James R. Otteson, John Meadowcroft's Adam Smith PDF

By James R. Otteson, John Meadowcroft

ISBN-10: 0826429831

ISBN-13: 9780826429834


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12), and Newton, as Smith explains, synthesized the disparate observations and principles of previous philosophers with only a few simple rules of motion and the principle of gravity. The superior genius and sagacity of Sir Isaac Newton, therefore, made the most happy, and, we may now say, the greatest and most admirable improvement that was ever made in philosophy, when he discovered, that he could join together the movements of the Planets by so familiar a principle of connection [namely, gravity], which completely removed all the difficulties the imagination had hitherto felt in attending to them.

The superior genius and sagacity of Sir Isaac Newton, therefore, made the most happy, and, we may now say, the greatest and most admirable improvement that was ever made in philosophy, when he discovered, that he could join together the movements of the Planets by so familiar a principle of connection [namely, gravity], which completely removed all the difficulties the imagination had hitherto felt in attending to them. 10). This pleasure is heightened, Smith argued, as the number of disparate fields or observations or phenomena that a single principle can explain rises.

So what was first called Cave, Tree, and Fountain (Smith’s examples) would come to be known as a cave, a tree, and a fountain, these terms now applied to other objects that resemble the original templates (LRBL 204–5, §2). Smith then explains how other kinds of words—adjectives, prepositions, then verbs—also arise in response to early humans’ felt needs and their localized experiences. The development of language, according to Smith, is a process with several interesting features. First, it has no prior existence: it is a human creation, not a human discovery.

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Adam Smith by James R. Otteson, John Meadowcroft


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