The Gothic Origin of Modern Civility: Mandeville and the Scots on Courage

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (1):51-69 (2014)
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This paper seeks to establish that Bernard Mandeville's ideas on courage and honour shaped the Scottish debate about ancients and moderns by formulating a perspective how eighteenth-century civil societies grew large, luxurious and feminine without losing their ability to wage war. My focus is on Mandeville's positive influence on David Hume, whose writings were a springboard for many Mandevillean ideas in Scotland. In contrast to a recent claim in scholarship, Hume aimed to discredit, instead of developing, Shaftesburyan ideas of ancient courage. The concluding part of the paper will discuss Andrew Millar and Adam Ferguson in this context.



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