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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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Julie’s Garden and the Impartial Spectator: An Examination of Smithian Themes in Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse

Julie’s Garden and the Impartial Spectator: An Examination of Smithian Themes in Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse

Chapter:
(p.143) 8 Julie’s Garden and the Impartial Spectator: An Examination of Smithian Themes in Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse
Source:
Adam Smith and Rousseau
Author(s):

Tabitha Baker

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422857.003.0008

This chapter explores the similarities between Smith and Rousseau’s moral philosophy through a discussion of the Smithean aspects of Rousseau’s 1761 novel La Nouvelle Héloïse. Focussing the analysis on the motif of the eighteenth-century English landscape garden, this chapter reveals the extent to which Rousseau’s novel reflects Smith’s principles of arriving at moral behaviour and true virtue. The author argues that it is within the space of Julie’s garden that Rousseau and Smith’s theories are reconciled in order to produce a blended social model in which Smith provides responses to Rousseau’s failed utopia. An examination of La Nouvelle Héloïse alongside Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments demonstrates that the symbol of the landscape garden in Rousseau’s novel is an experimental setting in which Rousseau and Smith’s theories are merged, and it is through Rousseau’s fiction that the complicated relationship between the two thinkers’ thought can be most evidently sourced.

Keywords:   La Nouvelle Héloïse, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Moral philosophy, Morality, Landscape garden, Virtue, Utopia

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