Adam Smith (1723-1790)

NB: This page is under construction (Sept 2013)

About Smith

  • Taught by Francis Hutcheson
  • Used Hutchson’s Philosophiae moralis institutio compendiara, ethicis & jurisprudentiae naturalis elementa continuen as his textbook when covering for the ill Thomas Craigie in 1751 (Ross, Life of Adam Smith 112*)
  • Professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow, 1752-1764


  • Letter from A Smith, Edinburgh, 5 Sept 1751, to Dr William Cullen: ‘You mention natural jurisprudence & politics as parts of his lecture which it would be most agreeable for me to take upon…’ University of Glagsow, Special Collections MS Cullen 1157
  • Followed Hutcheson‘s curriculum (Cairns, ‘Ethics’ 166*)
  • Ethics course published as The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) (Cairns, ‘Ethics’ 166*)
  • Course on political regulation published as The Wealth of Nations (1776) (Cairns, ‘Ethics’ 166*)

Publications, Manuscripts and other Resources

  • ‘Juris Prudence or Notes from the Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms delivered in the University of Glasgow by Adam Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy. MDCCLXVI [1766]'(Manuscript fair copy of notes taken by an unidentified student in 1763) University of Glasgow, Special Collections MS Gen 109
  • A Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (London and Edinburgh, 1759).
  • A Smith, Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed RL Meek, DD Raphael and PG Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982). [contains two reports dated 1762-63 and 1766 of Smith’s lectures on jurisprudence at Glasgow University].


Brief Adam Smith biography at Northern Lights: The Scottish Enlightenment.

NPG D16843; Adam Smith by John Kay

Adam Smith
by John Kay
etching, 1790
NPG D16843
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Creative Commons Licence

*For references, see the Site Bibliography.