02 The Wealth of Nations

The emergence of 'economics'
'Scientific' thinking about economic reality emerged in the modern period. The rise of 'mercantilism' and 'physiocracy' set the scene for the 'classical economics' of Adam Smith.

Questions were posed as to what constituted 'wealth' - and indeed, how to understand what an 'economy' is. However, ideas concerning the nature of wealth are hard to disentangle from those concerning what 'capital' and 'value' are.

Useful reading
Chapter 2: 'The Economic Revolution' of 'The Worldly Philosophers'   

The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought: Entries on 'Mercantilism', 'Physiocracy'

Fifty Major Economists: Entries on 'Thomas Mun', 'William Petty', 'John Locke', 'Richard Cantillon', 'François Quesnay'