Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Feminine EnlightenmentBritish Women Writers and the Philosophy of Progress, 1759-1820$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

JoEllen DeLucia

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748695942

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748695942.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

The Progress of Feeling: The Ossian Poems and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments

The Progress of Feeling: The Ossian Poems and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 1 The Progress of Feeling: The Ossian Poems and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments
Source:
A Feminine Enlightenment
Author(s):

JoEllen DeLucia

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748695942.003.0001

This chapter examines the relationship between time, feeling, and gender in two foundational texts of the Scottish Enlightenment, the Ossian poems and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. It contends that Macpherson and Smith created a temporal map of emotion that gauged social development from “primitive” to “developed” cultures and offered women writers and Scottish philosophers a new field upon which they could experiment with the relationship between gender and historical progress. Despite their obvious differences, Macpherson and Smith used women’s social status and the feminine values they were thought to impart to their male counterparts as tools for charting, evaluating, and questioning emerging theories of historical change. The ambiguity surrounding feminine sentiments’ placement in these Scottish Enlightenment narratives of historical progress creates the foundation for the following chapters, which trace women writers’ engagement with the theories of feeling and historical progress articulated by these two influential writers.

Keywords:   Adam Smith, James Macpherson, Ossian poems, historiography, Scottish Enlightenment, women writers

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.