Smith’s letter was effectively the authorised version of the story of Hume’s death. Few in 18th century Britain were as forthright in their lack of religious faith as Hume was and, as Hume neared death, everyone wanted to know how he’d face his end. What are most of the restrictions that are in place in the 18th century?

Perhaps his scepticism retained a touch of deism. People—especially academics—describe all kinds of problems with the Enlightenment. So, at least as I read him, Smith provides a kind of historical and comparative cost-benefit analysis, and concludes that, despite its very real problems, commercial society’s overall balance sheet remains preferable to other societies. For the ill-effects of the division of labour, he thought education was a great remedy. This was an open letter on the last days, death, and character of David Hume. He does offer various counter-measures for the ills that he describes.

There’s another contrast there. I would also add—when I read Smith and his concern about protectionism and special interests—that the world he’s living in is just unbelievably protectionist and segmented. Muller was one of the first to do this.

Dennis Rasmussen, author of The Infidel and the Professor—a book about Smith's friendship with David Hume—selects the best books by and about Adam Smith. The above mentioned piece is one of the most unique books by Adam Smith and is readily accessible in the handover and kindle book formats. His whole first book is about morality and sympathy and building a healthy community, so he was not this radical individualist.’.

It is easily accessible in all formats. I guess there are times in The Wealth of Nations when he does take that posture. It remains one of the very best, most comprehensive analyses of The Theory of Moral Sentiments that I know of. It’s quite a good book to dip in and out of as it’s divided into chapters grouped around themes. Number two on your list is his The Theory of Moral Sentiments. He also emphasises the excellence of Hume’s character. He’s arguing that Smith shouldn’t be misrepresented just as the inventor of the invisible hand and the beneficial selfish motive in economic activity. Hume really saw merchants as an amazingly useful class and, in some ways, he fits the mould of what we think of as Smith better than Smith himself does.

On Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations": A Philosophical Companion Yes, and it goes well beyond political economy. There is, in fact, next to no record of him having any romantic or sexual attachments whatsoever. Adam Smith traces the outlines of Smith's intellectual system and situates it in the context of his highly developed views on the norms that govern responsible speech. He seems to have been suspicious of most forms of religious devotion. This book has gained recognition on a national level and is a must read. On that note some of the most famous and top rated Adam Smith books list include the Funny Jokes, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and definitely the original The Wealth of Nations. A high quality digital reading experience.

Hume and Smith see reason as weak and fallible and a thin reed on to which to hang a social order. So you can look at the bits that interest you. One of them was Robert Shiller, who won the Nobel Economics Prize in 2013. The list of books by Adam Smith has gained recognition on a national level and has … It was first published in 1776. What would a pitfall of the Enlightenment be?

Muller did a great service in helping to alert everybody to that fact. That’s one of the things that makes it so difficult to know—and why there are constant debates among Smith scholars about—where he would stand on today’s political spectrum. Smith also just seemed temperamentally disposed to being more circumspect than Hume. It is full of witty jokes and enhances the significance of laughing once in a while. Hume gets into a quarrel with Rousseau and wants to publish it to the world, and Smith says, ‘No! He, too, says that it comes from the sentiments.

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