By Eugene Heath, Vincenzo Merolle
Expanding numbers of students have famous Ferguson's contribution to Enlightenment pondering, yet no collections of scholarly essays were dedicated to him. during this, the 1st of 2 similar monographs, essays variety throughout all of Ferguson's works to enquire his engagement with modern occasions and his contributions to our knowing of historical past and human motion. specified one of the best figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Ferguson observed eighteenth-century revolutions, the yank and the French. On those and on many different very important modern matters, the perspectives he expressed assisted in shaping public opinion. yet his paintings right here additionally extends again to Roman instances, approximately which he drew comparisons with the society of his day. As proven in those essays, he not just provided his suggestions on and defined historical past, he investigated the character of heritage itself.
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Extra resources for Adam Ferguson: History, Progress and Human Nature (The Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the Long Eighteenth Century)
Perhaps scholars studying the history of the book trade will be able to locate the archival materials necessary to reconstruct his holdings. Fortunately, another source is available which provides a window into Ferguson’s literary and scholarly interests. This is the record of books borrowed from the University of Edinburgh Library. Since Ferguson’s sources are not always cited and run the gamut from ancient history to contemporary ‘anthropological’ references,16 any light shed on the origins of his ideas would be valuable to scholars.
Most modern scholars trace the origins of formal historical writing back to the fourteenth-century Wars of Independence and above all to John Fordun, whose Scotichronicon (c. 1384–7), in many ways a counterblast to English claims of overlordship, weaved an inspirational story of Scottish fortitude and national consciousness stretching far back into the mists of mythical time. Others followed where Fordun and his continuator Walter Bower had led. In effect, they conceived the Scottish past in ways that addressed the unresolved problem of Scotland’s hotly contested political and ethnic autonomy within the British Isles.
The professor borrowed only two books in 1765, the year he bought his farm and took up scientific agriculture, using the modern techniques of farming developed in East Lothian. The first of these, taken in May, was a work by a Church of Scotland minister, Robert Wallace, a mathematician and leader in the establishment of the Scottish Ministers’ Widows’ Fund. Its full title gives an idea of its scope: Dissertation on the Numbers of Mankind [in Antient and Modern Times in which the superior populousness of antiquity is maintained: with an appendix, containing additional observations on the same subject, and some remarks on Mr.
Adam Ferguson: History, Progress and Human Nature (The Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the Long Eighteenth Century) by Eugene Heath, Vincenzo Merolle