Adam Smith (1723–90) provided a novel and subtle account of the new social physics that emerged to accommodate the economic changes taking place in his time. This article explores Smith’s views on the effect of commercialization on friendship, and then questions one prominent interpretation of his approach, that of Allan Silver. Against the contested reading, we argue that the new ‘strangership’ described by Smith is not warm, but rather, cool-friendship enhancing. We suggest that Cicero’s treatment of friendship illuminates Smith’s views on this topic.
- impartial spectator
- Adam Smith