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Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil SocietyMoral Science in the Scottish Enlightenment$
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Craig Smith

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474413275

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413275.001.0001

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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: 24 September 2021

Civilised Warfare

Civilised Warfare

(p.192) 6 Civilised Warfare
Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Civil Society

Craig Smith

Edinburgh University Press

The final chapter turns to Adam Ferguson’s preoccupation with warfare and citizen militias. It argues that Ferguson saw war as a human universal and a key feature of politics. The chapter covers Ferguson’s account of the rise of nations and of the superiority of modern rule-governed warfare over that of the ancient world. It links this to his view that we can pass moral judgements on the ‘spirit’ of nations. Judging nations through moral science and in line with the values developed in moral philosophy helps us to understand the benefits of commercial society and the potential dangers to which it is subject.

Keywords:   Adam Ferguson, Militia, War, Law, Civilisation

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