Adam Smith and Economic Science: A Methodological Reinterpretation

Since the celebration of the bicentenary of The Wealth of Nations, the last twenty years have seen a burgeoning interest in Adam Smith's contribution to economics. Jan Peil's book aims to provide a new model for interpreting Smith's contribution to economic science. This model elucidates Smith's vision of the free market economy by placing it in the historical circumstances of the time. In the first part of the book the author discusses how we should read Smith and outlines the new hermeneutical model of interpretation of his economic thought. For example, in reviewing The Wealth of Nations, the author places Smith's work firmly in the context of moral philosophy and the debate on the sense and meaning of the emerging commercial society which was taking place in the 18th century. In discussing Smith's economics, the author clearly focuses on the question: why should we re-read Smith and according to which model of interpretation? Finally, he discusses the relevance of reinterpreting Smith's economics as part of moral philosophy for today's debate on the principles of economics. This innovative book will be of great interest to historians of economic thought and political economy, scholars and students of the philosophy and methodology of economics and all those interested in Adam Smith and his relevance for economics today.