Adam Smith Reviewed

Adam Smith Reviewed

Adam Smith Reviewed

Adam Smith Reviewed

Synopsis

"In the two centuries since the death of Adam Smith, much has been written about his ideas and his works: a comprehensive hagiography has developed which now surrounds, and perhaps even obscures, the author of the WEALTH OF NATIONS. In ADAM SMITH REVIEWED the contributors take a fresh look at the cogency and value of Smith's work. Respected writers from the different disciplines describe and reconsider Smith's treatment of topics from the full and remarkable range of his interests - astronomy, aesthetics, economics, jurisprudence, rhetoric, moral philosophy. By acknowledging the breadth of the scope, and by recreating the context in which he worked, the editors have brought together a volume which will do much to remove some of times accretions, allowing Smith to be seen less as an icon of economic theory and more as a consistently interesting and provoking thinker." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Peter Jones

Adam Smith died on 17 July 1790. Many events were arranged to commemorate the bicentennial of his death, including an exhibition in the Royal Museum of Scotland, entitled 'Morals, Motives and Markets: Adam Smith 1723-1790'. That exhibition, devised by Jean Jones, and opened by ten Nobel Laureates in Economics who gathered for the occasion, considered the full range of Smith's interests and achievements, and showed how his economic theories were based on his ideas about human nature and human motives. This book is also designed to describe and assess the range of Smith's thought, from astronomy to aesthetics, from economics to jurisprudence, from rhetoric to moral philosophy. the contributors are not concerned to establish a hagiography. Rather, they seek both to recreate the context in which Smith was writing, since he was necessarily a man of his times, and to assess the cogency and value of his ideas from the perspective of today.

The book opens with a chapter by J. C. Bryce, in which he outlines the context of Smith's lectures on rhetoric, first delivered in Edinburgh in 1748. For Smith, who continued to lecture on these subjects after taking up his chair at the University of Glasgow, the nature of effective communication and the structure of language were both matters of ethical concern and taste. Unlike his close friend David Hume, however, Smith presented no epistemological basis to his reflections. Frans Plank develops Bryce's reflections by an analysis ofSmith third lecture on rhetoric, published in 1761 under the title Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Languages, and the Different Genius of Original and Compounded Languages . . .

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