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On the Possibility of Justice in Commercial Society according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith


  • Jimena Hurtado



Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith stand on opposite sides regarding their appraisal of commercial society. The citizen of Geneva is known as one of its most harsh critiques, whereas the Scottish philosopher is considered as one of its main advocates. However, both authors coincide on one aspect: justice is the main pillar of any society. In this text, I explore this point in order to advance our understanding about the contrast between these two major figures.

Suggested Citation

  • Jimena Hurtado, 2016. "On the Possibility of Justice in Commercial Society according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith," Documentos CEDE 014633, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:014633

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrés Álvarez & Jimena Hurtado, 2012. "Out of sight, out of mind: Modern economics, social interactions, and Smith´s sympathy," Documentos CEDE 009312, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    2. Claire Pignol, 2012. "Rousseau's notion of envy: A comparison with modern economic theory," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 529-549, June.
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    More about this item


    Adam Smith; Jean-Jacques Rousseau; justice; commercial society; self-love.;

    JEL classification:

    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals


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