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A System of Social SciencePapers Relating to Adam Smith$
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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

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

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

(p.109) 5 Some Principles of Political Economy: Pufendorf, Hutcheson, and Adam Smith
A System of Social Science

Andrew Stewart Skinner

Oxford University Press

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

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