Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series will host a book program Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Blue Ridge Conference Room.
Michelle Albert Vachris, professor of economics at Christopher Newport University, will discuss her recently published “Pride and Profit: The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith” beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public, with pizza and soft drinks served.
Smith was a mid-18th-century philosopher, best known as the founder of modern economics, whose first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” examines how people acquire and apply moral reasoning to daily life. Writing a half-century after Smith, Austen’s popular novels include themes of self-control, manipulation and self-cultivation of prudence, benevolence and justice to persevere against vanity, pride and greed, said Edward Lopez, WCU professor of economics and the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism.
Vachris looks at how both authors’ perspectives reflect and define the bourgeois culture of earlier times, and the timeless habits of virtue and propriety that direct and control individual ambition, Lopez said.