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|Title:||Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and Karl Marx on the division of labour|
|Citation:||Journal of Classical Sociology, 2007; 7(3):339-366|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Abstract:||<jats:p> Adam Smith (1723—90) and Adam Ferguson (1723—1816) shared a keen interest in the social, economic and individual effects of specialization. Though this mutual interest led to a protracted priority dispute between them, nevertheless their approaches differed significantly. Ferguson was generally more negative in his attitude and was also less interested in the economic effects of specialization, focusing instead on its adverse social ramifications. In fact, his work on the subject probably constitutes the first fully developed sociological account of the topic. Karl Marx quoted Ferguson approvingly and declared that he had been inspired by the latter's insights. But Smith too made some extremely negative and apparently pessimistic observations about the division of labour, giving rise to suggestions that his comments also `constitute a major source of inspiration for the socialist critique' of commercialism. This article compares and contrasts the respective approaches of the two Scots. It also pays particular attention to claims that there are parallels with Marx in their thinking. To what extent is this true? Further, if it is true, do they anticipate him in the same way? </jats:p>|
|Keywords:||alienation; division of labour; Durkheim; Ferguson; inequality; Smith; Spencer; Marx; work|
|Rights:||Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications|
|Appears in Collections:||Politics publications|
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