The Wealth of Nations is probably his most important work, along with The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which he wrote at the time he was teaching moral philosophy at Glasgow. During the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith collaborated with David Hume. Smith is also known for his concept of “the invisible hand of the market”.
Adam Smith Quotes
The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition is so powerful that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations.
The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.
It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of man who have folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.