This course will deal with the second-half-of-the-eighteenth-century phenomenon known as the Scottish Enlightenment, spanning the period 1740, with the creation of the Edinburgh Medical School to 1816, the year when Adam Ferguson, a major figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, died.

Dealing with the Scottish Enlightenment will however imply to address first the concept of ‘Enlightenment’ itself. The first three lectures will therefore be dedicated to this European-scale phenomenon, whose definition, exact dates and characteristics are still the object of debate among scholars.

Once I have finished with this contextualisation, I will address the Scottish Enlightenment itself, its characteristics and time, its major thinkers and its originality in the European context of the Enlightenment, especially because of the emphasis it lay on such subjects as rhetoric, economics, history and taste.

Bibliography :

Alexander Broadie, The Scottish Enlightenment, Edinburgh, 1997.

Hélène Palma, Lord Kames, artisan des Lumières écossaises, L'Harmattan, 2020.

John Robertson, The Enlightenment, a very short introduction, Oxford, 2015.