IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wea/econth/v4y2015i1p67-79.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Adam Smith's Use of the 'Gravitation' Metaphor

Author

Listed:
  • Gavin Kennedy

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gavin Kennedy, 2015. "Adam Smith's Use of the 'Gravitation' Metaphor," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 4(1), pages 67-79, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wea:econth:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:67-79
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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, August.
    3. 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.
    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)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:bus:jphile:v:11:y:2017:i:1:n:3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/worecea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.