Friday, May 16, 2008

Thanking Russel Roberts of Cafe Hayek

Russell Roberts on Cafe Hayek (HERE), presents the views of Adam Smith on a European's reaction to the news of an earthquake in distant China (then a two or more years round sea trip to and from Britain).

The quotation from Moral Sentiments (TMS III.4: pp 136-7) is often misread by people in a hurry who draw the wrong conclusions form it (discussed on Lost Legacy several times). I am pleased to report that on this occasion, both in Cafe Hayek and in some other Blogs that have noted it, the full quotation is read and understood.

True, there have been a few silly comments from one or two of their readers, whose concern is that it is a long quotation which they find 'difficult' to read - for them the age of literacy is over; they have descended to the age of the sound bite, there being nothing in evolution or social evolution that says evolution is uniquely progressive.

I urge readers to visit Cafe Hayek, or to turn to pages 136-7 of Moral Sentiments, and contemplate Adam Smith as a moral philosopher and political economist.


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