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Happy Birthday, Adam Smith: Prince of the Enlightenment, 1723-1790

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Smith was a hugely influential Scottish political economist and philosopher, best known for his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’.

Adam Smith’s exact date of birth is unknown, but he was baptised on 5 June 1723. His father, a customs officer in Kirkcaldy, died before he was born. He studied at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. He returned to Kircaldy f13d38520a837e7a409a32e558c8d801ac40c880in 1746 and two years later he was asked to give a series of public lectures in Edinburgh, which established his reputation.

In 1751, Smith was appointed professor of logic at Glasgow University and a year later professor of moral philosophy. He became part of a brilliant intellectual circle that included David Hume, John Home, Lord Hailes and William Robertson.

In 1764, Smith left Glasgow to travel on the Continent as a tutor to Henry, the future Duke of Buccleuch. While travelling, Smith met a number of leading European intellectuals including Voltaire, Rousseau and Quesnay.

In 1776, Smith moved to London. He published a volume which he intended to be the first part of a complete
theory of society, covering theology, ethics, politics and law. This volume, ‘Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations‘, was the first major work of political economy. Smith argued forcefully against the regulation of commerce and trade, and wrote that if people were set free to better themselves, it would produce economic prosperity for all. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Jonah Goldberg: How will Scalia’s Death Affect the 2016 Election? 

How will the upcoming fight on Capitol Hill over Antonin Scalia‘s Supreme Court seat bleed into the 2016 presidential race? AEI Resident Fellow Jonah Goldberg explains how Scalia’s passing drama.

Source: AEI


[VIDEO] Learning from Ancient Warfare

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From the YouTube summary: As part of our ongoing partnership with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, we spoke with Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson senior fellow and chair of the Military History Working Group at the Hoover Institution.

[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]

Hanson, an expert in the classics and military history, explains what today’s leaders can learn from the ancient Greeks and Romans. As Hanson says, the ancients teach us why wars begin, how they proceed and how they can be ended. Although this may not prevent future conflicts, the knowledge can help mitigate the effects of war on people.


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