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The Scottish Enlightenment and the French Revolution

£19.99

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: November 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107464568

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  • Historians of ideas have traditionally discussed the significance of the French Revolution through the prism of several major interpretations, including the commentaries of Burke, Tocqueville and Marx. This book argues that the Scottish Enlightenment offered an alternative and equally powerful interpretative framework for the Revolution, which focused on the transformation of the polite, civilised moeurs that had defined the 'modernity' analysed by Hume and Smith in the eighteenth century. The Scots observed what they understood as a military- and democracy-led transformation of European modern morals and concluded that the real historical significance of the Revolution lay in the transformation of warfare, national feelings and relations between states, war and commerce that characterised the post-revolutionary international order. This book recovers the Scottish philosophers' powerful discussion of the nature of post-revolutionary modernity and shows that it is essential to our understanding of nineteenth-century political thought.

    • Presents a novel interpretative framework for the French Revolution
    • Examines the later years of the Scottish Enlightenment and the transmission of Hume and Smith's philosophy to the nineteenth century
    • An important intervention in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pan-European debate about democracy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107464568
    • dimensions: 150 x 230 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. The Burke–Paine Debate and Scotland's Science of Man:
    1. The Burke–Paine debate and the Scottish Enlightenment
    2. The heritage of Hume and Smith: Scotland's science of man and politics
    Part II. The 1790s:
    3. Scotland's political debate
    4. James Mackintosh and Scottish philosophical history
    5. John Millar and the Scottish discussion on war, modern sociability and national sentiment
    6. Adam Ferguson on democracy and empire
    Part III. 1802–15:
    7. The French Revolution and the Edinburgh Review
    8. Commerce, war and empire
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Anna Plassart, Christ Church, Oxford
    Anna Plassart is a Junior Research Fellow in Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford.

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