Time to retrieve the real Adam Smith

 

Sir, – It was a pleasure to read Joe Humphreys’s discussion of Adam Smith with Ryan Hanley (“How many social media followers do you need? Advice from ‘the father of capitalism’”, Arts & Ideas, September 19th).

Too often seen as the apostle of selfishness by those who have only dipped into Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Hanley rightly cites the opening words of the Theory of Moral Sentiments, which makes clear that Smith saw a concern for others as an equally important ingredient of human nature.

Jesse Norman in his recent study of Smith also draws a multidimensional picture of Smith, but it is useful to see the many dimensions of the Scotsman’s thought, including his ideas on egalitarianism, set before a wider public. – Yours, etc,

HARRY McCAULEY,

Maynooth,

Co Kildare.