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The Two Adams of the Scottish Enlightenment and Political Economy, Part 2

Max Skjönsberg for AdamSmithWorksWhile Adam Ferguson was broadly sympathetic with Adam Smith's ideas regarding political economy (with notable exceptions), in contrast, Ferguson was rather harsh on Smith (and David Hume's) moral philosophy.  Thinking about the sympathetic as well as hostile reception of Smith's ideas can help us make better sense of a range of thinkers and the variety of beliefs in the Scottish Enlightenment period.   June 8, 2022

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McCloskey’s Narrative and Jurisprudence

Daniel B. Klein for AdamSmithWorks Whatever the reasons for its neglect, the jural theory of Grotius and others clarified and still clarifies the liberty that is at the center of what Smith called “the liberal plan.”Wednesday May 25, 2022

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What’s Natural about Adam Smith’s Natural Liberty?

Dan Klein and Erik Elder for AdamSmithWorksThe first essay in our NEW series takes a close look at Adam Smith's language and the implications of those choices for understanding him and the world he is describing. Smith often said simply “liberty” but sometimes “natural liberty.” Why did Smith sometimes say “natural liberty”? Maybe he wanted to highlight its “naturalness.” That prompts the question: What is “natural” about Smith’s “natural liberty”?

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