Francis Hutcheson in Dublin, 1719-1730: The Crucible of his Thought

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Recognized as the ‘Father of the Scottish Enlightenment’ and an intellectual ancestor of the United Irishmen, Francis Hutcheson (1692–1746) is a figure of international significance. Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow (1730–46), where he taught the economist Adam Smith, and a thinker on matters of morals, politics and aesthetics, his influence extended to America, where it informed Thomas Jefferson’s approach to the Revolution of 1776.

Hutcheson was Irish by birth and Scottish by education, making his cultural identity intriguingly complex. The book traces the origins of Hutcheson’s thought to the peculiar nature of his experience while in Dublin. A Presbyterian, Hutcheson was excluded from active politics in Ireland and yet he was a friend of many in the political establishment. This position of ‘established outsider’ stimulated Hutcheson to write. In his work, Hutcheson formulated an early version of what Adam Ferguson later termed ‘civil society’. The book thereby contributes to debates about the Scottish Enlightenment, political theory and the religious politics of 18th-century Ireland
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDublin
PublisherFour Courts Press
Number of pages207
ISBN (Print)1-85182-637-8
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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