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Civil Society and EmpireIreland and Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World$
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James Livesey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300139020

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300139020.001.0001

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A Habitat for Hopeful Monsters

A Habitat for Hopeful Monsters

David Hume and the Scottish Theorists of Civil Society

Chapter:
(p.154) Chapter Five A Habitat for Hopeful Monsters
Source:
Civil Society and Empire
Author(s):

James Livesey

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300139020.003.0006

This chapter discusses civil society ideas that were formulated by Scottish thinkers. During the eighteenth century, the Scots had to adjust to the emerging British Empire. Most Scottish thinks looked upon new philosophical grounds for which public virtues of a commercial order could be justified. This Scottish discourse became a starting point for an examination of a general nature of modernity. This also led to a form of Scottish Enlightenment, which sets forth a quest to construct a hybrid identity for a community whose experience had been fractured by the interruption of the community of its historical experience. The civil society ideals that this Enlightenment created can be likened to a well-made humanism, which was far from the deterministic and scientistic characters for which most Enlightenment movements were often condemned.

Keywords:   hybrid identity, Scottish Enlightenment, civil society, commercial order, British Empire

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