Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How Would Adam Smith Have Decided Pierson v. Post?

At the University of Glasgow, Adam Smith lectured not only about moral philosophy, but also about jurisprudence. The following comes from Smith's Jurisprudence lecture notes for 1762-3:

[I]f one who has a right to hunt starts a deer, and when he is in pursuit another comes in and takes this deer before he [has] given over hopes of catching him, this 2d person appears evidently to have acted contrary to good manners and may accordingly be punished by the forest laws. It can not however be accounted a breach of property, as that can not begin till the beast is actually brought into the possession of the pursuer.

Adam Smith, Lectures in Jurisprudence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), p. 82.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if the NY Court of Appeals had read this. It sure sounds familiar.

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