Commerce as Cooperation with the Deity: Self-Love, the Common Good, and the Coherence of Francis Hutcheson
European Journal for the History of Economic Thought (forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2023 Last revised: 9 Mar 2023
Date Written: March 8, 2023
There has been a longstanding debate over the coherence of Hutcheson’s writings. Hutcheson’s writings on ethics have been taken as inconsistent with his work on jurisprudence and economics. This article argues that Hutcheson’s works are coherent when situated in theological context. We find across Hutcheson’s works a belief that God has benevolently designed the natural order. Hutcheson’s later works outline the rules by which we make our efforts to serve the common good effective in practice. The article contributes to our appreciation of the relationship between theology and the idea of mutual benefits in the history of economic thought.
Keywords: Francis Hutcheson, self-love, the division of labor, property, divine providence
JEL Classification: B12, B31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation