Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some by Leonidas Montes (auth.)

By Leonidas Montes (auth.)

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176). Das Adam Smith Problem 39 formal ‘Smith Problem’ has been clearly surmounted, the Problem is a subject that continues generating further discussion, so that it is worth analysing some current positions.

P. Vincke, Stein’s favourite advisor, and a fervent admirer of Smith, at one time applied to him the term ‘godlike’ (göttlich, cf. Hasek (2002 [1925]), p. 107). Skarz˙yn´ski may have had this anecdote in mind. , p. 27). , p. 28 This intuition was finally expressed as follows: Smith was an Idealist, as long as he lived in England under the influence of Hutcheson and Hume. After living in France for three years and coming into close contact with the Materialism that prevailed there, he returned to England a Materialist.

The role of natural order, as optimistic deism, certainly shapes the development of society and tends to the happiness of mankind in the TMS, but, in my personal view, its relevance must not be overstated, and it has to be understood in the context of the Stoic tradition. k, p. 43 42 43 Jacob Viner was consistent in underlining the role of theological elements in understanding Smith’s legacy, especially in his 1966 Jayne Lectures The Role of Providence in Social Order (1972), but later he was also aware that ‘it is hard for some people today to believe that Smith’s optimistic deism was completely sincere’ (Viner, 1994 [1968], p.

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