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The Scottish Enlightenment: an Anthology

Canongate Classics
Publication Date
23 June 2008
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited

The Scottish Enlightenment: an Anthology

This anthology emphasizes the European dimension of the Enlightenment and also the diversity of interest and output of the Age of Reason. To many, the Enlightenment of the 18th century represents Scotland's Golden Age. In philosophy, law, economics, politics, linguistics and the physical sciences, Scots were key players in changing the way the world was viewed. And the reverberations of this development of knowledge is still being felt today. This was the age of David Hume, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith, of Adam Ferguson, James Hutton and Sir John Sinclair with his achievement of the first statistical account. After a general introduction, the book is broken down thematically - "Human Nature", "Ethics", "Aesthetics", "Religion", "Economics", "Social Theory", and "Politics", "Law", "Historiography" and "Science". These sections gather together the well known and the lesser known amongst the writing of the time. Much of the material has not been reprinted since the 18th century.


Alexander Broadie is a Professor of Logic and Rhetoric at Glasgow University – a chair once occupied by Adam Smith – and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was appointed the first Henry Duncan Prize lecturer in Scottish Studies at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1990-1993) and Gifford Lecturer in Natural Theology at Aberdeen University in 1994 before taking up post at Glasgow University in 1995. Earlier this year he was awarded the degree of Doctorat de l’université honoris causa by Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, for his contribution to Franco-Scottish relations in the field of the history of philosophy. He was born in Edinburgh in 1942.