Lectures on Jurisprudence
Published as part of the 1976 Glasgow Edition of the works and correspondence of Adam Smith. It consists of two sets of lecture notes that were apparently taken from Smith's lectures of the 1760s, along with an 'Early Draft' of The Wealth of Nations.
The same material had also appeared as An Early Draft of Part of The Wealth of Nations and as Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms. The documents are generally accepted as authentic, though this cannot be proved absolutely.
Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence, originally delivered at the University of Glasgow in 1762-1763, present his ‘theory of the rules by which civil government ought to be directed.’ The chief purpose of government, according to Smith, is to preserve justice; and ‘the object of justice is security from injury.’ The state must protect the individual’s right to his person, property, reputation, and social relations.
Adam Smith observed in his Lectures on Jurisprudence (1762)–a series of talks that he gave at the University of Glasgow– that national character plays a significant role in economic transactions: the Dutch, he said, are “more faithful to their word” and better at “performing agreements” than the English, and the English more faithful than the Scots.
- Smith, Adam (1976), Meek, Ronald E., Raphael, David D., Stein G. Peter, ed., Lectures on Jurisprudence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, retrieved 2012-12-14
- See also Cannan, Edwin, ed. (1896), Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms delivered in the University of Glasgow by Adam Smith and reported by a Student in 1763 (First ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 293, retrieved 2012-12-14
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