Adam Smith Biography

Adam Smith Biography

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Adam Smith was born on July 5, 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. At the age of fourteen, Smith entered the University of Glasgow, where he studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson. Here Smith developed his strong passion for liberty, reason, and free speech. In 1740 he was awarded the Snell Exhibition and entered Balliol College, Oxford. In 1746 Smith left Oxford. In 1748 Smith began delivering public lectures in Edinburgh under the patronage of the Lord Kames. In 1751 Smith Was appointed the Chair of Logic at University of Glasgow, the next year he was appointed the Chair of Moral Philosophy, which was the position of his old teacher Francis Hutcheson. In 1759 he published The Theory of Moral Sentiments, it was embodied several of his lectures from his roles at Glasgow. In 1762 the academic senate of the University of Glasgow conferred on Smith the title of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.). Smith subsequently resigned from his professorship and from 1764-66 traveled with his pupil, mostly in France. On returning home to Kirkcaldy Smith was elected fellow of the Royal Society of London and he devoted much of the next ten years to his magnum opus. The Wealth of Nations was published on March 9, 1776. It was written for the average educated individual of the 18th century rather than for specialists and mathematicians. There are three main concepts that Adam Smith expands upon in this work that forms the foundation of free market economics: division of labour, pursuit of self interest, and freedom of trade. As for Smith?s characteristics and personal views, not much is known beyond what can be deduced from his published works. Shortly before his death, Smith had nearly all his manuscripts destroyed. In his last years he seemed to have been planning two major treatises, one on the theory and history of law and one on the sciences and arts.

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