Research output

Chapter (in Edited Book) ()


Dow A & Dow S (2014) Scotland. In: Barnett V (ed.). Routledge Handbook of the History of Global Economic Thought, London: Routledge, pp. 38-47.

First paragraph: The history of Scottish economic thought holds a special place in the history of global economic thought since the central figure, Adam Smith, has been identified by many as the ‘father’ of modern economics. But Scottish economic thought consists of much more than the work of Smith, and Smith himself cannot be fully understood independently of his Scottish context. Further, while the eighteenth century saw the most important contributions to economic thought, the tradition of which Smith was a part continued for a time. It was then revived in the late nineteenth century, continuing through to the twentieth century, although with ever-diminishing impact on the discipline. In what follows we set out the cultural and business background particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in which the Scottish tradition was moulded. Special emphasis is placed on Scottish enlightenment philosophy, of which the newly-emerging political economy was a product; David Hume and Adam Smith made their pioneering contributions to economics on the basis of their philosophy. We proceed to provide an account of the main economic ideas emerging from this tradition. But we emphasise particularly the approach taken to economics on the grounds that it is this which most clearly distinguishes the history of Scottish thought. Finally we bring the account forward to the present day, with a separate discussion of how the Scottish tradition was disseminated elsewhere.

EditorBarnett V
AuthorsDow Alexander, Dow Sheila
Publication date2014
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN 978-0-415-50849-0
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