Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A System of Social SciencePapers Relating to Adam Smith$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Stewart Skinner

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198233343

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198233343.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 July 2020

Historical Theory  

Historical Theory  

(p.76) 4 Historical Theory
A System of Social Science

Andrew Stewart Skinner

Oxford University Press

Adam Smith's interest in social history found a number of precedents and parallels on the Continent. It is interesting to note that, as Quaestor for the University Library, Smith made purchases including the works of Giannonne, Daniel, and Brosse, and that he owned copies of works by Fénelon, Fontenelle, Rollin, Raynal, Mably, Duclos, and Chastellux, to name a few. Such writers are associated with something of a revolution in historical writing. Smith's own work on the history of civil society is particularly noteworthy, and is among the first subjects that he appears to have addressed. Even if we exclude the Edinburgh Lectures, it is now well known, from the account supplied by John Millar, that the third part of Smith's lecture course delivered from the Moral Philosophy chair had been concerned with ‘that branch of morality which relates to justice’. Smith managed to isolate four distinct modes of subsistence to which there corresponded four types of social structure: the stages of hunting, pasturage, farming, and commerce.

Keywords:   Adam Smith, social history, historical writing, civil society, morality, justice, hunting, pasturage, farming, commerce

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .