Psychoanalytic Studies of the Work of Adam Smith blends the rich intellectual heritage of the hermeneutic tradition with the methods and concepts of psychoanalysis, in order to examine the seminal works of Adam Smith. This is the first book on Smith to analyse the works of the groundbreaking moral theorist and founding father of economics from a psychoanalytic perspective, whilst also examining the human capacities and skills that are necessary to put Smith’s ideas into practice.
Starting with a detailed discussion of the psychological difficulties that afflicted Smith, Özler and Gabrinetti examine the influence that Smith’s life had on the ideas that are found in his major works. The authors explore the sympathetic process in Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) from an intersubjectivist perspective and use ideas from developmental psychology to argue that sympathy leads to morality. This book contains a thorough analysis of the defences that are used to create Smith’s moral system in the TMS and explores how Smith’s ideas were precursors to concepts later developed by Freud. The authors show that Smith’s attitude to women was at best ambivalent and consider the reciprocal interaction between markets and morality from an evolutionary psychology perspective.
Covering an impressive range of topics, this book will appeal to academics and postgraduate students with an interest in psychoanalysis, moral philosophy, history of thought and the social sciences. The book should also be of interest to more advanced undergraduate students.