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Hume, Smith… and Darwin

By Pedro Schwartz

Two years ago, Dennis Rasmussen published a book that he says "was an absolute joy to write" and indeed is a joy to read: The Infidel and the Professor. It is the biography of a "Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought", as the subtitle explains. This deceptively anecdotal story of how David Hume and Adam Smith became the fastest of friends over the years allows Rasmussen to throw new light on their epoch-making contributions to the science of society. For more by Dennis Rasmussen, see his discussion of this book at "The Infidel and the Professor: The Friendship of Adam Smith and David Hume," by Dennis Rasmussen at, Sep 1, 2018. Also see the EconTalk podcast episode Dennis Rasmussen on Hume and Smith and The Infidel and the Professor, November 6, 2017. See also the video at Dennis Rasmussen AMA [Ask Me Anything]: The Infidel and the Professor. YouTube, September 4, 2019. Smith and Hume probably met in 1749. Smith had come down from his six years at Oxfo...

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