History of Economic Thought/Adam Smith

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author. He was a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and was a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment era.

Historical Context[edit | edit source]

Adam Smith's Life[edit | edit source]

Adam Smith as a Philosopher[edit | edit source]

Before Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, he was famous with The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The Theory of Moral Sentiments was in the Enlightenment tradition.

How can a selfish person make moral judgments satisfying other people? Each person stands at his own system. Smith asked himself why, if people are only self-interested, each town does not resemble the vicious state of nature, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." (phase of Thomas Hobbes)

Smith made an answer. When people make moral choices, he said, they think an impartial spectator. Instead of simply being selfish, they take the impartial observer’s advice. In this way, people decide on the basis of sympathy, not selfishness.

Smith's Thoguht on Ethics and Jurisprudence[edit | edit source]

The Wealth of Nations[edit | edit source]

In 1776, The Wealth of Nations was published.

Smith on Labour and Capital[edit | edit source]

Values and Prices[edit | edit source]

Money and Banking[edit | edit source]

Free Market and The Invisible Hand[edit | edit source]

Smith on Taxation[edit | edit source]

Adam Smith as an Economist[edit | edit source]

Legacy and Influence[edit | edit source]

Reference and further reading[edit | edit source]