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Enlightenment's FrontierThe Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism$
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Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162547

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162547.001.0001

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Rival Ecologies of Global Commerce

Rival Ecologies of Global Commerce

Chapter:
(p.121) 5 Rival Ecologies of Global Commerce
Source:
Enlightenment's Frontier
Author(s):

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300162547.003.0006

This chapter discusses Adam Smith's views on environment and natural history, and particularly on agricultural improvement, which helped in the creation of a liberal ecology of global commerce. It is divided into four parts. The first discusses the rise of natural history as a global political and economic force in the eighteenth century, emphasizing the notion of natural history as a form of expertise peculiarly occupied with correcting perceived disruptions to the “economy of nature.” The second part ventures a new interpretation of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations as a decisive liberal perspective on the natural world, with Smith seeing a natural fit between markets and the environment. The third part brings together the two ecologies in a brief case study of famine relief in India, and the fourth brings these themes to bear directly on Smith's attitude toward the Highlands.

Keywords:   environment, natural history, Adam Smith, agricultural improvement, liberal ecology, Wealth of Nations

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