ABSTRACT

The consideration given is neither exhaustive designed to abbreviate, even if it were possible, the intellectual achievements in mental, moral and social philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. An indication will be given of the Scottish contribution to that eighteenth-century concern for man’s social environment, a concern that was highly dependent on the achievements of seventeenth-century philosophers. The thought of the Scottish Enlightenment is connected with the social history of the movement. Adam Smith is as well known as Hume, but his writing is much more concentrated in the shared concerns and approaches of the social philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment and so he is, in some senses, a far more typical writer. Montesquieu, the French philosophe, was a most important influence in the generation of the social philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. Property is the arbiter of arrangements and conditions in society but, since the important form of property is the different commodity of land, it causes different social developments.