Adam Smith is the best known among economists for his book, The Wealth of Nations, often viewed as the keystone of modern economic thought. For many he has become associated with a quasi-libertarian laissez-faire philosophy. Others, often heterodox economists and social philosophers, on the contrary, focus on Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, and explore his moral theory. There has been a long debate about the relationship or lack thereof between these, his two great works. This work treats these dimensions of Smith's work as elements in a seamless moral philosophical vision, demonstrating the integrated nature of these works and Smith's other writings. This book weaves Smith into a constructive critique of modern economic analysis (engaging along the way the work of Nobel Laureates Gary Becker, Amarty Sen, Douglass North, and James Buchanan) and builds bridges between that discourse and the other social sciences.
• Only recent book to treat Smith's two great works as part of a whole • Author has devoted his career to studying Adam Smith • Compares Smith's views with his legacy as treated by Nobel Laureated A. Sen, J. Buchanan, G. Becker, and D. North
Part I. On Adam Smith's Moral Philosophical Vision: 1. Adam Smith's vision; 2. On human nature, social norms, co-evolution, natural selection, and the human prospect; 3. On the role of positive law in humankind's evolution; 4. On the role of religion in humankind's evolution; Part II. On the Place of The Wealth of Nations in Adam Smith's Moral Philosophical Vision: 5. On the progress of opulence, setting the scene in Book I of The Wealth of Nations; 6. The role of capital in the progress of opulence: the analysis of Book II of The Wealth of Nations; 7. An unnatural path to natural progress: Smith represents the power of his principles in Book III of The Wealth of Nations; 8. Smith on the mercantile system and the evolution of His Voice: Book IV of The Wealth of Nations and Part VI of The Theory of Moral Sentiments; 9. On the role of government: Book V of The Wealth of Nations; Part III. On Adam Smith's Moral Philosophical Vision and the Modern Discourse: 10. 'Chicago Smith' versus 'Kirkaldy Smith'; 11. Toward a dynamic three dimensional analysis; 12. The liberal plan and the quandary of capital.
'… the mature result of a lifelong project.' History of Economic Ideas