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The Life of Adam Smith$
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Ian Simpson Ross

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288212.001.0001

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(p.128) 9 Teacher
The Life of Adam Smith

Ian Simpson Ross

Oxford University Press

Smith wrote that his thirteen years as a Glasgow professor formed the most useful, and, therefore, the happiest and most honourable period of his life. His students joked about his absent‐mindedness and loved him for his benevolence and learning and also for the care he took over the delivery of his lectures. In due course, they disseminated Smith's ideas. Some were sons of local merchants, from whose fathers Smith learned about Glasgow's growing wealth from trading and manufacturing activities, then reflected on related moral and economic problems and offered solutions. Others were from foreign countries: e.g. S.E. Desnitsky and I.A. Tret’yakov, sent abroad by Catherine the Great to complete their education, who then assisted her reform programme in Russia, by passing on Smith's liberal economic policy advice, at least eight years before it was published in WN.

Keywords:   absent‐mindedness, merchants, policy, students, wealth

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