IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Beyond Economic Man: Adam Smith'S Concept Of The Agent And The Role Of Deception

Listed author(s):
  • Caroline GERSCHLAGER


Registered author(s):

    Drawing on Adam Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" I suggest analysing and further developing my hypothesis that deception is inevitable in the social setting. Smith's agents, who constantly deceive themselves because they cannot look impartially at themselves and others, are compared to and differentiated from homo oeconomicus as the prototypical model of modern economic agents. My analysis reveals that Smith and modern economists arrive at contrasting viewpoints concerning deception. Whereas Smith's selfdeception and illusions are vital to understanding the exchange process, modern economists regard deception as inefficient, hindering exchange and ultimately making it impossible.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by L'Harmattan in its journal Cahiers d'économie Politique.

    Volume (Year): (2005)
    Issue (Month): 49 ()
    Pages: 31-49

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2005:i:49:p:31-49
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: 142 rue du faubourg Saint-Martin. 75010 Paris, France.

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2005:i:49:p:31-49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlos Andrés Vasco Correa)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.