“…human nature is complex. The same baker who supplies us with bread out of self-interest rather than benevolence is the same person who would dive into a river to save a drowning stranger. Smith’s books are complementary attempts to identify how self-interested human beings manage to live together peacefully (in the moral sphere) and productively (in the economic).” http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/happy-birthday-adam-smith
One of my fondest memories at George Mason University was reading Adam Smith‘s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. My instructor was a visiting economist from Germany, Viktor Vanberg. Vanberg lead our class into deep discussions of Smith’s work. If I remember correctly, we may have touched Smith’s other famous work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, too.
Happy Birthday, Adam Smith!