Adam Smith, Scientist and Evolutionist: Part 2

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In this series of essays, I want to illustrate the power of Adam Smith’s social system, developed in The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, to bring order to contemporary experiments where traditional game-theoretic models failed to predict human action even under the conditions of anonymity and elaborate on lessons that behavioural scientists should draw from Smith’s works. In Part 1, I outlined Smith’s social, evolutionary system of Sentiments and its relevance to both human decision making and the broader rules of human conduct. In Part 2, I apply these rules to game theory to show how they improve upon traditional models and explain why the orthodox response to the failure of those models falls short of Smith’s system. Finally, in Part 3, I explore the implications of Smith’s social-moral system to trade, wealth, and human liberty.


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