Lectures on Jurisprudence (1762)

Recommended edition: Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).

Excerpt: “1stThe first and chief design of every system of government is to maintain justice; to prevent the members of a society from incroaching on one anothers property, or siezing what is not their own. The design here is to give each one the secure and peacable possession of… More

Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms (1763)

Recommended edition: Edited by Edwin Cannan (Oxford, 1896).

Excerpt: “It is to be observed in general that the situation of a country, and the degree of improvement of which it is susceptible, not only in the cultivation of the land, but in other branches of trade, is favourable to the introduction of a republican government. There is… More

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)

Recommended edition: Edited by RH Campbell and AS Skinner, (Oxford 1976).

Excerpt: “The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life which it annually consumes, and which consist always either in the immediate produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce… More

Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795)

Recommended edition: Edited by W. P. D. Wightman and J. C. Bryce, vol. III of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).

Excerpt: “Plato, however, seems to have regarded the first of those as equally distinct with the second from what we would now call the Ideas or Thoughts of the Divine Mind , and even to have supposed, that they had a particular place of existence, beyond the sphere of the visible… More

The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

Recommended edition: Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.

Excerpt: “How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or… More