Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Remarks from 1809 by Dupont de Nemours on Adam Smith

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This document offers an English translation of remarks that Pierre-Samuel Dupont de Nemours made in 1809, remarks principally about Adam Smith. Dupont suggests repeatedly that Adam Smith fudged some points in The Wealth of Nations, because, says Dupont, Smith “thought that in order to maintain public peace, one should not assault infirm eyes with a bright light turned too directly towards them.” This document from 1809 makes a nice companion to the 1788 letter from Dupont to Smith, recently translated and discussed by Prasch and Warin (2009); in which Dupont wrote: “By assaulting their eyes with a bright light, we would reconstitute their blindness.”