Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation by Professor Alexander Broadie

ISBN: 9781841586403
Author: Alexander Broadie
Imprint: Birlinn
Publication Date: Sep 2007

The Scottish Enlightenment was one of the truly great intellectual and cultural movements of the world. Its achievements in science, philosophy, history, economics, and many other disciplines were immense; and its influence has hardly, if at all, been dimmed in the intervening two centuries.

This book, written for the general reader, considers the achievement of this most astonishing period of Scottish history. It attends not only to the ideas that made the Scottish Enlightenment such a wondrous moment but also to the people themselves who generated these ideas – men such as David Hume and Adam Smith who are still read for the sake of the light they shed on contemporary issues.

Having just finished reading this superb introductory book I wanted to share the conclusion which is an inspiration to us Scots!

"I conclude, that we, in Scotland, still live in an Age of Enlightenment. The reason why eighteenth-century Scotland was so special, and why the term 'Scottish Enlightenment' has been worked so hard, is that the country produced that extraordinary constellation of geniuses, men who possessed the gift of creativity by means of which they thought their way into intellectual worlds not previously visited by humankind..." (p.222)

Alexander Brodie is a Professor of Logic and Rhetoric at Glasgow University – a chair once occupied by Adam Smith – and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has published many books on Scottish thought.

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