What drives us to be concerned about others? In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith says people are basically self-interested, and this is what drives market economies. Does this mean he’s saying people are selfish? Smith has a pretty simple formula for happiness. “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely.” What does he mean by that? Can the study of economics really be about finding better ways to care for others…by recognizing that people are self-interested? How does that work?
Show Notes and Further Reading
Russell Roberts, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (book)
Adam Smith, The Weath of Nations (book)
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (book)