Adam Smith as a Philosopher and an Economist

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Adam Smith is a political economist who published ‘An inquiry into nature and the causes of the wealth of nations’ that made him famous during his life and after he died. The book was powerful that it changed the complexity of a society controlled by a state government by impacting the adoption of self-interest in trade, while promoting the element of morality. He lived at the time of fame contributed significantly to his popularity because it created knowledge to the people on a outlook to economics.

Adam Smith was a philosopher and an economist who became famous after publishing his classic work ‘The wealth of nations.’ It was considered an important work of economics, which became famous and influential after his publication in 1776 (Rashied, 66). The release of the book marked the start of modern economics and capitalism. During the time of his publication, Smith lived in his town of Kirkcaldy and moved to Scotland to live with his mother (The library of economics and liberty, 1). Most of his ideas began during his trips and persuasion, which indicate that his assertions aligned with both Scottish and European philosophy.

Smith lived in a society that experienced salvery, imperialism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression (Rashid,67). The community also lacked knowledge on many aspects forcing him to base his work on the topics of enlightenment, as he motivated people to stop the war and free people from repressive religious institutions (Cole & Symes, 466). For example, the government controlled trade hence stopping people from gaining self interest or prosperity. By emphasizing self interest in business, he assumed that people would freely run their trade with the help of the authorities. Smith lived and worked at the height of his popularity by a state government that took money from citizens, but also secured them from prosperity. Griswold (57) argues that Smith’s ‘Wealth of nations’ helps in liberating the ordinary citizen by creating a difference in labor. Knowledge helped change the structure of society and view towards political morality.

Adam smith was a stellar citizen and was not in control at the time when he became famous. He was living in his home town and later proceeded to Scotland (The library of economics and liberty, 1). Readers assumed that his trips to Europe and other places around the world contributed to his ideas, this impacting modernity. Smith was living a normal life before writing ‘The wealth of nations’ that made him famous. This influenced significant changes in the aspects of political economics.

The consequences of Smith’s activities were recognized during his life and also after his death, whereby the book became an excellent manifesto economics, especially being against mercantilism (Cole & Symes, 456). This element impacted free trade both in American States and Britain because the philosopher believed granting people self interest would result in prosperity. Even though the influence was not instant, it brought enlightenment while assisting in the aspects related to the political economy during his life and after his death (Cole & Symes, 467). It helped to teach people about various themes that related to virtues and justice.

The time and place where Adam Smith lived at the time he became popular to his fame because people go through oppression in various ways. The book became more popular after others helped write on how great the work was. For instance, the views in Smith’s work ‘The wealth of nations’ were applied when formulating the policies and settling debates in the parliament, it emphasized the harmony of human motives. According to Griswold (56), Smith’s book influences thinkers while serving as guidance is scholarly discussion.

It enlightened society on moral reservations while critiquing the Western philosophical tradition that stops people from having their freedom. When the book was published, it was characterized by illiteracy; hence his themes inspired people to stop war basing on the fact the war was an essential element of human political life at the time (Griswold, 56,). Smith’s contributed to his fame because people need moral sensibility and freedom, which influenced the economist to emphasize the issues of political morality.

Adam Smith’s popularity was influenced after the publication of his work ‘The wealth of nations.’ It helped him famous because his ideas changed the structure of the society. It impact them to succeed on aspects of political economics and morality.

Work Cited

  1. Cole Joshua & Symes Carol. Western Civilization: Their history and culture brief 4th editions: volume 2, new york, w.w.norton and co.,2013.
  2. Griswold Charles. ‘Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment’ Ethical Perspectives, 7, pp. 53-72, 2000.
  3. Salim Rashid “Adan Smith’s Rise to fame: A reexamination of the evidence. The eighteenth century, Vol. 23 (1), 1982.
  4. The library of economics and liberty. ‘Adam Smith’ 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Smith.html

Cite this paper

Adam Smith as a Philosopher and an Economist. (2021, Aug 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/adam-smith-as-a-philosopher-and-an-economist/



Was Adam Smith an economist or a philosopher?
Adam Smith was an economist. He was a philosopher as well, but he is best known for his work in economics.
What did Adam Smith believe about economics?
Adam Smith believed that economics was about the study of how people use resources to produce goods and services and how they exchange those goods and services.
What did Adam Smith think about philosophy?
Adam Smith thought that philosophy was a waste of time.
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