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НазваAdam Smith (реферат)
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RUSSIAN ECONOMIC ACADEMY NAMED AFTER

 

G V PLEKHANOV

 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES

 

ADAM SMITH

 

Student: Anton Skobelev

 

Group: 855

 

Moscow 1997

 

After two centuries, Adam Smith remains a towering figure in the history

of economic thought. Known primarily for a single work, An Inquiry into

the nature an causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), the first

comprehensive system of political economy, Smith is more properly

regarded as a social philosopher whose economic writings constitute only

the capstone to an overarching view of political and social evolution.

If his masterwork is viewed in relation to his earlier lectures on moral

philosophy and government, as well as to allusions in The Theory of

Moral Sentiments (1759) to a work he hoped to write on “the general

principles of law and government, and of the different revolutions they

have undergone in the different ages and periods of society”, then The

Wealth of Nations may be seen not merely as a treatise on economics but

as a partial exposition of a much larger scheme of historical evolution.

 

Early Life

 

Unfortunately, much is known about Smith’s thought than about his life.

Though the exact date of his birth is unknown, he was baptised on June

5, 1723, in Kikcaldy, a small (population 1,500) but thriving fishing

village near Edinburgh, the son by second marriage of Adam Smith,

comptroller of customs at Kikcaldy, and Margaret Douglas, daughter of a

substantial landowner. Of Smith’s childhood nothing is known other than

that he received his elementary schooling in Kirkcaldy and that at the

age of four years he was said to have been carried off by gypsies.

Pursuits was mounted, and young Adam was abandoned by his captors. “He

would have made, I fear, a poor gypsy”, commented his principal

biographer.

 

At the age of 14, in 1737, Smith entered the university of Glasgow,

already remarkable as a centre of what was to become known as the

Scottish Enlightenment. There, he was deeply influenced by Francis

Hutcheson, a famous professor of moral philosophy from whose economic

and philosophical views he was later to diverge but whose magnetic

character seems to have been a main shaping force in Smith’s

development. Graduating in 1740, Smith won a scholarship (the Snell

Exhibition) and travelled on horseback to Oxford, where he stayed at

Balliol College. Compared to the stimulating atmosphere of Glasgow,

Oxford was an educational desert. His years there were spent largely in

self-education, from which Smith obtained a firm grasp of both classical

and contemporary philosophy.

 

Returning to his home after an absence of six years, Smith cast about

for suitable employment. The connections of his mother’s family,

together with the support of the jurist and philosopher Lord Henry

Kames, resulted in an opportunity to give a series of public lectures in

Edinburgh - a form of education then much in vogue in the prevailing

spirit of “ improvement”.

 

The lectures, which ranged over a wide variety of subjects from rhetoric

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