Phillipson's Hume in Phillipson's Scottish Enlightenment

James A. Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The subject of this paper is the place of Hume in Nicholas Phillipson's account of the Scottish Enlightenment. I begin with Phillipson's reading of Hume as ‘civic moralist’. I then turn to his account of Hume the author of The History of England. And from there I proceed to the place of Hume in his intellectual biography of Adam Smith. I conclude with a brief description of Phillipson's understanding of Hume's place in the history of the Scottish Enlightenment as it mutated in the late eighteenth century and came to an end in the early nineteenth. I show how just as Phillipson's Hume cannot be understood apart from the Scottish Enlightenment, so also Phillipson's Scottish Enlightenment cannot be understood without Hume
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalHistory of European Ideas
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • David Hume
  • Scottish Enlightenment
  • Adam Smith
  • Nicholas Phillipson


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