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Adam Smith's System of Liberty, Wealth, and Virtue
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Adam Smith's System of Liberty, Wealth, and Virtue: The Moral and Political Foundations of The Wealth of Nations

Athol Fitzgibbons


Adam Smith's System is a study in classical economic thought and methodology. It portrays Adam Smith as a Stoic philosopher who wanted virtue to be relevant to this life rather than to the next. His central purpose was to define a set of laws, a jurisprudence in the widest possible sense, which would permit economic and political liberalism to proceed without triggering long‐run moral degeneration. Smith argued that the conflict between morals and wealth was only apparent, because it was possible to synthesize the seeming contraries with better laws and moral rules.

Keywords: Christianity, free trade, laws, liberalism, methodology, morality, Newtonian science, philosophy, stoicism, wealth

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1997 Print ISBN-13: 9780198292883
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198292880.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Athol Fitzgibbons, author
Griffith University, Queensland