Adam Smith Tercentenary Celebration

November 22, 2023, 17:00–19:00

Room Auditorium 3


In honor of the Adam Smith Tercentenary celebration, Samuel Fleischacker from the University of Illinois at Chicago will deliver a talk "Prejudices of the Imagination: What Adam Smith Added to the Enlightenment Project". During his stay in Toulouse, Adam Smith found inspiration and penned his groundbreaking work that would forever shape the field of economics. His influential book, "The Wealth of Nations," revolutionized economic thought and laid the foundation for the discipline as we know it today.

This talk begins by going over the way Adam Smith employs techniques in his Wealth of Nations that he had developed in his Theory of Moral Sentiments to change his readers’ prejudicial image of poor people. It then considers the significance of the fact that Smith combats a prejudice by presenting a new image of the group targeted by that prejudice, rather than responding to wrong-headed beliefs about that group. That suggests that he had a rather different conception of prejudice than most of his Enlightenment peers — and anticipated critical strategies that have been fully developed only in recent times.

Biography Samuel Fleischacker

Author, Adam Smith and Being Me Boeing You: Adam Smith and Empathy

Samuel Fleischacker is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He studied at Yale University, receiving his PhD in 1989. He works in moral and political philosophy, the history of moral and philosophy,and the philosophy of religion. Among the issues that have particularly interested him are the moral status of culture, the nature and history of liberalism, the relationship between moral philosophy and social science, and the relationship between moral and religious values. His publications include The Ethics of Culture (Cornell, 1994), A Third Concept of Liberty (Princeton, 1999), On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion (Princeton, 2003), A Short History of Distributive Justice (Harvard, 2004), Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (Oxford, 2011), What Is Enlightenment? (Routledge, 2012), The Good and the Good Book (Oxford, 2015), and Being Me Being You: Adam Smith and Empathy (Chicago, 2019). Professor Fleischacker has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Edinburgh University. He taught previously at Williams College.

We invite you to join us for this enlightening event as we pay homage to Adam Smith.

This event is part of the Smith Around the World Lecture Series, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.


This event is funded by a French government subsidy managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche under the framework of the investissements d'avenir programme reference ANR-17-EURE-0010.



Adam Smith Tercentenary Celebration, November 22, 2023, 17:00–19:00, room Auditorium 3.