Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Downloadable Adam Smith Classics

Adam Smith’s works are often quoted from but seldom read.

This promotes both a reckless circulation of well-known quotations of sentences and paragraphs which are misleading and sometimes exactly opposite to the meanings that Adam Smith intended and the corruption of the actual passages, sometimes run together with other sentences from markedly different parts of his books to give the impression that Adam Smith made the statements together.

The publishers of the Library of Economics and Liberty have long made available two of Adam Smith’s main books, usually referred to on Lost Legacy by their short names, Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations.

The online texts are downloadable for quick reference. Until recently they were produced in rather ancient type faces and had an ‘eccentric’ reference system. I was pleasantly surprised recently when referring to them to find that the typeface has been modernised (easier to read) and the reference system is close to the scholarly framework established by the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith, published by Oxford University Press, 1976-1985. This is a vast improvement and will be welcomed by Smithian scholars and those interested in reading his works for themselves.

Liberty Fund came to an agreement with Oxford University Press that it could reproduce the exact layout and typeface used by OUP when producing their expensive bi-century edition in an edition that was of a high publishing standard and at a fraction of the price. In the case of Wealth Of Nations (2 vols.) and Moral Sentiments they are still priced at under $20 each.

May I suggest that Lost Legacy readers download both books, details below?

Adam Smith. 1776. ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and causes of the Wealth Of Nations’, 5th edition, 1790, edited by Edwin Canaan. Re-set in modern type, 2008.

Available on-line: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

Preface, by Edwin Cannan

Editor's Introduction, by Edwin Cannan

Volume I
Introduction and Plan of the Work

Book I: Of the Causes of Improvement...

I.2. Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour

I.3. That the Division of Labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market

I.4. Of the Origin and Use of Money

I.5. Of the Real and Nominal Price of Commodities, or of their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money
I.6. Of the Component Parts of the Price of Commodities

I.7. Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities

I.8. Of the Wages of Labour

I.9. Of the Profits of Stock

I.10. Of Wages and Profit in the Different Employments of Labour and Stock

I.11. Of the Rent of Land
Tables for I.11.

Book II: Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock
II. Introduction

II.1. Of the Division of Stock

II.2. Of Money Considered as a particular Branch of the General Stock of the Society...
II.3. Of the Accumulation of Capital, or of Productive and Unproductive Labour

II.4. Of Stock Lent at Interest

II.5. Of the Different Employment of Capitals

Book III: Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations
III.1. Of the Natural Progress of Opulence

III.2. Of the Discouragement of Agriculture in the Ancient State of Europe after the Fall of the Roman Empire
III.3. Of the Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire
III.4. How the Commerce of the Towns Contributed to the Improvement of the Country
Book IV: Of Systems of political Œconomy
IV. Introduction

IV.1. Of the Principle of the Commercial or Mercantile System

IV.2. Of Restraints upon the Importation from Foreign Countries of such Goods as can be Produced at Home
IV.3. Of the extraordinary Restraints upon the Importation of Goods of almost all Kinds, from those Countries with which the Balance is supposed to be Disadvantageous
Volume II
IV.4. Of Drawbacks

IV.5. Of Bounties

IV.6. Of Treaties of Commerce

IV.7. Of Colonies

IV.8. Conclusion of the Mercantile System

IV.9. Of the Agricultural Systems, or of those Systems of Political Œconomy, which Represent the Produce of Land, as either the Sole or the Principal, Source of the Revenue and Wealth of Every Country
Book V: Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth
V.1. Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

V.2. Of the Sources of the General or Public Revenue of the Society

V.3. Of Public Debts


Footnotes (Book I, Ch. I-IX)

Footnotes (Book I, Ch. X-XI)

Footnotes (Books II-III)

Footnotes (Book IV)

Footnotes (Book V)

Adam Smith, 1759. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 6th edition, 1790, A. Millar. Re-set type face, 2008:



I. Of the Propriety of Action Consisting of Three Sections
II. Of Merit and Demerit; or of the Objects of Reward and Punishment
III. Of the Foundation of our Judgments concerning our own Sentiments and
Conduct, and of the Sense of Duty
IV. Of the Effect of Utility upon the Sentiment of Approbation
V. Of the Influence of Custom and Fashion upon the Sentiments of Moral
Approbation and Disapprobation
VI. Of the Character of Virtue
VII. Of Systems of Moral Philosophy




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