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

By Leonidas Montes (auth.)

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36 Adam Smith in Context the question [Das Adam Smith Problem] at issue’ (Oncken, 1897, pp. 445–6). Thirty years later, in his classic and seminal ‘Adam Smith and Laissez Faire’, Jacob Viner (1892–1970), not only challenged the traditional view of Smith as a precursor of economic laissez faire, but also revived the inherent discrepancies between the TMS and the WN. Viner complains that the extensive revisions and additions to the TMS did not diminish ‘in any particular the points of conflict between the two books’, even allowing that ‘he was elderly and unwell’ (Viner, 1927, p.

According to Stewart, in this manuscript ‘many of the most important opinions in The Wealth of Nations are there detailed’ (EPS, p. 322). 30 28 29 30 Luigi Cossa (1831–96) considered that ‘this writer [Skarz˙yn´ski] is too ready to depreciate Adam Smith in comparison with the Physiocrats’ (1880, p. 163). Indeed, Skarz˙yn´ski not only argued that the Physiocrats were the founders of political economy and Smith simply a compiler, but that his WN was full of contradictions. Unfortunately, this manuscript did not survive.

37, p. 148), was appointed to the Board of Customs at Edinburgh, a profitable position that he retained until his death, at a cost: ‘my present situation is therefore fully as affluent as I could wish it to be. , p. , p. 281), but almost three years later he made a more realistic assessment of the size of this task: ‘I have now taken leave of my Colleagues for four months and I am at present giving the most intense application. , p. 310). , p. , p. 321). During Smith’s lifetime, the TMS went through six editions (1759, 1761, 1767, 1774, 1781 and 1790, which appeared a few weeks before his death), and the WN went through five (1776, 1778, 1784, 1786 and 1789).

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