Smith in the City

27 Pages Posted: 5 May 2022

See all articles by F. E. Guerra-Pujol

F. E. Guerra-Pujol

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

Date Written: May 1, 2022


Adam Smith lived in Paris for most of 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 great Encyclopedie, but most importantly, it was in Paris where Smith met and exchanged ideas with the leading economistes of Europe, the so-called Physiocrats. In the eloquent words of Ian Simpson Ross: "the encounters with the economic theorists of Paris can be considered one of the most exciting passages in Smith’s intellectual development, second in importance only to his early contacts with Hume.” Given how important Smith’s stay in Paris was to his transformation from a moral philosopher into a modern political economist, this paper will assemble the available evidence and retrace Smith’s footsteps in the City of Lights.

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

JEL Classification: B12, B31

Suggested Citation

Guerra-Pujol, F. E., Smith in the City (May 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

F. E. Guerra-Pujol (Contact Author)

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico ( email )

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