By Gloria Vivenza
This ebook defines the connection among the concept of Adam Smith and that of the ancients--Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the Stoics. Vivenza bargains a whole survey of Smith's writings to demonstrate how classical arguments formed critiques and scholarship within the eighteenth century.
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120). 119. Cf. WN v. i. f. 26: logic, though the newest arrival, provides the tools by which right reason can be achieved. Note that at ‘HALM’ 1, p. 120, Smith states that logic is founded on metaphysics, which in turn derives from natural philosophy, while at WN v. 1. 26–28 metaphysics is said (with reference to teaching in the medieval university rather than the classical period) to derive from theology, and logic from philosophers' need to demonstrate the truth of their own reasoning and the falsehood of that of others.
53–4. But note that in Smith's account even intellectual or scientiﬁc wonder assumes, in the end a psychological nature: see above, Sects. 4. The distinction referred to, then, is more Aristotle's than Smith's. 93 Wightman questions this ‘descent’ (‘Introduction’, 23), on the grounds that there is no support for Smith's account of philosophers turning to sublunary matters only after they had investigated the heavenly spheres. Smith is in fact repeating a phrase of Cicero: Tusc. v. 10. 69. NATURAL PHILOSOPHY 29 philosophers manage to reduce the various elements and phenomena of nature to a few familiar principles.
His account of them, if somewhat abbreviated, is nonetheless comprehensible: Bonar (1966), 10. 105 ‘HAP’ 11. As the editor has noted (p. 116 n. 25), Smith repeats this reductive judgement of the value of Stoic philosophy elsewhere; it is only in the 20th century that the originality of formal logic and other Stoic doctrines has been appreciated. 106 ‘HAP’ 11. Of the three reactions of wonder, surprise, and admiration, Smith here twice names the third—perhaps not by chance, since it is the one resulting from scientiﬁc explanation: Campbell (1971), 60.
Adam Smith and the Classics: The Classical Heritage in Adam Smith's Thought by Gloria Vivenza