Smith Adam

<history of philosophy, biography> Scottish philosopher and economist (1723-1790). Smith modified the moral sense theory in his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), placing greater emphasis than had Hutcheson on the sentiment of sympathy and the virtue of self-control. Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) proposed the economic theory that social goods are maximized when individual human beings are permitted to pursue their own interests, restricted only by the most general principles of justice. Recommended Reading: Jack Russell Weinstein, On Adam Smith (Wadsworth, 2000); Three Great Economists: Smith, Malthus, Keynes, ed. by D. D. Raphael, Donald Winch, Robert Skidelsky, and Keith Thomas (Oxford, 1997); Charles L. Griswold, Jr., Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1998); and Jerry Z. Muller, Adam Smith in His Time and Ours (Princeton, 1995).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]


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