Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was among the Scottish Enlightenment’s most influential philosophers as well as one of its most colourful and engaging characters. His pioneering contributions to the development of political economy and social theory have long been acknowledged—though, unfortunately, they have also often been misrepresented. At the same time, it is clear that the significance both of his professional activities as a distinguished university teacher in Edinburgh and of his status as one of the eighteenth century’s foremost historians of the Roman republic has been insufficiently appreciated. This innovative study of Ferguson’s life and ideas sets out to introduce this much-misunderstood figure to a new and wider audience. Paying particular attention to the powerful intellectual currents which converged so fruitfully in his writings, it explores the deep Scottish and European roots of Ferguson’s thought and assesses the continuing pertinence of some of his arguments about the origins and nature of society for an understanding of the modern world.
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Allan, D. 2007. Adam Ferguson. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.57132/book11
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Published on Jan. 30, 2007