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Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian – An Interpretation for the 21st Century - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: An Interpretation for the 21st Century

Iain McLean


This book aims to show that Adam Smith (1723–90), the author of Inquiry into…the Wealth of Nations, was not the promoter of ruthless laissez-faire capitalism that is still frequently depicted. His ‘right-wing’ reputation was sealed after his death, when it was not safe to claim that an author may have influenced the French revolutionaries. But as the author also of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which he probably regarded as his more important book, Smith sought a non-religious grounding for morals, and found it in the principle of sympathy, which should lead an impartial spectator to underst ... More

Keywords: Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, laissez-faire capitalism, French revolutionaries, Moral Sentiments, morals, principle of sympathy, Scottish Enlightenment, policy makers, sociologist of religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780748623525
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623525.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Iain McLean, author