Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society

Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society : Moral Science in the Scottish Enlightenment

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Description

Adam Ferguson, a friend of David Hume and Adam Smith, was among the leading Scottish Enlightenment figures who worked to develop a science of man. He created a methodology for moral science that combined empirically based social theory with normative moralising. He was among the first in the English-speaking world to make use of the terms civilization, civil society and political science.



Craig Smith explores Ferguson's thought, and examines his attempt to develop a genuine moral science and its place in providing a secure basis for the virtuous education of the new elite of Hanoverian Britain. The Ferguson that emerges is far from the stereotyped image of a republican sceptical about commercial society and much closer to the mainstream of the Scottish Enlightenment and its defence of the new British commercial order.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474474535
  • 9781474474535
  • 2,056,727

Back cover copy

Adam Ferguson was a Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and a leading member of the Scottish Enlightenment. A friend of David Hume and Adam Smith, Ferguson was among the leading exponents of the Scottish Enlightenment's attempts to develop a science of man and was among the first in the English speaking world to make use of the terms civilization, civil society and political science. Craig Smith challenges many of the prevailing assumptions about Ferguson's thinking. He explores how Ferguson sought to create a methodology for moral science that combined empirically based social theory with normative moralising. He examines Ferguson's attempt to develop a genuine moral science and its place in providing a secure basis for the virtuous education of the new elite of Hanoverian Britain. The Ferguson that emerges is far from the stereotyped image of a republican sceptical about commercial society and much closer to the mainstream of the Scottish Enlightenment and its defence of the new British commercial order. Craig Smith is the Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment at the University of Glasgow.
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About Craig Smith

Craig Smith is Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Glasgow.
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