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Economics with David R. Henderson | Ryan Ranch + Recorded

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Course Description:

Dec. 6: Adam Smith as Moral Philosopher

Adam Smith was not an economics professor. Indeed, the term “economics professor” did not exist during his time. Rather, he taught moral philosophy. His lesser-known book, published in 1759, is "The Theory of Moral Sentiments." In it he asks and answers the question “Why do we act the way we do?” Why, for example, do we have a sense of fellow feeling even for strangers? In other words, he’s trying to explain why we act rather than telling us how we should act, although he does some of that too. In this talk, we'll examine the highlights of that book and make sure that we discuss my favorite quote from the book, “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely.”

Dec 13: Adam Smith as Economist

Most of what Adam Smith is known for is his 1776 magnum opus, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." If you think “that’s so 18th century,” be aware that his insights are still relevant today. His famous quote about the motivations of the butcher, the baker, and the brewer, properly understood, is still the main way that economists explain behavior in the market. Less well known is how on target he was at predicting the outcome of the American Revolution and the huge wealth that would be created in the formerly 13 colonies. Join us as we explore his insights and predictions as well as his views on tariffs, education and large corporations.


Tuition: $30.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Register for this Class


Wednesdays, Dec. 6, 13 *1:00 - 2:30 pm* (2 sessions)


Course will be presented live at CSUMB Ryan Ranch (8 Upper Ragsdale Road, Monterey) and will also be recorded for viewing later. A video link will be emailed to you within 3-5 days of each session.


David R. Henderson, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and a research fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Dr. Henderson has written articles for the "Wall Street Journal" and the "New York Times" among others, and has appeared on "CNN", "PBS", "The O'Reilly Factor", "MSNBC", "NPR", and the "BBC".