The Scottish Enlightenment -- Internet Resources

Samford University, Spring 2010
Wednesdays, 1:00, Chapman Hall # 215
Professors  Ken Roxburgh & Mike DeBow
Last updated January 10, 2014.

Adam Smith

Brief biographies of Smith at the Library of Economics & Liberty  and the Online Library of Liberty

The Wealth of Nations is available online at
            the Online Library of Liberty
            the Library of Economics & Liberty
            the U. of Adelaide

Eamonn Butler's The Condensed Wealth of Nations and the Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments (2011) is downloadable, free, here.

The Theory of Moral Sentiments is available online at
            the Online Library of Liberty
            the Library of Economics & Liberty

There is a large archive of Smith's writing on the Library of Economics & Liberty
The websites of the Adam Smith Institute and the Adam Society Society are well worth a visit.

One-hour discussion of The Wealth of Nations on C-SPAN2, February 14, 2010, featuring a philosopher and an economist. 

Alan Greenspan's Adam Smith Memorial Lecture  (Feb. 6, 2005, Kirkcaldy, Scotland)

Four hour-long-plus podcasts on TMS are available from the Library of Economics & Liberty
A Scottish academic wrote this article for the BBC in March 2009, speculating on what Smith would think of the current crisis of capitalism

In the last (long!) paragraph of Book I, chapter 1 of the Wealth of Nations, Smith marvels that "the number of people" involved in producing the goods and services consumed by "the most common . . . day-laborer in a civilized and thriving country . . . exceeds all calculation."  For a light, easy-to-read essay that illustrates this same point about the ability of markets to coordinate the activities of strangers, see Leonard Reed's famous 1958 essay, "I, Pencil."

Friedrich Hayek, The Use of Knowledge in Society, American Economic Review (1945)

Peter Minowitz, Adam Smith's Invisible Hands, Economics Journal Watch (2004) (PDF file)

Eamonn Butler, Adam Smith -- a Primer (2007) (PDF file)

Alan Macfarlane, Adam Smith and the Making of the Modern World (2000) (PDF file)
    from Macfarlane's 2000 book, The Riddle of the Modern World

P.J. O'Rourke speech,  On The Wealth of Nations (2007) text and video (for excerpts from his book, click here)

Review of James Otteson, Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life (2002)

Samuel Fleischacker, Economics and the Ordinary Person: Re-reading Adam Smith (Library of Economics & Liberty, 2004)

Smith on WikiQuote.

New statue of Smith in Edinburgh

Backstory on Smith:
Bernard Mandeville, The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn'd Honest (1705); also here.
    (This poem formed the basis for his later work, The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (1714), available online at the Library of Economics & Liberty
See also this Erasmus University website. 

Frances Hutcheson, Remarks upon The Fable of the Bees (1726?).

Bishop Joseph Butler's sermons "on human nature" are the first three of his Fifteen Sermons (1729) -- also here.
    (For more on Butler, see the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and The Bishop Butler Society.)

The Scots and the American Founding

The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other documents related to the founding are available on many scholarly websites, including
        the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
        the U. of Oklahoma Law Library 
        the National Archives
        Teaching American History 
        the National Constitution Center 

Short biographical sketches of John Witherspoon from Princeton U. here and on this history website
Roger Kimball's essay on Witherspoon (2006), based on Jeffrey Morrison's 2005 book, John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic (2005).  (More reviews, here and here.)
Arthur Herman lecture on Witherspoon (2003)
Joseph Loconte, Minister to Freedom, The Legacy of John Witherspoon (2001).  
A truncated version of John Witherspoon's sermon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men (1776)
The Works of the Rev. John Witherspoon, by Gordon Tait (2003)

David Hume's essay, That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science (1742).  Shorter version here.
-- Statue of Hume in Edinburgh

John Shook's remarkably good Timeline of American Thought includes lots of links to relevant materials on the colonial era and the early republic.

The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of the James Madison Papers.

There are two excellent reference sites for students of the Constitution:
        the 5-volume The Founders' Constitution, courtesy of the U. of Chicago Press,
        and The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

Other Scottish Enlightenment resources

Alexander Broadie, Scottish Philosophy in the 18th Century (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001)

Gertrude Himmelfarb's speech, Three Paths to Modernity: The British, American and French Enlightenments (AEI, 2004)

John Robertson, The Scottish Contribution to the Enlightenment (1997)

The full text of James McCosh's 1875 book, The Scottish Philosophy, is available as a PDF on the McMaster website.

The website of the BBC program, In Search of Scotland, is worth a look. looks interesting, but I can't tell who the editors are.  Large Scottish links pages include Scotland's CultureElectric Scotland, Rampant Scotland and Undiscovered Scotland

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes entires on David Hume and Thomas Reid.  The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is maintained by a Hume scholar, so its entries on him are extensive. Click here for an extensive Hume links page, and here for the Hume Society.  The website of the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy at the Princeton Theological Seminary focuses primarily on Thomas Reid.  The University of Aberdeen hosts a Centre for Scottish Thought.  

The Library of Economics & Liberty includes works by and about Carmichael, Fordyce, Hume, Hutcheson, and Robertson.

Review of James Buchan, Crowded with Genius (New Yorker, Oct. 11, 2004).

Guide to Edinburgh's Royal Mile
-- Canongate Kirk

On the "Scots-Irish" in America

See Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America, by former Senator James Webb (D-Va).  Similar themes are explored in greater depth in Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989), by noted historian David Hackett Fischer. For a map showing Scotch-Irish descendants as a percentage of the population, by county, as of the 1990 census, click here.  For Scottish ancestry, click here.

U. of Edinburgh's Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies.

Make plans now to celebrate National Tartan Day next April 6.