Some Principles of Political Economy: Pufendorf, Hutcheson, and Adam Smith 

Andrew Stewart Skinner

in A System of Social Science

Second edition

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198233343
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191678974 | DOI:
Some Principles of Political Economy: Pufendorf, Hutcheson, and Adam Smith 

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Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and David Hume should be of continuing interest to the student of political economy, not least because they did not see themselves as economists so much as philosophers who placed the study of economic phenomena in a broad social context. The basic task was to explain how it was that a creature endowed with both self and other-regarding propensities was fitted for the social state. It appears that social order as a basic precondition for economic activity depends in part upon a capacity for moral judgement. Furthermore, the psychological drives that explain economic activity must be seen in a context wider than the economic. This chapter examines Hutcheson's link to Samuel von Pufendorf in a manner that confirms a debt to the work of W. L. Taylor, as well as the role of subjective judgement as regards the determinants of value in the works of both men.

Keywords: Francis Hutcheson; Adam Smith; David Hume; political economy; Samuel von Pufendorf; social state; social order; economic activity; subjective judgement; value

Chapter.  6543 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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