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Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume IMorals, Politics, Art, Religion$
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Aaron Garrett and James A. Harris

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560677.001.0001

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Barbarism and Republicanism

Barbarism and Republicanism

Chapter:
(p.323) 9 Barbarism and Republicanism
Source:
Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I
Author(s):

Silvia Sebastiani

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560677.003.0010

This chapter maps out some of the views of Scottish thinkers concerning human progress. It briefly considers Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, who was the first to promote the language of republicanism in Scotland and to conceptualize the ‘militia issue’. It then examines Adam Ferguson’s debate with David Hume and Adam Smith. Whereas the former reasserted civic tradition and played a role in the cause of a Scottish national militia, Hume and Smith, by supporting commercial societies, pointed Scotland in a quite different direction. The chapter moves on to the gender ambivalence of civilization in which women were seen as the vectors of the new values of modernity, but also as responsible for the loss of the ancient virtue of male citizens in arms. Finally, the chapter considers some of the historical alternatives to modernity, which found their models in the past: Stuart’s gothic feudalism, and the world of Ossian.

Keywords:   Scottish philosophy, human progress, commercial societies, Andrew Fletcher, Adam Ferguson, David Hume, Adam Smith, militia, civilization, gender ambivalence

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