Summary of Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment
All economists know Adam Smith was the Enlightenment’s free market, free trade icon. But, they seem to ignore his moral stance, his opposition to colonialism and slavery, and his feelings about sentiment. Now, meet the real Smith, not just another Wall Street philosopher.
Put on your scuba gear - we’re diving down deep. Even though Charles L. Griswold, Jr. writes in a dense, academic style, it is worth swimming through his prose to learn about the remarkable work of 18th-century Enlightenment philosopher Adam Smith. Regarded as one of the fathers of modern economic thought, Smith has been misunderstood for the last century because his ethical philosophy has been overlooked. Instead, economists have drawn attention only to his thumbs-up for free enterprise and free trade. Smith believed neither was worthwhile without ethics, a point some modern economists might profitably revisit. getAbstract highly recommends this richly detailed, insightful book to anyone interested in economic, political, or social philosophy.
In this summary, you will learn
- What other works the Scottish philosopher and ecomonist Adam Smith wrote;
- What his ideas on freedom and morality were; and
- How his support for “moral sensibility” stretched far beyond old-fashioned conventions.
About the Author
Charles L. Griswold, Jr. is a professor of philosophy at Boston University. He has published in a variety of fields, including ancient philosophy, the Scottish Enlightenment, and German idealism.
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