David Hume and Adam SmithAuthor Dennis Rasmussen will discuss the friendship of David Hume and Adam Smith in a free public lecture Thursday in the SoCA Armouries.

Presentation to explore philosophical friendship

David Hume is widely regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as “the Great Infidel” for his skeptical religious views and deemed unfit to teach the young.

In contrast, Adam Smith was a revered professor of moral philosophy, and is now often hailed as the founding father of capitalism. Remarkably, the two were best friends for most of their adult lives, sharing what political science professor Dennis Rasmussen of Tufts University calls the greatest of all philosophical friendships.

In his book The Infidel and the Professor, Dr. Rasmussen tells the story of the friendship of these towering Enlightenment thinkers — and how it influenced their world-changing ideas.

He will discuss his research in a free public presentation at 5 p.m. Thursday, October 25, in the SoCA Armouries Building’s Performance Hall. The event is sponsored by the Humanities Research Group, the Department of Political Science, and the Reading Liberty group.