A Review of Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life
The Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century was fascinating because it pondered the deepest questions of how a social order can be structured to maximize human welfare. This movement explored human nature and the social institutions that would work best with the forces that really govern behavior. Philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, Bernard Mandeville, David Hume and Montesquieu contemplated these concerns extensively, but none of them put together a moral and social system as comprehensive as Adam Smith's.
This engaging and detailed biography by historian Nicholas Phillipson gives readers a clear sense of the intellectual dialogue going on among the thinkers of Smith's time while presenting insights into the cultural climate and social customs of 17th-century Scotland.
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