Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

If Newton’s influence on Adam Smith has been widely acknowledged, research on the actual nature of this influence has been rather scarce. This chapter will sum up a line of investigation delving into this issue. It will be argued that Newton’s methodology is more complex than the generally accepted view of an axiomatic deductive or positivistic interpretation. The context of Newton’s influence during the turn of the seventeenth century and the eighteenth century will be assessed. It will be suggested that a British, and particularly Scottish interpretation of Newton, differs from the French reading of his legacy. The last section of this chapter will analyse Smith’s understanding of Newton arguing that the he was a sophisticated interpreter of Newton’s methodology. The conclusion is that the intellectual context of the Scottish Enlightenment’s interpretation of Newton plays a crucial role in explaining how Smith understood Newton’s legacy.

Keywords: Adam Smith, Newtonianism, methodology, context

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.