By Eamon Butler
Regardless of his popularity, there's nonetheless frequent lack of expertise in regards to the breadth of Adam Smith's contributions to economics, politics and philosophy. In "Adam Smith: A Primer", Eamonn Butler presents an authoritative advent to the lifestyles and paintings of this 'founder of economics'. the writer examines not just "The Wealth of Nations", with its insights on alternate and the department of labour, but in addition Smith's much less famous works, similar to "The idea of ethical Sentiments", his lectures, and his writings at the heritage of technology. Butler accordingly presents a finished, yet concise, assessment of Adam Smith's highbrow achievements. while previous writers can have studied fiscal concerns, it truly is transparent that the scope of Smith's enquiries used to be awesome. In bearing on monetary growth to human nature and institutional evolution he supplied a totally new knowing of ways human society works, and was once greatly a precursor of later writers corresponding to Hayek and Popper. certainly, with terrible governance, protectionism and social engineering nonetheless regular, Smith's arguments are nonetheless hugely suitable to policymakers this present day. "Adam Smith: A Primer" incorporates a foreword by means of Sir Alan Peacock, an advent by way of Gavin Kennedy and a remark via Craig Smith.
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Additional info for Adam Smith: A Primer
Part III, ch. II. , part III, ch. III, pp. 136–7, para. 4. , part III, ch. III. , part III, ch. IV, p. 159, paras 7–8. , part III, ch. V. , part V, ch. I, and ch. II, p. 200, para. 1. 81 a da m s m i t h – a p r i m e r for the good, is wealth. Smith’s lengthy reﬂections on this subject must come as a shock to naive critics who (following Karl Marx) imagine him as a champion of material acquisitiveness. The material conveniences that money can buy are actually quite triﬂing, he insists. A ﬁne coat is no more weatherproof than a rough one; a rich person can eat no more than anyone else; and the labourer in a humble cottage probably sleeps more soundly than a monarch in a great palace.
Part VI, section III, ch. III, p. 235, para. 3. The man of system ... is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it ... He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. , part VI, section II, ch. II, p. 229, para. 4. , part VI, section II, ch.
Part IV, ch. I, pp. 184–5, para. 10. 83 a da m s m i t h – a p r i m e r On virtue The constitution of a virtuous society Having identiﬁed the origins and nature of morality, Smith ends The Theory of Moral Sentiments by deﬁning the character of a truly virtuous person. Such a person, he suggests, would embody the qualities of prudence, justice and beneﬁcence. A fourth – selfcommand – is also essential, though it is not always a force for good. Prudence is directed at the care of the individual.
Adam Smith: A Primer by Eamon Butler