Adam Smith and Dying Peacefully

11 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

Date Written: 2020


Commerce brings about material wellbeing, a new set of values, and also a new way to die peacefully. For Adam Smith, “savages” may die calmly, in the midst of torture, without expressing any fear or pain. They are able to achieve this calm death through a life-time of forced-training in life-threatening conditions. In commercial societies, one can also die peacefully, but without having to experience the life-long suffering of a “savage”. In a commercial society, the comfort of luxury allows for a freer expression and exchange of emotions. One can die peacefully amidst the comfort and affections of friendship.

Keywords: Adam Smith, David Hume, Dying, Commercial Society

JEL Classification: B12

Suggested Citation

Paganelli, Maria Pia, Adam Smith and Dying Peacefully (2020). Available at SSRN: or

Maria Pia Paganelli (Contact Author)

Trinity University ( email )

Dept. of Economics
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
United States

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