Chapter

Dialogue With a Dying Man

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/10.1093/0198288212.003.0017
 Dialogue With a Dying Man

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Smith was devoted in his attentions to Hume as he lay dying, but, ever the man of prudence, gave his best friend some pain through unwillingness to see through the press the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion. In the event, Smith was violently abused by Christians for describing Hume in a published letter as approaching as near to the idea of a ‘perfectly wise and virtuous man’ as human weakness permits. Smith would have been in further trouble if his 1778 Machiavellian advice about a solution to the American problem had been published, for it advocated returning Canada to the French, and Florida to the Spaniards, to ensure that independent Americans would become allies of Britain.

Keywords: Christians; independent; prudence; virtuous; wise

Chapter.  8800 words. 

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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