Inspiring quotes by Adam Smith

Top 10 most inspiring quotes by Adam Smith

  • Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
  • The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.
  • Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
  • It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.
  • Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.
  • What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
  • The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
  • As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
  • Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.
  • Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.

Adam Smith (1723–1799) was a Scottish economist and philosopher, often regarded as the father of modern economics. Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Smith attended the University of Glasgow and later studied at Balliol College, Oxford. His seminal work, “The Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776, laid the foundation for classical economic thought and significantly influenced the development of capitalism.

Smith’s key contribution was his advocacy for the principles of free-market economics and the invisible hand, which argued that individuals pursuing their self-interest unintentionally contribute to the overall economic well-being of society. He emphasized the importance of competition, division of labor, and limited government intervention in economic affairs. Smith’s ideas provided a theoretical framework for understanding how markets function and laid the groundwork for future economic theories.

Prior to “The Wealth of Nations,” Smith also wrote “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” in 1759, exploring the moral and philosophical aspects of human behavior. His comprehensive approach to understanding both the economic and moral dimensions of human conduct has secured his place as one of the most influential figures in the history of economics and philosophy.

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