Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Kenneth Lipartito

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Brian Peterson

Third Advisor's Name

Lara Kriegel

Date of Defense



The object of this thesis is to present a reinterpretation of Adam Smith's philosophy. It works to show the pessimistic character of his thought that is so often overlooked by conventional analyses. The skepticism Smith holds for man can be seen in his theories on the accumulation of knowledge, morality, economics, and human progress. By emphasizing Smith's theory of man's subjugation to the natural order, an alternative interpretation is given of liberal economics. The role of God in Smith's philosophy will be shown to serve two purposes. God serves as Smith's final line of explanation, and it also provides humanity beneficial results through unintended outcomes.




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