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Sentiments and Motivations in Adam Smith and Vernon Smith


  • Jonathan B. Wight


Vernon Smith (VS) discovered Adam Smith (AS) late in his professional career, and has adopted ideas from The Theory of Moral Sentiments to explain findings in experimental economics. Most important is the theorized link between moral sentiments and the evolution of property rights and law as foundations for commerce. VS's encounter with AS, while not new, provides a compelling look at the modern laboratory of social science through the lens of the Enlightenment, and cannot easily be encapsulated within a utilitarian framework. This paper provides an overview and commentary on VS's approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan B. Wight, 2013. "Sentiments and Motivations in Adam Smith and Vernon Smith," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 298-301, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:42:y:2013:i:4:p:298-301
    DOI: 10.1080/07360932.2013.841588

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