Download Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for by Iain McLean (auth.) PDF

By Iain McLean (auth.)

Iain McLean reexamines the unconventional legacy of AdamSmith, arguing that Smith was once an intensive egalitarian and that his paintings supported all 3 of the slogans of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, and fraternity. McLean means that Smith's the speculation of ethical Sentiments , released in 1759, crystallized the extensively egalitarian philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. This ebook brings Smith into complete view, exhibiting how a lot of contemporary economics and political technology is in Smith. the writer locates Smith's background firmly in the context of the Enlightenment, whereas addressing the foreign hyperlinks among American, French, and Scottish histories of political thought.

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Additional resources for Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the Twenty-First Century

Sample text

The Theory of Moral Sentiments came out in 1759 to a chorus of acclaim. David Hume's letter of acclamation is long and witty. Hume was in London at the time, and Smith in Glasgow, so Hume sets out to tell Smith how his book has been received in London. I have no room to reproduce it all but cannot resist some of it: Nothing indeed can be a stronger Presumption of Falsehood than the Approbation of the Multitude ... I proceed to tell you the melancholy News, that your Book has been very unfortunate: For the Public seem disposd to applaud it extremely.

On the other hand, Glasgow University did provide a substitute lecturer, and the rest of the session's lectures were delivered (because notes of them comprise L](B)). So if Tytler's story is true, it is difficult to make the sums add up. As one of the wisest Smith commentators, Jacob Viner, says of another encrusted story, Si populus vult decipi, decipiatur (Viner 1965, p. 9 The Life of an Absent-minded Professor 15 Smith left for London in January 1764, where he met his new pupil. They then went to France, calling first in Paris, where Hume was at the time secretary at the British embassy, to pick up a letter of recommendation from the Ambassador (who unfortunately called him Robinson instead of Smith - Corr.

Do you fancy I will grant you a lease for so long a term? " , Smith's account ends: Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit. (AS to W. 1778, Corr. # 178) 20 ADAM SMITH, RADICAL AND EGALITARIAN Smith's audience caught the echo; modern audiences need to be told. The peroration of Smith's eulogy is a close copy of the last paragraph of Plato's dialogue Phaedo, recording the heroic death of Socrates, who stoically drank the fatal hemlock supplied by his executioners.

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