Intellectual Relations between England and Scotland in the Early Enlightenment (c.1660-c.1740)

Venue: Old Class Library, 71 South Street, St Andrews KY16 9QW


The contribution of seventeenth-century British thinkers to eighteenth-century thought is widely acknowledged by philosophes of the Enlightenment. However, received accounts of the Enlightenment tend to overlook the fact that British seventeenth-century thought had a reception at home, as well as in Europe. Furthermore, traditional historiographical periodization which divides the centuries from one another, has meant that continuities between British intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries still remain to be explored. Inter alia the seventeenth-century roots of the Scottish Enlightenment have tended to be overlooked.

The workshop will be exploratory, with the aim of opening up discussion of some of the interconnections between seventeenth and eighteenth-century intellectual history in Britain. To do so it will focus on intellectual exchange between Scotland and England in the key years of the early enlightenment. For purposes of the workshop we shall take intellectual history broadly, to include both particular thinkers and schools of thought, as well as the context and conduits of intellectual interchange.


10:00 – 12:30
Introduction: Sarah Hutton (York)
Giovanni Gellera (Glasgow), ‘British Bacon or French Descartes? Nationalisms and Philosophy in the Scottish Universities (1670-1720)’
John Henry (Edinburgh), ‘The Scottish Origins of Newtonianism’
Louisiane Ferlier (Royal Society), ‘George Keith (1639-1716), the intellectual wanderings of a Scottish theologian in England’

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 16:00
Sarah Hutton (York), ‘Books and Intellectual Exchange: philosophy and science in Scottish universities/English imprints in St Andrews Libraries’
Christian Maurer (Fribourg), ‘What might Hutcheson have found inspiring in Henry More’s Enchiridion Ethicum?’
Mark Goldie (Cambridge), ‘John Locke and Darien’

16:00 – 17:00
Round Table Reflections: Nicholas Phillipson (Edinburgh), Jacqueline Rose (St Andrews), James Harris (St Andrews), David Allen (St Andrews)