Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series returns on Monday, Oct. 3, with a program on modern views on economics rooted in 18th-century philosophies.

Sandra J. Peart, dean of Jepson School of Leadership Studies at Richmond University, will present a talk titled “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand: 21st-Century Reasons for Optimism and a Caution” at 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of A.K. Hinds University Center. The talk is open to the public free of charge.

Smith was a Scottish educator and philosopher and is sometimes called the “father” of free market economists. He was the author of two books, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” and “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” that explored the conditions under which people’s pursuits of self-interest benefit society as a whole, in both commercial and ethical life.

Peart has written on leadership, ethics, higher education and economic themes for The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education¸ USA Today and the Washington Post. She is the author or editor of nine books, including most recently, “Escape from Democracy: The Rule of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. She is president of the International Adam Smith Society and a past president of the History of Economics Society, where she began a young scholars program.

The presentation is sponsored by the WCU Free Enterprise Club and the BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Programs. With three events each semester, WCU’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series “offers a forum for the campus and community to explore all points of view on important issues of the day, hear from renowned experts from a variety of fields, and understand multiple perspectives through civil, informed, and fruitful discourse,” said Edward Lopez, WCU professor of economics and the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism.

For more information on this or other series events, contact Lopez at 828-227-3383 or ejlopez@wcu.edu.