Robert Burns and the Philosophers  book cover
1st Edition

Robert Burns and the Philosophers

ISBN 9780367787103
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description

This volume expounds the influence of Robert Burns’s reading of Philosophy

on his life and work, supplementing this with his personal encounters

with those philosophers he met. The work begins with the

Homespun Philosophy of his early years under the tutelage of William

Burnes and John Murdoch, then examines in detail some of the texts of

John Locke, Adam Smith and Francis Hutcheson, including other writers

who reflect Hutcheson’s thinking. Further chapters include the exploration

on Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, Archibald Alison and William

Greenfield. Robert Burns and the Philosophers does not purport to be a

work of philosophy but rather to show the poet’s reaction to the subject

and the development of his understanding. This work opens up a subject

that hitherto has been almost unexplored.

Table of Contents







Chapter 1 Homespun philosophy

Chapter 2 John Locke I - Opening up other worlds

Chapter 3 Adam Smith I - Theory of Moral Sentiments

Chapter 4 Adam Smith II – The Wealth of Nations

Chapter 5 Francis Hutcheson – A shared outlook

Chapter 6 Thomas Reid – Common Sense

Chapter 7 Dugald Stewart – The local philosopher

Chapter 8 Archibald Alison and William Greenfield –A confidence achieved

Appendix List of Authors or texts quoted or alluded to by William Greenfield in his Essays on the sources of the pleasures received from literary

composition, that were known to Robert Burns.

References and Notes



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J. Walter McGinty received his PhD at the University of Strathclyde on

‘Literary, Philosophical and Theological Influences on Robert Burns’.

Dr McGinty is an ordained Minister, having trained for the Ministry of

the Church of Scotland at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College

Glasgow. Other publications are Robert Burns and Religion, (Ashgate);

and Robert Burns the Book Lover: From Reader to Writer, (Humming

Earth.) The present volume completes the trilogy of books that have

examined the influence of the reading of Robert Burns. McGinty has

also written a biography, ‘An Animated Son of Liberty’: A Life of John

Witherspoon, (Arena) and has published papers on ‘John Goldie and

Robert Burns’ and ‘Milton’s Satan and Burns’s Auld Nick’ in Studies in

Scottish Literature Vols XXIX and XXXIII.