The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas

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Adam Smith, one of the foremost proponents of laissez-faire economics and free trade, has often been credited with the transformation of economics into an academic discipline.


Smith, according to Buchan (2007), did not simply found a school of economic thought but he established economics as a field of academic inquiry. The veracity of the aforementioned is amply evidenced, not only in the fact that Smith is still being studied and debated today but, in the fact that his economic treatise, as expressed in his Inquiry, effectively instigated a substantial amount of reactionary literature and, indeed, served as that which other economists, including Ricardo and Marx, south to refute in their own works (Buchan, 2007). The implication here is, therefore, that Smith incited an economics debate which gave rise to the field as we know it today. Within the context of the stated, Adam Smith's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nation, assumes singular importance. The mentioned work was concerned with a number of problems and issues, central of which was to inquire into the nature and causes of wealth. The purpose of this essay is to consider the essential ideas which Smith claimed or proposed concerning "value" and try to understand their place in his inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, alongside the presentation of critical opinions voiced by a number of economists and scholars. ...
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