Chapter

Boyhood

Ian Simpson Ross

in The Life of Adam Smith

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780198288213
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596827 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198288212.003.0002
 Boyhood

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The emotional strength of his mother, Margaret Douglas, and close kinship bonds, to some degree, compensated Adam Smith for the loss of his father. In addition, he was well prepared at the Kirkcaldy burgh school for his student years, and found his vocation as a moral philosopher, in an era marked by a strong drive for advance in agriculture and other economic sectors.

Most important of all, his Presbyterian inheritance, together with training in the Latin and Greek classics, instilled in him the values of self‐command of a Stoic cast, frugality, diligence in his calling, and strict justice towards others tempered with benevolence, which characterized his actions and his teaching. At the same time, he seemed to have developed an independence of mind, which led him to rebel against the strict controls of Calvinism meant to check human depravity, and to set store by human goodness, and the will to enjoy natural liberty.

Keywords: agriculture; Calvinism; mother; self‐command; Stoic

Chapter.  6296 words. 

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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