Adam Smith and rousseaui enlightenment and counter-enlightenment

In Christopher J. Berry, Maria Pia Paganelli & Craig Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 54 (2013)
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Abstract

Adam Smith was arguably the first great Enlightenment thinker to offer a thorough and considered response to the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the first great Counter-Enlightenment thinker. As recent scholarship has stressed, Smith sympathized with many aspects of Rousseau’s wide-ranging critique of commercial society. In the end, however, their differences were far more fundamental. This essay examines four key areas of divergence between the two, namely their views on the popular dissemination of the arts and sciences ; the moral effects of commerce; the nature of liberty and citizenship; and the idea of progress. In each case, Smith stood closer to the leading figures of the French Enlightenment—thinkers such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot—than he did to their great critic Rousseau.

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Citations of this work

Adam Smith and the idea of free government.Yiftah Elazar - 2022 - Intellectual History Review 32 (4):691-707.
The term “political oeconomy” in Adam Smith.Luigi Alonzi - 2021 - Intellectual History Review 31 (2):321-339.

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