Research output

Article in Journal ()

Hume and the Scottish Enlightenment: Two Cultures

Citation
Dow S (2009) Hume and the Scottish Enlightenment: Two Cultures, Revista de Economia, 35 (3), pp. 7-20.

Abstract
David Hume’s philosophy and economics are central to any account of the Scottish Enlightenment. It is now well-established that this enlightenment is characterised by a particular epistemological approach which distinguishes it from other, particularly rationalist, enlightenments. While a variety of explanations has been offered for this distinctive approach, little attention has been paid to the presence in Scotland of two quite different cultures: Highland (specifically, Gaelic) and Lowland. Most Enlightenment figures were, like Hume, lowland (the main exception being Ferguson). But it seems implausible that the proximity to a very different culture had no impact on enlightenment thought. Hume himself addressed issues of Gaelic culture in terms of the controversial Ossian poems, for example, and issues of economic development of the Highlands. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an initial exploration into how far it is possible to identify any Gaelic influences on Hume in particular, and Scottish Enlightenment thought in general. This requires in turn a characterisation of Gaelic epistemology, for which purpose we will draw on Foucault’s structuring of thought into epistemes. If we can understand Highland and Lowland thought in terms of different epistemes, then some further reflection is required on Foucault’s framework of sequential epistemes.

Keywords
David Hume; Scottish culture

Subject headings
Hume, David, 1711-1776 Influence; Enlightenment Scotland; Culture Scotland

StatusPublished
AuthorsDow Sheila
Publication date2009
URLhttp://ojs.c3sl.ufpr.br/…ticle/view/16948
PublisherUniversidade Federal do Paraná
ISSN 0556-5782
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Revista de Economia: Volume 35, Issue 3 (2009)

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
My Portal