Adam Smith, along with David Hume and Adam Ferguson, was one of the great figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. England very wealthy by the middle of the 18th century, and Englishmen wondering where did this wealth come from? Smith sought to understand scientifically the requisities and procedures for creating--rather than merely redistributing--wealth. His Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations marked the origins of economics as an academic discipline. Smith, in The Theory of Moral Sentiment, located the origins of moral judgment in the benevolence and sympathy that humans naturally feel toward each other.
I. Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, is one of the great epoch-making works in the history of social science.
A. Science and scientific approaches to the study of society are central to Smith's concerns. A society that produces Boyle's Law of Gases and Watts'...