Philosophical history and the science of man in Scotland: Adam Ferguson’s response to Rousseau

McDaniel, Iain (2013) Philosophical history and the science of man in Scotland: Adam Ferguson’s response to Rousseau. Modern Intellectual History, 10 (3). pp. 543-568. ISSN 1479-2443

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Abstract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality is now recognized to have played a fundamental role in the shaping of Scottish Enlightenment political thought. Yet despite some excellent studies of Rousseau's influence on Adam Smith, his impact on Smith's contemporary, Adam Ferguson, has not been examined in detail. This article reassesses Rousseau's legacy in eighteenth-century Scotland by focusing on Ferguson's critique of Rousseau in his Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), his History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic (1783), and his lectures and published writings in moral philosophy. Ferguson's differences from Rousseau were more pronounced than is sometimes assumed. Not only did Ferguson offer one of the most substantial eighteenth-century refutations of the Genevan's thinking on sociability, nature, art, and culture, he also provided an alternative to the theoretical history of the state set out in the Discourse on Inequality.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Depositing User: Iain McDaniel
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2013 13:34
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2013 10:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46663
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