Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some - download pdf or read online

By Leonidas Montes (auth.)

ISBN-10: 023050440X

ISBN-13: 9780230504400

ISBN-10: 1349511242

ISBN-13: 9781349511242

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134, Oncken, 2000 [1898], p. 103). For a recent history and analysis of the Verein für Sozialpolitik, see Hagemann (2001). Bruno Hildebrand projected a second volume about the future that, unfortunately, never appeared. , p. 23 But his project was more ambitious, as he attempted to overcome the ‘rationalistic Enlightenment’ of which Adam Smith (like Rousseau, according to Hildebrand) was a representative, restoring political economy as a historical discipline. Hildebrand not only pointed out the materialism of the Smithsche Schule, with its emphasis on the atomistic nature of human beings, but also criticised self-interest and egoism as the central features of Smith’s economic system.

The Germans, a nation defined by its culture (Kulturnation) but not a state, had been seeking their own identity since well before the unification in 1871. For example, the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s (1762– 1814) Reden an die deutsche Nation (Addresses to the German Nation, 1968 [1808]), an important influence on the final unification of Germany, represents a clear indication of the cultural tension between German nationalism and ‘foreignness’. This nationalistic spirit was, for example, clearly reflected in the fraternity of university students (Burschenschaften) that was founded in Jena in 1815.

Vii),27 was that neither the TMS nor the WN came from the mind of an original thinker. Both works were the result of external influences, that of Hume in the TMS and of Smith’s acquaintance in France with the Physiocrats, in the WN. , p. 126). He also referred, as 25 26 27 In 1898 August Oncken justly complained about the ‘low estimation of Adam Smith, particularly in Germany’ (2000 [1898], p. 85). A better translation of umschwung could be drastic shift or radical change. In fact F. L. W. P. Vincke, Stein’s favourite advisor, and a fervent admirer of Smith, at one time applied to him the term ‘godlike’ (göttlich, cf.

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Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought by Leonidas Montes (auth.)


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