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The Wealth Of Nations
''An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'', generally referred to by its shortened title ''The Wealth of Nations'', is the ''magnum opus'' of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets. History ''The Wealth of Nations'' was published in two volumes on 9 March 1776 (with books I–III included in the first volume and books IV and V included in the second), during the Scottish Enlightenment and the Scottish Agricultural Revolution. It influenced several authors and economists, such as Karl Marx, as well as governments and organizations, setting the terms for economic debate and discussion for t ...
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Adam Smith
Adam Smith (baptized 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Seen by some as "The Father of Economics"——— or "The Father of Capitalism",———— he wrote two classic works, ''The Theory of Moral Sentiments'' (1759) and '' An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'' (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as ''The Wealth of Nations'', is considered his ''magnum opus'' and the first modern work that treats economics as a comprehensive system and as an academic discipline. Smith refuses to explain the distribution of wealth and power in terms of God’s will and instead appeals to natural, political, social, economic and technological factors and the interactions between them. Among other economic theories, the work introduced Smith's idea of absolute advantage. Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgo ...
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Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, critic of political economy, and socialist revolutionary. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet ''The Communist Manifesto'' and the four-volume (1867–1883). Marx's political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic, and political history. His name has been used as an adjective, a noun, and a school of social theory. Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at the universities of Bonn and Berlin. He married German theatre critic and political activist Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German philosopher Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the British Museum ...
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Division Of Labour
The division of labour is the separation of the tasks in any economic system or organisation so that participants may specialise (specialisation). Individuals, organizations, and nations are endowed with, or acquire specialised capabilities, and either form combinations or trade to take advantage of the capabilities of others in addition to their own. Specialised capabilities may include equipment or natural resources as well as skills, and training and combinations of such assets acting together are often important. For example, an individual may specialise by acquiring tools and the skills to use them effectively just as an organization may specialise by acquiring specialised equipment and hiring or training skilled operators. The division of labour is the motive for trade and the source of economic interdependence. Historically, an increasing division of labour is associated with the growth of total output and trade, the rise of capitalism, and the increasing complexity ...
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Edwin Cannan
Edwin Cannan (3 February 1861, Funchal, Madeira – 8 April 1935, Bournemouth), the son of David Cannan and artist Jane Cannan, was a British economist and historian of economic thought. He was a professor at the London School of Economics from 1895 to 1926. As a partisan of Jevonianism, Edwin Cannan is perhaps best known for his logical dissection and destruction of Classical theory in his famous 1894 tract ''A History of the Theories of Production and Distribution''. Although Cannan had personal and professional difficulties with Alfred Marshall, he was still "Marshall's man" at the LSE from 1895 to 1926. During that time, particularly during his long stretch as chairman after 1907, Edwin Cannan shepherded the LSE away from its roots in Fabian socialism into tentative Marshallianism. This period was only to last, however, until his protégé, Lionel Robbins, took over with his more "Continental" ideas. Though Cannan, in his early years as an economist, was a critic of cl ...
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Adam Smith Bust, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy
Adam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam is the name given in Genesis 1-5 to the first human. Beyond its use as the name of the first man, ''adam'' is also used in the Bible as a pronoun, individually as "a human" and in a collective sense as "mankind". tells of God's creation of the world and its creatures, including ''adam'', meaning humankind; in God forms "Adam", this time meaning a single male human, out of "the dust of the ground", places him in the Garden of Eden, and forms a woman, Eve, as his helpmate; in Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and God condemns Adam to labour on the earth for his food and to return to it on his death; deals with the birth of Adam's sons, and lists his descendants from Seth to Noah. The Genesis creation myth was adopted by both Christianity and Islam, and the name of Adam accordingly appears in the Christian scriptures and in the Quran. He also features in subsequent folkloric and mystical elaborations in later Judaism, ...
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Philosophy
Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some sources claim the term was coined by Pythagoras ( BCE), although this theory is disputed by some. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. in . Historically, ''philosophy'' encompassed all bodies of knowledge and a practitioner was known as a ''philosopher''."The English word "philosophy" is first attested to , meaning "knowledge, body of knowledge." "natural philosophy," which began as a discipline in ancient India and Ancient Greece, encompasses astronomy, medicine, and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 '' Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy'' later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universit ...
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Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, Kant argued that space and time are mere "forms of intuition" which structure all experience, and therefore that, while " things-in-themselves" exist and contribute to experience, they are nonetheless distinct from the objects of experience. From this it follows that the objects of experience are mere "appearances", and that the nature of things as they are in themselves is unknowable to us. In an attempt to counter the skepticism he found in the writings of philosopher David Hume, he wrote the '' Critique of Pure Reason'' (1781/1787), one of his most well-known works. In it, he developed his theory of experie ...
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Paradigm Shift
A paradigm shift, a concept brought into the common lexicon by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline. Even though Kuhn restricted the use of the term to the natural sciences, the concept of a paradigm shift has also been used in numerous non-scientific contexts to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events. Kuhn presented his notion of a paradigm shift in his influential book ''The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' (1962). Kuhn contrasts paradigm shifts, which characterize a Scientific Revolution, to the activity of normal science, which he describes as scientific work done within a prevailing framework or paradigm. Paradigm shifts arise when the dominant paradigm under which normal science operates is rendered incompatible with new phenomena, facilitating the adoption of a new theory or paradigm. As one commentator summarizes: ...
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Physiocracy
Physiocracy (; from the Greek for "government of nature") is an economic theory developed by a group of 18th-century Age of Enlightenment French economists who believed that the wealth of nations derived solely from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development" and that agricultural products should be highly priced. Their theories originated in France and were most popular during the second half of the 18th century. Physiocracy became one of the first well-developed theories of economics. François Quesnay (1694–1774), the marquis de Mirabeau (1715–1789) and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781) dominated the movement,Steiner (2003), pp. 61–62 which immediately preceded the first modern school, classical economics, which began with the publication of Adam Smith's ''The Wealth of Nations'' in 1776. The physiocrats made a significant contribution in their emphasis on productive work as the source of national wealth. This contrasted with earlier schools, in par ...
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Mercantilism
Mercantilism is an economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism, colonialism, tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal. The policy aims to reduce a possible current account deficit or reach a current account surplus, and it includes measures aimed at accumulating monetary reserves by a positive balance of trade, especially of finished goods. Historically, such policies frequently led to war and motivated colonial expansion. Mercantilist theory varies in sophistication from one writer to another and has evolved over time. It promotes government regulation of a nation's economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers. High tariffs, especially on manufactured goods, were almost universally a feature of mercantilist policy.John J. McCusker, ''Mercantilism and the Economic History of the Early Modern Atlantic World'' (Cambridge UP, 2001) Before ...
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Nicholas Magens
Esq. Nicholas Magens or Nicolaus Paul Magens (1697 or 1704–1764) was an attorney, a merchant on Spain and her colonies in America, and an expert on ship insurance, general average and bottomry who gained a great reputation in commercial matters. Life Nicolaus was born Neuendorf bei Elmshorn in the Duchy of Holstein. Around 1725 he lived in Cadiz and traded on Veracruz where silver from New Spain could be bought. Already in 1737 he was living in London and became a citizen when he married Elizabeth Dörrien and by royal assent; his younger brother Wilhelm settled in Cadiz. In 1741 he became one of the directors of the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation and was given the responsibility for the complaint negotiations by the Hamburg Senate. In 1759 he seems to have been appointed by the Bank of England as director. After the Anglo-Prussian Convention, he and George Amyand were involved in two bills of exchange, to support the Duke of Brunswick. They collaborated with Hen ...
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