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Adam Smith and RousseauEthics, Politics, Economics$
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Maria Pia Paganelli, Dennis C. Rasmussen, and Craig Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474422857

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422857.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

On the Place of Politics in Commercial Society

On the Place of Politics in Commercial Society

(p.16) 2 On the Place of Politics in Commercial Society
Adam Smith and Rousseau

Ryan Patrick Hanley

Edinburgh University Press

Abstract: Istvan Hont’s book Politics in Commercial Society, the final work of one of the twentieth century’s great students of Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment, presents a comparative study of the political theories of Smith and Rousseau. For students of the Smith-Rousseau relationship, it is valuable on two fronts, one methodological and one substantive. Yet the book is not the magnum opus for which some may have hoped. In light of this, the present essay has three aims: first, to call attention to the work’s most valuable substantive and methodological claims; second, to frame the book’s contributions by setting its claims in the context of recent scholarship; and third, to raise some questions regarding three of the book’s core theses.

Keywords:   Adam Smith, Rousseau, Istvan Hont, commercial society, authority, justice

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