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Scotland has played an immense role in European high culture through the centuries, and among its cultural links none have been greater than those with France.
This book shows that the links with France stretch back deep into the Middle Ages, and continue without a break into the eighteenth century, the Age of Enlightenment.
In one way or another all of the major figures of the Scottish Enlightenment were in close relation to France, and though this book attends to the broad picture of the cultural links binding the two countries, the focus is on certain individuals, especially David Hume, Thomas Reid, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson, and certain of their French counterparts such as Montesquieu, Madame de Condorcet, Victor Cousin and Théodore Jouffroy.
Prominent among the areas under discussion are scepticism and common sense, morality and the role of sympathy, and civil society and the question of what constitutes good citizenship.
The book should appeal to all with an interest in the broad sweep of Scottish cultural history and more particularly in the country’s Age of Enlightenment and its links with France.
Alexander Broadie holds degrees from the universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Blaise Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand). He is Honorary Professorial Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Logic and Rhetoric at the University of Glasgow. Among his many books are The Circle of John Mair(1985), The Scottish Enlightenment (2001) and A History of Scottish Philosophy(Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the Year 2009). For 2010–13 he is the Principal Investigator of a Leverhulme-funded International network ‘Scottish philosophers in 17th-century Scotland and France’.