One of the most influential economists, still influencing our views on the market economy today, was Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations (1776). The video above by the School of Life explains his main ideas. “Adam Smith was no uncritical apologist for capitalism”, the makers of this video say. “He wanted to understand how capitalism could be both fruitful and good.

So do the researchers in the ‘Good Markets’ project! According to economist and theologist Johan Graafland the work of Adam Smith can be interpreted in different ways, and the video of the School of Life presents just one specific interpretation.

In sub-project A we will further explore Smiths work and background to shed new light on the ideals behind and the moral status of free markets as he envisioned it. We will among others look into the emergence of Western bourgeois culture as a key element for understanding the moral aspirations behind free markets.

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Series "5 Good Markets introductory videos":

What will this new website, Moral Markets, be about? This series of posts features introductory videos on different topics on which we will publish more in the years to come. Not accidentally, these five topics align with five sub-projects of the Templeton-funded research project behind the Moral Markets website.


Articles in this series:
  1. What is the ultimate goal of free markets?
  2. How can human flourishing be defined and operationalized?
  3. What role can virtues play in realizing human flourishing through the market?
  4. How can (market) institutions stimulate virtuous corporate action?
  5. How should we Teach Economics?