Non-Fiction Books:

Adam Smith's Discourse

Canonicity, Commerce and Conscience



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Adam Smith's Discourse by Vivienne Brown
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Adam Smith's Discourse challenges the conventional view of Smith's corpus of writings as a founding statement of modernity and a free market order. Instead of seeing these as espousing the values of a new commercial society in the making, the reading presented here underscores the deep ambivalences and tensions at work in Smith's texts. This new interpretation is achieved by a series of close readings which draw on recent debates in post structuralism and literary theory. Adam Smith's Discourse examines the textual complexity of all Smith's major works by analysing their stylistic, figurative and rhetorical features, and by reading them in the context of enlightenment discourses on the moral, jurisprudential, poltical and economic aspects of society. Although the The Wealth of Nations has been celebrated as a clarion call for a modern manufacturing and commercial order, Adam Smith's Discourse shows that its attack on mercantilism was based on a critique of what was seen as an overexpansion of trade and manufacturing at the expense of agriculture, the more beneficial activity.
Release date NZ
June 16th, 1994
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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