Samuel Pufendorf and the Emergence of Economics as a Social Science
This book discusses Samuel Pufendorf and his contributions to the development of the European Enlightenment and the emergence of economics as a social science. Born in 1632 in Saxony, Pufendorf wrote widely on natural law, ethics, jurisprudence, and political economy and was one of the most important figures in early-modern political thought. Although his work fits within the intellectual framework of natural jurisprudence, there is an argument to be made that his ideas promoted the development of economics as a distinct discipline within the social sciences.
Written by participants in the 34th Heilbronn Symposion in Economics and the Social Sciences, the contributions to this volume give an overview of Pufendorf's influence on other authors of the Enlightenment, such as Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau, as well as addressing the theoretical implications of his extensive writings. Further chapters place a special focus on Pufendorf's discussion of economic matters, such as property rights theory, price theory, taxation, and preferences and decision-making. The book concludes with analyzing Pufendorf's influence on Adam Smith, his anticipations of elements of modern economic theory, and his impact on the history of economic thought. Providing a fresh look at one of the foundational scholars of social science, this volume will be of interest to researchers and students of the history of economic thought, political economy, economic history, and political philosophy.