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Significant Scots
Adam Ferguson

1723-1816, Scottish philosopher and historian. He was professor of philosophy at the Univ. of Edinburgh (1759-85). His Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767) criticized earlier theories of a state of nature; it was an important contribution to intellectual history and influenced Hegel. In his Principles of Moral and Political Science (1792), Ferguson advanced the principle of perfection and attempted to reconcile self-interest and universal benevolence. See David Kettler, The Social and Political Thought of Adam Ferguson (1965); Malcolm Jack, Corruption and Progress: The 18th-Century Debate (1989).

Click here to read his "An Essay on the History of Civil Society"

Biographical Sketch of Adam Fergusson, LL.D., F.R.S.E.
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh By John Small, M.A. (1864) (pdf)

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