Much has been made about the influence of Adam Smith on 21st C. Economics. This, despite the fact that Mr. Smith has been horribly misquoted, and indeed, only one of his philosophical tracts (and only very abridged selections thereof) are mentioned by most economists. Few realize that before writing ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Smith wrote the ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’
Where he expounded on the concept of symphathy, something sorely lacking in the titans of Wall Street and others who regularly quote from ‘The Wealth of Nations’.
However, in the 21stC, as Robert H. Frank has pointed, out, Darwin will have a signifcantly greater effect on Economics than Adam Smith ever did:
Darwin’s Unified Theory of Life will inexorably weave its way into Economics, since modern science (in particular, fMRI studies) have shown that human beings are “predictably irrational” and the new field of behavioral economics will come to dominate modern thinking. As Charles Ferguson has pointed out, classical Economics with its ‘rational actor’ naivete, died a horrible death in the massive global bubble of 2008.
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