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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

 Adam Smith - flyerThe group led by Dr Flavio Comim will read and discuss The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner." (Adam Smith)

Do people have a moral nature? If so, is it determined by self-interest or by sentiment and sympathy? How the interest of the greater good can be part of our moral psychology? What is the influence of our conscience, moral judgement and virtue on the social organisation of our lives? How economics and politics are influenced by moral sentiments? In this book Adam Smith explores the tensions between the ideas of individual freedom & self-interest and those of conscience and virtue. It is an essential classic reading for several disciplines that it is more than ever relevant for our days.

About the group:

The first meeting will be on Wednesday 20 Jan, from 10 am to 12 noon. The group will meet in Teaching Room 2 (Ground Floor, St Edmund's College) on Wed 20th January and in Okinaga Room fevery wednesday thereafter until 2nd March. Participants are invited to present different chapters followed by discussion. All welcome!

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