What Is The Criticism On Adam Smith's Definition Of Economics?


9 Answers

Tahir Mahmood Profile
Tahir Mahmood answered
It was criticized on Adam Smith's definition of Economics by Dr. Alfred Marshall and some other neo classical economists on the basis of following points.  • Man occupies a primary place and wealth only a secondary one. As Marshall puts it, Economics is "on the one side a study of wealth; and on the other side and more important side, a part of the study of Man."  But in the view of Adam Smith and other classical economists, Economics is the study of wealth. On that point, It was criticized that the primary importance was given to wealth and secondary to man. In this way the human being was degraded and ignored.  • Adam Smith included only material goods in economics and excluded services i.e. Doctor's, teacher's and lawyer's services. We know that their services are also as important as goods.  • Adam Smith emphasis only to earn the wealth. They did not study about the means to earn the wealth.  • He ignores the human welfare as compared to wealth. According to them wealth is more important than human welfare.  • The word wealth is controversial and the majority of the people dislike it. They thought that wealth is an evil.  • Economics was supposed to teach selfishness and came to be called a "dismal science" 
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
Good explanitiont i don,t understand it n class but i read it it z so simple than x.....
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
1)too much importance to wealth.
2)restricted meaning of wealth.
3)no mention of man's welfare.
4)no study of means of wealth.
Uzma Shahzad Profile
Uzma Shahzad answered
When Adam Smith gave definition of economics in 1776, British society was a religious society. Therefore, religious minded people criticized the subject of economics on the ground that it will make the society as well as the individual materialistic and will take them away from spiritual values like friendship, brotherhood, love, sacrifice, patriotism. Instead, it will make them selfish, greedy, hypocrite etc. due to pursuit for materialism. Two literary figures, Carlyle and Ruskin, were the main critics of Economics. They raised hue and cry against it.

They said that economics is a "dismal science" which teaches mammon worship. Some other people said ironically that Economics, a science of materialism, is just "a science of bread and butter" and it promotes selfishness and greed. They thought that if economics was taught, the science of materialism will take mankind away from spiritualism. Hence, Carlyle even went to the extent of saying that economics is "a pig Philosophy" and therefore it should not be studied.

This criticism is not completely justifiable. It seems to be sentimental and not logical. The reason is that they saw only the negative side of the picture. Everything has its pros and cons. As it is known that wealth is the biggest reality of life and there is no life without wealth particularly food. Wealth itself is not bad. Its use could be good or bad.
Karl Sagan Profile
Karl Sagan answered

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Defination of economics ?

It is study of utilization of available scare resources in order to attain maximum benifits .
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Besides the criticisim, the modern economists have appreciated and acknowledged the contribution of Adam Smith. They say if we replace word 'wealth' with 'any thing used for the welfare of society' then it becomes very comprehensive definition.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
He gave a right definition as to him.but he didnt think of welfare as any country needs man power with finance

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