1993-08-14: The Wealth of Nations

The Wealth of Nations (1776)

by Adam Smith (1723-1790)

This remarkable book contains many of the same ideas and values I have emphasized in my work.  However, Smith was writing in the mid or late 1700s, without benefit of the many threads which have gone into memetics, especially the notion of natural selection.  His work is classified as social philosophy and economics, and thus separated from everyday application or even the knowledge of most people.

I have used the Penguin edition, with an introduction by Andrew F. Skinner.  Skinner puts the Wealth of Nations into the context of Smith’s other works, and provides an overview of the entire work.  He presents the results of Smith’s arguments, without the details, and provides notes to the location of the details.  Someone who wants to get the gist, and perhaps pursue a few details could make good use of the introduction.



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