RSE - How to think like Adam Smith

29th November 2023 6:00 pm

How to think like Adam Smith? In Smith’s tercentenary year, Professor Adam Dixon takes on this question.

Globally renowned as the ‘father of modern economics,’ Adam Smith is often looked to for answers. In the 300 years since his birth, this iconic philosopher and economist has been called upon to help us understand social issues, justify policy, and approach economic questions. We ask ourselves: what would Adam Smith think?

However, trying to ascertain this is arguably impossible. Smith wrote in a time that was pre-capitalist, pre-industrial, and pre-democratic. Our world – our problems and choices – look very different to his.

But is approximation useful?

In this lecture, Professor Adam Dixon will explore why we should be asking how Adam Smith would think, not what. He will use this approach to examine three contemporary challenges: the increase of state intervention, climate change, and the growth of AI.

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