The Introduction sets the contributions to this special issue in the context of existing scholarship on Dugald Stewart. The main points are the great advance in our understanding of Stewart's intellectual development, his complicated relationship to his predecessors and contemporaries in Scottish philosophy, and his important role in the European republic of letters.
This major contribution to the history of philosophy provides the most comprehensive guide to modern natural law theory available, sets out the full background to liberal ideas of rights and contractarianism, and offers an extensive study of the Scottish Enlightenment. The time span covered is considerable: from the natural law theories of Grotius and Suarez in the early seventeenth century to the American Revolution and the beginnings of utilitarianism. After a detailed survey of modern natural law theory, the book focuses (...) on the Scottish Enlightenment and its European and American connections. Knud Haakonssen explains the relationship between natural law and civic humanist republicanism, and he shows the relevance of these ideas for the understanding of David Hume and Adam Smith. The result is a completely revised background to modern ideas of liberalism and communitarianism. (shrink)
Combining the methods of the modern philosopher with those of the historian of ideas, Knud Haakonssen presents an interpretation of the philosophy of law which Adam Smith developed out of - and partly in response to - David Hume's theory of justice. While acknowledging that the influences on Smith were many and various, Dr Haakonssen suggests that the decisive philosophical one was Hume's analysis of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second Enquiry. He therefore begins with a (...) thorough investigation of Hume, from which he goes on to show the philosophical originality of Smith's new form of natural jurisprudence. At the same time, he provides an over all reading of Smith's social and political thought, demonstrating clearly the exact links between the moral theory of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical theory of The Wealth of Nations. This is the first full analysis of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and critical function, and relates this to the psychological, sociological, and histroical aspects which hitherto have attracted most attention. Dr Haakonssen is critical of both purely descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's moral and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of regarding Smith's view of history as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'. (shrink)
Although Adam Smith is best known as the founder of scientific economics and an early proponent of the modern market economy, political economy is only one part of his comprehensive intellectual system. Consisting of a theory of mind and its functions in language, arts, science and social intercourse, Smith's system was a towering contribution to the Scottish Enlightenment. This Companion provides an up-to-date examination of all aspects of Smith's thought. Collectively, the essays take into account his multiple contexts--Scottish, British, European, (...) Atlantic, biographical, institutional, political and philosophical. (shrink)
More than thirty eminent scholars from nine different countries have contributed to The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy - the most comprehensive and up-to-date history of the subject available in English. For the eighteenth century the dominant concept in philosophy was human nature and so it is around this concept that the work is centered. This allows the contributors to offer both detailed explorations of the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical themes that continue to stand at the forefront of philosophy, and (...) to voice a critical attitude to the historiography behind this emphasis in philosophical thought. At the same time due sensitivity is paid to historical context with particular emphasis on the connections between philosophy, science, and theology. This judiciously balanced, systematic, and comprehensive account of the whole of Western philosophy in the period will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, intellectual historians, theologians, political theorists, historians of science and literary scholars. (shrink)
The letters published here belong to the ‘Fonds Pierre Prevost’ held by the Library of Geneva. Our presentation of the letters is modelled on that of the published correspondences of Adam Smith and Thomas Reid. Our aim in transcribing the letters that follow has been to establish a clean and reliable text with minimal editorial intervention. We have made no attempt to normalise the spellings, capitalisation, and apparently aberrant usage found in the letters or to modernise the punctuation, and we (...) have not expanded the contractions that occur in the original texts. However, Prevost’s contractions in Letters 13 and 15 are likely to provide major problems for most readers, and we have therefore added an appendix in which these contractions have been written out. (shrink)
SUMMARYThe essay provides an overview of the main lines of argument that run through the work of Hans Aarsleff. The emphasis is on the history of language theory as an integral part of intellectual history.
Summary The correspondence in this issue of History of European Ideas has not previously been published. It is the surviving part of the epistolary exchange between Dugald Stewart and the Genevan professor and man of letters Pierre Prevost (1751?1839) from the 1790s to the 1820s. To this are added several closely connected letters to and from their associates. This correspondence is striking evidence of the republic of letters continuing to flourish in the aftermath of the French Revolution, illustrating the transmission (...) of works, the role of go-betweens, the provision of letters of introduction and the formation of intellectual and personal alliances. Not least, the letters tell us much about the ideas of those involved, and about the formation, development, and relation of these ideas to published works. This is particularly significant for Stewart, most of whose letters and papers are lost. (shrink)
Summary The essay collects Ian Hunter's central theoretical and methodological arguments from their various interpretative contexts and restates them in order to consider criticisms, real and imagined. Is Hunter's criticism of common forms of philosophical history itself open to such criticism, making its validity dependent upon prior adoption of a philosophical stance? Is his empirical intellectual history a form of ?social? reductionism?
ABSTRACTThis special issue of History of European Ideas publishes several little known sources for the life and work of John Millar. This material supplements modern editions of his works and the records of his professional formation, his teaching, his life as a professor, his political engagement. The Preface suggests that Millar’s form of Whiggism was an exception to the general despair over the relevance of Enlightenment political ideas that has been persuasively diagnosed in other theorists of British politics towards the (...) end of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments lays the foundation for a general system of morals, and is a text of central importance in the history of moral and political thought. It presents a theory of the imagination which Smith derived from David Hume but which encompasses an idea of sympathy that in some ways is more sophisticated than anything in Hume's philosophy. By means of sympathy and the mental construct of an impartial spectator, Smith formulated highly original theories of conscience, (...) moral judgment and the virtues. The enduring legacy of his work is its reconstruction of the Enlightenment idea of a moral, or social, science encompassing both political economy and the theory of law and government. This 2002 volume offers a new edition of the text with clear and helpful notes for the student reader, together with a substantial introduction that sets the work in its philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
_Essays on the Active Powers of Man_ was Thomas Reid’s last major work. It was conceived as part of one large work, intended as a final synoptic statement of his overall philosophy. The first and larger part was published three years earlier as _Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man_. These two works are united by Reid’s basic philosophy of Common Sense, which sets out native principles by which the mind operates in both its intellectual and active aspects. The _Active (...) Powers_ shows how these principles are involved in volition, action, and the ability to judge morally. Reid gives an original twist to a libertarian and realist tradition that was prominently represented in eighteenth-century British thought by such thinkers as Samuel Clarke and Reid’s near contemporary and acquaintance, Richard Price. Traditionally seen as an epistemologist, Reid has in much recent work emerged as a significant contributor to the philosophy of action and to ethics. This edition of the _Active Powers_ will be of interest not only to historians of philosophy but also to philosophers working on the theory of action, on the problem of free will, and in moral psychology and meta-ethics. (shrink)