical force if necessary. Applying Griswold’s analysis to this case, it is not clear to me (1) whether I can say I truly know myself and who I want to become with a change in habits, (2) whether scaling up to the level of society, that is, legal coercion from the state, is always justified to enhance this type of moral freedom (think ‘sin taxes’ on sodas, tobacco, etc.), and (3)  in what way a civil profession of faith is instrumental to this type of ‘transformation of the individual will’. These kinds of cases strike me as extremely consequential for understanding what type of freedom justifies the use of state power in ‘forcing us to be free’. Finally, Griswold—​or rather, Rousseau—​may be letting Smith off a little too easy on the problems of religion, particularly on religious monopolies, so to speak. The Grousseau critique of Smith stipulates that even with free competition of religion, religious sects will have to become more zealous and superstitious and fanatical (not purer and more rational) to gain adherents. But the power of superstition and delusion seems to be only a partial explanation for the Roman Catholic Church’s effective monopoly on matters of religion and state between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. It was: In that constitution the grossest delusions of superstition were supported in such a manner by the private interests of so great a number of people as put them out of all danger from any assault of human reason: because though human reason might perhaps have been able to unveil, even to the eyes of the common people, some of the delusions of superstition; it could never have dissolved the ties of private interest. Had this constitution been attacked by no other enemies but the feeble efforts of human reason, it must have endured forever. (WN V.i.g.24)

Book reviews  383 The Church maintained dominance not simply by being the best dealer of belief, comfort, and a sense of associational identity to would-​be believers, but rather through their control of land, use of coercive force, and suppression of market activity. Thus, the Smithian antidote of reason, science, and philosophy—​either through the workings of the free play of religion or the support of educational institutions—​is still not enough to dismantle institutions that act so contrary to the liberty, prosperity, and happiness of mankind. Of course, the Medieval Church did eventually wane, and for this reason perhaps Smith is hopeful that such an institution of its power and scale of corruption will not rise again. But even if we take into consideration the Grousseau critique, I’m not sure we can be so confident of that. It seems that Smith’s Sovereign, one that takes an impartial position to different religions, and a civic educational remedy are not enough to stymie the growth of a politico-​religious machine. Rather it appears that the Sovereign must make laws that actively prevent such religious institutions from wielding political and economic influence through religious mechanisms. These two questions I have raised are rather extensions than criticisms of Griswold’s incisive and exhaustive reconstruction of the two thinkers in dialogue with one another. And, as I hope it has been made clear, they speak to Griswold’s shrewd ability to anticipate a wide range of objections and counter-​ objections and still leave the two thinkers intact on solid ground. No doubt there are many more extensions to be made as more readers encounter Rousseau and Smith in this meticulous and thought-​provoking volume.

Notes 1 Richard Teichgraeber III, ‘Adam Smith and Tradition: The Wealth of Nations before Malthus’, in Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, and Brian Young, eds. Economy, Polity, and Society: British Intellectual History 1750–​1950 (Cambridge, 2000). 2 Ian Simpson Ross, The Life of Adam Smith. 2nd ed, (Oxford, 2010), 228. 3 For comparison, see James R. Otteson’s review in the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, and Alexandra Oprea’s review for EH.Net.

Dennis C. Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2017, pp. xiii, 316 ISBN 978-0-691-17701-4 Reviewed by Reinhard Schumacher David Hume was born in 1711 in Edinburgh. Adam Smith was born 12 years later in 1723 in Kirkcaldy. Starting in 1749, they formed a close and fertile friendship, both personally and intellectually. In the introduction to his book, The Infidel and the Professor, Dennis Rasmussen claims that ‘there is arguably no higher example of a philosophical friendship in the entire Western tradition’ (p. 6). In 12 chapters, Rasmussen tells the story of this friendship in chronological order. In the first chapter, he discusses Hume’s life and writings before he met Smith. By the time of their encounter, Hume’s publishing career had already peaked, while Smith’s had yet to take off.The second chapter introduces the reader to Smith. While studying at Oxford, Smith read Hume’s books, even getting into some trouble for reading such heretic works. It was also in Oxford that Smith started working on his Principles Which Lead and Direct Philosophical Enquiries –​a collection of three essays which would be published, in a revised version, posthumously. This early work not only shows that Smith had similar interests as Hume, but also the extent to which Smith engaged with Hume early on:  ‘As in his later writings, however, Smith does not simply adopt Hume’s views, but rather builds on them’ (p. 42). The chapter ends with the first encounter of the two heavyweights of the Scottish Enlightenment. The exact place and date of this first encounter are unknown, but it took place probably in autumn 1749 in Edinburgh.The 26-​year-​old Smith has been giving public lectures in Edinburgh since 1748 and the 38-​year-​old Hume returned to Edinburgh in the summer of 1749, possibly attending Smith’s lectures later that year. In the following chapters, Rasmussen discusses the ‘budding friendship’ until 1754 (­chapter 3), their relationship to the Church of Scotland (­chapter 4), Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (­chapter 5; ‘Virtually the entire inquiry –​the questions Smith takes up, the answers he gives, even the examples he uses  –​ shows unmistakable signs of Hume’s influence’ [p. 87]), their overlapping stays in France (­chapter 6), Hume’s dispute with Jean-​Jacques Rousseau in 1766–​ 1767 (­chapter 7), and their separation by the Firth of Forth, which turned out to be a surprisingly effective barrier for them  –​Hume living in Edinburgh

Book reviews  385 and Smith in Kirkcaldy (­chapter 8). The last four chapters discuss four events, all of which took place in the same year, 1776. First, Smith’s publication of his Wealth of Nations (­chapter 9), their quarrels about Smith’s role in the posthumous publication of Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (­chapter 10), Hume’s publicly eyed passing (­chapter 11), and finally the reaction to Smith’s addition, in the form of a letter, to Hume’s short autobiographical and posthumously published writing My Own Life (­chapter 12). This letter led to quite some outcry because Smith described the outspoken sceptic Hume in the last sentence ‘as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature human frailty will permit’. The book ends with an epilogue about Smith’s final years without Hume until his own death in 1790. In addition, the appendix reproduces Hume’s My Own Life, including Smith’s letter. Readers of the Adam Smith Review will probably be familiar, at least to some extent, with the content covered by Rasmussen, and indeed those who are experts on the literature about Smith and Hume might find little new. However, it is not the main goal of Rasmussen to advance the scholarship on Smith and Hume, but to write a compelling story about their friendship, which is accessible not only to academics but also to a broader audience, as he explicitly states. And his book does succeed in achieving this goal. He is well-​versed in the writings of and the literature about both Hume and Smith and does a great job in using the existing sources to trace their friendship as exhaustive as possible. Quite a few gaps in the story remain due to the lack of sources. Smith famously burned all his writings including his correspondence and there are no records of their discussions. Most of their lives, Hume and Smith did not live in the same city –​or even country –​and at times rarely met. Hume regularly bemoaned this and tried to encourage Smith, mostly without success, to visit him more often or even move to Edinburgh. Indeed, before Hume’s final months, they seemed to have ‘lost touch’ (p.  156) for nearly three years. Rasmussen also discusses comprehensively how they influenced each other intellectually, especially how Smith’s writings can be seen as a response to Hume’s ideas. In addition, he discusses the cultural and societal background, in which Hume and Smith were living. All this makes it a very entertaining read. The disadvantage of focussing on just Hume and Smith is, however, that it neglects other influences, including common friends, whom they regularly met. These influences include most prominently Francis Hutcheson, Henry Homes (Lord Kames), Adam Ferguson, and for the development of Smith’s economic ideas, the French Physiocrats.Yet to include all these other influences would have made it a more academic and less accessible book. For a scholar, Rasmussen’s engagement with the existing literature and his choices of style, such as endnotes making it tedious to check references, might seem unfortunate. But in order to reach a broader audience, avoiding too much of an academic appearance and not getting lost in the vast literature about Hume and Smith seems to be a deliberate decision. And to be fair to Rasmussen, he does mention and discuss the most important secondary literature, and in some

386  Book reviews instances, he even adds his own view to the existing literature, for example, when discussing the dispute between Hume and Smith about the posthumous publication of Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Rasmussen argues that this dispute was less to blame on Smith, as is usually done in the literature, but mostly on Hume, concluding that ‘Hume’s part in this exchange is more difficult to account for than Smith’s’ (p. 198). In general, the friendship is portrayed as being at times rather hard for Smith, given that Hume was deemed an infidel and that association with him was frowned upon in many circles –​Hume never got a university position and was even excluded from the Edinburgh Review, which was set up by the literati of the Scottish Enlightenment including Smith. Rasmussen goes as far as arguing that Smith’s ‘friendship with Hume was the only real strike against’ someone who was ‘widely liked and respected among his contemporaries’ (p. 36). Smith himself encourages this view by stating in a letter that ‘a single, and as, I thought a very harmless Sheet of paper, which I happened to Write concerning the death of our late friend Mr Hume, brought upon me ten times more abuse than the very violent attack I had made upon the whole commercial system of Great Britain’. But Smith never denied his high esteem for Hume and his ideas, even though Smith would be more cautious and less provocative than Hume in his publication, especially when it came to matters of faith. This is why Smith’s own religiosity is an ongoing topic of controversy among scholars. Rasmussen convincingly argues that Smith ‘was almost certainly not a believing Christian’ (p. 16), but he might or might not have been a deist. Rasmussen cites a letter from Hume to William Mure of Caldwell, in which Hume argues that ‘the first Quality of an Historian is to be true & impartial; the next to be interesting’ (p. 72). Rasmussen’s own book is surely interesting, giving an entertaining and partly witty account of a deepening and stimulating friendship. He thereby introduces readers to Hume’s and Smith’s ideas, their similarities and differences –​and he does so in an intelligible form. His account is also true –​at least this reviewer did not notice any blunders. Impartiality is a tricky yardstick in historical accounts, but it is obvious throughout the book that Rasmussen is fond of both Hume and Smith. While reading the book, it seemed to this reviewer that Smith is a wee bit favoured by the author –​but to readers of this journal, this might be seen as a plus.

Cecil E. Bohanon and Michelle Albert Vachris, Pride and Profit:The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books, 2015, pp. 202 ISBN: 978-1-498-53026-2 Reviewed by Christel Fricke It is by now widely acknowledged that Jane Austen’s novels, though at first sight dealing merely with romance and the question of who marries whom, carry a moral message. Austen encourages her readers to take virtuous characters as their role models and to recognize and avoid vice and folly. Literary critics and philosophers have related Jane Austen‘s understanding of morality to a number of philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith (see Knox-​Saw 2005 and Fricke 2014). While it is still a widely held view that it is impossible to trace the exact source of Jane Austen’s views on moral matters, several scholars have attributed the pride of place among these sources to Adam Smith and to his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759/​6th edition 1790) in particular (see Moler [not Mohler!] 1967, Knox-​ Shaw 2004,Valihora 2007 and 2010, and Fricke 2014). While the authors make it explicit that they are ‘not particularly interested in nor offer original insight as to the specific channel of Smithian influence on Jane Austen’ (p. 4), their book provides further evidence for the claim that it was indeed Adam Smith who served as a major source of Austen’s understanding not only of moral matters, but also of matters relating to the dynamics of social interaction, of the varieties of human characters and the way they see the world and themselves in it, and of the impact of socio-​economic class distinctions on social life. The book contains 13 chapters, organized in 3 sections, as well as an appendix with a brief synopsis of Austen’s 6 published novels which provide the material of study. Austen’s other works are not taken into consideration. Section I contains two chapters on Adam Smith that are supposed to provide a ‘user’s guide for Jane Austen readers’, the first (­chapter 2) a ‘general introduction’ to his moral theory, the second (­chapter 3) an overview of Smith’s views on virtues and vices.These short chapters are not intended to make any new contribution to the scholarly discussion of Smith’s moral theory, its normative claims and its contribution to what we now call the naturalization of human morality. They are meant to provide some background information on which those readers

388  Book reviews not familiar with Smith’s work can rely in order to follow the argument of the chapters of section II. Section II provides the core of the book; its six chapters explore Smithian vices and virtues as exemplified by characters in Jane Austen’s novels:  self-​command in Sense and Sensibility (­chapter  4), prudence, benevolence, and justice in Mansfield Park (­chapter 5), vanity in Persuasion (­chapter 6), pride in Pride and Prejudice (­chapter 7), greed and promises in Northanger Abbey (­chapter  8), and the ‘man of system’ and the ‘impartial spectator’ in Emma (­chapter 9). What makes the argument of the authors particularly convincing is their aligning of Austen’s descriptions of certain characters with Smith’s accounts of the corresponding character traits. Section III is dedicated to topics relating to ‘economic life in Smith’s and Austen’s times’, containing four chapters: land, rents, and income (­chapter 10), representations of business (­chapter 11), social rank (­chapter 12), as well as a concluding chapter (­chapter 13). Since I  cannot report on all the details of the argument without reproducing the book in full, I  would like to mention some particularly striking examples that confirm the authors’ claim that ‘Jane Austen is channelling Adam Smith in her stories and characters … [and] embellishes, refines, and explains Adam Smith’ in such a way that ‘[o]‌ur understanding of Smith is improved and expanded by reading Jane Austen because she brings his insights to life and adds insights of her own’ (p. 4). Thus, in c­ hapter 4, the authors use Austen’s description of the character of Elinor, the virtuous heroine of Sense and Sensibility, to illustrate that Smith’s notion of ‘self-​command’ implies more than mere self-​ control:  while the former includes the latter, the former is a virtue in the full sense of the term, guiding the person who possesses it to a proper degree of sensibility, informed by moral principles and knowledge of others as well as of herself. Smith recommends ‘the virtues of sensibility and self-​command’ as consisting in ‘the uncommon degrees of those qualities’; and Elinor, more than once in the novel as it unfolds, ‘shows extraordinary self-​command and is deemed virtuous because … [she] “astonishes by … [her] amazing superiority over the most ungovernable passions of human nature” (TMS 25)’ (pp. 41–​42), such as emotional distress and deep disappointment. Jane Austen describes her in the following terms: ‘[Elinor] … had an excellent heart; her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong: but she knew how to govern them …’ (p. 43). Both Elinor’s mother and her younger sister Marianne suffer from a lack of self-​command, the former due to her general lack of good sense or understanding, the latter because of her romantic disposition to give way to all feelings and to let them guide her moods and behaviour. Further characters that exemplify either self-​command or the lack of it can be found in Mansfield Park, namely Fanny Price (who has this virtue) and Maria Bertram and Henry Crawford (who lack it). Jane Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, is another character who exemplifies self-​command, but the authors do not mention her as an additional example for this important virtue. Chapter 5 provides a careful inquiry into the virtues of prudence, benevolence, and justice, illustrated by two central senior characters of Mansfield Park, namely Sir Thomas Bertram –​who has these virtues to a large extent –​and Mrs.

Book reviews  389 Norris, who lacks them. Chapter 6 presents several characters from Persuasion as being in the grip of vanity. Thus, Sir Walter Elliot is ‘preoccupied with his rank in the world, a rank that is a pure accident of birth’ (p. 69). In her description of this character, Austen echoes Smith’s criticism of the ‘pursuit of wealth, fortune, and advancement’, particularly explicit in his rejection of the ‘coxcomb’ (p. 70).The authors recognize the Smithian ‘coxcomb’ also in Robert Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility who spends an extensive amount of time on the choice of a toothpick while other people are waiting behind him. Indeed, the toothpick is an object of the kind Smith describes as ‘mere trinkets of frivolous utility’ (TMS 181–​182, quoted p. 76). Chapter  7 enquires into the various shapes pride can take in a character, shapes that are more or less incompatible with a commitment to virtue. The authors detect vicious pride not only in Mr. Darcy and his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, of Pride and Prejudice, but also in Elizabeth Bennet. While referring to other scholars who have discovered evidence for Austen’s Smithian heritage (see p. 83), the authors leave unmentioned that it is a passage about pride in Pride and Prejudice that still provides the strongest evidence for Jane Austen’s familiarity with Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. Kenneth L.  Moler (1967) was the first to point out that Mary paraphrases a passage from The Theory of Moral Sentiments when saying:  ‘Pride … is a very common failing I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-​complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary.Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us’ (Austen 2004: 13–​14). Compare this to the following passages on pride from The Theory of Moral Sentiments: ‘Our dislike to pride and vanity generally disposes us to rank the persons whom we accuse of those vices rather below than above the common level. … I think we are most frequently in the wrong, and that both the proud and the vain man are often (perhaps for the most part) a good deal above it; though not near so much as either the one really thinks himself, or as the other wishes you to think him’ (TMS VI.iii.42, 257–​258, see also VI.iii.47, 259; see Moler 1967, 568–​569). But the authors provide additional evidence for Moler’s (and Fricke’s) claim, arguing that Smith’s account of the proud man in The Theory of Moral Sentiments may have provided Austen with a model for her narrative of the communication between Mr. Wickham and Elizabeth, when the former tells the latter his unfaithful story about his dealings with Mr. Darcy. First, they quote from TMS 257: ‘To do the proud man justice, he very seldom stoops to the baseness of falsehood. When he does, however, his falsehoods are by no means so innocent. They are all mischievous, and meant to lower other people. He is full of indignation at the unjust superiority, as he thinks it, which is given to them’; then, they point out that ‘Austen’s narrative follows Smith’s insight almost point for point’, with Mr. Wickham as the proud liar and Elizabeth as ‘a proud person

390  Book reviews [who] is likely to fall for such a story about a person … [she] think[s]‌is too proud’ (p. 88). And I would like to add that Austen, when letting Mary (a character who comes across as neither particularly virtuous nor provided with enough intelligence to understand what she reads) quote from the Theory of Moral Sentiments, does indeed embellish and refine Adam Smith  –​as the authors claim she does: learning to be moral takes more than memorizing moral philosophy; it is a matter of understanding it and practising it in processes of interaction and empathy-​guided communication. Among those of Austen’s characters who exemplify the Smithian vice of greed is John Thorpe in Northanger Abbey, whose ‘disappointed avarice causes him to “disturb the peace of society” and to “violate the rules of either prudence or of justice” (TMS 149), namely when he “abruptly turns Catherine out of the Abbey” ’, after having found out that her financial situation is not quite as brilliant as he first thought it was (p. 101). While greed and the disposition to break promises are widely known vices, character traits such as that of the ‘man of system’ and the ‘impartial spectator’ are of specific Smithian design. In c­ hapter 9, the authors identify non-​political versions of the ‘man of system’ (TMS 233) among Austen’s characters, first and foremost in Emma, but also –​even less straightforwardly –​in Mrs. Norris of Mansfield Park, Lady Catherine of Pride and Prejudice, and Mrs. Russell of Persuasion. People who have the character of a ‘man [–​or woman –​] of system’ pretend to know what is best for other people and try to control their behaviour accordingly, violating the moral requirement of respect for them, including in particular the respect for their knowledge and liberty to act according to their own best judgment (see p. 112). The opposite of the ‘man of system’ is the ‘impartial spectator’, whom Smith presents as the competent moral judge who is both knowledgeable and free from prejudice.The authors see Austen’s most straightforward exemplification of this moral character in Mr. Knightly of Emma. Indeed, Mr. Knightly functions as Emma’s moral educator, trying to discourage her engagement in match-​making (acting like the ‘man of system’) and chiding her for humiliating Miss Bates during the trip to Box Hill (p. 120). However, he is not entirely impartial, taking a particular interest in Emma’s moral education because he is in love and wants to marry her. But marrying her without being able to morally respect her is not an option for him. There is another Smithian lesson hidden in this: ‘But of all attachments to an individual, that which is founded altogether upon the esteem and approbation of his good conduct and behaviour, confirmed by much experience and long acquaintance, is, by far, the most respectable’ (TMS VI.ii.i.18, 224). Austen sees the kind of attachment or friendship which, according to Smith, only ‘men of virtue’ can have, as a desirable model for the relationship between man and wife. All people, men and women alike, can and should be ambitious to be virtuous and to attach themselves only to virtuous people; after all, this is the most secure path to happiness. It is in her rejection of the ‘man of system’ and her endorsement of the impartial spectator as the

Book reviews  391 model for a properly moral character that Austen reveals both her Smithian heritage and her commitment to Enlightened thought which praised individual thinking and rejected patriarchism, promoted tolerance of a pluralism of standpoints, and relied on humans’ potential for self-​improvement (see also p. 157). The three chapters of Section III provide historical background knowledge of the economic situation of the lower gentry in early nineteenth-​century England, the social class to which Jane Austen herself belonged. Most of the characters in her novels are equally members of this class. Although most of this information is not new to any scholar of the history of ideas and economics, the authors make it easily available and thus allow their readers to get a better understanding of the social and economic constraints under which the characters of Austen’s novels existed. Against this background, the reader can see that Austen’s accounts of the various economic challenges certain characters face are perfectly realistic for English people of this period of time and social class. Furthermore, they point out that, like Adam Smith before her, Austen documents an ongoing change in the perception of the professions, including the profession of a tradesman: Austen is making a bridge ‘between the old social order that placed a high value on landed wealth and a disdain for the merchant class and the newer view in which wealth creation through trade is admired’ (p. 145). The authors mention two intentions underlying the project of this book: (1) they want to address contemporary readers who are neither acquainted with Smith’s philosophy nor with Austen’s novels; and (2)  they want to do so by pointing out the large extent to which their moral messages overlap. How realistic this expectation is remains to be seen. They certainly have chosen a non-​scholarly style of writing; references to the scholarly literature on either Adam Smith or Jane Austen have been kept to a minimum, and there are hardly any footnotes. The chapters are very accessible and a pleasure to read –​at least for someone familiar with the works of both Adam Smith and Jane Austen. Smith and Austen are –​in their different ways –​messengers of Enlightenment thoughts that remain relevant for our modern times. It is certainly desirable that these messengers will be heard more clearly and by more people after the publication of this book. May at least the readers of Adam Smith turn more attentively to Jane Austen’s novels as sources of lively illustrations and development of Smith’s ideas of the virtues as conductive to happiness and of the danger of misery arising from the lack of virtue, and may the many readers of Jane Austen turn to Smith as the novelist’s source of philosophical enlightenment on moral matters.

References Austen, Jane (2004) Pride and Prejudice. Ed. by James Kinsley, with an introduction and notes by Fiona Stafford. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fricke, Christel (2014) ‘The Challenges of Pride and Prejudice: Adam Smith and Jane Austen on Moral Education’. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 269 (3), 343–​372.

392  Book reviews Knox-​Shaw, Peter (2004) Jane Austen and the Enlightenment. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. —​—​—​ (2005) ‘Austen’s Reading’. The Times Literary Supplement, March 18, 2005. Moler, Kenneth L. (1967) ‘The Bennet Girls and Adam Smith on Vanity and Pride’. Philological Quarterly 46, 567–​569. Smith, Adam (1982) The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Ed. by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Valihora, Karen (2007) ‘Impartial Spectator Meets Picturesque Tourist: The Framing of Mansfield Park’. Eighteenth Century Fiction 20 (1), 89–​114. —​—​—​ (2010) Austen’s Oughts. Cranbury NJ: University of Delaware Press.

Ryan Patrick Hanley, ed. Adam Smith: His Life,Thought, and Legacy Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016, pp. xxiv, 571 ISBN: 978-0-691-15405-3 Reviewed by Emily Skarbek

Adam Smith scholarship is flourishing.With this comes a renewed discussion of Adam Smith’s ideas and their place in contemporary social science. Economists hail Smith as the father of their discipline. More than anyone else, Smith eloquently gives an account of the regularities of markets prices, the discipline of competition, and the social coordination under the division of labor that is the product of human action but not of human design. The propensity to truck, barter, and exchange is the principle that sets in motion the division of labor, and he articulates how trade is mutually beneficial between individuals and countries alike. Political theorists and philosophers say, ah yes, but Adam Smith is more than merely an economist. He was a moral philosopher who articulated an elegant theory of how morality develops and is refined in society, how sympathy and approbation guide our behavior, and how we understand and judge ourselves and others. Philosophers and economists both see the others’ characterization of Smith as leaving something to be desired. The claims of the philosophers and economists are true. There is more than one side to the writings of Adam Smith. The disciplinary boundaries of Smith scholarship are in fact blurred for the better as we know now there is no ‘Das Adam Smith’ problem. Smith was a consistent social theorist who made important contributions across disciplines we now separate into economics, politics, political theory, moral philosophy, and philosophy of science. That is not to say that contemporary Smith scholars are going to agree on either what Smith’s work means or what is important in his body of thought. But advances in Smith scholarship have brought to light multiple dimensions of Smith’s thought and have, I suspect, put to rest the simplistic accounts of Smith as only occupying a single domain of contemporary relevance. Nevertheless, the disciplinary divides –​and claims –​to Adam Smith persist. Why? Teaching Adam Smith’s body of work is difficult. How does one convey to students the breadth and depth of Smith’s oeuvre when class time and page

394  Book reviews limits are scarce? It is a tall order to ask students of economics to read the Wealth of Nations, never mind any bits of the Theory of Moral Sentiments they should be so lucky to be assigned. It is perhaps an even taller order to ask political theorists or philosophers to read the Wealth of Nations on top of what they are reading of Theory of Moral Sentiments and other works. The first section of Adam Smith: His Life,Thought, and Legacy edited by Ryan Patrick Hanley helps enormously to ease this difficulty. The authors of these seven chapters take up the daunting task of giving an overview of Smith’s life and summarizing each of his major works in extremely short form. For instance, Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence are over 500 pages long, with discussions ranging from pin making to polygamy. Yet Knud Haakonssen gives readers an insight into this rich text in less than 20 pages, while pointing out connections between Smith’s jurisprudence and impartial spectator theory along the way. Another stand-​out here is Craig Smith’s summary of the Essays on Philosophical Subjects. Readers of this chapter are left with a clear understanding of how Adam Smith’s account of how the process of philosophical inquiry is motivated by wonder, surprise, and admiration. Craig Smith distills a range of insights into clear lessons regarding Smith’s understanding of how theoretical beauty is a product of the coherence and parsimony, and highlights some unifying features of Smith’s evolutionary accounts of language, law, morality, and institutions. These chapters present the uninitiated with a tease of the treasures buried in the pages of Adam Smith’s collected works.This first section of the volume will serve the curious student of society quite well, not to mention the professor interested in introducing their students to Adam Smith’s larger body of work. Summary is not all this collected volume has to offer. Four other sections perform a wholly different task. Sections two and three are dedicated to essays that develop Smith’s ideas on his social vision and economics respectively. In the 1970s, economist Kenneth Boulding posed the question, ‘After Samuelson, Who Needs Smith?’To which the answer he gave was –​we all do, to the extent that there are seeds in great works that still speak to relevant questions today. No chapter best illustrates how to bring the insights from Adam Smith into the present than Vernon Smith’s contribution.Vernon lifts from the pages of Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations testable hypotheses that both demonstrate the central features of individual decision making and market behavior. Do markets equilibrate even when participants are poorly informed? As it turns out, yes. Do people bring their conventional notions of justice with them when they make market decisions in the laboratory? In fact they do! When put to the test, Adam Smith’s insights challenge commonly held dictums of mainstream economic theory. Furthermore, essays like David Schmidtz’s on Adam Smith and freedom demonstrate how theorists can cull the pages of his corpus to articulate important extensions of Smith’s thought for advancing contemporary political theory. Schmidtz pulls together elements of Smith’s thinking to chart a new interpretation of what it takes to reconcile freedom and prosperity, and what the conditions of opulence demand of the individual seeking a good life.

Book reviews  395 Contributors to sections four and five have essays that consider Adam Smith’s relevance outside of economics and the academy more generally. Many of these chapters highlight an overarching theme in the editing of this volume, mainly to avoid monolithic views of Adam Smith and to highlight viewpoint diversity. In her chapter on political theory, for example, Lisa Hill writes, ‘Adam Smith is undoubtedly the most important ideological source of laissez-​faire liberalism’ (p.  321). Gavin Kennedy, however, opens his essay with the idea that it is an abuse to associate common understandings of ‘laissez-​faire’ with Smith’s thought. Sam Fleischacker concludes his contribution with how Smith connects to contemporary left-​wing politics, whereas James Otteson highlights Smith’s perspective on political economy as decentralized and closer to the political right. Personally, when I read the chapter on Adam Smith and modern economics, I found Agnar Sandmo’s claim that the invisible hand is the foundation of normative economics perhaps the most contestable argument in the whole book. But it wouldn’t be fun if we all agreed, now would it? Ryan Hanley has managed to bring together world-​class scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and ideological perspectives. The result is a uniquely valuable collection of essays that not only covers the great expanse of Smith’s thought, but also provides distinct perspectives of how Adam Smith’s ideas are relevant to advancing our understanding of the world today. This volume should be on the shelves of all who teach some aspect of Adam Smith, readily at hand to point a curious student to new ideas and possible new pathways to scholarship.

Notes for contributors

Submissions to The Adam Smith Review are invited from any theoretical, disciplinary, or interdisciplinary approach (max. 10,000 words, in English). Contributors are asked to make their arguments accessible to a wide multidisciplinary readership without sacrificing high standards of argument and scholarship. An abstract not exceeding 100 words also should be provided. All submissions, suggestions, and offers should be sent to the editor, Fonna Forman, Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California, USA; [email protected] Email submissions are welcomed. Alternatively, three hard copies in double-​ spaced type are also accepted. Contributing authors must prepare the manuscript for anonymous refereeing and provide a separate title page with their name. Interdisciplinary submissions will be sent to referees with different disciplinary expertise. Submitted articles will be double-​ blind refereed and commissioned articles will be single-​blind refereed. All contributions must be in English; it is the author’s responsibility to ensure the quality of the English text. Where quotations in languages other than English are required, authors should provide a translation into English. Final versions of accepted papers should conform to the ASR Guidelines for Authors (Harvard reference system), but submitted papers are accepted in any format. Submission to The Adam Smith Review will be taken to imply that the work is original and unpublished, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, authors agree that the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article have been given to the publishers, including reprints, photographic reproductions, microfilm, or any other reproductions of a similar nature, and translations.

Book reviews Books relating to Adam Smith or of more general relevance for Adam Smith scholarship will be reviewed in The Adam Smith Review. It is editorial policy to invite authors to respond to reviews of their work. Offers to review works

Notes for contributors  397 published in languages other than English are welcomed. Please send books for review to the book review editor: Craig Smith, Department of Moral Philosophy, School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies, University of St Andrews, Edgecliffe, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, KY16 9AR; [email protected]​ The website of The Adam Smith Review is:​