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By I. McLean, G. Brown

Iain McLean reexamines the unconventional legacy of AdamSmith, arguing that Smith was once an intensive egalitarian and that his paintings supported all 3 of the slogans of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, and fraternity. McLean means that Smith's the speculation of ethical Sentiments , released in 1759, crystallized the significantly egalitarian philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. This ebook brings Smith into complete view, exhibiting how a lot of contemporary economics and political technology is in Smith. the writer locates Smith's historical past firmly in the context of the Enlightenment, whereas addressing the overseas hyperlinks among American, French, and Scottish histories of political proposal.

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Extra resources for Adam Smith: Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the 21st Century

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Fay to comment ‘in the last analysis it was professional advice which lost us [the UK] the first empire’ (Fay 1956, p. 116). But was it Adam Smith’s The Life of an Absent-minded Professor 17 advice? And was it responsible for the loss of the American colonies? Smith scholars have taken opposing positions on these questions. Tiptoeing through the minefield, I tentatively suggest that it probably was Smith’s advice that Townshend should tax the colonists. From his other writings it is amply clear that Smith shared Townshend’s view that the colonists were taking a free ride on the public good of their defence, and that this should stop.

Townshend apparently first mentioned the idea of Smith acting as the Duke’s tutor in 1759; in 1763 he made a firm invitation, which Smith accepted, giving notice of his resignation in November 1763. He proposed to pay back the student fees for the unexpired portion of his course, and if the students would not take their money back, to pay the money to the University for the substitute tuition. This offer is noted in the surviving University archives (GUA 26645; Ross 1995, p. 153). A detailed and picturesque story in a biography of Smith’s intellectual Edinburgh friend Henry Home, Lord Kames, unfortunately published long after the event, has it that After concluding his last lecture .

While on his later visit of 1767–73, drafting the Wealth of Nations, he wrote to David Hume: My Business here is Study in which I have been very deeply engaged for about a Month past. My Amusements are long, solitary walks by the Sea side. You may judge how I spend my time. I feel myself, however, extremely happy, comfortable and contented. I never was, perhaps, more so in all my life. 1767, Corr. # 103) But although Kirkcaldy gave Smith peace and quiet it cannot have given him intellectual networks, nor much in the way of libraries.

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