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English Philosophers and Scottish Academic Philosophy (1660-1700)

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Gellera Giovanni,
Project Tolerance, Intolerance and Discrimination Regarding Religion
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Scottish Philosophy
Volume (Issue) 15(2)
Page(s) 213 - 231
Title of proceedings Journal of Scottish Philosophy
DOI 10.3366/jsp.2017.0165


This paper investigates the little-known reception of Thomas Hobbes, Henry More, Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, and John Locke in the Scottish universities in the period 1660–1700. The fortune of the English philosophers in the Scottish universities rested on whether their philosophies were consonant with the Scots’ own philosophical agenda. Within the established Cartesian curriculum, the Scottish regents eagerly taught what they thought best in English philosophy (natural philosophy and experimentalism) and criticised what they thought wrong (materialism, contractualism, anti-innatism). The paper also suggests new sources and perspectives for the broader discussion of the ‘origins’ of the Scottish Enlightenment.