This book tries to show that Scotland has a rich philosophical tradition, created by many people, and testifying to a deep interest in abstract speculation which has characterised Scottish culture for centuries. The phrase ‘Scottish philosophy’ suggests that one part of the great Western philosophical project has a nationality, that it is a citizen of Scotland or at least of Scottish culture. Closely related to the concept of Scottish philosophy is the concept of a Scottish school of philosophy. Scottish philosophy is a unitary thing, but not in the sense of a school of philosophy with its set of doctrines to which all in the school subscribed; instead the unity derives from the circumstances of the philosophical activity, of people standing in the relation of friend to friend, of colleague to colleague, and of teacher to pupil.
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