In the Garden of God: Religion and Vigour in the Frame of Ferguson's Thought

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (1):55-74 (2015)

Although Adam Ferguson is regarded typically as a secular thinker, the larger frame of this thought may reflect his theism. After recounting, in summary fashion, elements of Ferguson's life, the paper sets forth his embrace of standard doctrines of eighteenth-century natural theology, including the metaphysical basis between mind, activity, and moral happiness, as well as Ferguson's treatment of an important theme of Christian belief – human sinfulness. Turning to Ferguson's moral theory, it is argued that energetic and moralized activity, vigour, may be less an expression of ‘civic humanism’ than of Ferguson's practical experience within the Scottish Church. More important, the very idea of vigorous exertion manifests, in Ferguson's own view, the human reflection of the Divine. Even if Ferguson remains a secular thinker, there is reason to regard him as a man whose thought bears the marks of religious belief and institutional practice
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DOI 10.3366/jsp.2015.0081
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Integrity.Gabriele Taylor & Raimond Gaita - 1981 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 55 (1):143 - 176.
Adam Ferguson as a Moral Philosopher.Gordon Graham - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (4):511-525.

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