Friday, April 11, 2008

Once Again in France

Yesterday (Thursday) I was en route from Edinburgh to France, where I expect to remain until the middle of June for my annual reading and thinking session. I posted an explanation early on Thursday morning, but to my surprise it did not post -I missed something in a hurry for the airport.

Anyway, in France this morning I was interviewed by Swiss television on Adam Smith's legacy and how he is popularly known for things he never believed in, such as the invisible hand 'theory', the minimalist state, and modern capitalism. A few minutes but I hope it used the time well enough to spark an interest in Adam Smith.

With 'Adam Smith: a moral philosopher and his political economy' now in press, my thoughts are turning to the next project. In June, my paper on 'Adam Smith's Theory of Bargaining', will be presented at the History of Economics Society in Toronto (28-30 June) and I have submitted a suggested paper on the pre-history of bargaining to the organisers of a group interested in the multi-discipline evolution of economics in November.

This leaves a possible area for new work. After I had finished Lost Legacy (2005), I commenced a study of the people who had misused Adam Smith's original ideas from the 19th to the 20th century beginning with William Playfair (and 'editor' of Wealth Of Nations) and coninuing through many others, including through Ricardo, Mill, the 'marginalists', 'general equilibrium theorists', the Chicago school, Samuelson, and so on. This was interripted by the invitation from Tony Thirlwall, editor of the Great Thinkers in Economics series, to contribute a volume on Adam Smith. I may well return to this material and continue researching, identifing the epigones and tracing their damaging work.

I also have my unpublished ms on the 'Pre-History of Bargaining' ...

Meanwhile I am thinking this over. Any preferences from readers of Lost Legacy are most welcome.


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