On Adam Smith
Research Interest and Current Projects:
My research revolves around the intersection of the history of philosophy and contemporary political theory. My main interest is in theories of diversity and justice, with special attention to education and otherness, human rationality, and the roles of emotion in moral judgment. I hope to create a general theory of human understanding in the midst of difference that internalizes respect above and beyond a minimalist conception of human or political rights. Specifically, I am working on a restructuring of contemporary liberalism: one built on the moral psychology and political economy of Adam Smith. I reject the Kantian foundation that supports most contemporary liberal theory and hope to show that Smith’s work can bridge the false dichotomy assumed by the liberalism-versus-communitarianism approach to political philosophy.
I am currently working on a multi-book project articulating the above liberal theory. Over the course of the three volumes I will offers, first, an interpretation of Adam Smith’s work as a theory of pluralism and rationality (volume one, Adam Smith’s Pluralism, forthcoming Fall 2013, from Yale University Press) and, second, a new liberal theory built on that foundation (volume two) complete with a theory of political participation (volume three). In the process, I connect Smith's theory with contemporary debates in argumentation theory, philosophy of education, literacy studies, pluralism, and neutrality. Some of this work has already been published in journals and proceedings.
In addition to my scholarly work, I am committed to the ideal of the public philosopher -- the citizen who contributes to a critical and intellectual dialogue with the intent of cultivating democracy and encouraging participation from people in all areas of life. I will therefore continue to publish in popular venues such as newspapers and public radio, and speak at panels on current events. I have found that these are wonderful places to explore themes in my work and they helps me experiment with ideas that eventually make their way into my more academic work.
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Click on the above to read (in PDF form) an article about Why? from the UND Alumni Review, Winter 2009
Work in Public Philosophy
The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life is an organization devoted to the task of bring philosophy out of the classroom and into the general community. Our motto is "Because there is no ivory tower." Check out our homepage and explore what we have to offer.
These columns represent my own political opinions and analyses. They are an attempt to influence the reader or listener. Since this page is visited by my students, it is essential to mention that although I certainly do hope to persuade you, you will never be graded based on your agreement or disagreement with my opinions.
"What is Moral Education? "
"Religion and Politics "
Attacked Irresponsibly "
An Interview About Medical Ethics
for John Rawls "
Bush's Binoculars "
Must Stop Apologizing for Liberal Beliefs "
"A Jewish New Yorker's Reflection
on the Terrorist Acts in New York "
Books and Edited Volumes
Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education, and the Moral Sentiments. New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming.
Guest Editor, On Second Thought (“The Philosophy Issue”), North Dakota Humanities Council (March, 2010).
Guest Editor, “Symposium on Adam Smith and Education” The Adam Smith Review, No. 3 (2007): 49 – 158.
On MacIntyre (Wadsworth Philosophers Series). Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2003.
- Persian translation by Kaveh Behbahani (Iran: Koochak Publishers, forthcoming.)
On Adam Smith (Wadsworth Philosophers Series). Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2001.
Guest Editor, Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines. Special Issue: Political Philosophy and Critical Thinking. Montclair: Institute for Critical Thinking, vol. 18, no. 1 (Autumn, 1998).
Editor, Academic Inquiry: in Progress. Vienna: Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen), 1995.
Doctoral Dissertation: Adam Smith and the Problem of Neutrality in Contemporary Liberal Theory. PDF (file has different pagination than the hardbound version)
Articles and Book Chapters:
“Overlapping Consensus or Marketplace of Religions: Adam Smith on Rawls and vice versa,” Philosophia (Special Issue on Religion and Public Reason),40:2 (2012): 223-236.. PDF
“MacIntyre and the Tradition of Islam: Preface to the Persian Edition,” On MacIntyre, Persian translation (Iran: Ney Publishing Company, forthcoming).
“The Two Adams: Ferguson and Smith on Sympathy and Sentiment,” in Adam Ferguson: A Reassessment, Philosophy, Politics and Society edited by Eugene Heath and Vincenze Merolle (London: Pickering & Chatto Publishers, LTD, 2009.): 89 - 106.
“Adam Smith,” entry for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Posted at http://www.iep.utm.edu/smith/
“Adam Smith’s Ad Hominem: Eighteenth Century Insight on the role of Character in Argument,” Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 2007): 1461 – 1466. PDF
“Adam Smith’s Philosophy of Education,” The Adam Smith Review, No. 3 (2007): 51 – 74. PDF.
“On the Meaning of the Term ‘Progressive’: A Philosophical Investigation,” The William Mitchell Law Review 33:1 (2006), 1-50. PDF
“Sympathy, Difference, and Education: Social Unity in the Work of Adam Smith,” Economics and Philosophy, Vol. 22, No. 1 (April 2006): 79 – 111. PDF
“Is Money All There Is? Other Aspects of Life in Adam Smith’s Free Market” North Dakota Humanities Council Larry Remele Fellowship Tabloid (4 pages with essay and interview), 2005.
“A Response to Lauren Brubaker”, The Adam Smith Review, No. 1 (2004), 194 – 196.
“Aliens, Traitors, and Elitists: University Values and the Faculty,” Thought and Action, Vol. 19 No. 2 (Summer 2004), 95 - 106. PDF
“Neutrality, Pluralism, and Education: Civic education as learning about the other,” Studies in Philosophy and Education, Vol. 23, No. 4 (July 2004), 235 – 263. PDF
“Emotion, Context and Rhetoric: Adam Smith's Informal Argumentation,” Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 2003, 1065 – 1070. PDF
“Three Conversations: Teaching Plato in Introduction to Philosophy,” Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 26 No. 1 (March 2003), 3 – 20. PDF
“Religion and Justice in the work of Adam Smith,” Kontroversen, Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Wissenschaft und Gesselschaft, Issue 9 (2000).
“Guest Editor’s Introduction: Critical Thinking and the Tradition of Political Philosophy — An Historical Overview,” Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines vol. 18, no. 1 (Autumn, 1998), 4 - 21. PDF.
“Critical Thinking and the Moral Sentiments: Adam Smith's Moral Psychology and Contemporary Debate in Critical Thinking and Informal Logic,” Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines vol. 16, no. 3 (Spring 1997), 78 - 91.
“Three Types of Critical Thinking About Religion,” Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines vol. 15, no. 3 (Spring 1996), 79 - 88.PDF
“Separating the Inseparable: MacIntyre on Rawls' Public Reason in a Political Conception of Justice,” Academic Inquiry: in Progress. Vienna: Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, 1995, 16 - 38.
“A Computer Generation of Community and Freedom: A Reply to David Applefield,” Fin de Siècle vol. I, no. 1 (September 1995), 62 - 65.
Translator (German to English), Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen: Newsletter 47. Vienna: Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen), October/December 1994.
“Self-Correction, Hidden Assumptions and Cultural Pluralism,” Bulletin of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (December 1994).
"Review: Iris Marion Young: Responsibility for Justice" in Plurilogue, forthcoming.
"Review: Jan Horst Keppler: Adam Smith and the Economy of Passions" in Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, forthcoming.
"Review: Ian Ross: Life of Adam Smith, second edition," Philosophy in Review, forthcoming.
"Review: Dwight Furrow: Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America," in Teaching Philosophy 34:4 (December 2011): 456-460. PDF
"Review: Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life" in Journal of the History of Philosophy, 49 (4):499-501. PDF
"Review essay: Adam Smith: The Rhetoric of Propriety by Stephen J. McKenna; Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy: A Historical and Contemporary Perspective on Markets, Law, Ethics, and Culture by Jerry Evensky; and The Adam Smith Problem: Reconciling Human Nature and Society in the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations by Dogan Göçmen," Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, 34:3 (September 2011): 403-408. PDF
"Review: The Philosophy of Adam Smith: Essays Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by Vivienne Brown and Samuel Fleischacker" in Eighteenth Century Studies 25 (Spring 2011): 40 – 41
“Review: Nir Eisikovitz: Sympathizing with the Enemy: Reconciliation, Transitional Justice, Negotiation,” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, (March 2011): http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=23009.
“Review Essay: D.D. Raphael: The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy," Economics and Philosophy 24:1 (March 2008): 129 - 137.
“The Wealth of Nations and the Morality of Opulence (Review Essay of Jerry Evansky’s Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy: A Historical and Contemporary Perspective on Markets, Law, Ethics, and Culture)” Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 25-A (2007): 61- 69. PDF
“Review: Leonidas Montes: Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought,” The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 13:1 (2005), 179 – 183.
“Review: James W. Otteson’s ‘Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life,” Mind Vol. 113, No. 449 (January 2004), 202 – 207. PDF
“Review: Knud Haakonssen’s ‘Adam Smith’s Theory Of Moral Sentiments’,” Journal of Scottish Philosophy, Vol. 1 No. 2 (Autumn 2003), 181 – 184. PDF
"Is the Free Market Dead?"
"Homosexuality and Faith "
On Hate Speech
and the Politically Correct:
Ethics in Research: A Primer
The Invisible Hand of Rationality: On the
Intersection of Adam Smith and Alasdair MacIntyre
to the Law Women's Caucus "
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