Read e-book online Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for PDF

By Iain McLean (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349738220

ISBN-13: 9781349738229

ISBN-10: 1349738247

ISBN-13: 9781349738243

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 considerably egalitarian philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. This publication brings Smith into complete view, exhibiting how a lot of recent economics and political technological know-how 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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In 1748 he moved to Edinburgh and set up as a private lecturer on a wide range of subjects, including both literature and the philosophy of science. He continued to refine these Edinburgh lectures when he moved to Glasgow, and they give rise to the sets of student lecture notes that we now know as LRBL. Smith's few published works other than TMS and WN also mostly date back ultimately to his Edinburgh years, and are collected in EPS. If Balliol was the wrong place to be at the wrong time - and, although we have no direct evidence, it is safe to assume that Smith's relations with the fellows of Balliol became even worse during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-6 - then Kirkcaldy, and even more Edinburgh, were the right places for Smith to go to recover.

The west coast, as we have noted, gained spectacularly from the expansion of trade and the removal of the restrictions that had killed the Darien scheme. The east-coast trade, including that to and from Kirkcaldy, suffered at least relatively and possibly absolutely from the westward shift of Scottish trade. And, as Gilbert Elliot and his fellow promoters of a new town in Edinburgh had shrewdly noted (see Chapter 1), Edinburgh had suffered from the lack of a court and the lack of what we would now call the consequent multiplier effect of a nucleus of highly-paid people demanding luxury goods.

But it was his inward, intellectual life that mattered most. In his own lifetime, he had seen his economic doctrines adopted by leading politicians of both parties. His ethical doctrines, probably more important to Smith himself, percolated into public life in more devious ways; then, after his death, his economic doctrines came to be presented in a very partial way. The rest of this book is devoted to an attempt to recover the real, whole, Adam Smith, and to understand the implications of his thought for the present day.

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Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the Twenty-First Century by Iain McLean (auth.)


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