Samuel Pufendorf’s work on natural law and political economy was extensive and has been cited by several important figures in the history of economic thought. Yet his name is rarely mentioned in textbooks on the history of economic thought, the history of political science or the history of philosophy. In this unprecedented study, Arild Sæther sheds new light both on Pufendorf’s own life and work, as well as his influence on his contemporaries and on later scholars.
This book explores Pufendorf ’s doctrines of political economy and his work on natural law, which was translated into several major European languages. Natural Law and the Origin of Political Economy considers the influence he had on the writings on political economy of John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Francis Hutcheson and Adam Smith, amongst others. If Smith can be called the father of modern economics, this book claims that Pufendorf can be called the grandfather.
This volume is of great importance to those who study Pufendorf ’s extensive works, as well as those interested in history of economic thought, political economy and political philosophy.