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Contemplating with Adam Smith

Contemplating with Adam Smith discusses Adam Smith's non-foundationalist ethics. The impartial-spectator process is a dynamic call upward, to sustain one's locus of affirmation. The puzzle is always: Which way is up? Non-foundationalism advises against a foundationalist approach to that puzzle.

Chapter titles:

  1. Major Themes and Ambling through a Few Spirals
  2. Who Is Adam Smith's Impartial Spectator?
  3. The Spirit of Religion: In Praise of Adam Smith's Organon and Allegory
  4. Hume and Smith on Utility, Agreeableness, Propriety, and Moral Approval
  5. Adam Smith's Non-foundationalism
  6. Ought as an Is: On the Positive-Normative Distinction
  7. The Circumstantiality of Bivariate Relationships in Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  8. In a Word or Two, Placed in the Middle: The Invisible Hand in Adam Smith's Tomes
  9. Adam Smith's Attitude toward Rousseau
  10. TMS's Appeal Moves with Openness to Non-foundationalism: 35 Critics, 1765–1949
  11. Circa 1800

Edmund Burke and the Perennial Battle, 1789-1797

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Big discount on bulk order, email Erik Matson ematson@mercatus.gmu.edu.

Edmund Burke’s interpretation of the revolution in France, beginning 1789, is nothing short of an interpretation of human nature, and of Western civilization. Edmund Burke and the Perennial Battle, 1789-1797 collects the most penetrating and timeless passages of Burke's writings from 1789 until his death. Published in partnership with:

     


Hume, Smith, Burke, Geijer, Menger, d’Argenson, et EJW cetera

This volume contains a selection of 15 items published in Econ Journal Watch (EJW), including Hume's original account of his affair with Rousseau. Adam Smith also looms large. Two items are by Edmund Burke. View content list  below (or by clicking LEARN MORE...).


Smithian Morals

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Smithian Morals takes up Adam Smith’s thought on justice, virtue, propriety, beneficialness, liberty, God, and the conscience. Smith is pursued as exemplar, sage, moral guide, and therapist. Smith teaches us to think dialectically. At the center of Smith’s thought Klein sees a robust affirmation: “allowing every man to pursue his own interest his own way, upon the liberal plan of equality, liberty, and justice.” Smith teaches a presumption of liberty. The strength of that presumption is up to us. Smith’s liberalism is outspoken to the point of abolitionism on particular issues, but in a broader sense it is conservative; it is an engaging, humane conservative liberalism. It emanates from a true moralist and his philosophy of virtue. Smith teaches a presumption of liberty not from first principles or purportedly self-evident propositions. He picks up midstream, mindful of the waters about all he treats and about his own weather-beaten vessel, for he is coursing upon the waters with us. As interpreter of Smith’s texts, Klein is open about his tendencies toward classical liberalism, non-foundationalism, and esoteric reading.

 


Central Notions of Smithian Liberalism

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Central Notions of Smithian Liberalism explores notions jural, political, and economic. The author does intellectual history as a way of theorizing—that is, to advance political theory, jural theory, moral theory, social theory, economic theory. The author treats Adam Smith and the liberalism he shared with David Hume and Edmund Burke. They represent classical liberalism at its best. Their classical liberalism is today aptly called conservative liberalism. The chapters derive mostly from substantial articles previously published in scholarly journals. Chapters expound Smith’s tri-layered justice, liberty, jural dualism, Humean conventionalist political theory, and Smithian liberalism. A chapter written with Erik Matson, “Convention without Convening,” explains natural convention, transcending “nature” and “convention” and attesting the place of Hume and Smith in natural law traditions and enlarging our understanding of those traditions. A chapter asks and answers, “Is It Just to Pursue Honest Income?”.  Another chapter identifies four sets of nonconflicting rules, namely (1) government law, (2) commutative justice, (3) ethics writ large, and (4) just government law. Other chapters relate Smithian liberalism to various topics, including Iain McGilchrist’s divided brain, being grateful for without being grateful to, and the Export-Import Bank. The final chapter considers the fortunes of liberalism in relation to prevailing attitudes toward allegory and God.


Classical Liberalism by Country, Volume III: Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Ex-Yugoslav Nations, Ukraine, and Romania


Life of Adam Smith

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John Rae's Life of Adam Smith was originally published by Macmillan in 1895. Here we offer an inexpensive facsimile reprint.

Our reprinting of the work is the first in our reprint series called CL Reprints. The Project Manager of CL Reprints is Zachary Yost. The logo for CL Reprints is the following illustration "Gutenberg's Press" by Dave Grey, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution–NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

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Here are excerpts from two 1895 reviews of Rae's Life of Adam Smith, and one from 1966 when it was previously reprinted:

Carlos C. Closson, Journal of Political Economy, 1895:

Mr. John Rae, with the co-operation of many scholars and of university and library officials, has given us a Life of Adam Smith which sums up, in thoroughly competent fashion, the information that has come to light during the last century. Mr. Rae has executed his task conscientiously and well. He keeps himself -perhaps almost too much -in the background, leaving the documents and bits of evidence to tell their own story.

 

Edward Gaylord Bourne, The American Historical Review, 1895:

Mr. Rae has made not only a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the career of Adam Smith, but, incidentally, has presented an instructive picture of educational activity during the middle of the eighteenth century.

 

A.J. Youngson, The Economic Journal, 1966:

It is just over seventy years since Rae's Life of Adam Smith was published. It remains the standard biography and has become, in its way, a classic. The product of careful scholarship, its merits are many and obvious. Rae made use of a great variety of material, published and unpublished; he wrote well; and his account is at once full, accurate, sympathetic and fair.

 


Francis Hutcheson: His Life, Teaching, and Position in the History of Philosophy

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Big discount on bulk order, email Erik Matson ematson@mercatus.gmu.edu.

William R. Scott's Francis Hutcheson was originally published by Cambridge at the University Press in 1900.

Our reprinting of the work is the second in our reprint series called CL Reprints. The Project Manager of CL Reprints is Zachary Yost. The logo for CL Reprints is the following illustration "Gutenberg's Press" by Dave Grey, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution–NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

Information technology and revolution | Information technolo… | Flickr