The issue of good consumption is no longer a concern for economics. The decision of the consumer, described in terms of instrumental rationality, is based on a relationship with commodities from which other people are excluded. Consumption consists of the exaltation of a will which is only subject to a budget constraint.
I analyse three authors who did examine the influence of others on an individual?s choice while refusing to resume it by a social constraint as in traditional sociology. Rarely studied from this point of view, I show that Adam Smith, Gabriel Tarde and Thorstein Veblen devoted most of their work to the question of the formation of social interactions through consumption, and insisted on its influence in the construction of an individual. By studying their social theory, I try to identify what element in the relationship would protect the consumer from the risk of loss due to his illimitated desire.
Keywords : Adam Smith, Gabriel Tarde, Thorstein Veblen, Economic philosophy, Consumer behavior, Social interactions, Conspicuous consumption, History of economic thought.