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Book Sections Year : 2017

Which economic agent does Robinson Crusoe represent?


The paper questions the posterity of Defoe’s character in economics and literature. After an overview of its use in economic theories and in literary criticism and history, it emphasizes the reasons why Crusoe may represent an economic agent, for his disposition to calculate and work in order to satisfy his needs. But it shows that Crusoe behaves in a much more ambivalent manner than the universal and atemporal agent portrayed by marginalist economic theory since the end of the 19th century. We emphasize especially that work is not for Robinson understood first as a means for acquiring goods, but as the best means to escape his loneliness.
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hal-03823271 , version 1 (06-12-2022)



Claire Pignol. Which economic agent does Robinson Crusoe represent?. Ҫınla Akdere and Christine Baron (eds). Economics and Literature A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach, 1, Routledge, pp.79-95, 2017, 978-1-315-23161-7. ⟨10.4324/9781315231617⟩. ⟨hal-03823271⟩


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