One of the most powerful themes in the contemporary revisionist literature on the Scottish Enlightenment is the desire to understand the disciplinary context within which political economy began to develop. Central to this is the observation that Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy and conceived of his writing as a branch of that discipline. This article suggests that we can better come to understand some important elements of Smith's thinking if we appreciate and read The Theory of Moral Sentiments in the context of a philosophical debate between Smith and his contemporary Adam Ferguson, a debate that is driven by the pedagogical dimensions of moral philosophy in the eighteenth-century Scottish universities.

You do not currently have access to this content.