Phillipson reconstructs Adam Smith’s intellectual ancestry and formation, of which he gives a radically new and convincing account.

James Otteson is the executive director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, and Teaching Professor of Political Economy, at Wake Forest University in Winston‐​Salem, North Carolina. He also serves as a Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies, a Research Professor in the Freedom Center and Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in California.

John Samples directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies campaign finance regulation, delegation of legislative authority, term limits, and the political culture of limited government and the civic virtues necessary for liberty. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Samples is the author of The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History and The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Prior to joining Cato, Samples served eight years as director of Georgetown University Press, and before that, as vice president of the Twentieth Century Fund. He has published scholarly articles in Society, History of Political Thought, and Telos. Samples has also been featured in mainstream publications like USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on NPR, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. Samples received his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University.

Featuring the author, Nicholas Phillipson, Honorary Research Fellow in History, University of Edinburgh; and James R. Otteson, Professor of Philosophy and Economics, Yeshiva University, Charles G. Koch Senior Fellow, The Fund for American Studies. Moderated by John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations has an influence rivaled only by that other famous publication of 1776. But even as he revolutionized the study of economics and society, its author remains an enigma. In a widely praised new biography, Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life, Nicholas Phillipson shows the extent to which The Wealth of Nations and Smith’s other great work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, were part of a larger scheme to establish a grand “Science of Man.” One of the most ambitious projects of the European Enlightenment, The Wealth of Nations was to encompass law, history and aesthetics as well as economics and ethics. Phillipson reconstructs Smith’s intellectual ancestry and formation, of which he gives a radically new and convincing account. At this Cato Book Forum, Phillipson will discuss Smith’s life and thought. The event also features comments from James R. Otteson, author of Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life.