Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Wealth, Literature, Books, Ethics, Morality, Economics, Adam Smith, Enlightenment

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/11

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Adam Smith, 18-century Scottish economist and philosopher, is referred to as the father of modern economics and free trade market, proponent of laissez-faire economic policies and the capitalism founder by a lot of economics scientists. He is also famous for opposing a mercantilism philosophy, which held sway in Europe for three centuries. Such terms as “invisible hand,” “division of a labor,” “economic man” (“homo economicus”) have their genesis in Adam Smith’s works.
Adam studied at the University of Glasgow on scholarship, where he got acquaintance with Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson, who influenced his ethical speculations in life and later, studying in Balliol College at Oxford, Smith met David Hume, who attracted him to atheistic ideas. In 1759, Smith published “The Theory of Moral Sentiment,” one of his the most famous books.
After delivering of the series of successful lectures in logic and moral philosophy at Glasgow University, Smith left academia to tutor the young duke of Buccleuch in 1764. In 1766, with the life pension he had earned tutoring the duke, Adam Smith retired to his birthplace of Kirkcaldy and started to write “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” (1776) a work that brought him enduring fame.
“The Theory of Moral Sentiment” is a book of social and moral psychology. This book is known to be an example of a particular approach to moral philosophy that regards it not as sets of rational prescriptions, but as the interaction of human feelings, emotions and sentiments in the real human life. As Smith believed that human economic behavior is always situated in moral context, the key theme of the work is an opposition to the opinion that all morality can be reduced to self-interest. According to the book, every person is capable of sympathy, or fellow-feeling, and that ability makes us to imagine what we would feel if we were in the situation of another and enables us to judge whether those feelings are appropriate. The natural fact of human sociality is illustrated by likening society to a mirror. It is this responsiveness to other members of society – pleasure in their approval or pain in their disapproval – that Adam Smith was used to explain why rich humans are eager to demonstrate their wealth while poor humans are trying to hide their poverty. The rich people are considered to value their possessions more for esteem and status they give, than any use they get from them. According to Smith’s explanations, the desire of others estimation makes humans wish to better their conditions. This is one of the links between “The Theory of Moral Sentiment” and another Smith’s work “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” (“The Wealth of Nations”), which takes him 10 years to finally write it.
In “The Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith identified a term “society of strangers,” a commercial society where “everyman is a merchant. The commercial society’s bonds are stated to be independent from love and affection, so everyone can coexist socially with those to whom he/she is emotionally indifferent. In this book Smith made clear that “wealth” covers material prosperity as well as moral welfare. He was convinced that economic system based on individual self-interest led by an “invisible hand,” would bring the greatest benefit for all.
Smith was first to propose a labor division deepening to increase its productivity. Deepened labor division means under competition lower prices and thereby extended markets that result in production reorganizing and inventing new ways of producing. It was Adam Smith, who proposed that a nation’s wealth should be judged by the total of its production and commerce—today known as gross national product (GDP).
“The Wealth of Nations” is considered to be the most influential book in the modern economics. In 2005, “The Wealth of Nations” was named among the 100 Best Scottish Books of all time. A former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was said to carry a copy of the book in her handbag.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 11) Adam Smith Essays Examples. Retrieved August 04, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/adam-smith-essays-examples/
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"Adam Smith Essays Examples." WePapers, Nov 11, 2020. Accessed August 04, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/adam-smith-essays-examples/
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"Adam Smith Essays Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 11-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/adam-smith-essays-examples/. [Accessed: 04-Aug-2021].
Adam Smith Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/adam-smith-essays-examples/. Published Nov 11, 2020. Accessed August 04, 2021.
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