Eugene Heath

Adam Ferguson: Philosophy, Politics and Society

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Increasing numbers of scholars have recognized Ferguson's contribution to Enlightenment thinking, but no collections of scholarly essays have been devoted to him. In this, the second of two related monographs, a set of collected essays analyse Ferguson's philosophical, political and sociological writings and the discourse which they prompted between Ferguson and other important figures such as David Hume and Adam Smith. Much secondary literature on Ferguson is discussed, which highlights how Ferguson can be best understood as a social theorist who employed elements of many strains of thought to reconcile tensions of modernity. Crucially, Ferguson's thoughts on these far-reaching topics are difficult to classify so have often been misrepresented elsewhere. This book addresses these misconceptions. Unique among the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Ferguson saw two eighteenth-century revolutions, the American and the French. On these and on many other important contemporary subjects, the views he expressed helped shape public opinion.
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436 printed pages

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