Adam Smith Lecture Series

Adam Smith Lectures are free and open to the public

Spring 2020 – Maria Pia Paganelli

President, International Adam Smith Society
Professor of Economics, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Simplot Ballroom, Student Union Building

maria pia paganelli

Maria Pia Paganelli is one of the world’s leading scholars on Adam Smith, and was recently elected as president of the International Adam Smith Society, a society of scholars who share a passion for illuminating Adam Smith’s contributions to politics, economics, and society.

Professor Paganelli’s research focuses on the history of economic thought, specializing in the 18th century. She is particularly interested in Adam Smith, David Hume, monetary theories, and the Scottish Enlightenment and analyzes how self-interest interacts with other motivational drives, with systematic biases, and with the surrounding institutional environment. She also explores the links between the Scottish Enlightenment and the results from behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, neuroeconomics.

Her recent publications include “Adam Smith: Anti-Stoic” with Michele Bee, in History of European Ideas, 2019 (Forthcoming), “Shared Experience and Third-Party Redistribution: A Laboratory Result” with  David Chanvanne and Kevin McCabe, in Eastern Economic Journal, 2019 (Forthcoming), “Do Not Take Peace for Granted: Adam Smith’s Warning on the Relation between  Commerce and War” with Reinhard Schumacher, in Cambridge Journal of Economics,  2019, “Adam Smith on the Future of Experimental Evolution and Economics,” in Journal of  Bioeconomics,  2018, and “We Are Not The Center of The Universe: The Role of Astronomy in the  Development of Morality in Adam Smith.” History of Political Economy, 2017.

Currently a professor of economics at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, she received her BA and MA in Political Sciences from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and her MA and PhD in economics from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.

Maria Pia Paganelli’s website
International Adam Smith Society website


Spring 2019 – James Otteson, Wake Forest University

“Adam Smith on Justice and Social Justice” — view the recording here.

Thursday, February 7, 2019; Simplot Ballroom in the Student Union Building.

James Otteson

Otteson has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago, has taught at Yeshiva University and the University of Alabama, and is currently the Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics, Professor of Economics, and Executive Director of the Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University. His webpage is at

Spring 2018 – Samuel Fleischacker, University of Illinois-Chicago

“Being me, being you: Adam Smith on empathy, perspective and humanity” — view the recording here.

February  19, 2018, 6pm, Simplot Ballroom, Student Union Building, Boise State University.

Samuel Fleischacker

Fleischacker Biography

Samuel Fleischacker is the LAS Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois-Chicago and author of ‘On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion.’ He studied at Yale University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1989. He works in moral and political philosophy, the history of philosophy, aesthetics and the philosophy of religion. Among the issues that have particularly interested him are the moral status of culture, the nature and history of liberalism, and the relationship between moral and other values (aesthetic values, religious values, political values). His publications include The Ethics of Culture (Cornell, 1994), On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion (Princeton, 2003), A Short History of Distributive Justice (Harvard, 2004), Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (Oxford, 2011) and Kant’s Questions: What Is Enlightenment? The Legacy of a Kantian Question (Routledge, 2012). Professor Fleischacker has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Edinburgh University. He taught previously at Williams College.

Spring 2017 – Vernon L. Smith, Chapman University

“Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations” — view the recording here.

March 28, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Simplot Ballroom, Student Union Building, Boise State University.

vernon smith

Vernon Smith is the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and the George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Chapman University.

The lecture focuses on Smith’s work in experimental economics investigating the connection between our moral sentiments towards others and how that relates to both non-market cooperation oriented toward common goals and market cooperation through exchange achieving individually separate goals.