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An Essay on the History of Civil Society (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) Paperback – 31 Jan 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (31 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521447364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521447362
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Book Description

Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society is a classic of the Scottish, and European, Enlightenment. Ferguson combines a subtle analysis of modern society with a critique of its abandonment of communal virtues, and boldly attempts to reclaim the tradition of active citizenship in the modern state.

From the Back Cover

Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was one of the central figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. His Essay on the History of Civil Society (first published in 1767) is a bold and novel attempt to reclaim the tradition of active citizenship and apply it to the modern state. Drawing on such diverse sources as classical authors and contemporary travel literature, Ferguson offers a complex model of historical advance which challenges both Hume's and Smith's embrace of modernity and the primitivism of Rousseau. Ferguson combines a subtle analysis of the emergence of modern commercial society with a critique of its abandonment of civic and communal virtues. Central to Ferguson's theory of citizenship are the themes of conflict, play, political participation and military valour. His fascination with the theory of unintended consequences as a model of historical causality does not deter him from insisting on the irreplaceable value of individual, public-minded members of political society.

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