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ADAM SMITH
(1723-1790)

Sculpted and cast in bronze, by Alexander Stoddart, this imposing statue of Adam Smith, philosopher and father of modern economics thinking, faces down the high street towards his home town of Kircaldy in fife across the river Forth. It was unveiled on 4th July 2008.

He was
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 - the same year that the American Declaration of Indepencence was signed.

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 spent the last twelve years of his life in Edinburgh and worked as The Commissioner of Customs from 1778.

Despite his serious and stern expression he was a likeable man, fond of socialising and entertaining, he was good friends with fellow philodopher David Hume. His temper could be aroused however and 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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