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Luxury and Public HappinessPolitical Economy in the Italian Enlightenment$
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Till Wahnbaeck

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269839

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269839.001.0001

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Enlightenment Views of Luxury

Enlightenment Views of Luxury

(p.20) 2 Enlightenment Views of Luxury
Luxury and Public Happiness


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the development of the European debate on luxury from Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. It notes that the debate regarding luxury did not end with Smith. It argues that there was continued interest in the question of luxury well into the third quarter of the 18th century. It explains that Smith's work in many ways marks the culmination of the 18th-century debate by addressing, and offering solutions to, its central concerns. It adds that Adam Smith's work is important to the understanding of the European luxury debate because he drew the views together.

Keywords:   European luxury debate, Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Bernard Mandeville, Fable of the Bees

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