History of Economic Thought/Adam Smith


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 ContextEdit

Adam Smith's LifeEdit

Adam Smith as a PhilosopherEdit

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 JurisprudenceEdit

The Wealth of NationsEdit

In 1776, The Wealth of Nations was published.

Smith on Labour and CapitalEdit

Values and PricesEdit

Money and BankingEdit

Free Market and The Invisible HandEdit

Smith on TaxationEdit

Adam Smith as an EconomistEdit

Legacy and InfluenceEdit

Reference and further readingEdit