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By William Henderson

Adam Smith is definitely well-known because the forefather of contemporary economics, yet his luck might be attributed not just to what he wrote but in addition to his use of language. during this interesting new e-book, Willie Henderson exhibits how Smith engaged creatively in writing concerning the economic system, and analyzes the level to which he attempted to make sure that the reader is drawn into the textual content and proficient through it. Demonstrating research tools which are worthwhile to new researchers on Smith’s works, comparing Adam Smith units his paintings within the cultural context of the eighteenth century and explores the lexical and conceptual inter-relations among Smith and the resources he consulted. concerns explored contain Smith’s use of irony and his paintings within the context of wealth, advantage and happiness as awarded within the ethical Sentiments and the Wealth of countries. Henderson’s informative learn employs the literary innovations of shut interpreting and shut textual research and applies them to sustained passages of Smith’s writing.

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Although I hope that this is itself a scholarly work, target readers are not primarily the scholarly community currently engaged in interpreting Smith’s output. There will be such readers but this work is not specifically constructed with them in mind. Rather it focuses on: any final year undergraduates studying the history of economic thought or related topics within the wider context of the history of ideas; those interested in rhetoric and communication; those developing post-graduate students wishing to embark on research in the history of economic thought, particularly, but not exclusively on Smith and those working on literary economics or in cultural studies and interested in how economic ideas become incorporated in the novelistic literature of a given time.

This is an historical method to which textual analysis can also be applied. But the shift in perspective away from Smith’s Wealth of Nations as a foundation text in economics and towards Smith as a generator of an Enlightenment text reveals new areas in which it is necessary to consider as contributing to the synthesis. Force has raised this, if only by implication, as an issue when he reads both the Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations through Mandeville and Rousseau and, indeed, by reading each off against the other two.

Answering this question would entail making some judgements about what is filtered out of past literature and what, if anything, is new in the Wealth of Nations, and indeed, what we take a synthesis to be. Synthesis is usually taken, following Bloom’s taxonomy, as a higher-level intellectual skill. A work of synthesis carries with it an expectation that it is, by drawing together various ideas developed piecemeal in other texts into a new work, exhibiting a greater degree of conceptual unity (say) than that found elsewhere.

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