Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society: Moral Science in the Scottish Enlightenment

Smith, C. (2019) Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society: Moral Science in the Scottish Enlightenment. Series: Edinburgh studies in Scottish philosophy. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh. ISBN 9781474413275 (doi: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413275.001.0001)

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Examines Adam Ferguson's philosophy, political theory and social thought in the context of the Scottish Enlightenment. Adam Ferguson, a friend of David Hume and Adam Smith, was among the leading Scottish Enlightenment figures who worked to develop a science of man. He created a methodology for moral science that combined empirically based social theory with normative moralising. He was among the first in the English-speaking world to make use of the terms civilization, civil society and political science. Craig Smith explores Ferguson's thought, and examines his attempt to develop a genuine moral science and its place in providing a secure basis for the virtuous education of the new elite of Hanoverian Britain. The Ferguson that emerges is far from the stereotyped image of a republican sceptical about commercial society and much closer to the mainstream of the Scottish Enlightenment and its defence of the new British commercial order.

Item Type:Books
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Craig
Authors: Smith, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
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