Adam Smith is mostly known as a political economist (The Wealth of Nations) or a moral philosopher (Theory of Moral Sentiments), but did you know that he was also a legal scholar? In fact, Smith was awarded a Doctorate of Law by the University of Glasgow in October of 1762, and he had lectured about law and jurisprudence during the 1762-63 academic year. (Update: Smith’s “Lectures on Jurisprudence” are available here, via AdamSmithWorks. Hat tip: Inverted Logic.)
Although Smith himself promised to write a book about the law, he never completed that work. To help fill this gap, my colleague and friend Robin Paul Malloy, a law professor at Syracuse University, recently published a book on “Law and the Invisible Hand” (the cover of which is pictured below), which explores the legal side of Adam Smith’s thought. I got to see Professor Malloy present his work at this weekend’s History of Economics Society, and I will be reviewing it here soon.