A System of Moral Philosophy, in Three Books, Published from the Original Manuscript by His Son Francis Hutcheson, M.D., to which is prefixed Some Account of Their Life, Writings, and Character of the Author

By: Hutcheson, Francis; Leechman, William; Hutcheson, Francis

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Book Condition: Very Good


First edition (ESTC T99472). Rebound in beige cloth with leather spine labels, gilt titles, new end sheets. 1755 Hard Cover. [xii], xlviii, 358; [iv], 380 pp. 4to. Among the Scottish literati and illuminati who subscribed to these volumes were Adam Ferguson, William Hamilton, Henry Home Lord Kanes, and, of course, Adam Smith. Gladys Bryson in Man and Society (1945) was probably the first modern scholar to contend that Francis Hutcheson was the 'father' of the Scottish Enlightenment, a view confirmed two decades ago by Charles Camic in Experience and Enlightenment (1983): His celebrated proclamations on economics, politics, psychology, and ethics challenged a solid phalanx of received wisdoms and anticipated many of the specific arguments... of Hume and Smith. A System of Moral Philosophy was published some nine years after Hutcheson's death and is doubtless his most comprehensive work, covering not just the moral philosophy implied by the title but legal and political matters as well. T.D. Campbell, in his essay, 'Francis Hutcheson: 'Father' of the Scottish Enlightenment' (in The Origins and Nature of the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. by R.H. Campbell and Andrew S. Skinner, 1982) has argued that Hutcheson exhibits a 'radicalism, uncommon at the time, which often goes far beyond anything that can be found in his more cautious Scottish successors,' and much of the radical development that Hutcheson was giving to political theory and moral theory is found at its most incisive and challenging in this work. However, the work also has a strong Irish connection, which is not surprising given the time that Hutcheson spent in Ireland. Roughly one quarter of the subscribers are Irish, including the Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Henry, the Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland, various Irish clerics, e.g., Thomas Leland, Viscount Molesworth, etc. Hutcheson's work also influenced William Drennan, the son of his friend Thomas Drennan, to create the United Irishmen with a society based on 'the Rights of Man, and the Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number,' a phrase often attributed to Jeremy Bentham. Hutcheson referred to Ireland as his 'dearly beloved native soil,' and his experience of intolerance and marginalization as a Presbyterian in Ireland probably contributed to the liberalism found in his own work.

Title: A System of Moral Philosophy, in Three Books, Published from the Original Manuscript by His Son Francis Hutcheson, M.D., to which is prefixed Some Account of Their Life, Writings, and Character of the Author

Author: Hutcheson, Francis; Leechman, William; Hutcheson, Francis

Categories: Ethics, 18th Century,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: London, A. Millar over-against Katharine-Street in the Strand / T. Longman in Pater-noster Row: 1755

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Seller ID: 2304796

Keywords: PHILOSOPHY MORAL PHILOSOPHICAL MORALITY ETHICS,