Adam Smith-a Scottish economist and philosopher

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

            Being a Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) made considerable contributions to the age of enlightenment. Although he is best known for economics, his wealth of knowledge ran through law, morality, political institutions, welfare, and life. During his day’s national wealth was perceived as the amount of stock a country held in terms of silver and gold. Such a perception restricted the importation of goods in an attempt to avoid using these precious metals to pay for them (Prof. Arkenberg, 2). However, exports were seen as more suitable.  Smith demonstrated that such a level of mercantilism was imprudent by all means. He argued that free exchange was the hallmark of creating wealthy nations. He changed the notion that the quantity of silver and gold that a country had in its vaults equated to its wealth, replacing it with the summation of that same nation’s commerce and production. Smith made it known that imports were equally crucial to a country as exports in a free exchange market (Prof. Arkenberg, 5). His economics philosophy influenced many politicians during this era of enlightenment into considering economic expansion through free trade.

As earlier noted, in addition to economics, Smith had a good grasp of the working of human societies.  This followed the realization that human beings struggle daily to pursue ways that would enable them to work and live with one another(Adam Smith Institute, 7). As such social harmony and order do not necessarily need the control of ministers and kings since, as a product of human nature, it would grow exponentially. An open and competitive marketplace permitting free exchange without coercion is the atmosphere that Smith proposed for the growth of such kind of natural social order (Adam Smith Institute, 9). He coined the idea that although humans are self-interested beings, they have a thing in common, and that is that they have some natural sympathy for others, which could enable them to live peacefully and productively together.

Works Cited

Adam Smith Institute. About Adam Smith. Adam Smith Institute,n.d. Accessed from https://www.adamsmith.org/about-adam-smith/ on February 14, 2020.

Prof. Arkenberg. Adam Smith: The Principle of the Mercantile System, 1776. Modern History Sourcebook. From Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, (London, 1776), pp. 342, 346, 348-349, 424, 444-445, accessed from edu/mod/1776asmith-mercsys.asp”>https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1776asmith-mercsys.asp on February 14, 2020.

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