An Essay On The History Of Civil Society Ferguson

Political Theory

Coverage: 1973-2014 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 42, No. 6)

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ISSN: 00905917

Subjects: Political Science, Social Sciences, Philosophy, Humanities

Collections: Arts & Sciences II Collection, JSTOR Essential Collection

Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society (first published in 1767) is a classic of the Scottish - and European - Enlightenment. Drawing on such diverse sources as classical authors and contemporary travel literature, Ferguson offers a complex model of historical advance which challenges both Hume's and Smith's embrace of modernity and the primitivism of Rousseau. Ferguson combines a subtle analysis of the emergence of modern commercial society with a critique of its abandonment of civic and communal virtues. Central to Ferguson's theory of citizenship are the themes of conflict, play, political participation and military valour. The Essay is a bold and novel attempt to reclaim the tradition of active, virtuous citizenship and apply it to the modern state.

  • Classic work of the Enlightenment, by a figure at the centre of the eighteenth-century Scottish intellectual milieu
  • Draws on classical literature, travel writing, and Ferguson's knowledge of the Gaelic communities where he was brought up
  • Theme of active citizenship an important one today
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Product details

  • Date Published: February 1996
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521447362
  • length: 322pages
  • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
  • weight: 0.41kg
  • availability: Available

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