Scottish Enlightenment

About this Collection

The 18th century Enlightenment was a European, even a trans-Atlantic phenomenon. Two of its main centres of intellectual activity were France and Scotland. The latter country produced an extraordinary amount of “enlightened” historical, economic, legal, and philosophical analysis by figures such as Adam Smith, David Hume, and Francis Hutcheson.

For additional information about the Scottish Enlightenment see in the Forum: Timeline on the Scottish Enlightenment.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List

Great Britain

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Language And Literature

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Philosophy (General)

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Philosophy, Psychology, And Religion

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Science

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Social Sciences

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Not Categorized

THE READING ROOM

OLL’s August Birthday: Francis Hutcheson (August 8, 1694- August 8, 1746)

By: Peter Carl Mentzel

August’s OLL Birthday Essay is in honor of Francis Hutcheson. Considered by some to be the Father of the Scottish Enlightenment, he influenced such famous figures as David Hume, Thomas Reid, and Adam Smith. His work was tremendously…

Quotes

Economics

Adam Smith and Loveliness

Adam Smith

Quote

Adam Smith and our Propensity to Deceive rather than to Think ill of Ourselves

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith argued that the “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange” was inherent in human nature and gave rise to things such as the division of labour (1776)

Adam Smith

Free Trade

Adam Smith argues that retaliation in a trade war can sometimes force the offending country to lower its tariffs, but more often than not the reverse happens (1776)

Adam Smith

Law

Adam Smith argues that the Habeas Corpus Act is a great security against the tyranny of the king (1763)

Adam Smith

Taxation

Adam Smith claims that exorbitant taxes imposed without consent of the governed constitute legitimate grounds for the people to resist their rulers (1763)

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith debunks that idea that when it comes to public debt “we owe it to ourselves” (1776)

Adam Smith

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Adam Smith notes that colonial governments might exercise relative freedom in the metropolis but impose tyranny in the distant provinces (1776)

Adam Smith

War & Peace

Adam Smith observes that the true costs of war remain hidden from the taxpayers because they are sheltered in the metropole far from the fighting and instead of increasing taxes the government pays for the war by increasing the national debt (1776)

Adam Smith

Society

Adam Smith on Admiration of the Rich and Powerful

Adam Smith

Education

Adam Smith on compulsory attendance in the classroom (1776)

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith on consumption as the only end and purpose of production

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith on Good Wine and Free Trade

Adam Smith

Philosophy

Adam Smith on Happiness, Tranquility, and Enjoyment

Adam Smith

Free Trade

Adam Smith on how “furious monopolists” will fight to the bitter end to keep their privileges (1776)

Adam Smith

Food & Drink

Adam Smith on how Government Regulation and Taxes might drive a Man to Drink (1766)

Adam Smith

Taxation

Adam Smith on how governments learn from each other the best way of draining money from the pockets of the people (1776)

Adam Smith

Money & Banking

Adam Smith on money as an instrument of commerce as well as a measure of value

Adam Smith

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

Adam Smith on Slavery

Adam Smith

The State

Adam Smith on social change and “the man of system” (1759)

Adam Smith

Science

Adam Smith on the “Wonder, Surprise, and Admiration” one feels when contemplating the physical World (1795)

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith on the Butcher, the Brewer, and the Baker

Adam Smith

Class

Adam Smith on the dangers of faction and privilege seeking (1759)

Adam Smith

Politics & Liberty

Adam Smith on the Dangers of sacrificing one’s Liberty for the supposed benefits of the “lordly servitude of a court” (1759)

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith on the greater productivity brought about by the division of labor and technological innovation (1760s)

Adam Smith

Justice

Adam Smith on the illegitimacy of using force to promote beneficence (1759)

Adam Smith

Economics

Adam Smith on the natural ordering Tendency of Free Markets, or what he called the “Invisible Hand” (1776)

Adam Smith

Quote

Adam Smith on the Nature of Happiness

Adam Smith

Taxation

Adam Smith on the need for “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice” (1755)

Adam Smith

War & Peace

Adam Smith on the Sympathy one feels for those Vanquished in a battle rather than for the Victors (1762)

Adam Smith

Free Trade

Adam Smith on the “liberal system” of free trade (1776)

Adam Smith

Education

Adam Smith on who colleges and universities ACTUALLY benefit

Adam Smith

Class

Adam Smith on why people obey and defer to their rulers (1759)

Adam Smith

Class

Adam Smith thinks many candidates for high political office act as if they are above the law (1759)

Adam Smith

Society

Adam Smith, Patriotism, and the Welfare of Our Fellow Citizens

Adam Smith

Philosophy

Adam Smith, Selfishness, and Sympathy

Adam Smith

Philosophy

Francis Hutcheson’s early formulation of the principle of “the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers” (1726)

Francis Hutcheson

Notes About This Collection

For further information see: