Adam Smith's Discourse -Canonicity, Commerce and Conscience
Author: Vivienne Brown
Master eBook ISBN10 : 0-203-01486-3
Master eBook ISBN13 : 978-0-203-01486-8
No of pages : 256
eBook Price : $74.95
Originally Published : 16 Jun 1994
Adam Smith's Discourse challenges the canonic status of Smith's corpus of writings as a founding statement of modernity and a free market order. Instead of seeing these as espousing the values of a new commercial society in the making, the reading presented here underscores the deep ambivalences and tensions at work in Smith's texts.
This new interpretation is achieved by a series of close readings which draw on recent debates in post structuralism and literary theory. Adam Smith's Discourse examines the textual complexity of all Smith's major works by analysing their stylistic, figurative and rhetorical features, and by reading them in the context of enlightenment discourses on the moral, jurisprudential, political and economic aspects of society. Although the The Wealth of Nations has been celebrated as a clarion call for a modern manufacturing and commercial order, Adam Smith's Discourse shows that its attack on mercantilism was based on a critique of what was seen as an over expansion of trade and manufacturing at the expense of agriculture, the more beneficial activity.