Friday, 2 January 2015

Lynne Kiesling discusses Adam Smith

As you have a few days off and thus time to relax and view videos on economics here are two short videos in which Lynne Kiesling looks at both of Adam Smith's major works: "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations".
Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) lays out his moral philosophy, and provides the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of the better-known Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). In this video, prepared for the History of Economic Thought course for economics majors at Northwestern University, I highlight the main ideas in TMS and their relevance to Smith's subsequent works.

Adam Smith: Theory of Moral Sentiments from Lynne Kiesling on Vimeo.
The Wealth of Nations is Smith's most famous work, and is one of the foundational texts in economics. In the course of his extensive and thorough critique of mercantilist policies that tie together economic and political processes and power, Smith formulates important theoretical insights about the role of specialization in increasing productivity and income, market prices and their adjustments, labor and capital as complements in production, domestic and foreign trade as mutually beneficial value-creating processes, and the role of government in providing defense, enforcing (negative) justice, and providing infrastructure that increases the extent of the market and enables general basic education.

Adam Smith: An Inquiry Concerning the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations from Lynne Kiesling on Vimeo.

Having seen these you will want to know more and a good place to start on Smith is
On Smith's moral philosophy start with
On Smith's political philosophy see
And of course the original works are available in many versions including online: The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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