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Adam Smith and the Division of Labour among the Social Sciences


  • Tony Aspromourgos


Adam Smith is one of the great founding figures of modern social science, in a larger sense than that conveyed by the popular perception of him as merely the founder of economics or political economy. He was aiming for a quite comprehensive social science, and while this grand project wasn't completed, substantial elements of it were. This paper is a reflection on Smith's conception of the sciences pertaining to human society and its relation to the modern demarcation of the social sciences. It affirms the integrity of political economy as a separable but not thereby 'autonomous' science, in Smith's understanding.

Suggested Citation

  • Tony Aspromourgos, 2011. "Adam Smith and the Division of Labour among the Social Sciences," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 81-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:81-94
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.526295

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mizuta, Hiroshi, 2000. "Adam Smith's Library: A Catalogue," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198285908.
    2. Skinner, Andrew Stewart, 1996. "A System of Social Science: Papers Relating to Adam Smith," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198233343.
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