James Balfour of Pilrig (1705-1795)

About Balfour

  • Regius Professor of the Law of Nature and Nations, 1764-1779
  • Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh, 1754-1764 but notably unsuccessful as a teacher (ODNB*); lectured on Pufendorf (Haakonssen, ‘Natural’ 262*)


  • Not known if he lectured as Regius Professor (Grant*); but his class was advertised in The Edinburgh Advertiser: ‘UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH…III. LAW. The Law Classes will be opened on Tuesday the 19th of November, as follows: [ …] The Law of Nature and Nations, Mr. Balfour.’ [Vol. XXX, no 1532 (1 Sept 1778) 151 col. 2]

Publications, Manuscripts and other Resources

  • J Balfour, A delineation of the nature and obligation of morality. With reflexions upon Mr Hume’s book, intitled, An inquiry concerning the principles of morals (Edinburgh [1753]; 2nd edn, Edinburgh, 1763)

*For references, see the Site Bibliography.