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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Adam Smith’s reflection on the Law in his main works. Particular attention is paid to the difference between Smith’s thought and the Juridical Enlightenment. Smithian Jurisprudence appears significantly different from works by Beccaria, Filangieri, or Bentham, where some continuity with current economic analysis of law can be found. It is much more difficult to find it in Smith’s idea of the impartial spectator, the resentment of the victim, the theory of the stages, or the stoic vision of the legislator. Finally, the chapter illustrates how far Smith is from modern Law and Economics and from some aspects of contemporary economic orthodoxy.

Keywords: Adam Smith, Juridical Enlightenment, Doctrine of Natural Law, contractualism, utilitarianism, economic analysis of law

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