Vivienne Brown, "Adam Smith's Discourse: Canonicity, Commerce and Conscience"
Publisher: Routledge | 1994 | ISBN 0415081602 | PDF | 256 pages | 1.27 MB
Adam Smith's name has become synonymous with free market economics. Recent scholarship has given us a richer, more nuanced figure, steeped in the intricacies of enlightenment social and political philosophy. Adam Smith's Discourse develops this literature and gives it a radical new dimension. The first book on Adam Smith to deal with recent debates in literary theory, this interdisciplinary work examines Smith's major texts and places them within the context of enlightenment thought. It considers Smith's major writings--the Lectures on Jurisprudence and On Rhetoric and Belles Letters as well as The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations--and places each within its own discursive context and with reference to its stylistic and rhetorical features. Adam Smith's Discourse debunks the view of Smith as a dogmatic free-marketeer. In its place, the book offers a portrait of a more skeptical, philosophical and politically focused figure. It shows that Smith's enthusiasm for the transition to a society based on trade and manufacturing was tinged with a more dispassionate recognition of the losses as well as the benefits derived from commercial society.
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