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Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for by I. McLean, G. Brown

By I. McLean, G. Brown

Iain McLean reexamines the novel 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 idea of ethical Sentiments , released in 1759, crystallized the significantly egalitarian philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. This ebook 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 history firmly in the context of the Enlightenment, whereas addressing the foreign hyperlinks among American, French, and Scottish histories of political idea.

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There was a succession of bad harvests. Most importantly, the creation and subsequent collapse of the ‘Darien scheme’ showed that Scotland was no longer viable as an independent state sharing its crown with another. In 1695–6 Edinburgh merchants had launched ‘The Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indes’, incorporated under patent by an Act of the Scottish Parliament in June 1695. The Company of Scotland 30 Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian was intended as a trading company along the lines of the English East India Company.

153). A detailed and picturesque story in a biography of Smith’s intellectual Edinburgh friend Henry Home, Lord Kames, unfortunately published long after the event, has it that After concluding his last lecture . . he drew from his pocket the several fees of the students, wrapped up in separate paper parcels, and beginning to call up each man by his name, he delivered to the first who was called the money into his hand. The young man peremptorily refused to accept it, declaring that the instruction and pleasure he had already received was much more than he either had repaid or ever could compensate, and a general cry was heard from every one in the room to the same effect.

It tells us specifically that Smith’s attitude to religion is the same as that of his Edinburgh contemporary and rival Adam Ferguson (and Ludwig Feuerbach, and Karl Marx, who studied Ferguson and Smith): that is, that religion is an artefact of the human imagination. As Millar goes on to indicate, two of the four parts of this lecture series were published in Smith’s lifetime. The Theory of Moral Sentiments came out in 1759 to a chorus of acclaim. David Hume’s letter of acclamation is long and witty.

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