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By G. Kennedy

This e-book provides the genuine Adam Smith and explores his underlying method and radical pondering, aiming to re-establish his unique intentions. The ebook offers a vital reminder of ways proper Adam Smith was once in his personal time, and the way correct he is still as we adventure the global unfold of opulence today.

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Extra resources for Adam Smith: A Moral Philosopher and His Political Economy

Sample text

His essay on astronomy is relevant here not just because it is the only example of Smith’s early thinking,11 but because it too looks backwards in the same manner as Language, Moral Sentiments, Jurisprudence and Wealth of Nations, suggesting a notable continuity in his compositions from a youthful age. The larger part of his history of astronomy is of interest primarily to specialist historians (EPS11). That philosophy has changed over the centuries is salient from the parade of authors from ancient times to the 1740s and the history of their explanations, models and methods.

To a familiar acquaintance with every thing that could illustrate the institutions, the manners and the ideas of different ages and nations’ (EPS272). Language contained, Stewart wrote, a specimen of a particular sort of inquiry . . which seems, in a peculiar degree, to have interested Mr Smith’s curiosity. Something very similar to it may be traced in all his different works, whether moral, political, or literary; and on all these subjects he has exemplified it with the happiest successes. This points to the comprehensive nature of Smith’s ‘particular sort of inquiry’ and that he had a common analytical approach.

EPS46; emphasis added) Though a young scholar, he adopted the evolutionary historical approach in his essay, and then he filed it away, showing it to nobody, not even David Hume, who had been a close (‘intimate’) friend since at least 1752. That he had not mentioned its existence or its whereabouts to Hume until 21 years later (1773) (Corr168) seems strange conduct to 34 A Moral Philosopher and His Political Economy close friends. Smith finally revealed his essay because, in hypochondriac mood, he was concerned that in his journey and absence in London he might die without having made appropriate literary arrangements.

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