Life and Times

Who Was Adam Smith?


Adam Smith was born in 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Along with figures like his teacher Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746) and his friend David Hume (1711–76), Smith played an important part in a period of astonishing learning that became known as the Scottish Enlightenment, a period of remarkable intellectual and artistic achievement that occurred during the middle years of the eighteenth century (roughly 1740-1790). In some respects it is surprising that there was such a surge of intellectual achievement in what many considered to be a comparatively poor, isolated, and conflict blighted part of Europe. But the combination of favourable historical circumstances, together with a generation of remarkable minds, placed Scotland at the forefront of the European Enlightenment.

Adam Smith and the Horror of Frankenstein

"Adam Smith and the Horror of Frankenstein," a lecture delivered by Dr. Caroline Breashears on February 27, 2019.
The lecture is a part of Adam Smith's Enlightened World, a project of
Liberty Fund, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation.* 


*This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this project are those of the creator(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

Speaking of Smith...

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Adam Smith and the Presumption of Liberty, with Jon Murphy

Adam Smith was no anarchist. Smith did have a strong presumption of liberty, but this presumption was not absolute. Under certain conditions, a jural superior (such as a sovereign or magistrate) could violate this presumption of liberty and impose a policy that would break the rules of justice.