Adam Smith (Smith, Adam)( English economist and philosopher)
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Biography Adam Smith (Smith, Adam)
June 5, 1723 - July 17, 1790
. Adam Smith was born June 5, 1723 in the town Kirkold, near the Scottish capital Edinburgh, the son of the customs official, Smith and his second wife, Margaret Douglas, daughter of a major landlord of (British landowner)
. On Smith's childhood, little is known, for example, that the age of four he was abducted by gypsies, but police found the kidnappers. Another known that little Adam showed great interest in the study and that from childhood he was very distracted.
At age 14, Smith entered the University of Glasgow, which at that time was the center of the Scottish enlightenment. In the first years of study Smith was influenced by the ideas of the famous English philosopher Professor Francis Hichstouna, which became a kind of guru for the future economist. However, Smith later completely disproved the idea of his mentor. After graduation, Adam Smith won a scholarship to study at Oxford in Balliol College, where, and went in 1740. Oxford radically different from Glasgow, because there are virtually no teachers read
and lectures and had to basically do their own.
At the end of Oxford Smith returned to Scotland and began to look for work. Family ties and the assistance of a lawyer and philosopher Lord Henry Kames Smith opened broad prospects. He began with the reading public lectures in Edinburgh, which stretched from the topic of rhetoric and history to economics and philosophy. Even then, judging from the lectures, he followed the principles of economic liberalism and, in particular, the principle of free trade.
Lectures made a sensation and were highly appreciated by many famous personalities of the time. It is through public lectures, Smith was invited to the University of Glasgow for the post of professor of logic. This happened in 1751 when he was only 27 years old. A year later, Adam Smith came to the department of philosophy at a more prestigious post of professor of philosophy of morality, which held until 1763. While this particular item in a combined disciplines such as theology, law, ethics and political economy. Years of work at the University of Adam Smith Opis
yval as the most happy and eventful. His lectures began at 7:30 am and lasted until noon. Despite the fact that he was not teaching Latin and in English (following the example Hichstouna), an understanding of his subject demanded exceptional attention and breadth of outlook of students.
. In 1758 Adam Smith chose the dean of the university, which was an expression of universal recognition of his merits
. All Smith devoted his spare time for the university or held in secular salons Glasgow. Among his close friends could be found not only the aristocrats, . public figures and representatives of the political establishment, . but pundits, . particularly, . Joseph Black, . famous chemist, . James Watt, . inventor of the steam engine, . and David Hume, . philosopher and very close friend of Smith,
. In the social circle consisted of Smith and large businesses
. For example, Andrew Cochrane, from which Smith drew his information about the state of the economy and how to operate the financial mechanisms.
. In 1759 Smith published his first major scholarly work "The Theory of Moral Sentiments"
. Didactic and analytical by nature, this book is a psychological analysis of the phenomena, which formed the basis of his most famous work, "Study on the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" (1776). In Theory of Moral Sentiments "describes the universal and unchanging principles of human nature, which, according to Smith, Hume and other philosophers, shape social institutions and individual behavior in society. Smith is particularly interested in the process
with the formation of moral principles with the needs of individual rights and personal interests. The philosopher believed that each person sends an "invisible force" that affects the criteria for evaluating their own actions and actions of others. This theory is not so naive as it seems at first glance, especially if it is viewed in the light of Freud's ideas about the structure of personality, in particular, such elements as the superego.
. In 1763, Smith's life turning point occurred - he left the University of Glasgow and the offer to accompany during a foreign trip of the young Count, adopted son of a prominent politician - the Duke of Buccleuch
. Tangible benefits of this trip was for Smith's recent value: trip guaranteed him бё 800 a month until the end of life that was clearly more of his professorial fee.
. Travel lasted from 1764 to 1766, ie
. more than two years, of whom half year Smith spent in Toulouse, two months in Geneva (where he met with Voltaire, whom he deeply respected) and nine months in Paris. Close acquaintance of the trip with philosophers d'Alembert, . Helvetius, . Holbach, . as well as with the Physiocrats, . including F. Quesnay and Turgot A., . reflected later in his main work "Study on the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", . which he started back in Toulouse,
. Upon his return to Scotland, Smith decides to stay with his mother, where
withdraws from 1767 to finalize the Wealth of Nations. The book was published in 1776 and strengthened the already well known to its author. It was reprinted four times during the life of Smith and three more times - from the day of his death and before the end of the century.
This book marked the beginning of the development of economics as a discipline. Adam Smith developed the idea that labor - the main source of wealth of the nation. It serves a fervent supporter of private enterprise and the division of labor in the production process. The true wealth of the nation, according to Smith, is not the quantity of gold from the state, but to provide citizens with all the necessary products (in the broadest sense) in full. Smith also rejected any government intervention in the economy. He believed that it operates "Neuve
idimaya hand "(an analogy with the" invisible force "of the" Theory of Moral Sentiments ").
The influence of Smith on his contemporaries was so great that even the British Prime Minister U. Pitt Jr., declared himself his disciple. They have repeatedly met and discussed a number of financial projects. One result of these contacts with the scientist was the signing of U. Pitt in 1786, the first liberal trade treaty with France - the Treaty of Eden, which substantially changed the customs tariffs. The result of the influence of the creative heritage of the author of The Wealth of Nations "can also be recognized that one of his students, Stuart, in 1801 began to read in
. University of Edinburgh independent course of political economy, which previously was a course of moral philosophy.
. In January 1778, Adam Smith was appointed commissioner of Scottish customs, and in this position he remained until his death July 17, 1790 in Edinburgh.