The Reading Room

The Best of the OLL No. 39: Adam Smith, “Of the Character of Virtue” (1759)

This is part of “The Best of the Online Library of Liberty” which is a collection of some of the most important material in the OLL. A thematic list with links to HTML versions of the texts is available [here](/pages/best-of-the-oll). In a section in the *Theory of Moral Sentiments* Smith discusses the nature of virtue, in particular prudence, justice, and beneficience. He notes that although they are an integral part of human nature their emergence is either stimulated or retarded by the kinds of societies in which human beings live.