Inquiry into James Mill’s interpretation of Adam Smith’s love of praiseworthiness

This paper focuses on the relation between James Mill and Adam Smith on the matter of the love of praiseworthiness. First, it shows that Mill was a reader of Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. Second, it deals with Mill’s interpretation of Smith’s love of praiseworthiness. According to Mill, though Smith “eloquently described” the love of praiseworthiness, he did not explain it. Mill offered such an explanation by claiming that a kind of moral calculation is the foundation of the love of praiseworthiness. Finally, it shows that, though some passages of TMS are sometimes close to Mill’s interpretation, the latter is not faithful to Smith’s treatise of moral philosophy.