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The Virtuous Discourse of Adam Smith: The Political Economist’s Measured Words on Public Policy

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dc.contributor.advisor Klein, Daniel B. Clark, Michael
dc.creator Clark, Michael 2010-12-06 2011-05-12T15:42:43Z NO_RESTRICTION en_US 2011-05-12T15:42:43Z 2011-05-12
dc.description.abstract When Adam Smith advocated a specific approach for political discussion in regard to the public opinion, he recommended and utilized strategic yielding and caution when necessary. The approach involves a willingness to mull through and respect the surrounding views and can lead one to moderation or fudging of extreme views or simple non-disclosure of extreme views. According to Smith, one needed to consider accommodating his more extreme views given the prejudice of the public. Beliefs and attitudes that would cause uproar or conflict were carefully treated and not brashly put forth. Prudence called for political figures or philosophers to obscure, hedge, conceal, or temper their radical beliefs. Smith related the approach to that of the Athenian official Solon who put forth laws that attempted to be “the best that the people can bear.” However, the cautious nature of Smith’s approach has gone overlooked in modern literature. Smith’s caution is being taken for mild to moderate interventionist support and thus many are claiming the father of economics has many ideas aligned with established modern policies of the welfare state and the regulatory state. While the works and ideas of Adam Smith remain foundational to modern economics the interpretation of Smith is changing. This dissertation examines Smith’s measured words and cautious approach to public policy and defends the interpretation of Adam Smith as a strong proponent of liberty.
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Adam Smith en_US
dc.subject public policy en_US
dc.subject economics en_US
dc.subject Solon en_US
dc.subject rhetoric en_US
dc.subject liberty en_US
dc.title The Virtuous Discourse of Adam Smith: The Political Economist’s Measured Words on Public Policy en_US
dc.type Dissertation en PhD in Economics en_US Doctoral en Economics en George Mason University en

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