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Dan Silver

Week Two September 21, 2010 Classic Sociological Theory I-SOCB42-Lecture 2 Biography - The life of Adam Smith: - Born in 1723 in Scotland, died in 1790 - Influenced by the Scottish enlightenment - Went to oxford university - Suffered from anxiety and nervousness - Became a full professor of moral philosophy at the age of 28 - Gave lectures in English instead of Latin - In 1759 wrote a book the theory of moral sentiments about a general account of the moral forces that influence human interaction - He then became a tutor for the children of the baron - Wrote the wealth of nations out of boredom - Published in 1776, the book is revolutionary - The book became one of the most influential books ever written General Themes and Agenda - What is the book about? - Title: Inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nation - Nature: what does it mean for one country to be rich? - Its natural resources - Stored treasure-cash - Smith rejects both of these, he proposes something new-GNP per capita - You determine by asking how much a typical person can consume - A place may not have a lot of natural resources or a lot of cash but if the people who are living there are able to get everything they need by producing a little that makes the country a rich place - Wealth is created through a social process, how the country arranges its labour so it can be as productive as possible - Causes: what mechanisms increase the wealth of nations? - If wealth consists in natural resources, what is the best way to increase the wealth of your country? - Take the wealth, get the resources needed
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