Adam Smith and Enlightenment Philosophy in Scotland
Moir, J. Scott
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My initial interest in Enlightenment Philosophy grew from undergraduate studies in eighteenth century France and the French Revolution. These studies, under the direction of Dr. David Barclay, Kalamazoo College Professor of History, introduced me to the ideas of the French Philosophers and, in particular, the four premier Philosophers, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau and Voltaire. Not until some time later did I begin considering the study of the Enlightenment in Scotland, a topic relatively new to the study of history and philosophy. I had heard of the possibility of a Scottish Enlightenment from Dr. Barclay and decided to pursue the topic. In order to focus the topic, scaling it down to undergraduate thesis size, I decided to locate Moral Philosopher/Economist Adam Smith's place in Scottish Enlightenment philosophy, researching a new avenue in eighteenth century Scottish studies. It is my hope that, in having done so, I will have exploited my interest in Scottish Enlightenment philosophy and will have placed Adam Smith in a historical context which allows the scholar to better understand the notion of Enlightenment in Scotland and the role of the individual in Enlightenment philosophy.