By Eugene Heath, Vincenzo Merolle
Expanding numbers of students have famous Ferguson's contribution to Enlightenment pondering, yet no collections of scholarly essays were dedicated to him. during this, the second one of 2 similar monographs, a collection of amassed essays examine Ferguson's philosophical, political and sociological writings and the discourse which they brought on among Ferguson and different very important figures similar to David Hume and Adam Smith. a lot secondary literature on Ferguson is mentioned, which highlights how Ferguson may be most sensible understood as a social theorist who hired components of many lines of concept to reconcile tensions of modernity. Crucially, Ferguson's options on those far-reaching subject matters are tough to categorise so have frequently been misrepresented somewhere else. This booklet addresses those misconceptions. distinct one of the prime figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Ferguson observed eighteenth-century revolutions, the yankee and the French. On those and on many different very important modern topics, the perspectives he expressed assisted in shaping public opinion.
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Extra resources for Adam Ferguson: Philosophy, Politics and Society (The Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the Long Eighteenth Century)
Significantly, no mention was made in primary accounts of the battle 36 Adam Ferguson, Philosophy, Politics and Society of the exchange of battlefield civilities between the British and French officers. 76 The primary French account largely concurs, making special note of the murderous British fire, … [The British] made an Attempt to penetrate through our Line of Infantry, in which they succeeded; for their Infantry, who had form’d themselves in a very strong Line of Battle, charg’d; and at the second Charge, penetrated through the Brigade of Guards … Our Cavalry, which advanced before them immediately, could not sustain the terrible Fire made by that Line of Infantry; insomuch, that for more than an Hour, they had a very remarkable and considerable Advantage.
Curiously, among the fictions of that day are some that relate to the purported presence at and participation in the battle by one of the Scottish Enlightenment’s most prescient social and political theorists, Adam Ferguson. Ferguson’s thought was characterized by a distinctive awareness of the relationship between ‘fiction’ and ‘civilization’. Despite his obvious enthusiasm for civilization, he remained concerned that its further progress would render its obvious benefits, such as politeness, polished manners and discipline, entirely fictional.
92 The process of civilization culminated in, and its polished accomplishments were secured by, the creation of sovereign states. The sovereignty of these states rested on their control and use of supreme military force. 93 Consequently, the rules of engagement for a civil as opposed to a foreign war could be construed differently. Much later in his career, Ferguson showed just how far he was willing to take this theory. In 1776 Ferguson produced a pamphlet highly critical of one by Richard Price sympathizing with the cause of the American rebels.