Smith, Adam (1723–1790)

Adam Smith is one of the most influential systematic social philosophers in the history of Western civilization. He founded political economy (now economics) as an independent discipline. Smith was a quiet radical, arguing against the status quo, whose observations of human nature and economic activity in Scotland and England continues to influence public policy during the current age of globalization. Smith's first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, provides the ethical foundation for capitalism. His second book, An Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations, provides a wealth of empirical evidence justifying the social benefits of a free market economy.


Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. His father, the seaport community's Comptroller of Customs, died 6 months before he was born. Smith's mother, assisted by tutors ...

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