The Select Society of Edinburgh

Buchcover © Akademie Verlag

The Select Society of Edinburgh (1754-1764) was one of the most renowned learned societies in Enlightenment Europe. Prominent and aspiring philosophers such as David Hume, Adam Smith, William Robertson und Adam Ferguson aligned with Scottish noblemen in the Society to exchange knowledge, to discuss pressing questions and to implement reforms affecting the political and economic state of 18th-century Scotland. From a cultural-historical perspective the author analyses the forms of communication and the social networks of the Select Society, which contributed to the emergence of what present scholarship calls the “Scottish Enlightenment”. Fleßenkämper thus focuses on the social preconditions of scholarly cooperation which were responsible for the creation, legitimation and dissemination of new ideas. Beyond a detailed history of the Select Society, the book provides a substantiated insight into the general moral norms and practical forms of scholarly exchange in 18th-century Scotland.

Literature: Fleßenkämper, Iris, Considerations – Encouragements – Improvements. Die Select Society in Edinburgh 1754-1764. Soziale Zusammensetzung und kommunikative Praxis einer schottischen Gelehrtengesellschaft zur Zeit der Aufklärung, Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2010.