A Review of Alexander Broadie's A History of Scottish Philosophy [Book Review]

NTU Philosophical Review 56:177-202 (2018)
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Scottish philosophy and intellectual history have become the increasingly fashionable fields of academic studies. Alexander Broadie, one of the pioneers and an accomplished scholar of the Scottish Enlightenment, returns to the basic question, namely, “what is Scottish philosophy?”, and presents a comprehensive work on the history of Scottish philosophy. Broadie successfully elucidates the nature and significance of Scottish philosophy both historically and philosophically. He argues that Scottish philosophy must be studied in its historical context, for it is not only a philosophical enterprise but also a persistent tradition which has united the Scottish nation for centuries. The advancements in science, literature, politics, and culture in Scotland would be extremely unlikely, if not impossible, without such an intellectual culture established by thinkers in that tradition. This article is intended as a review of Broadie’s A History of Scottish Philosophy in the background of his shifting academic interests from philosophy to history while he holds the professorship in University of Glasgow. His commitment to Scottish philosophical culture deserves the attention of contemporary historians and philosophers, for his work opens up a space for dialogue between intellectual history and history of philosophy, an issue addressed at the end of this paper.
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