Adam Smith

Jonathan Conlin

Adam Smith

Jonathan Conlin

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 30 halftones | 5 x 8 | © 2016
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9781780235684 Published April 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Universally acknowledged as the father of capitalism, the eighteenth-century Scottish thinker Adam Smith is best known for his “invisible hand” theory. This theory argued in favor of setting individuals free to pursue their self-interests for the good of all and has helped to make Smith's name synonymous with unfettered free market capitalism. In this book, Jonathan Conlin rescues Smith from the straight-jacket of economics, reattaching the “invisible hand” to Smith’s philosophy of ethics.
           
As Conlin shows, Smith rooted our instincts to trade in human psychology. Analyzing the contrasts he saw between the industrializing Scottish lowlands and the clan-based pastoralism of the Scottish highlands—as well as the contrasts between the ideas of contemporary thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume—Smith advanced a system of ethics founded on sympathy. Weaving together Smith’s life and ideas, Conlin shows how the latter anticipated much more recent developments surrounding behavioral economics, virtue ethics, and social inequality. Ultimately, Conlin argues, Adam Smith offers us a set of tools to face today's challenges and become better and happier human beings. 
Contents
Note on the Text
Introduction
1. The Theater of Nature, 1723-50
2. Spectatorship and Sympathy, 1751-63
3. Trading Places, 1764-6
4. Golden Dreams
5. The Machine of Government, 1776-89
Conclusion: Head, Heart and Hand, 1790

References
Further Reading
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
BBC History
“In a well-written and consistently interesting study, Jonathan Conlin shows how Adam Smith, key thinker in the development of economics, is directly relevant not only for the late 18th century but also for today. . . . A valuable, interesting and well-written book. Conlin deserves congratulations.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Reaktion Books. RSS Feed