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Adam Smith

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Adam Smith (5 June 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered ... more »

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  • The machines that are first invented to perform any particular movement are always the most complex, and succeeding artists generally discover that, with fewer wheels, with fewer principles of motion,...
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish economist. "The Principles Which Lead and Direct Philosophical Inquiries," sct. 4, Essays on Philosophical Subjects (...
  • That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is oft...
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish political economist. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, sixth edition, bk. I, ch. III, para. 1 (1790).
  • ''Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.''
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish political economist. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, sixth edition, bk. VII, sect. IV, para. 25 (1790).
  • To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers, may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit f...
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish economist. The Wealth of Nations, vol. 2, bk. 4, ch. 7 (1776). Stevenson's Book of Quotations cites a similar rem...
  • It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to thei...
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish economist. The Wealth of Nations, vol. 1, bk. 1, ch. 2 (1776).
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