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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Enlightenment Scotland c.1690 - c.1800 (HIST10339)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits40
Home subject areaHistory Other subject areaScottish History
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionEnlightenment Scotland continues to be the subject of lively and controversial historical debate: questions about its 'national' character, its contribution to 'modernity', and its relation to the political context of post-Union Scotland have been the focus of numerous, and occasionally heated exchanges, which regularly involve participants from outside the academic profession. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to four defining areas of Enlightenment thought and culture: 1) religion and the church; 2) the foundations of secular morality; 3) commerce and the growth of 'luxury' in the eighteenth century, and 4) writings about history, especially new ways of thinking about 'progress' in the eighteenth century. None of these themes are specific to Scotland; they are prominent within the European Enlightenments, too, and the course will indicate some of the connections between developments in Scotland and wider, British and European contexts. The principal aim of the course is to allow students to familiarize themselves with some of the most influential and important debates and trends in Scottish intellectual culture of the eighteenth century, including the ideas of major figures such as Adam Smith and David Hume, and to relate these debates to their respective institutional, political and cultural contexts. Students will be encouraged to engage with the conflicting interpretations to be found in the secondary literature and, above all, to draw directly on evidence from primary texts, which are readily available in print and online, in order to develop and substantiate their arguments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:

- demonstrate in essays and examinations a clear understanding of some of the main intellectual currents and debates in Enlightenment Scotland, including the key ideas of major figures of European intellectual history, such as David Hume and Adam Smith.

- engage with and critically evaluate the relevant secondary literature.

- write clearly-argued, well-documented, and properly referenced coursework essays that make substantial and effective use of primary source evidence.

- demonstrate the following transferable skills: forming conclusions based on the critical analysis of primary and secondary sources; communicating findings clearly, in writing and in oral presentations; using relevant databases (such as ECCO) effectively; developing a rigorous and well-documented argument, based on the independent reading and gathering of evidence; managing workload efficiently to meet prescribed deadlines.
Assessment Information
Students will complete two essays of no more than three thousand words and sit two Degree Examinations of two hours each. The final mark will be composed of the two essay marks, each weighted at one sixth of the final mark, and the exam marks, with each exam weighted at one third of the final mark.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Semester 1

1. Introduction
2. The usefulness of 'Enlightenment' as a historiographical term
3. The 'Glorious Revolution' and the Act of Union
4. Scotland and the European Republic of Letters, c. 1700
5. Accusations of heresy 1: John Simson
6. Accusations of heresy 2: Archibald Campbell
7. Religion and the Rankenian Club
8. Francis Hutcheson: Religion and Morality
9. David Hume: the Morality of an Infidel?
10. 'Moderatism' and 'Orthodoxy' in the mid-eighteenth century
11. Adam Smith as a moral theorist

Semester 2

1. The invention of progress? General themes in eighteenth-century historical writing ('four-stages narrative'; 'conjectural' history' 'philosophical history)
2. Hume's historical vision of politics: the 'History of England' and the Essays
3. Jurisprudence and the four-stages: Smith's Glasgow lectures
4. Smith and the 'unnatural' progress of Western Europe
5. William Robertson's histories of America and India
6. Adam Ferguson and the history of the Roman Republic
7. Commerce and luxury in early eighteenth-century thought
8. Ancients and moderns: Hume's defence of luxury
9. Adam Smith on 'baubles and trinkets'
10. Adam Ferguson on luxury and national decline
11. Concluding discussion
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list T. Ahnert, 'Hutcheson and the heathen moralists', The Journal of Scottish Philosophy 8 (2010), 51 - 62.
T. Ahnert, 'The Soul, Natural Religion and Moral Philosophy in the Scottish Enlightenment', Eighteenth-Century Thought 2 (2004), 233 - 253.
D. Allan, Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (London, 2002).
C. J. Berry, Social Theory of the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1997).
A. Broadie, The Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 2001).
D. Forbes, Hume's Philosophical Politics (Cambridge, 1975).
J. C. A. Gaskin, "Religion: the useless hypothesis," in P. Millican (ed.), Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the 'First Enquiry' (Oxford, 2002).
M. Goldsmith, Private Vices, Public Benefits. Bernard Mandeville's Social and Political Thought (Cambridge, 1985).
K. Haakonssen, The Science of a Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith (Cambridge, 1981).
K. Haakonssen, Natural Law and Moral Philosophy (Cambridge, 1996).
I. Hampsher-Monk, A History of Modern Political Thought. Major Political Thinkers from Hobbes to Marx (Oxford, 1992).
J. Harris, 'Religion in Hutcheson's Moral Philosophy', Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2008), 205 - 22.
A. O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests. Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph (Princeton, 1977).
I. Hont, 'The early Enlightenment debate on commerce and luxury' in the Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, ed. M. Goldie and R. Wokler (Cambridge, 2006).
I. Hont, 'The "rich country - poor country" debate in Scottish classical political economy' in. I. Hont and M. Ignatieff (eds.), Wealth and Virtue. The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1982), reprinted in I. Hont, Jealousy of Trade (Cambridge, MA, 2005).
Harro Höpfl, "From Savage to Scotsman: Conjectural History in the Scottish Enlightenment", Journal of British Studies 17/2 (1978): 19-40.
E. Hundert, The Enlightenment's Fable: Bernard Mandeville and the Discovery of Society (Cambridge, 1994).
Colin Kidd, "Scotland's invisible Enlightenment: subscription and heterodoxy in the eighteenth-century Kirk", Records of the Scottish Church History Society XXX (2000), 28 - 59.
N. Phillipson, Hume (London, 1989).
N. Phillipson, "Providence and Progress: An Introduction to the Historical Thought of William Robertson", in: S. Brown (ed.), William Robertson and the Expansion of Empire (Cambridge, 1997).
N. Phillipson, Adam Smith. An Enlightened Life (London, 2010).
J. G. A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, vol.2: Narratives of Civil Government (Cambridge, 1999).
John Robertson, The Case for the Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2005).
I. S. Ross, The Life of Adam Smith (Oxford, 1995).
R. Sher, 'Scotland Transformed: The Eighteenth Century', in: J. Wormald (ed.), Scotland: A History (Oxford, 2005).
D. Spadafora, The idea of progress in eighteenth-century Britain (New Haven, CN, 1990).
M. A. Stewart, "Rational Dissent in Early Eighteenth-Century Ireland", in K. Haakonssen (ed.), Enlightenment and Religion (Cambridge, 1996)
D. Winch, Adam Smith's Politics (Cambridge, 1978).
D. Winch, 'Scottish Political Economy' in the Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, ed. M. Goldie and R. Wokler (Cambridge, 2006).
D. Wootton, 'Hume's "Of Miracles": Probability and Irreligion', in: M. A. Stewart (ed.), Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment (Oxford, 1990).

Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Thomas Ahnert
Tel: (0131 6)50 3777
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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