The Scottish Enlightenment

c.1740 - c.1800

A period of unfettered philosophical and scientific development in the 18th Century, the Scottish Enlightenment brought together brilliant minds in Edinburgh and Glasgow in academic debate. The major areas of concern for Scottish philosophers were history, economics, the law, theology and moral philosophy, principally the ethics of capitalism. David Hume (1711-76) was a principal figure in all of these debates, often opposed by Francis Hutcheson (1694 - 1746), Professor of Philosophy in Glasgow. Others were economist Adam Smith (1723-90) and Dugald Stewart (1753 - 1828). The scientific minds included geologist James Hutton (1726-97), mathematician John Playfair (1748 - 1819) and chemist Joseph Black (1728-99).

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