June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
Please join us in June, 2021 for Adam Ferguson's History of Civil Society with Liberty Fund's Amy Willis.
Adam Ferguson is one of the most intriguing figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. A close friend of David Hume’s and Adam Smith’s, Ferguson was in constant engagement with the most classically liberal currents of Scottish thought, but he did not share his friends’ optimism that virtue and economic progress went hand in hand. Ferguson thought the basic problem that confronted progressive societies was how to recapture ancient republican virtue in a progressive, liberal milieu. This Virtual Reading Group will explore Ferguson’s masterpiece, An Essay Concerning Civil Society, which weds a narrative of the progress of the stages of society with nostalgia for the virtues more common in less progressive, smaller societies.
The sessions and readings are as follows:
Session One (Tuesday, June 15, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 1, "Of the General Characteristics of Human Nature"
Session Two (Tuesday, June 22, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 3, "Of the History of Policy and Arts"
Session Three (Tuesday, June 29, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 4, "Of Consequences that result from the Advancement of Civil and Commercial arts," and Part 5, "Of the Decline of Nations"
Virtual Reading Groups
- February 2023: Bruno Leoni: Freedom and the Law
- January 2023: Oakeshott’s Moral Vision
- January 2023: The Messiness of Progress: Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and David Hume’s Essays and Histories
- December 2022: Classical Tragedy and the World of Ideas
- December 2022: J.S. Mill “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion"
- November 2022: The Election of 1800: Jefferson v. Adams
- October 2022: Shakespeare’s First Tetralogy
- September 2022: The Evolution of American Federalism
- September 2022: Liberty and Virtue in the Axial Age
- August 2022: Jane Austen’s Persuasion: Aristocracy, Independence, and Economics
- May 2022: THE BILL OF RIGHTS: SELECT CASES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
- April 2022: Education in a Free Society
- March 2022: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Women
- March 2022: Ancient v Modern Liberty
- February 2022: Joseph Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”
- January 2022: James Madison and the Conflict Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
- November 2021: Pericles' Funeral Oration
- September 2021: Celebrate Constitution Day
- August 2021: Agriculture, the State, and Liberty
- June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
- May 2021: The Colonial Origins of the Bill of Rights