Centro Henry Hazlitt | chh.ufm.edu | 3 Lecciones

Adam Smith in Three Lessons: Stoicism, Based on The Theory Of Moral Sentiments

Sophy Ramírez  | 05 de agosto de 2019  | Vistas: 428

Adam Smith Emotions

The professor in economics, Maria Pia Paganelli, teaches the different behaviors people develop according to the environment they were raised, and the perspective that Adam Smith leaves in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments. 

Maria Paganelli begins by presenting a study that shows demographically how many people cry. She explains how much we express ourselves depends on the context or in the approval of an impartial spectator. Then points out a pattern based on the political and economic situation of these countries like Australia or Nigeria. 

We are all going to control somehow the expression of our passions, and how much will depend on the circumstances of the time and the place.”

After this, she concentrates on Adam Smith’s idea of the poor and oppressed people express themselves less because they suffer more often, and how this is related to stoicism, which is known as the self-command of emotions. 

The professor defines stoicism as the preparation of death, in having complete control of emotions, and explains how Smith relates this with a song that is created by the stoics to calm themselves in moments of adversity to not show much emotion. Then she goes with the ones that can express themselves and their connection with wealth, politeness, and civilization. 

The ability to share our emotions, to share our passion, for Smith, is our humanity. So be humane is fell what another person feels to suffer with them and to rejoice with them.” 

Paganelli concludes by describing the importance of the exchange of emotions for the commercial countries and explains the virtue of humanity. 


Master in Economics and professor