Although the books have a somewhat lengthy time separation and are sometimes referred to as younger Smith and later, more mature Smith; it is necessary to read both books. In the Wealth of Nations the ideal capitalist government and society relies on man being prudent and those assumptions and descriptions of the prudent man are seen throughout the Wealth of Nations. The prudent man is what Smith assumes makes a capitalist government successful and have a path of steady, but not rapid growth. The prudent man is content with what he has, he is a hard worker, and he is honest. The prudent man is guarded, but maintains friendships.
Theory of Moral sentiments is Smith’s look inside man’s thoughts and is more of a psychological thesis, than an economic one. Smith claims man is self-interested and partakes in self-interested sympathy. The word sympathy often brings thoughts of altruism and compassion, but for Smith sympathy is about one wanting to maintain their own levels of happiness. Sympathy occurs when man sees a fellow man happy, which brings oneself happiness too. Sympathy also occurs when man sees another hurting or desolate because witnessing this pain brings man’s mood down.
Smith also discusses a more abstract concept in regards to sy...
... middle of paper ...
...views as the most virtuous and therefore the most admirable. He finds it to be a huge flaw to admire the super wealthy because although it is good to have wealth, they often do not have virtue, which is morally important. Humans often feel sympathy for the super poor, however Smith advises on not admiring the poor even if they are virtuous, because you need virtue and wealth for happiness. Smith recommends inspiring to be like the middle class that has both virtue and wealth and therefore the most likely to be happy. However, there are exception to all of these cases they are just a recommendations on achieving wealth and virtue. Wealth and virtue seem to be very important to Smith as seen throughout both books. Theory of Moral Sentiments having more of a focus on virtue, and Wealth of Nations having more of a focus on wealth, particularly societal, national wealth.
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