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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter will examine Smith’s views on poetics with particular attention to their relationship to his broader social theoretical concerns with conjectural history. I argue that history and poetics cannot be clearly separated in Smith’s system, and therefore that Smith’s poetics must be approached his understanding of history and historiography and their reliance on fact as he conceives it as part of the science of man. Poetry becomes an interesting anomaly within this system in that Smith harbours some anxiety over poetry’s capability, based on its form, to relate the facts of the science of human nature to its readers and thus provide them with moral education.

Keywords: Adam Smith, history, historiography, four stages, poetry

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