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Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment
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Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  31 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In a brilliant recreation of the epoch between the 1770s and the 1820s, Emma Rothschild reinterprets the ideas of the great revolutionary political economists to show us the true landscape of economic and political thought in their day, with important consequences for our own. Her work alters the readings of Adam Smith and Condorcet--and of ideas of Enlightenment--that und ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Harvard University Press (first published May 16th 2001)
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Frank Stein
Oct 31, 2013 Frank Stein rated it liked it
In this book, Emma Rothschild argues that while many Enlightenment thinkers, especially Adam Smith and the Marquis de Condorcet, were obsessed with freedom of commerce, commerce to them was mainly a means to advance cultural and personal liberty. To prove it, she plunges deep into their writings and into the general milieu of the Enlightenment. She comes up with some precious insights and quotes, even if they are not always apropos, and even if the conclusions she draws from them are not always ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Phil rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Economists, Historians
Recommended to Phil by: Corey Robin
An excellent re-interpretation of the role of Adam Smith in the creation of a new way of thinking about economics. Instead of the slave to libertarians, Rothschild shows how Smith actually fits more in with Thomas Paine and the French Revolution than he does with the likes of Edmund Burke.
Ed Terrell
Feb 06, 2017 Ed Terrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
"Our sense of familiarity of 18th century thought is an illusion, above all,because of our unequal knowledge”

Economic Sentiments is a history of economics and political thought, a history of science and ideas, a history of Smith, Condorcet, Hume, and Kant. “Sentiments” is not light reading but packed with the analysis of the ideas of an earlier world. It is a philosophical book with roots in the Enlightenment, before the Jacobin Terror took hold. Adam Smith stated that events have both internal
Jun 22, 2011 Diego rated it it was amazing
Emma Rothschild recrea gran parte del pensamiento de la Ilustración particularmente el de Adamn Smith y el Marques de Condorcet, rescata las ideas de estos pensadores y del pensamiento Fisiocrata de los llamados Economisté mostrando no la ilustración conservadora que se enseña hoy en día si no su real espíritu liberal, un liberalismo bien entendido no un odio al estado solo al estado absolutista no una adoración dogmática del mercado solo la necesaria, al nacer estos conceptos estado y mercado n ...more
May 31, 2013 Willem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading
It's even more fascinating than when I first read it in 2001. Very sophisticated book, high brow historical essays (I don't know a better word for the chapters. They're not essays in the sense that Rothschild is simply improvising or adlibbing: she's very much on top of the subjects she writes about).
I'n rereading it because at the time I considered it of enormous importance for anybody interested in current affairs, although that's not what the book is about. I was in the process of reconstruc
Craig Bolton
"Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment by Emma Rothschild (2002)"
Aug 17, 2008 Tina marked it as to-read
Emma Rothschild je odlicna znanstvenica. I'm in awe. Z njenim mozem, Amartya Senom, sta pravi intelektualni power couple.
Apr 30, 2010 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Read it!
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“The disposition of universal discussion—the unending, discursive process of public altercation which was so admired, and so execrated, for much of the eighteenth century—was concerned, often, with economic policy. “From the scholastic disputes of theologians to matters of trade,” d’Alembert wrote, “everything has been discussed and analyzed, or at least mentioned.”55 For Edmund Burke, “it has been the misfortune (not as these gentlemen think it, the glory) of this age, that everything is to be discussed”; the age was one of “oeconomists, and calculators.”56 Taxes and regulations, guilds and excise inspections, were a principal preoccupation, together with religion, of enlightened opinion. Adam Smith’s most serious offense, for his Edinburgh contemporary the Reverend Alexander Carlyle, consisted in “introducing that unrestrained and universal commerce, which propagates opinions as well as commodities.”57 The commerce in opinions was itself, in large part, a commerce in opinions about commerce, or about commercial policy. The “focal point of enlightenment,” Kant says in What is Enlightenment?—the subject to be disputed, in the imperative to “argue as much as you like and about whatever you like”—consists in matters of religion. But economic matters are also a subject of enlightened discussion in Kant’s description; the tax official says, “‘Don’t argue, pay!’” and the cosmopolitan citizen “publicly voices his thoughts on the impropriety or even injustice of such fiscal measures.”58” 0 likes
“Even the “state” and the “market,” in these warm and discursive societies, are intricately interconnected. Late eighteenth-century economic thought is now so unfamiliar, in part, because of the subsequent transformation in political positions: in the politics of economic reform and also in the depiction of the state. It was the “left,” in the period with which this book is concerned—the friends of enlightenment, the sympathizers of revolution—who were the most severe critics of the economic, political, and religious state. Thomas Paine, praising Smith and criticizing Burke, described “the greedy hand of Government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry,” and called for “lessening the burden of taxes,” in particular through a plan for reducing taxation which would limit civilian government spending to less than 1 percent of national income.” 0 likes
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