Biography of Adam Smith

John Adam Smith (born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, June 5, 1723 - died in Edinburgh, Scotland, July 17, 1790 in the age of 67 years), was a Scottish philosopher who became a pioneer of modern economics. His most famous book is An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations) is the first book to describe the historical development of industry and commerce in Europe as well as the basics of the development of free trade and capitalism. Adam Smith is one of the pioneers of the economic system of capitalism. This economic system emerged in the 18th century in Western Europe in the 19th century and became famous there.

State of Prosperity (Wealth of Nations) and the smaller Theory of Moral Sentiment influence, has become the starting point for any defense or criticism or other forms of capitalism, the most important in the writings of Marx and the human economy. Because laissez-faire capitalism is often associated with uncontrolled selfishness, there is a new movement that emphasizes the moral philosophy of Smith, with the focus of one's sympathy.

There is some controversy about the authenticity of the Welfare State Smith; some people deny their work is just amazing to work additional thinkers like David Hume and the Baron de Montesquieu. And, many of Smith's theories only describe historical trends away from mercantilism, toward the free-trade, which has evolved over several decades, and has had a marked influence in government policy. However, this book is to organize their ideas widely, and continues to be a book of the most influential and important in today bidangya.


Adam Smith is widely known in economic theory '"laissez-faire" is announced in the 18th century European society. Smith believed in the right to influence economic progress themselves freely, without any control by the association and / or state. This theory came to the proto-industrialization in Europe, and change the majority of Europe into a free trade area, making the possibility of a businessman. He was also known as the "Father of Economics".


At age 13, Smith entered the University of Glasgow, where he studied moral philosophy under "the people who should not be forgotten" (as Smith called him) Francis Hutcheson. Here, Smith developed a strong desire for freedom, reason, and freedom of expression. In 1740 he was awarded the Snell exhibition and entered Balliol College, Oxford, but as William Robert Scott said, "University of Oxford in his time gave little if any assistance is given what should have been the work of his life," and he left the university in 1746. In the book to the V of The Wealth of Nations, Smith remarked on the low quality of instruction and intellectual activity which amounts to less than in Scotland. comments directed at the people who awarded the wealth of the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, which makes inclusion of the professors are not based on their ability to attract students, and the fact that people posing as men of letters could enjoy life more comfortable of ministers in the Church of England.

Career in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Smith started the year 1748 public lectures in Edinburgh under the guidance of Lord Kames. Some of his lectures offensive rhetoric and belles-lettres, but later he would take the subject of "the progress of welfare," and later, in the middle or end of the twentieth century, where he was first put forward the economic philosophy of "clear and simple system of natural liberty" where he put the matter to the audience in the essay book The Wealth of Nations. At about 1750 he met filusuf David Hume, who is ten years his senior adrift. Relationship and similarity of opinions that can be found in the details of their paper covers the history, politics, philosophy, economics, and religion mmereka indicates that both have close intellectual communion and friendship to others that which will play an important role during the Enlightenment in Scotland. [1 ], he merutinkan The Poker Club of Edinburgh.

Year 1751 Smith was appointed as chairman of the board of logic at Glasgow University, was transferred in 1752 to the Council of Glasgow moral philosophy, once occupied by the famous teacher, Francis Hutcheson. Lectures covered ethics, rhetoric, jurisprudence, political economy, and "police and revenue". In 1759 he published his Theory of Moral Sentiments, embodying some of his lectures at Glasgow. This work, which builds the reputation of Smith's, explains how the human komuikasi depends on sympathy between agent and spectator (that, the individual and other community members). Analysis on the evolution of language is sometimes superficial, as demonstrated 14 years later by a further study in the primitive language by Lord Monboddo [2]. in his work entitled The Origin and Development of Language will influence the capacity of Smith, persuasive, or rhetorical arguments, more in evidence. He based his explanation does not, like Lord Shaftesbury and Hutcheson did in the third "moral interests", also unlike Hume on utilitarianism, but based on sympathy.

Smith is now starting to pay more attention to jurisprudence and economics in college and a little on his theory of morals. Gained the same impression to the development of his ideas on political economy from the record by a college student circa 1763 who later edited by Edwin Cannan [3], and form what Scott, founder and publisher, described him as "part of the Wealth of Nations Draft ", which is dated around 1763. Cannan's work appeared as Lectures in the Justice, Police, Tax and Firearms. A more complete version was published as a lecture in Glasgow edition Jurispundensi in 1976.

Tour of France

in 1762 the academic senate of the University of Glasgow met Smith in the title Doctor of Laws. In late 1763, he got a lucrative offer from Charles Townshend (who was introduced to Smith by David Hume), to teach his stepson, the Duke of Buccleuch. Smith eventually retired from keprofessorannya and from 1764-66 traveled with his pupil, mostly in France, where he came to meet the intellectual leaders such as turgor, Jean D'Alembert, Andre Morrelet, Helvetius and, in particular, Francois Quesnay, the head of the School whose work Physiocracy Smith was honored by very high. In the course pulangnyake Kirkaldy Smith was elected to the Royal Society of London, and he dedicates most of the next ten years on his magnum opus magnum, The Wealth of Nations, which appeared in 1776. The book was well received and made the author famous.

Year-End Year

In 1778 Smith was appointed to the post sebagaikomisioner to excise in Scotland and lived with his mother in Edinburgh. In 1783 he became one of the founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and from 1787 until 1789 he was honorary position of Lord Chancellor mendaat University of Glasgow. He died in edinburgh on July 17, 1790 due to serious illness and was buried in the Kirkyard Canogatw.

Smith is the literary executor of two old friends from the world of Scottish academic, physicist and chemist Joseph Black, and the pioneering geologist James Huton. Smith left behind many notes and unpublished material, but gave instructions to destroy anything that is not worthy of publication. He called the History of Astronomy match, and appeared in 1795, along with other material, as Essays on Philosophical Objects.

Adam Smith's contemporary followers including John Millar

Personal character and view-view

Very little is known about Adam Smith apart from what can be deduced from his works that have been published. All his personal papers were destroyed after his death. He is married and seemed to maintain a close relationship with his mother, where he lived after returning from France and ahead of Smith's death is only 6 years later. Contemporary testimony describes Smith as an eccentric but benevolent intellectual and friendly, senility is comical, with the recurring habits of speech and gave a smile that "friendly without expression." [4] His patience is said to have important value in her work as an administrative Glasgow. After his death it was found that the majority of its revenue was donated by him in secret.

There has been some debate on the religious views of Adam Smith. His father has a great interest in Christianity [5] and the moderate wing of the Church of Scotland (the national church in Scotland since 1690). Smith may go to England to pursue a career in the Church of England: this statement is controversial and depends on the status of the Snell exhibitions. At Oxford, Smith rejected Christianity and believed that he returned to Scotland as a Deist.

Economist Ronald Coase, however, have challenged the view that Smith was a Deist, stated that, while Smith may be referred to as "the Great Architect of the Universe", other scholars have "much exaggerated extension to which Adam Smith has entered into a belief in a God Personal ". He based this analysis of a remark in The Wealth of Nations where Smith writes that the curiosity of mankind about the "extraordinary phenomenon of nature" such as "generation, life, growth and death of plants and animals" has made man to "put it in their commonsense ". Coase notes Smith's observation in which: "Superstition is first ditujukkan to satisfy curiosity, by connecting all sighting on the agency of God's amazing". However, this belief does not contradict circuitry Deism, a belief system that holds sekptis idea of a personal God.


Shortly before his death Smith destroyed nearly all his manuscripts. In the later years he seems to have been planning two major keterilmuan, one in the theory and legal history and one in science and art. Published after his death Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795) may contain a part of what will be the next deflection.

The Wealth of Nations to be influential because it was so loud that the economy and its development into a systematic discipline and self. In the western world, are still dealt if this is the most influential books in the subject ever published. When the book became a classic manifestation against mercantilism (the theory that large reserves of precious metals is a must for economic succession), appeared in 1776, there is a strong awareness for free trade in both England and America. This new feeling was born of economic hardship and poverty situation caused by the War of American Independence. However, at the time of publication, not everyone necessarily believes in the advantages of free trade: the public and parliament in the UK are still using the system for several years in the future mercantilism.

The Wealth of Nations also rejects the statement Physiocracy the importance of land, instead, Smith believed that the union is a high priority, and the division of labor will result in a significant increase in production. Smith's use an example with the manufacture of pins. One worker could make twenty pins a day. But if ten people divided into eighteen steps required to make a clasp, clasps they can make 48,000 a day. Nations are very successful, and in fact, this has resulted in emptying of the older economic school and younger economists such as Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo, Smith focused on improving the theory into what will be known as classical economics. Both the modern economy and, separately, Marxisan economy once depended on classical economics. Malthus developed rumination Smith in overpopulation, while Ricardo believed in the "iron law of wages" - which can prevent a population explosion of wages through a rational level. Smith gives a solution to the wage increases with the increase in production, a view considered more accurate today.

One of the main points of The Wealth of Nations is a free market, when the chaotic and irregular appearance, is actually guided to make the correct value and variety of goods by "invisible hands" (an image used by Smith in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, but first used in his essay, "History of Astronomy"). If a product shortage occurs, for example, then the price goes up, making a profit margin that makes the incentive for others to go into production, and scarcity. If too many producers who msauk to market, increased competition among manufacturers and increased supply will lower the price on the product to the point where the price of production, the price of natural. Even if the gains to empty the "natural price", then there will be an incentive to produce goods and services, and all production costs, including workers' compensation to the owner, is also included in the price of goods sold. If the price drops below empty profits, manufacturers will come out of the market, if they are above the empty profits, manufacturers will enter the market. Smith believed that human motives are often selfish and greedy, the competition in the free market will aim to benefit society by forcing all low fixed prices, which continue to build in incentives for various goods and services. In addition, he is worried about the businessman and against the formation of monopolies.

Smith vehemently attacked the antiquated government restrictions which he thought the restriction will reverse the expansion of the industry. In fact, he's attacked virtually all forms of government intervention in the economy, including tariffs, arguing that this creates inefficiency and high prices in the long run. This theory became known as "laissez-faire", which means "let them do", influenced government legislation in later years, especially during the 19th century. (After all he is not against the government. Smith advocated public education for poor adults, the institutional system that is not profitable for private industry, advocated, and the standing army.)

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