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Adam Smith There is not much surviving data on Smith s personal life, particularly his early life, so this author decided to focus on what is known about his environment in Scotland and those that did or may have taught him Smith was a philosopher and educated man who also wrote a major work that is used in economics However, there are about 200 pages that precede the Wealth of Nations section and while someone who is studying Smith would enjoy it, as a casual reader it failed to catch my atten Though his name looms large as the founder of modern economic theory, Adam Smith himself is in many ways a mysterious and unknowable figure Faced with the challenge of writing a biography of a man who left only a little correspondence and only two books, Nicholas Phillipson provides a broader portrait of Adam Smith s intellectual world In doing so, he sites Smith firmly within the context of the Scottish Enlightenment, showing how he took the explorations of his teachers and colleagues most notably his close friend David Hume and used them to produce two of the seminal books of Western thought By adopting this approach, Phillipson challenges the image of Smith as an absent minded academic and turns him instead into a dynamic teacher who was in contact with many of the leading intellectual and political lights of his day With his persuasive reinterpretation and and readable style, Phillipson has produced what is likely to be the best account of Smith s life an Encyclopdie Larousse En Ligne Adam SmithAdam Smith Evene Adam Smith Est L Un Des Pres Du Libralisme Et De L Conomie Moderne Il Est Le Fondateur De L Cole Classique Anglaise Dite Optimiste Qui S Oppose Aux Physiocrates Adam SMITH Biographie, Tombe, Citations, ForumAdam Smithjuin Juilletest Un Philosophe Et Conomiste Britannique Des Lumires Il Reste Dans L Histoire Comme Le Pre Des Sciences Conomiques Modernes, Dont L Oeuvre Principale, La Richesse Des Nations, Est Un Des Textes Fondateurs Du Libralisme Conomique FACILECO Adam Smith Le Portail Des MinistresAdam Smith, Ecossais Et Professeur De Philosophie Morale De Son Tat, Est N EnIl Publie EnRecherche Sur Les Causes Et La Nature De La Richesse Des Nations, Ouvrage Considr Aujourd Hui Comme L Acte De Naissance De L Analyse Conomique Et Du Libralisme Adam Smith WikiberalAdam Smith La Richesse Des NationsAdam Smith Est Ptri De La Pense Des Lumires , Qui Place L Individu Au Coeur Des Proccupations Et Se Pique De Tisser Des Liens Entre Les Aspirations Individuelles Et Les Comportements Sociaux Adam Smith Vikidia, L Encyclopdie Des Ans Adam Smith Est Un Professeur Cossais De Philosophie Morale Et D Conomie Politique L Universit De Glasgow On Le Considre Comme Un Des Fondateurs Du Libralisme Conomique Aussi Appel Science Conomique Classique Par Karl Marx La Main Invisible D Adam Smith L Conomiste Que Recouvre L Expression Conomique Image De La Main Invisible De L Conomiste Classique De Rfrence Adam Smith Adam Smith Biography, Books, Facts Adam Smith Was The Son By The Second Marriage Of Adam Smith, The Comptroller Of Customs At Kirkcaldy, Scotland, A Small Population , But Thriving Fishing Village Near Edinburgh, And Margaret Douglas, Daughter Of A Substantial Landowner Although I must admit that I lack just too much knowledge about Adam s Smith life, and his other mayor work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, I did get the impression of understanding a little bit about Adam Smith s life and ideas I cannot deny that this book had a lot of research, but, at times, it seems that it may had not been enough However, I cannot deny what was said several times during the book, Adam Smith was a very private person The fact that he burned most of his unfinished writings just seems to confirm this fact No author is to be blamed, and their efforts should be considered A very notorious thing that may come to the reader s mind is the following the book may, at times, center itself too much on other people, and even places or circumstances This is not a bad thing This book may give you a good idea of what the world was like for Adam Smith, and those around him, during the time of his life After reading this book, I ll venture to say, you ll think you know Adam Smith a little bit better, and it may even surprise you My mayor critique about this book is the, at times poor, chronology of events While the chapters are made to fit A masterful and extensively researched book which acts as a great introduction to literature of the enlightenment Some have accused the book of being overtly esoteric and thus, inaccesible to those who are not schooled in the Age of Enlightenment or general 18th century philosophy For my part, I would propound that it is, rather than esoteric, intelligently written and, if anything, likely to inspire any reader to further investigate the morally complex, philosophically challenging and intellectually profound matters that are discussed within Though officially a political economist by trade, the dialogue and debate that Smith puts forward, along with that of his contempo I have to say that not only is this one of the better biographies that I have read and one of the few books that I couldn t put down It is well written and obviously well researched Though the biography itself is only 284 pages long if you ignore the notes and sources, bibliography and index I was left with the impression that I knew everything there was to know about him Not only is the subject s life covered but that of the times he lived in as well As one would expect since Adam Smith had only two books published in his lifetime the circumstances involved in having them both published and at least one revised to a fifth and final edition are This was a fine, contextualizing biography I agree with the author that Adam Smith s life and works cannot be understood except in the milieu of the Scottish Enlightenment and Epictetian stoical philosophy Adam Smith was not promoting the intrinsic value of selfish competition, but was instead writing a prescription for enlightened rulers to mold the forces of capitalism ADAM SMITH is not exactly a biographer s dream An intensely private man, he seemed to go out of his way to leave no trail for future chroniclers His correspondence is dry and workmanlike, with few personal details or revealing mome A really good read, this is well written, deeply informed, and often surprising intellectual biography of the world s first great free marketer Phillipson argues Smith can best be understood as part of a team with his close friend David Hume that sought to create not a science of economics, but a science of man that sought to understand how man thought, spoke, understood his surroundings and sought to live his life Seen through this prism of a quintessential Enlightenment Clearly this was written with a specialist in mind, consciously or unconsciously There are a lot of things that Phillipson seems to assume you know which I don t think a regular educated non philosophy major reader would know Some examples He mentions than once that Smith was influenced philosophically by Euclidean geometry Now, even though he states it influenced his method rather than his content, it still is not self evident what that means How could the method of geometry translate to philosophy Then, I kept coming across the word police, which was clearly not being used as we use it I assumed that it must be an archaic meaning so I checked the dictionary and did an internet search to no avail Only after seeing this word used multiple times, does the reader get to this passage on page 173 4 Both versions of the lectures culminated in a discussion of police, that self consciously used neologism he had probably first employed in Edinburgh to consider the problems involved in maintaining what he called the cleanliness and internal security of the state and, above all, cheapness or plenty, or, which is the same thing, the most proper way of procuring wealth and abundance Wouldn t it have been nice if he had put this paragraph with the first time he mentions the word He also assumes a cultural historical knowledge at times, such as when he cites an exchange between Samuel Johnson and Smith Smith was proud of the new city centre

About the Author: Nicholas Phillipson

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