Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment
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Although Adam Smith is often thought of today as an economist, he was in fact (as his great contemporaries Hume, Burke, Kant, and Hegel recognized) an original and insightful thinker whose work covers an immense territory including moral philosophy, political economy, rhetorical theory, aesthetics, and jurisprudence. Charles Griswold has written the first comprehensive philosophical study of Smith's moral and political thought. Griswold sets Smith's work in the context of the continuing debate about the nature and survival of the Enlightenment, and relates it to current discussions in moral and political philosophy. Smith's appropriation as well as criticism of ancient philosophy, and his carefully balanced defense of a liberal and humane moral and political outlook, are also explored. This is a major reassessment of a key figure in modernity that will be of particular interest to philosophers and political and legal theorists, as well as historians of ideas, rhetoric, and political economy.