Economics Professor to Address Lesser-Known Scottish Economist

Economics Professor to Address Lesser-Known Scottish Economist

Robert Urquhart, associate professor of economics at the University of Denver, will deliver a lecture titled "Another World: Steuart's Alternative to Smith's Economics" at 3:30 p.m. in Gorman Faculty Lounge on Friday, April 5. The event is supported by the Charles Koch Foundation's grant to the History Department's spring 2013 Scottish Enlightenment class.

"Scotland in the 18th century is a good laboratory for the moral and political preconditions for economic development, which is why studying the Scottish Enlightenment is so important," said Associate Professor and History Department Chair Charles Sullivan, who is teaching the Scottish Enlightenment course.

Urquhart will speak on Sir James Steuart, who, although not as well-known, was a contemporary of great 18th century Scottish economic thinker Adam Smith.

"Most people have heard of Adam Smith and associate him with the idea of a spontaneous order in the market. Steuart was more interested in leading and coordinating economic development. He was much less confident in the so-called automatic mechanism of the market," said Sullivan.

Urquhart's lecture is the second in a series. The first lecture was on Adam Smith by Fonna Forman-Barzilai, associate professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. The Charles Koch Foundation also sponsored Forman-Barzilai's lecture.

Urquhart, who earned a doctorate from the New School of Social Research, has written extensively on 18th century political economy, with special reference to Sir James Steuart and Adam Smith. He is the author of "Ordinary Choices: Individuals, Incommensurability, and Democracy."

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