In 1998 The Liberty Fund invited me to plan and, subsequently, to act as General Editor for an extensive series of texts in my main areas of interest. The first of more than forty titles appeared in 2001, three remain, of which two are in press. The Correspondence and Occasional Writings of Francis Hutcheson, edited by James Moore and M. A. Stewart is due to appear in the spring of 2021.

Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics’ is meant to present the works of the major natural law theoreticians from the 17th and 18th centuries that had been translated into English as well as a selection of Enlightenment works that in various ways related to ideas of the natural lawyers. The choice of the existing, mainly 17th– and 18th-century translations was motivated by a wish to make available in modern editions texts which have been part of English literature, while at the same time providing access to works that were originally framed in Latin or German and which (with a couple of exceptions) have little or only distant prospects of receiving modern translations. If these prospects should be improved by renewed interest in the old translations, so much the better. Some important steps in that direction have already been taken within the series itself through the first ever translations of several Latin works, by Gershom Carmichael, Francis Hutcheson, Christian Thomasius, and George Turnbull, as well as fresh translations of Robert Bellarmine and revisions of older translations of Grotius, Francisco Suarez and Christian Wolff. All the volumes are issued with scholarly annotation but with no attempt to impose uniformity on so large and varied a group of texts (and editors!) in an ambitiously limited time. In keeping with The Liberty Fund’s general policy, introductions are kept brief and as factual as possible.

In addition to serving as General Editor, I am contributing two works to the series. Samuel Pufendorf’s enormous Law of Nature and Nations will be ready for the Press in 2022. Francis Hutcheson’s large posthumous A System of Moral Philosophy (1755), which I am co-editing it with Christian Maurer (Lausanne), has been completed and is with the Press. These two titles will be the final leg of this long editorial journey. My work on Hutcheson has been generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.