Adam Smith's "Science of Human Nature"
We do not find in Smith any programmatic statement about the nature of human nature only, rather, a profuse scattering of remarks. We can, however, be confident that he shared the aspirations of the “Enlightenment project,” within which, indeed, self-awareness of a “conception of man” was focal. There was a convergence on the idea that human nature is constant and uniform in its operating principles. By virtue of this constancy human nature was predictable so that once it was scientifically understood then, as Hume argued, a new foundation was possible for, inter alia, morals, criticism, politics, and natural religion. While Smith is more circumspect, he shares Hume‘s ambitions for the “science of man,” which Smith calls the “science of human nature” and which he believes was, even in the seventeenth century, in its “infancy.” This essay aims to explicate what Smith implies about this “science.”
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (Fall)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:44:y:2012:i:3:p:471-492. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.