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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Women are largely absent from the economic system Smith lays out in . This account of women in Smith thus focuses primarily on analysis of and its discussion of women as subjects and objects of sympathy; and on the , Smith’s account of the development of socio-economic systems and the forms of private or domestic life that evolve along with them. I argue that Smith’s accounts of the evolution of social forms in the and of ethical practice in the are shaped by his distinctive conception of women’s experience as exceptional and non-normative, and of marriage and romantic love as insignificant in the history of private life before the rise of the Catholic church (and its ban on divorce).

Keywords: Adam Smith, women, marriage, domestic life, sympathy

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