The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie

Back to Influences on George Wyllie


Philosopher, and also economist, Adam Smith was born in Kirkaldy in Fife. He was a student at Glasgow University and later a Professor there. His book, 'Theory of Moral Sentiments' was based on the lectures he gave at the University.

Although, it is his later book, 'Wealth of Nations', for which he is best known and through which he has most influence, George Wyllie thought that the message of the later book was often misunderstood because the earlier book was ignored. That was the message he took to New York when the Paper Boat berthed in the heart of world financial district. As soon as he landed, he read the opening sentence of 'Theory of Moral Sentiments' which says that man is interested in the well-being of others and that making sure other people are happy is important for each one of us.

Later in his life, Adam Smith became a Commissioner of Customs in Edinburgh, so like Robert Burns and George Wyllie too, Adam Smith worked in the Customs Office.


The Paper Boat

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