Smith in the City of Lights: Paris through the Eyes of Adam Smith

Adam Smith Review (forthcoming)

40 Pages Posted: 5 May 2022 Last revised: 6 Feb 2024

See all articles by F. E. Guerra-Pujol

F. E. Guerra-Pujol

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; University of Central Florida

Date Written: May 1, 2022


This is the first in a series of papers exploring Adam Smith’s last year in France: 1766. It was during this fateful year that Smith attended the celebrated salons of the leading ladies of Paris and dined with such lights as Diderot and d’Alembert, co-editors of the famed Encyclopedie, but most importantly, it was in the French capital where Smith met and exchanged ideas with the leading political economists of Europe. How pivotal was Smith’s stay in Paris to his intellectual development? Among other things, this work will explore Adam Smith’s arrival in Paris in February of 1766, the reception of The Theory of Moral Sentiments on the eve of Smith’s 1766 Paris sojourn, and Smith’s possible first impressions of the City of Lights, impressions that may have informed his later work.

Keywords: Adam Smith, Paris, moral philosophy, political economy

JEL Classification: B12, B31

Suggested Citation

Guerra-Pujol, F. E., Smith in the City of Lights: Paris through the Eyes of Adam Smith (May 1, 2022). Adam Smith Review (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: or

F. E. Guerra-Pujol (Contact Author)

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico ( email )

University of Central Florida ( email )

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