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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

9 - Political Economy


Adam Smith has acquired the reputation as the father of economics, but he was not alone among the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment in his interest in the emerging discipline of political economy. This chapter examines the broader context of the political economy of the Scottish Enlightenment and relates it to the general move from the mercantile attitudes behind the great disaster of the Darien project to the critique of them developed by Smith in the Wealth of Nations. The economic thinking of David Hume and Sir James Steuart and others is examined in order to illustrate the breadth of the Scottish contribution to the development of thinking about the economy.

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