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Adam Smith: Eighteenth-Century Polymath

Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a polymath with several of his key concepts and theories either having modern counterparts and/or “enjoying” empirical support. Smith wrote about the origin and proper use of language, grammar, the history of astronomy and ancient physics, moral philosophy, music, dance, and poetry, and; economics. Despite the very wide variety of topics…

Adam Smith as Scottish Philosopher

Was Adam Smith a Scottish philosopher? The question seems an odd one. He was a philosopher and he was Scottish. What more could we need to know, in order to arrive at the simple answer ‘yes.’ And in any case, why does it matter? On reflection, however, neither the question nor the answer seems so…

Smith on Smith

Here is the opening paragraph to Vernon’s Foreward to Propriety and Prosperity. I would urge anyone interested in situated cognition to read his superb Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms, amazingly an unknown work within situated circles, proponent or critic. Also worth a read is Vernon’s memoir. This book is a welcome addition to the resurgent scholarly…

How Adam Smith would fix capitalism

Jesse Norman in the FT. Look out for the forthcoming symposium on Jesse’s soon-to-be released book in C+T. The real Adam Smith is a vastly wiser and more subtle thinker. He forces us to discard the usual simplistic slogans and tired clichés. But more than this: he still has a vast amount to teach us,…