Each passage focuses on the concept of human flourishing, and analyzed and read in context, they illuminate not only Smith's understanding of human flourishing but also the foundations of his defense of economic liberty.
The Father of the Economics During the 18th century, when Adam Smith lived, the most important social, moral, and technological presumptions had matured.
These assumptions have helped to shape the market system as the publicly accepted and entrenched economic lifestyle, and the basis for cultural and even ethical relationships.
In particular I argue that Smith thought long and hard about the concept of human flourishing and, most importantly, that the vision of human flourishing he developed is itself the grounds for his defense of economic liberty.
If this is right, it has implications for how we understand Smith and for how we understand the relationship of philosophy to policy.
The presumptions were market intensification and the spread of money operations, as well as the need for accounting and technical production, not the seizure of new lands or colonial conquest, as it used to be, but the accumulation of wealth became the source of vitality for many nations.
At the same times, the type for economic man, the one who is absorbed with resource realization, was formed.After three years of study at the University of Glasgow and when he was only seventeen years old, Smith received a Master of Arts degree and a scholarship for further studies at Oxford College (Say). In 1748 Adam Smith began to read public lectures on literature and law in Edinburgh. Smith remained celibate, who was reluctant to associate his life with someone else, other than education (Say).In 1751 Adam Smith became free logic professor at the University of Glasgow (Ross).So far as I know, only once in the text does he invoke the explicit concept of flourishing in its traditional, philosophical sense of referring to the healthy state of a society or individual.But it is a very important reference, one that well deserves the attention of both Smith specialists and students of capitalism more generally.On the first front, the main implication of the view I want to defend is that Smith's defense of the superiority of market orders rests not on concerns with simple utility maximization, but rather on the belief that markets are indispensable to human flourishing.Put in this volume's terms, Smith's defense of the economic liberty fundamental to capitalism is founded on the belief that economic liberty is not an end in itself, but a means to the greater end of promoting the flourishing of both individuals and societies.Yet those who have read the whole book know that its primary focus is public policy—evident in the simple fact that invokes the invisible hand only once, but cites and studies no less than 266 discrete English statutes and Scottish parliamentary acts.Smith's credentials as both a champion of economic liberty and a policy wonk are thus solid.It is especially necessary when the substantive issue at stake concerns the relationship of human flourishing to economic liberty—a relationship that was particularly well understood by Adam Smith, one of the modern world's most careful and insightful students of both public policy and political philosophy.Adam Smith is of course today famous for his defense of economic liberty and thus as a founding father of capitalism.