Journal of Libertarian Studies

Adam Smith's Acknowledgments: Neo-Plagiarism and the Wealth of Nations

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

It is now generally accepted by historians of economic thought that in the nineteenth century Adam Smith's work was much overpraised for its originality and design. In an obvious reference to Smith, both Archbishop Whately and John Stuart Mill spoke of political economy having arisen as a science virtually within men's memories. J. R. McCulloch deepened this impression by his incorrect statement that Smith had successfully combated a general belief that gold and silver were the only real sources of wealth. In the large literature relating to Adam Smith, it is surprising that no one asks whether Smith himself was in any way responsible for this exaggerated estimate of the Wealth of Nations. In this essay, I shall consider just how far the Wealth of Nations would have been modified if Smith had followed a more liberal practice with respect to his acknowledgements.

Volume 9, Number 2 (1990)


Rashid, Salim. "Adam Smith's Acknowledgments: Neo-Plagiarism and the Wealth of Nations." Journal of Libertarian Studies 9, No. 2 (1990): 1–24.

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