IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Adam Smith's Use of the 'Gravitation' Metaphor

Listed author(s):
  • Gavin Kennedy

    ()

    (Emeritus Professor, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University)

Registered author(s):

    Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, used gravitation as a rhetorical metaphor and not in a formal philosophical sense, as used by Newton, Aristotle or Empedocles. Physical gravitational attraction is predictable, accurate and rule-bound; metaphoric gravity, as in relationships between natural and market prices, are neither strictly rule-based nor predictable. Market exchange relationships between independent people are subject to the vagaries of imperfect rhetorical persuasion.

    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.

    File URL: http://et.worldeconomicsassociation.org/papers/adam-smiths-use-of-the-gravitation-metaphor/
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://et.worldeconomicsassociation.org/files/WEA-ET-4-1-Kennedy.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by World Economics Association in its journal Economic Thought.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 67-79

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:wea:econth:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:67-79
    Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Leonidas Montes, 2008. "Newton's real influence on Adam Smith and its context," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(4), pages 555-576, July.
    2. Kennedy, Gavin, 2011. "The Hidden Adam Smith In His Alleged Theology," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(03), pages 385-402, September.
    3. Samuels,Warren J. Assisted by-Name:Johnson,Marianne F. Assisted by-Name:Perry,William H., 2014. "Erasing the Invisible Hand," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107613164.
    4. David Andrews, 2014. "Adam Smith's Natural Prices, the Gravitation Metaphor, and the Purposes of Nature," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-42, March.
    5. Gavin Kennedy, 2009. "Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: From Metaphor to Myth," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(2), pages 239-263, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wea:econth:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:67-79. 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: (Jake McMurchie)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.