Hume and Smith studies after Forbes and Trevor-Roper

Max Simon Skjoensberg

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The ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ has fostered a steadily growing academic industry since Duncan Forbes and Hugh Trevor-Roper put the subject on the map in the 1960s. David Hume and Adam Smith have from the start been widely considered as its leading thinkers, and their thoughts on politics have attracted an increasing amount of attention in recent years. Two new publications invite readers to reflect on the state of the art in Scottish Enlightenment studies in general, and especially Hume and Smith scholarship. Christopher Berry’s Essays on Hume, Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment collects many of Berry’s pathbreaking essays from a career spanning over 40 years. The Infidel and the Professor by Dennis Rasmussen is astonishingly the first book-length treatment of the private and philosophical friendship between Hume and Smith. Both publications reflect how much Scottish Enlightenment studies have expanded since the 1960s, and the sustained interest in Hume and Smith to boot. At the same time, they also raise questions about the future of the field and what remains to be done.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Theory
VolumeOnline First
Early online date4 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2018


  • Adam Smith
  • Commercial society
  • Conservatism
  • David Hume
  • Liberalism
  • Scepticism
  • Scottish Enlightenment


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