Political Thought of Hume and His Contemporaries
Intended for scholars in the fields of political theory, and the history of political thought, this two-volume examines David Hume's Political Thought (1711-1776) and that of his contemporaries, including Smith, Blackstone, Burke and Robertson. This book is unified by its temporal focus on the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century and hence on what is usually taken to be the core period of the Enlightenment, a somewhat problematic term.
Covering topics such as property, contract and resistance theory, religious establishments, the law of nations, the balance of power, demography, and the role of unintended consequences in social life, Frederick G. Whelan convincingly conveys the diversity--and creativity--of the intellectual engagements of even a limited set of Enlightenment thinkers in contrast to dismissive attitudes, in some quarters, toward the Enlightenment and its supposed unitary project.
Political Thought of Hume and his Contemporaries: Enlightenment Projects Vol. 1 contains six in-depth studies of issues in eighteenth-century political thought, with an emphasis on topics in normative theory such as property rights, the social contract, resistance to oppressive government, and religious liberty. The central figure is David Hume, with substantial attention to Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and others in the period. The introduction situates the studies in the Enlightenment and considers interpretations of that movement.
Political Thought of Hume and his Contemporaries: Enlightenment Projects Vol. 2 contains six in-depth studies of eighteenth-century political thought, including both normative issues and examples of Enlightenment social science, including international relations and law, the problem of double standards, political economy, demography, and the causes of imperial decline. The central figure is David Hume, with substantial attention to William Robertson, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Malthus, and others.
Table of Contents
Selected Contents: Volume 1 1. Property as Artifice: Hume and Blackstone 2. Hume and Contractarianism 3. The Place of Contract in Burke’s Political Theory 4. Grotian Resistance Theory from Hume to Burke 5. Time, Revolution, and Prescriptive Right in Hume’s Theory of Government 6. Church Establishments, Liberty, and Competition in Religion 7. Vattel’s Doctrine of the State 8. Robertson, Hume, and the Balance of Power 9. Hume on the Laws of Nations, Chastity, and Double Standards 10. "Contrary Effects" and the Reverse Invisible Hand in Hume and Smith 11. Population and Ideology in the Enlightenment Conclusion Volume 2 1.Vattel’s Doctrine of the State 2. Robertson, Hume, and the Balance of Power 3. Hume on the Laws of Nations, Chastity, and Double Standards 4. " Contrary Effects" and the Reverse Invisible Hand in Hume and Smith 5. Population and Ideology in the Enlightenment 6. Explaining Imperial Decline in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Thought
"Although a diverse collection, these essays do establish Whelan's claim that ideas other than those of the classical liberals and philosophes have Enlightenment importance."
--R. Heineman, Alfred University