Adam Smith (1723-90) is a thinker with a distinctive perspective on human behaviour and social institutions. He is best known as the author of the An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). Yet his work is name-checked more often than it is read and then typically it is of an uninformed nature; that he is an apologist for capitalism, a forceful promoter of self-interest, a defender of greed and a critic of any 'interference' in market transactions. To offset this caricature, this Handbook provides an informed portrait. Drawing on the expertise of leading Smith scholars from around the world, it reflects the depth and breadth of Smith's intellectual interests. After an introductory outline chapter on Smith's life and times, the volume comprises 28 new essays divided into seven parts. Five sections are devoted to particular themes in Smith's corpus - his views on Language, Art and Culture; his Moral Philosophy; his Economic thought, his discussions of History and Politics and his analyses of Social Relations.
These five parts are framed by one that focuses on the immediate and proximate sources of his thought and the final one that recognizes Smith's status as a thinker of world-historical significance - indicating both his posthumous impact and influence and his contemporary resonance. While each chapter is a discrete contribution to scholarship, the Handbook comprises a composite whole to enable the full range of Smith's work to be appreciated.
Christopher J. Berry is Professor (Emeritus) of Political Theory and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. He has established himself as a leading international scholar of the Scottish Enlightenment. In addition to seminal articles, and contributions in this area, he is the author of the key text Social Theory of the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1997). His scholarship ranges more widely and he is the author of several books, including The Idea of Luxury (Cambridge, 1994), David Hume (Continuum, 2009), and The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 2013). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of which Adam Smith was a founder member. Maria Pia Paganelli is an assistant professor of economics at Trinity University. She works on Adam Smith, David Hume, 18th century monetary theories, and also explores the links between the Scottish Enlightenment and the results from behavioural economics. She won the 2009 European Society of the History of Economic Thought's Best Article of the Year prize and is book review editor of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought. Craig Smith is Adam Smith Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Glasgow University. Previously he was a lecturer in the Department of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. He works on the history of political thought with particular reference to the eighteenth century and the Scottish Enlightenment. He is the author of Adam Smith's Political Philosophy: The Invisible Hand and Spontaneous Order (Routledge, 2006) and is book review editor of the Adam Smith Review.
PART I: ADAM SMITH: HERITAGE AND CONTEMPORARIES; PART II: ADAM SMITH ON LANGUAGE, ART, AND CULTURE; PART III: ADAM SMITH AND MORAL PHILOSOPHY; PART IV: ADAM SMITH AND ECONOMICS; PART V: ADAM SMITH ON HISTORY AND POLITICS; PART VI: ADAM SMITH ON SOCIAL RELATIONS; PART VII: ADAM SMITH: LEGACY AND INFLUENCE