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The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment

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The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment

Christopher J. Berry

The book examines the writings of the Scottish Enlightenment, focusing on their conception of a commercial society. This focus captures both what the Scottish Enlightenment is now best known for as well as what contemporaneously most engaged its participants. This engagement critically involved a re-calibration of social norms and that, in turn, entailed a re-thinking of the constituents (institutions, behaviour and so on) of ‘society’. Central to this re-thinking was the Scots’ appreciation that the present had to be understood via the past. Among the book's key themes is the argument that ... Read more


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