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Markets, Science and Social Changes. Proudhon and the legacy oF Enlightenment

Listed author(s):
  • Gioia Vitantonio


  • Emiliano Bevilacqua


    (Department of History, Society and Human Studies, University of Salento (Italy))

Registered author(s):

    This paper is focused on an often neglected aspect of Proudhon’s thought: his rich confrontation with the theoretical legacy of the Enlightenment authors (Rousseau, Diderot, A. Smith, Condorcet, etc.) about the nature of ‘‘commercial society’’ and the idea of social progress. Through the rethinking of the Enlightenment views, Proudhon builds an approach designed to inquire into the relationships between scientific advances and the increased awareness of social agents, in order to analyse the causes of economic and social changes. In this perspective Proudhon creates a new category of social progress that can explain the theoretical evolution of the social sciences and the dynamics of capitalistic society. At the centre of his analysis we find both an interesting and original reflection about the relationship between individuals and society, and about the evolution of human nature with reference to the idea of social 'Justice'.

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    Article provided by Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in its journal Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali.

    Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 129-148

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    Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2012:v:120:i:2:p:129-148
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