Fellows Detail

Professor Knud Haakonssen

CandArt, MagArt (Copenhagen), PhD (Edinburgh), DrPhil (Copenhagen), FBA, FRSE, FASSA

Elected: 1992

Discipline: History

Specialisation: Early-modern moral, political and legal thought; natural law and rights; Enlightenment in Britain, Germany & Scandinavia


Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History (part-time) at the University of St. Andrews and a Long-term Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt.  He works on moral, political and legal thought 1600 – 1800.  Current interests include work on:

  • natural law from Grotius to Hegel
  • rights-theories
  • The Enlightenment in Germany, Scandinavia and Scotland
  • pre-Kantian concepts of philosophy.



  • Professor of Intellectual History (part-time), University of St. Andrews
  • Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History, University of Sussex
  • Long-term Fellow, Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural & Social Studies, University of Erfurt
  • Affiliated Professor of History, University of Copenhagen



  • Lim Chong Yah Professor, National University of Singapore
  • Torgny Segerstedt (Visiting) Professor, University of Uppsala
  • Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Sussex Centre for Intellectual History, University of Sussex
  • Professor of Philosophy, Boston University
  • Senior Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, the Australian National University


Memberships / Fellowships

  • Fellow, British Academyf
  • Foreign Member, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society


  • Knud Haakonssen (1981) The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. French, Japanese, Chinese translations.
  • Knud Haakonssen (1996) Natural Law and Moral Philosophy: From Grotius to the Scottish Enlightenment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Chinese translation.
  • Knud Haakonssen (ed.) (1996) Enlightenment and Religion: Rational Dissent in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ideas in Context, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Knud Haakonssen (ed.) (2006) The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy, 2 vols, Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press. Chinese translation.
  • Knud Haakonssen (ed.) (2006) The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Knud Haakonssen (general ed.) The Edinburgh Edition of Thomas Reid, 10 vols. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press
  • Knud Haakonssen (general ed.) Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics, 43 titles. Liberty Press.
  • (Co-ed.) (2010) Thomas Reid, Essays on the Active Powers of Man, Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.
  • (Co-ed.) (2015) Thomas Reid on Society and Politics, Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.
  • (Co-ed.) (2017) Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754): Learning and Literature in the Nordic Enlightenment, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge


Website: https://khaakonssen.wordpress.com/
Email: k.haakonssen [at] gmail.com

Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

    ABN: 59 957 839 703
  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au