Next on my list to read (I’ve actually already begun to read it) is The Essential Adam Smith, a collection of Adam Smith’s works including lectures, essays, Theory of Moral Sentiments, and of course, The Wealth of Nations. There are a number of reasons for my choice, the first being that I don’t know a thing about economics. I like to learn things from the bottom up, and seeing how the basis of all knowledge is logic, I figured I would start with a philosopher’s interpretation. There is a reason why the seminal works of almost all fields are written by philosophers: they just really know their shit.
The second reason for my inquiry into Adam Smith’s works is as an investigation of Enlightenment thinking; Ken Robinson seems to believe very strongly in the notion that the ‘academic illusion’ is the result of the Enlightenment Age view of knowledge and human freedom. I don’t necessarily believe that the principles that lead to the development of the ‘academic illusion’ are a direct result of these views, but it might be the indirect result of an over-extension of them; I sometimes feel that people have a tendency to misinterpret the works of philosophers, perhaps adding their own assumptions to the basic and logical arguments presented by the writer. Anyone who knows a thing about Marxism and Communism can tell you just how far the words of philosophers can be stretched.
I’ll probably take my time with this one: seems like a heavy read.