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Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and educated in both Glasgow and Oxford, Adam Smith became a freelance lecturer in Edinburgh, (1748), reading literature, economics and philosophy.

His success in this led him to take the chair of Logic at Glasgow University in 1751, and in the following year he become professor of moral philosophy.

It was here, in 1759, that Smith published his Theory of Moral Sentiment, an antithesis to the human condition of selfishness.

This work received with acclaim established his reputation as a philosopher and led to a two year appointment as tutor to the young Duke of Buccleuch and his brother.

In 1766 Smith Settled in Kirkcaldy, where he would complete his masterpiece - The Weatlh of Nations - published 1776. This work examined the freedom of economic association - laissez-faire - and its consequences for nations and politics. It was instantly influential and has never been out of print.

Smith was a likeable man, fond of socialising and entertaining, but his temper could be aroused. In an argument with Samuel Johnson who called him a liar, he retorted, calling his opponent a brute and son of a bitch. Although he is known to have several affairs, he never married or had any children.

He died in Edinburgh on July 17th 1790.


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