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"Essay on Adam Smith And Jean Jacques Rousseau"
Essay on Adam Smith And Jean Jacques Rousseau
Author:
Anthony Pacella
Adam Smith(1723-1790) and Jean Jacques Rousseau(1712-1770) each provide their own distinctive social thought. Smith, political economist and moral philosopher, is regarded as the father of modern economics. Rousseau, a Franco-Swiss social and political philosopher, combines enlightenment and semi-romantic themes in his work. Thus Smith's work places emphasis on the relationship between economics and society, whereas, Rousseau focuses his attention on the social inequalities within society. Therefore, Smith and Rousseau, of the Scottish and Continental Enlightenment respectively, provide unique insights on their existing society.

Adam Smith is one of the main figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith's main concern was the establishment of the free market, as laid out in his work "The Wealth of Nations"(1776). In the "Wealth of Nations", Smith is very critical of the division of labor. The emphasis falls equally on the economic and social consequences of the division of labor (Smith, 1998:26). Moreover, "What is significant about the contribution of the Scottish Enlightenment to Sociology is the clear awareness that society constituted a process, the product of specific economic, social, and historical forces that could be identified and analyzed through methods of empirical science. Society was a category of historical investigation, the result of objective, material causes"(Smith, 1998:26). Smith believed that society would benefit from individuals who were self-interested in their own personal economic gains. Furthermore, Smith believed that the division of labor had a negative impact on society. He thus was very critical of the division of labor. For Smith, "the man whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects too are, perhaps, always the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding? "He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion and becomes as stupid as it is possible for a human creature to become"(Lecture Notes, 2001:5). Smith clearly...

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essay on Essay on Adam Smith And Jean Jacques Rousseau
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4 (872 words)
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11/02/2011
Category:
Politics
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05/21/2007
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