Thursday, 31 May 2018

Knud Haakonssen is going to present a working paper on 'Natural law and moral philosophy in the Scottish Enlightenment'

The paper is my contribution to a new edition of The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. A. Broadie & C. Smith (forthcoming late in 2018). The paper is therefore primarily written for an English speaking audience, and this is reflected in the choice of secundary literature. The first section sets the European scene. Section 2 details the institutional adoption of the subject as part of the curriculum in moral philosophy in the five Scottish universities. Section 3 sketches the social function of the natural law works that issued from the academic teaching. The final and longest section attempts an over-all interpretation of the amorphous body of ideas that made up natural jurisprudence as the Enlightenment’s ‘practical ethics’. Readers with limited time or patience may want to concentrate on section 4.

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