Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by G. Kennedy

By G. Kennedy

During this obtainable e-book, Gavin Kennedy takes a clean examine Adam Smith's ethical philosophy and its hyperlinks to his political financial system and his lectures on jurisprudence. The ebook presents a brand new research of Wealth of countries, and argues that Adam Smith's highbrow legacy was once coopted within the 19th and 20th centuries through economists pursuing agendas that Smith didn't recommend. It additionally presents a brand new reason behind the most mysteries approximately Smith's later existence.

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Boldly, he asserted that everything should be examined ‘without regarding their absurdity or probability, His ‘Juvenile Work’ 17 their agreement or inconsistency with truth and reality’ but only with respect to the ‘particular point of view’ of the history of philosophy. ’27 He realised that he had either to sacrifice the Church or Philosophy. He could not combine both; he wrestled with his decision until he sacrificed the Church. With great caution he drafted his essay and hid it away in his bedroom cabinet for 40 years, occasionally taking it out and revising it, and, cautious to the end, he insisted it appeared before the public only after his death.

If wealth and bettering oneself were incompatible with virtue, then a philosophical case for the expansion of the commercial society was stymied. There was no doubt that Smith recognised the signs of economic growth – they were all around him in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and he could read about similar trends in England. Most telling, his second book was about the ‘nature and causes of the wealth of nations’. He no longer needed to look up to the night sky to practise the philosophical method; his mind’s eye was fixed firmly on what was happening around him on earth.

Ilay would see in young Smith someone of the same mould politically as himself, evidenced convincingly by his father’s record of service to the Unionist cause (personally witnessed by the 2nd Duke), and by his suffering for his pro-Hanoverian stance at the hands of the ‘mob of young gentlemen’ at Balliol, a place widely known for its fanatical Jacobite prejudices. What a chord that image would strike with the Duke! No matter that Adam Smith junior throughout his life regarded many of the British elite to be deficient in good sense, he also considered the Jacobite cause a dangerous regression into savage backwardness, and he offered no support for the irrational fiction of the divine rights of kings.

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