The science of political economy came into being as a result of philosophers struggling with the fundamental problem of how the individual pursuit of self-interest would lead to the highest social good. Canonical works on the history of economic thought generally credit Adam Smith with the honour of making self-interest an acceptable mode of human behaviour and take him as a point of departure for self-interest in economics (Spiegel 1983; Blaug 1985; Rima 1991; Ekelund and Hébert 1990; Landreth and Colander 1994). Most biographers and editors of his works have also tried to show that his ideas were of indigenous Anglo-Saxon growth and owed little, if anything, to outside sources (Stewart 1793; Rae 1895; Cannan 1904; Lerner 1937; Skinner 1970; Raphael and Macfie 1976; Stigler 1976). This is particularly the case with respect to his ideas of human behaviour. It is the purpose of this paper to give a narrative of how the pursuit of selfinterest became an acceptable mode of human behaviour through accumulated influence from a narrow range of natural law philosophers who really fought to change prevailing attitudes.