Pierre le Pesant Boisguilbert was considered by Marx as one of the founders of classical political economy. His writings contain a large number of concepts and ideas that reappear in the writings of Quesnay, Cantillon and Adam Smith. George Berkeley – a major figure in the history of philosophical idealism – was the author of ‘The Querist’, a treatise on the nature of Irish under-development and cures for Irish poverty. Baron de Montesquieu – one of the great 18th century polymaths – is author of the masterpiece ‘The Spirit of the Laws’ (1748) which, while ostensibly a treatise on law, is actually a study of political organization, types of government, national character and the determining ethos of different societies. It enjoyed enormous success in the 18th century and was almost certainly read and studied by Adam Smith.
Ferdinando Galiani was a leading critic of physiocracy and a major 18th century proponent of the subjective theory of value. In 1751 he published ‘Della Moneta’ which contains some notable chapters on monetary theory, and some brilliant pages on the utility theory of value. James Anderson was a Scottish farmer and a prolific author of tracts on the agricultural development of Scotland and the outstanding policy issues of the last quarter of the 18th century. Dugald Stewart was author of ‘Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith LLD’ (1793) which is one of the earliest, extended commentaries on the works of Adam Smith by one who knew him well.