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The most famous work of Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) was An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (usually referred to as just the Wealth of Nations). Published in 1776, it followed his first book, the Theory of Moral Sentiments, which provided the foundations for his other works. And he advised all readers of the later work should first read his first book. Many readers did not. As a result much of his thinking has been misunderstood, and others deliberately misinterpret his work in order to use it in support of their own ideologies.

Now, 244 years on, we believe it is time to revisit his work. Ours will be An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Prosperity of Nations (or just the Prosperity of Nations). The reason for this is that the meaning of "wealth" in Adam Smith's days was not material wealth, the commonly understood meaning of the term today. A more appropriate word to convey the meaning Smith intended is prosperity, defined as human flourishing and wellbeing.


All our inquiries it will be global, open, multi-disciplinary and research-based. This inquiry will also be large in scale and long-term, with ongoing period reviews once published. An advisory panel is currently being formed to oversee the design the design of the inquiry.

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