By Knud Haakonssen
Combining the tools of the fashionable thinker with these of the historian of principles, Knud Haakonssen offers an interpretation of the philosophy of legislations which Adam Smith constructed out of - and partially in line with - David Hume's idea of justice. whereas acknowledging that the affects on Smith have been many and numerous, Dr Haakonssen means that the decisive philosophical one was once Hume's research of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second one Enquiry. He for this reason starts off with a radical research of Hume, from which he is going directly to express the philosophical originality of Smith's new type of usual jurisprudence. while, he offers an over all examining of Smith's social and political inspiration, demonstrating in actual fact the precise hyperlinks among the ethical idea of the idea of ethical Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical conception of The Wealth of countries. this is often the 1st complete research of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and important functionality, and relates this to the mental, sociological, and histroical points which hitherto have attracted so much consciousness. Dr Haakonssen is important of either basically descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's ethical and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of concerning Smith's view of heritage as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'.
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Extra resources for The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith
In these short sketches it is clear that Hume is not only concerned with explaining some fundamental principles underlying law as it is found in present society. He is quite as much interested in showi ng that, given man's nature and situation, fundamental law must be a phenomenon with an evolutionary background. For the reasons already given, some kind of stab ili ty of possession must be developed. , which again requires i n ter ference by civil law and statutes. s. In what follows we shall see how Adam Smith takes up these areas of law as part of his system of jurisprudence.
504-5, note; and cf. E. 1 95--6) Present possession is thus the circumstance that explains the original emergence of property through the introduction of the rules of justice, and it remains also in developed society one of the sources of property. Hume then calls it occupation. 81 But as he points out, this is obviously too imprac ticable and inflexible a rule to be the only source of property in a changing and developing society, and the principles of prescription, acces sion and succession therefore naturally develop.
It is thus not the resolution that creates a promise, for that is just our motive. It is the use of signs, or expressions, to publicize the reso l ution that creates the promise91 because it creates a new motive, namely natural Hume's theory of justice the fear of not being trusted by our fellow men in case of non-performance. And as the signs used are artificially invented by men, we see that promises are artificial phenomena as well. As in the case of justice, there are certain rationalistic elements in Hume's much shorter account of the origin of promises.