Friday, July 10, 2009

New Book On Smith by Ryan Hanley

James Otteson, professor of philosophy and economics at Yeshiva University in New York, writes (9 July) in his personal Blog, James R. Otteson, PHD HERE:

This Just In: An Excellent New Book on Adam Smith”

"I just received my advance copy of Ryan Patrick Hanley's excellent new Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue . I know it's excellent because I had an opportunity to read it in manuscript. In fact, the back cover of the dust jacket leads off with a blurb from me, which reads, in part, that Hanley's book is "one of the most important books on Smith in more than a decade

Believe me, praise like that does not come easily from me. Everyone interested in Smith scholarship should read the book.”

I have had the pleasure of listening to a couple of lectures by Ryan Hanley on themes from Smith's Moral Sentiments. He is an authority and a very clear one at that. And Jim Otteson is a good judge of Smithian scholarship too.

Some people obfuscate Smith’s remarkably clear Moral Sentiments behind a veil of deep philosophical jargon, but Ryan is not one of them. He speaks at a brisk, but clear, pace, adding in short quotes from Moral Sentiments or pithy references, always with a page number attached from his memory. It is a performance to watch and listen to and audience members to whom I have spoken all remark on his high quality and authority which is a pleasure to listen to and learn from.

My order for his book will be in the post as soon as an address is available. I recommend that yours is too.

NB: I do not agree with all of Ryan’s conclusions about all aspects of his presentation of Smith’s ideas. Heaven forbid – we are good-natured scholars and I recognise polished talent when I come across it – so read and learn!

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