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Adam Smith, Theorist

He sets out three thinking-caps. Economics puts on one and shrugs off the others, and more knowledge is lost.

Posted in 2007-08 Financial Crisis, History of economics, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Modern readers meet Adam Smith, if at all, as a caricature: on neckties, in op-ed articles, as a critic of government, a prophet of markets and laissez-faire. This think-tank version grossly distorts his significance. Like his friend Benjamin Franklin, Smith was astoundingly wide and deep: founder of a modern social science, moral philosopher, a man of affairs, and a superb writer as well. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton read his books.  He was, if not a founding father of the American republic, a favorite uncle. His very universality makes it difficult to isolate his specific contributions as the originator