Fraternity: why the market need not be a morally free zone

Luigino Bruni, Robert Sugden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reappraises the idea, traceable to Adam Smith, of a fundamental
distinction between market transactions and genuinely social relationships.
On Smith’s account, each party to a market transaction pursues his own
interests, subject only to the law of contract. Using the work of Smith’s
contemporary Antonio Genovesi as our starting point, we reconstruct an
alternative understanding of market interactions as instances of a wider class
of reciprocal relationships in civil society, characterized by joint intentions for
mutual assistance. We consider the implications of our arguments for current
debates about whether marketed personal care services can be genuinely
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-64
Number of pages30
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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