Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life
The great eighteenth-century British economist Adam Smith (1723-90) is celebrated as the founder of modern economics. Yet Smith saw himself primarily as a philosopher rather than an economist and would never have predicted that the ideas for which he is now best known were his most important. This biography shows the extent to which Smith's great works, The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, were part of one of the most ambitious projects of the Euruopean Enlightenment, a grand "Science of Man" that would encompass law, history, and aesthetics as well as economics and ethics, and which was only half complete on Smith's death in 1790.
Nick Phillipson reconstructs Smith's intellectual ancestry and shows what Smith took from, and what he gave to, in the rapidly changing intellectual and commercial cultures of Glasgow and Edinburgh as they entered the great years of the Scottish Enlightenment. Above all he explains how far Smith's ideas developed in dialogue with those of his closest friend, the other titan of the age, David Hume.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RussWhite - LibraryThing
Adam Smith is one of the most important figures in modern economic theory. In a very real sense, he provided the basis for the Industrial Revolution through his emphasis on the division of labor as ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mnicol - LibraryThing
This book sorely tested my knowledge of Scottish history. Phillipson assumes his reader’s familiarity with the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Glorious Revolution and the 1707 Act of Union in ... Read full review