Smith, Marx, & After: Ten Essays in the Development of by Ronald L. Meek

By Ronald L. Meek

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Presumably, in 1749. ,ambiguous: in the context, it could be taken to imply either that Smith gave lectures on 'political' subjects at Edinburgh before the winter of 1750--1 in which a great part, but not all, of the opinions concerned were put forward, or simply that the documentary evidence he was able to produce in 1755 concerning what he said in the winter of 1750--1 was incomplete. But the central point is not ambiguous: all the 'political' opinions enumerated in the paper, Smith is claiming, date from the Edinburgh period.

322-56. , p. 319. 36 SMITH II The first thing which emerges as a result of the discovery of the new set of notes mentioned above is that the lectures to which the Cannan notes related (assuming that they were all of a piece) could not possibly have been given in the 1762-3 session. This is a point which will be documented more fully when the new notes are published :14 here we need only say that so far as they go 15 they are very much fuller than the Cannan notes; that most of the lectures are separately reported and dated; that all the dates relate to the 1762-3 session; and that the whole order of treatment of the main subjects is radically different from that in the Cannan notes.

To paraphrase Millar, Montesquieu may in a general sense have pointed out the road, but it was Smith and Turgot, building their new theory out of these earlier materials - and out of their own genius - who were the real Newtons. 46 Dr Pesciarelli, in the article referred to in 24 , has shown that the versions of the four stages theory put forward by Genovesi were influenced also by another stream of thought - that associated with what Dr Pesciarelli calls 'the Bruno-Vico tradition'. III The Development of Adam Smith's Ideas on the Division of Labour 1 Most of the accounts hitherto given of the development of Adam Smith's ideas on the division of labour prior to the appearance of the Wealth of Nations have been based on a number of crucial assumptions made by early Smith-scholars concerning the dating of the relevant documentsnotably the so-called Early Draft of the 'Wealth of Nations' and the two fragments on the division of labour discovered by Scott.

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