Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael L. Frazer
Although authors in the eighteenth century never referred to a Scottish Enlightenment , this term has been used since at least 1900 to refer to the significant intellectual flourishing that occurred in Scotland from the union with England in 1707 through the end of the eighteenth century. Having given up its independence and remaining among the poorest nations in Western Europe, eighteenth-century Scotland nonetheless produced such important thinkers as David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Thomas Reid, Francis Hutcheson, John Millar, Henry Home (Lord Kames), William Robertson, James Boswell, Robert Burns, James Watt, Joseph Black, and James Hutton. The achievements of natural scientists such as Hutton and Black, engineers such as Watt, and literary figures such as Boswell and Burns are among the most important of the Scottish Enlightenment. Political theory today owes most to the groundbreaking work of eighteenth-century Scottish authors in the broad field then known as “moral ...