Adam Smith is best known today as the defender of capitalism, but he was also an uncommonly brilliant philosopher who was especially interested in the perennial question of how to live a good life. In Our Great Purpose (2021), Professor Hanley, one of today’s leading Smith scholars, shows us Smith in an entirely new light—and along the way, teaches us what it truly means to possess an excellent character and lead a worthy life.
Ryan Patrick Hanley is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. Prior to joining the faculty at Boston College, he was the Mellon Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Marquette University, and held visiting appointments or fellowships at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. A specialist on the political philosophy of the Enlightenment period, he is the author of Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue (Cambridge, 2009) and Love’s Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity (Cambridge, 2017), and Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life (Princeton, 2019). His most recent projects include The Political Philosophy of Fénelon, and a companion translation volume, Fénelon: Moral and Political Writings, both of which will be published by Oxford in 2020.
Sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Forum and Department of Political Science.
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- Political Science
Fram, Daniel H.