This past September, PQED.org author Jack Russell Weinstein published Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education and the Moral Sentiments. It’s an academic book arguing that Smith, who is most famous for being the father of capitalism, actually anticipated modern diversity theory. It may be a difficult read, but it would be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about justice, political philosophy, the history of economics, diversity, education (then and now), and, of course, Adam Smith himself (the Smith link goes to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry, also written by Jack Russell Weinstein).
In this thought-provoking study, Jack Russell Weinstein suggests the foundations of liberalism can be found in the writings of Adam Smith (1723–1790), a pioneer of modern economic theory and a major figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. While offering an interpretive methodology for approaching Smith’s two major works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations, Weinstein argues against the libertarian interpretation of Smith, emphasizing his philosophies of education and rationality. Weinstein also demonstrates that Smith should be recognized for a prescient theory of pluralism that prefigures current theories of cultural diversity.
We at PQED.org are happy to report that the reviews are starting to come in. Here are the first three:
“Remarkable….Lays the groundwork for a multivolume project using Smith to anchor a ‘twenty-first-century liberalism’.” — John Paul Rollert, The Los Angeles Review of Books (Link).
“Few, if any, sources probe Smith’s nuanced and integrated approach to a social system with the depth of this book….Smith enthusiasts will find [it] indispensable.” — J. Halteman, Choice Reviews (Link, behind paywall).
“Fascinating…an invigorating reorientation of liberal theory. Weinstein’s rescue…[of] Smith’s moral philosophy from its economically obsessed captors will prove an extraordinary blessing for conservative and liberal alike.” — David J. Davis, The American Conservative (Link).
For more information and for an excerpt from the book’s introduction, please go to http://www.jackrussellweinstein.com/adam-smiths-pluralism.html.
And to buy the book, we recommend going to Amazon.com, because PQED.org will get a donation form the sales. The book can be found here and is available as either hard cover or Kindle edition.
We welcome your thoughts on Smith or the book, below.