a1 The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
The “Adam Smith problem” has traditionally been concerned with the issue of authorial integrity: the issue of how a single author, Adam Smith, could have written two such apparently dissimilar, even contradictory, works as The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) and The Wealth of Nations (WN). As the problem to be resolved was the single authorial origin of two such works, the perceived incompatibilities between them were explained in terms of Smith's intellectual biography – for example, Smith's travels to France, Smith's meetings with the physiocrats, or the mental incapacities of an aging man. The current consensus is that the Adam Smith problem is a “pseudo problem” and that Smith's works represent a unified project, but the same reference to authorial origins now provides thr opposite claim that “the same man” wrote both books (Raphael and Macfie, 1976, p. 20). Here the postulate of authorial integrity, “of stable integrated character, not subject to deep intellectual doubts or fissures” provides an assurance that such a man is unlikely to have written two entirely different books (Macfie, 1967, p. 76), an assurance underwritten by a coherent authorial intentionality that guarantees the consistency of the two works.