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Essays on Hume, Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment


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Chris Berry is Professor Emeritus of Political Theory at the University of Glasgow, which he joined from 1970, from the LSE where he completed his doctorate. He is best known for his work on the Scottish Enlightenment and on the idea of luxury. He has given invited keynote lectures on these themes in China, Japan, Chile, the US and in Europe. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Christopher Berry's Essays on Hume, Smith, and the Scottish Enlightenment is more than its title promises. Yes, it is a collection of essays on David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Scottish Enlightenment, but it is also a remarkably coherent picture of both an intellectual period and of a professor of political theory, as Christopher Berry likes to think of himself, and the intellectual context in which he wrote. ... One of the many remarkable features of the volume is that there is such a continuity and a smooth transition from one chapter to another that it took me a while to realize that the essays are not rewritten or adapted to this volume. ... This volume is indeed an example of how the whole is more than the sum of its parts, since, as a whole, it does offer a bigger picture, a broader perspective on the big ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment, and even if these ideas are present in each individual essay, they are magnified each time by their proximity to each other, allowing them to blossom together with greater intensity and vivacity.

--Maria Pia Paganelli, Trinity University "Journal of Scottish Philosophy"

Christopher Berry's Essays on Hume, Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment delivers a 'big idea' on what Scottish enlightenment thinkers collectively sought to achieve. This collection of essays will certainly interest specialists in the field and is highly recommended as a key teaching source for postgraduate seminars on the Scottish enlightenment.

--C. B. Bow, University of Aberdeen "Scottish Historical Review"

For over 40 years, Christopher J. Berry has been one of the most insightful commentators on the political and moral thought of the Scottish Enlightenment. It is thus, as David Hume would put it, both useful and agreeable to have many of Berry's previously published papers collected here, alongside several lectures and earlier working papers appearing in print for the first time ... With unfailing clarity, Berry helps to illuminate and untangle many issues that have often been obscured, rather than clarified, by existing scholarly treatments.

--Paul Sagar, King's College London "The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought"

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