03 The Invisible Hand

With the publication of Adam Smith's 'The Wealth of Nations' in 1776, modern economic thinking begins. Smith's discussions of market processes linked to self-interest and labour productivity remain highly relevant today. However, questions are posed as to whether there is any natural 'limit' to such economic growth and whether it is desirable for the 'market' to play such a key role in economic and social life.

Useful reading
Chapter 3: 'The Worldly Philosophers'

The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought: Entry on 'Smith, Adam''

Fifty Major Economists, entries on 'Adam Smith' and 'David Hume'

Adam Smith (IEP)
Adam Smith (Econlib)
Wealth of Nations (Wikipedia)
Wealth of Nations (Econlib)
The Scottish Enlightenment (BBC 'In Our Time)