Adam smith was a moral philosopher and a political economist who made significant contributions in various theories of philosophy, as well as economics. His contributions play a crucial role in the modern scholars and learners as they are used as the basis of reference. The economist as well as a philosopher was a university lecturer where most of his research work was conducted. Smith conducted a research on the nature of the wealth of individuals and moral conditions of individuals publishing two books namely, the theory of moral sentiments in the year 1959, and an inquiry into the nature of wealth of nations which was later abbreviated as the wealth of nations.
The theory of moral sentiments is mainly classified into four main parts namely, ethics and virtue, familial rights, state and individual rights, as well as the private rights and natural liberty. These classifications revolved around the economics and political nature of a country. The view of this theory is in psychological nature, which focuses on the moral nature of an individual and his or her influences on the others during the lifetime of the specific individual. As the nature of man, the utility realized from an action or good or service consumed influences the moral behavior to be adopted by the person. This was supported by David Humes in his theory of the treatise of human nature where he claimed that man utility satisfaction influences his actions. Adam smith theory of moral sentiments borrows some ideas from David Hume’s theory. This makes the two theories to be similar in some contexts or ideas. The main assertion of the moral sentiment theory is based on moral character of an individual which is influenced by the action of others. Smith argues that, despite the boldness of an individual together with his self interests, the actions of others or conditions such as sorrow will influence him or her to some extent. This shows that individual feelings are to some extent influenced by action of other parties whom he or she may be affiliated.
On the other hand, the theory of wealth of nations focuses on the welfare condition of the individuals in the context of material possession and knowledge. The Adam smith assertions in this theory are that the economy has to concentrate its wealth so as to remain productive and economic self reliance. The country wealth accumulation serves as the main factor that influence its output level. The resources in concentration with the country include the labor skills which significantly influence the production level and commodity pricing in the country. As an economic condition, it is known that an increase in output level leads to increased investment through acceleration principle. Smith has made significant contributions in wealth creation of nations and has further published several books such as cause of improvement in the productive power of labour, Nature, accumulation and employment of stock, different Progress of Opulence in different Nations, and systems of political economy among others. The Smith contribution to some extent were adopted by David Ricardo. However, he advocated for international trade rather domestic concentration of resources within the country.
Adam smith contributions have created an immense impact on the current economic conditions in the world economies. Labour policies are to an extent drafted in relation to his contributions. Modern economists and philosophers embrace his contributions in their policy formulation and significant developments in their research works.
Smith, A. (2010). The Theory of Moral Sentiments. New York: MobileReference.
Smith, A., Engels, F., & Marx, K. (2008). An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Book One) & Manifesto of the Communist Party: A Combined Editon: The Father of Modern Capitalist Economics and the Founders of Communism, Book 1. Washington: Arc Manor LLC.