On Adam Smith s Wealth of Nations

Author: Samuel Fleischacker
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826056
Format: PDF, ePub
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Adam Smith was a philosopher before he ever wrote about economics, yet until now there has never been a philosophical commentary on the Wealth of Nations. Samuel Fleischacker suggests that Smith's vastly influential treatise on economics can be better understood if placed in the light of his epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral theory. He lays out the relevance of these aspects of Smith's thought to specific themes in the Wealth of Nations, arguing, among other things, that Smith regards social science as an extension of common sense rather than as a discipline to be approached mathematically, that he has moral as well as pragmatic reasons for approving of capitalism, and that he has an unusually strong belief in human equality that leads him to anticipate, if not quite endorse, the modern doctrine of distributive justice. Fleischacker also places Smith's views in relation to the work of his contemporaries, especially his teacher Francis Hutcheson and friend David Hume, and draws out consequences of Smith's thought for present-day political and philosophical debates. The Companion is divided into five general sections, which can be read independently of one another. It contains an index that points to commentary on specific passages in Wealth of Nations. Written in an approachable style befitting Smith's own clear yet finely honed rhetoric, it is intended for professional philosophers and political economists as well as those coming to Smith for the first time.

The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith

Author: Knud Haakonssen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521779241
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Adam Smith is best known as the founder of scientific economics and as an early proponent of the modern market economy. Political economy, however, was only one part of Smith's comprehensive intellectual system. Consisting of a theory of mind and its functions in language, arts, science, and social intercourse, Smith's system was a towering contribution to the Scottish Enlightenment. His ideas on social intercourse also served as the basis for a moral theory that provided both historical and theoretical accounts of law, politics, and economics. This Companion volume provides an examination of all aspects of Smith's thought. Collectively, the essays take into account Smith's multiple contexts - Scottish, British, European, Atlantic; biographical, institutional, political, philosophical - and they draw on all of his works, including student notes from his lectures. Pluralistic in approach, the volume provides a contextualist history of Smith, as well as direct philosophical engagement with his ideas.

Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment

Author: Charles L. Griswold
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521628914
Format: PDF
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Charles Griswold has written a comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the Enlightenment and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defence of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This 1999 book is a major philosophical and historical reassessment of a key figure in the Enlightenment that will be of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy.

Adam Smith in His Time and Ours

Author: Jerry Z. Muller
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691001616
Format: PDF, ePub
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Counter to the popular impression that Adam Smith was a champion of selfishness and greed, Jerry Muller shows that the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations maintained that markets served to promote the well-being of the populace and that government must intervene to counteract the negative effects of the pursuit of self-interest. Smith's analysis went beyond economics to embrace a larger "civilizing project" designed to create a more decent society.

Elgar Companion to Adam Smith

Author: Jeffrey T. Young
Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub
ISBN: 9781845420192
Format: PDF, Docs
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Investigates aspects of the philosophical foundations of Adam Smith's thought as well as his economic analysis and approach to policy. This book views Adam Smith's work as an interconnected system of thought, which incorporates both moral philosophy and economics.

New Perspectives on Adam Smith s The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Author: Geoff Cockfield
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 9781781959916
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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'New Perspectives on Adam Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" is a comprehensive study of Smith's ideas. It brings together themes and methodologies from a variety of fields including politics, sociology, intellectual history, history of science and evolutionary psychology.

The Social Philosophy of Adam Smith

Author: J.R. Lindgren
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401024405
Format: PDF, Docs
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Adam Smith was one of the most important seminal social philosophers of modern times. Although his great masterpiece - the Wealth at Nations - is most frequently associated with the field of economics, it has exer cised a profound and abiding influence not only in that but in all areas of social theory and practice as well. In view of this it is not a little puzzling that after nearly two centuries there does not exist a single reliable account of the full range of his social philosophy. The "circumstances which have contributed to this void in the literature are easily identified. All who are at all familiar with Smith's life and writings recognize that he was a philosopher by profession and that all his writings were conceived and executed as works of philosophy. During his lifetime his work was viewed iIi that perspective. At about the time of his death in 1790, however, Smith's work was eclipsed in the field of philosophy by Hume and Reid in Great Britain and Kant on the conti nent. Thereafter the interpretation of his writings was taken up by those who were profoundly interested in only one aspect of his work, viz. , his political economy. In the process of explicating that feature of his thought the social philosophy upon which his political economy was based and of which it was but one application was at first ignored and then represented as rather simplistic.

The Other Invisible Hand

Author: Julian Le Grand
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400828005
Format: PDF, Docs
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How can we ensure high-quality public services such as health care and education? Governments spend huge amounts of public money on public services such as health, education, and social care, and yet the services that are actually delivered are often low quality, inefficiently run, unresponsive to their users, and inequitable in their distribution. In this book, Julian Le Grand argues that the best solution is to offer choice to users and to encourage competition among providers. Le Grand has just completed a period as policy advisor working within the British government at the highest levels, and from this he has gained evidence to support his earlier theoretical work and has experienced the political reality of putting public policy theory into practice. He examines four ways of delivering public services: trust; targets and performance management; "voice"; and choice and competition. He argues that, although all of these have their merits, in most situations policies that rely on extending choice and competition among providers have the most potential for delivering high-quality, efficient, responsive, and equitable services. But it is important that the relevant policies be appropriately designed, and this book provides a detailed discussion of the principal features that these policies should have in the context of health care and education. It concludes with a discussion of the politics of choice.