Defense of the capitalist division of labor and the pursuit of profit and commercial activity in The Wealth of Nations.

Adam Smith developed a powerful defense of the capitalist division of labor and the pursuit of profit and commercial activity in The Wealth of Nations. In what way does his approach differ from that of Aristotle and Aquinas, and to what extent do they flow from having different premises and assumptions from them? To what extent are they explained by their respective views of human nature? In answering this, pay close attention to Smith’s conception that commerce is “a certain propensity of human nature” (p. 182) as against Aristotle’s concept of retail trade and commerce as “unnatural” in his Politics.

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