Scotland's Migrant Philosophers and the History of Scottish Philosophy

History of European Ideas 39 (5):670-692 (2013)

The history of Scottish philosophy in the nineteenth century is written by migrant philosophers attempting to use the Scottish tradition as the foundation for philosophy in their new homelands. In the accounts of John Clark Murray , James McCosh and Henry Laurie , different evaluations are made of the continuing relevance of the Scottish Common Sense School, but all are committed Christians for whom David Hume cannot be part of a Scottish tradition. As a result, none of these accounts gives any suggestion of there having been a ‘Scottish Enlightenment’. That concept was only made possible by the radical reinterpretation of Hume by Norman Kemp Smith, which linked his philosophy to Hutcheson and dismissed his opposition to Reid. The subsequent emergence of ‘the Scottish Enlightenment’ eclipsed nineteenth-century Scottish ‘idealism’, shaped by Edward Caird, which Murray, Laurie and Kemp Smith had regarded as the foundation of their own philosophies
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DOI 10.1080/01916599.2012.735140
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