Adam Ferguson (1723-1816)
Last revised 28 October 2015
- Vincenzo Merolle, Eugene Heath, and Robin Dix, "Introductory
Essay," in The Manuscripts of Adam Ferguson (2006), pp.
lxxxvii–cx, cited below under Editions.
- Jane B. Fagg, "Biographical Introduction," in The
Correspondence of Adam Ferguson (cited under Editions,
- Norbert Waszek, "Adam Ferguson," in Grundriss der
Geschichte der Philosophie (2004), pp. 603–05 for primary
literature and pp. 633–35 for secondary, cited below under
Dictionary and Encyclopedia Articles.
- An Essay on the History of Civil Society, ed.
Fania Oz-Salzberger (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995).
Widely available in the Cambridge Texts in the History of
Political Thought series, this edition of AF's most famous work
contains a new introduction, a chronology of AF's life, a
bibliographical guide, the text of the first edition of 1767, a
comprehensive list of variants in all six lifetime editions, and
an index. Replaces an out-of-print edition by Duncan Forbes
(Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1966): a reliable reprint of
the first edition with a list of textual variants that appeared
in the sixth edition of 1814 (the last of the author's lifetime),
a brilliant introduction from a civic humanist perspective, and a
hitherto unparalleled index. Forbes's text and list of variants
is also used (without so indicating) in the edition published by
Transaction Books of New Brunswick, NJ, in 1980, although that
edition replaces Forbes's introduction with a more sociological
one by Louis Schneider. Schneider's introduction is reprinted in
The Grammar of Social Relations: The Major Essays of Louis
Schneider, ed. Jay Weinstein with foreword by Robert K.
Merton (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1984), pp. 77–95
(though it and, thus, the edition of the Essay to
which it belongs are listed here as being originally published in
- Sister Peg: A Pamphlet Hitherto Unknown by David
Hume, ed. David Raynor (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1982; paperback ed., 2009). Raynor's introduction makes a
spirited circumstantial case for David Hume as the author of this
satirical militia pamphlet of 1760, entitled The History of
the Proceedings in the Case of Margaret, commonly called Peg,
only lawful Sister to John Bull, Esq., and his arguments
convinced Duncan Forbes (TLS, 23 July
1982) and a few other reviewers. Yet most
knowledgeable commentators believe that AF was the true author.
See the reviews by Roger L. Emerson in Hume Studies
9:1 (1983): 74–81, by Richard B. Sher in
Philosophical Books 24:2 (1983): 85–91, and by
John Robertson in English Historical Review 100:394
(1985): 191–92, and Jane B. Fagg's comments in her
“Biographical Introduction” in Correspondence
of Adam Ferguson (1995), pp. xxxiv–xxxv, cited
- Adam Ferguson and the American Revolution, ed.
Yasuo Amoh, Darren Lingley, and Hiroko Aoki (Tokyo: Kyokuto
Shoten, 2015). Consists of Proceedings (originally
published in 2007; see below), plus a facsimile of AF's 1776
pamphlet responding to Richard Price added as an appendix as well
as an index. Proceedings of the British Commissioners in
Philadelphia 1778–9: Partly in Ferguson's Hand, ed.
Amoh, Lingley, and Aoki (Kyoto: Kakenhi Supplemental Project
Research Report, Kyoto Univ., 2007). AF's pamphlet is also
available on Google Books, and selections of it are also
available as Appendix 4, pp. 253–60, in
Richard Price and the Ethical Foundations of the American
Revolution: Selected from His Pamphlets, with Appendices,
edited and interpreted in an introductory essay by Bernard Peach,
with the research assistance of Jon Erik Larson (Durham, NC: Duke
Univ. Press, 1979). This entire modern edition is available on
Google Books. See also: Jane B. Fagg and Yasuo Amoh, ed.,
“Adam Ferguson's Rules of War,”
Eighteenth-Century Scotland: The Newsletter of the
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, no. 5 (Spring
1991): 10–13. Reprints entries nos. 994 (“Dr. Adam
Ferguson to William Eden”) and 995 (“Adam Ferguson's
Notes on the Enquiry into General Sir William Howe's Conduct in
the American War”) in B. F. Stevens, ed., Facsimiles
of Manuscripts in European Archives relating to America,
1773–1783, vol. 10 (London: Photographed and printed
by Malby and Sons, 1891). Reprinted as Appendix I in
Correspondence of Adam Ferguson, but without the editors'
introduction. (The letter from AF to Eden, dated 10 May 1779, is
reprinted as letter no. 161 in Correspondence of Adam
- AF's entry “History” in the second and third
editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (Edinburgh:
A. Bell and C. MacFarquhar, 1778–83 and 1788–97,
respectively). The entry is lengthy and divided into five
sections: General Definition; Civil History; Ecclesiastical
History; Composition of History; and Historical Chart. The
historical chart, the first of its kind in the Encyclopedia
Britannica, is signed by AF. The Modern
Historiography Reader: Western Sources, ed. Adam Budd
(London and New York: Routledge, 2009), pp. 72–77, reprints
most of the first section and what amounts to half of the fourth
(but without indicating so). The complete entry with chart,
however, is available at
transcription prepared by Silvia Sebastiani and Mario Caricchio
in December 1998 for ELIOHS (Electronic Library of
Historiography, Biblioteca di Storiografia Moderna). AF's
authorship of the chart and entry, especially the section on
Ecclesiastical History, has been questioned by Silvia Sebastiani
(2002), cited below under Social and Political Thought. Budd,
Modern Historiography Reader, p. 57 n. 5,
acknowledges Sebastiani's skepticism regarding attribution. This
question of authorship remains an issue that requires further
examination, however. Frank A. Kafker and Jeff Loveland, eds.,
The Early Britannica (1768–1803): The
Growth of an Outstanding Encyclopedia (Oxford: Voltaire
Foundation, 2009) both questions Sebastiani's interpretation, on
p. 7, and endorses it, on p. 183. (The collection also contains
other scattered references to AF.)
- The Manuscripts of Adam Ferguson, ed. Vincenzo
Merolle, with Eugene Heath and Robin Dix (London: Pickering and
Chatto, 2006). The latest, most complete and authoritative
edition of AF's thirty-two manuscript essays in Edinburgh
University Library. The “Introductory Essay” is
divided into three parts: “Ferguson's Political
Philosophy” (pp. xi-xlv) by Merolle, “Ferguson's
Moral Philosophy” (pp. xlvii-lxxvi) by Heath, and
“Ferguson's Aesthetics” (pp. lxxvii-lxxxvi) by Dix.
Especially interesting, Dix is a specialist on contemporary poet
Mark Akenside and points up AF's debt to him on p. lxxxv n. 11.
Appendix B, which excerpts readers' reactions to AF's
Essay and his Roman history, is particularly useful.
This edition supersedes two generally inaccessible previous
editions: Collection of Essays, ed. Yasuo Amoh
(Kyoto: Rinsen Book [Imadegawa, Kawabata, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606,
Japan], 1996) and The Unpublished Essays of Adam
Ferguson, 3 vols., ed. Winifred M. Philip (Kilberry, UK:
W. M. Philip, 1986). All materials in the three appendices to
Amoh's edition are included in the appendices to Merolle,
Manuscripts of Adam Ferguson and Merolle,
Correspondence of Adam Ferguson, cited below. All
three editions use the same numbering to refer to the thirty-two
unpublished essays. Three essays were also published separately:
- Re: no. 14, see Yoshikazu Kubo, “Adam Ferguson and the
French Revolution,” Kwansei Gakuin University Annual
Studies 11 (Nov. 1962): 165–73.
- Re: no. 15, see Yasuo Amoh, “Adam Ferguson and the
Division of Labour: An Unpublished Essay by Adam Ferguson,”
Kochi University Review of Social Sciences, no. 29
(July 1987): 71–85. Reprinted as “Adam Ferguson: Of
the Separation of Departments, Professions, and Tasks resulting
from the Progress of Arts in Society,”
Eighteenth-Century Scotland: The Newsletter of the
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, no. 3 (Spring
- Re: no. 25, see Ernest Campbell Mossner, “'Of the
Principle of Moral Estimation: A Discourse between David Hume,
Robert Clerk, and Adam Smith': An Unpublished MS by Adam
Ferguson,” Journal of the History of Ideas
21:2 (1960): 222–32. With a useful foreword by Mossner.
- The Correspondence of Adam Ferguson, ed.
Vincenzo Merolle, with an introduction by Jane B. Fagg, 2 vols.
(London: William Pickering, 1995). Despite some editorial
shortcomings, this is a useful collection of more than four
hundred letters, with a fine biographical introduction by Jane
Fagg that is keyed to the correspondence, and seventeen
beneficial appendices. This edition is also available through the
InteLex Past Masters database, by subscription at major research
- Grundsaetze der Moralphilosophie
(Institutes of Moral Philosophy), trans. Christian
Garve, with a helpful introduction in English by Heiner Klemme
(Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2003; available separately and as
volume 6 in Klemme's 7-volume series, Reception of the
Scottish Enlightenment in Germany: Six Significant Translations,
1755–1782). Garve's 1772 translation of the first
edition of AF's Institutes (1769) was notable in its
own right, but it became a particularly important work for
understanding the German appropriation of the Scottish
Enlightenment as a result of Garve's extensive documentation (pp.
285–420 in this edition). This edition is also available on
Google Books, and as part of the reprint edition of the 15-vol.
Collected Works of 1792–1810: Gesammelte
Werke, ed. Kurt Wölfel (Hildesheim: Georg Olms,
Selections in Anthologies
- Selections from the Scottish Philosophy of Common
Sense, ed. George Alexander Johnston (Chicago and London:
Open Court, 1915), pp. 197–213. Available from Internet
Archive and from Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty
- Readings in Early Anthropology, ed. J. S.
Slotkin (Chicago: Aldine, 1965). Useful excerpts from AF's
contributions to physical (pp. 199–200) and social
anthropology (pp. 430–43).
- The Scottish Moralists on Human Nature and
Society, The Heritage of Sociology, ed. Louis Schneider
(Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 77–80,
81–90, 108–11, 200–07, and 211–19.
- The Enlightenment: A Comprehensive Anthology,
ed. Peter Gay (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973), pp.
- Jane Rendall, The Origins of the Scottish
Enlightenment, 1707–1776 (New York: St. Martin's
Press, 1978), pp. 131–34, 137–39, 143–44,
146–47, 156–57, 165–66, 182–83,
- Marte e Mercurio: Sociologia dell' Organizzazione
Militare, ed. Fabrizio Battistelli (Milan: Franco Angeli,
1990). See pp. 205–11, which anthologize Pt 3, Sect 5 of
the Essay (“Of National Defence and
Conquest”), and pp. 38–53 of the introduction
(“La forza militare tra società civile e natura:
Ferguson: Smith, Spencer”).
- Enlightened Scotland: A Study and Selection of Scottish
Philosophical Prose from the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth
Centuries, ed. Philip Flynn (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic
Press, 1992), pp. 279–93.
- The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Viking
Portable Library, ed. Isaac Kramnick (London: Penguin, 1995), pp.
- Scottish Enlightenment: An Anthology, ed.
Alexander Broadie (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 1997), pp.
497–506 and 546–57.
- Adam Ferguson: Selected Philosophical Writings,
Library of Scottish Philosophy, ed. Eugene Heath (Exeter: Imprint
- Foundations of Anthropological Theory: From Classical
Antiquity to Early Modern Europe, ed. Robert Launay
(Chichester, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp.
277–88. See also pp. 24–27 of the editor's
Selections in Journals
- Anon., “Adam Ferguson on Population and Wealth,”
Population and Development Review 33:1 (2007):
171–78. Provides a brief introduction to, and excerpt from,
Pt 3, Sect 4 of AF's Essay.
- Matthew Arbo, “Adam Ferguson's Sermon in the Ersh
Language: A Word from 2 Samuel on Martial Responsibility and
Political Order,” Political Theology 12:6
(2011): 894–908. Provides a good introduction to, and
transcription of, AF's Sermon in the Ersh Language
No edition of AF's collected works has ever been published.
Although some of his books have occasionally been reprinted, none
has remained consistently in print except the Essay on the
History of Civil Society (1767). However, nearly all
eighteenth-century British and Irish editions of AF's works, as
well as some of the eighteenth-century English-language editions
published in Basel (“Basil”), are available to those
with institutional access on Eighteenth Century Collections
Online (ECCO). The Hathi Trust Digital Archive also has an
excellent collection of Ferguson publications online, including
post-eighteenth-century and foreign-language editions. Some
editions are also available on Google Books and Internet
For a list of foreign-language editions of AF's works,
contemporary and modern, see Norbert Waszek, “Adam
Ferguson” (2004), p. 604, cited above under
Book-Length Studies and Collections
- David Allan, Adam Ferguson, Aberdeen
Introductions to Irish and Scottish Culture (Aberdeen: AHRC
Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, Univ. of Aberdeen, 2006).
The second chapter on AF as moralist and university teacher is
particularly useful, as is the concluding chapter on impact and
- Yasuo Amoh, Ferguson and the Scottish
Enlightenment (Tokyo: Keiso, 1993). In Japanese.
- Matthew Arbo, Political Vanity: Adam Ferguson on the
Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism (Minneapolis, MN:
Fortress Press, 2014). Despite the title, focuses on the
implications of AF's work for Christian theology.
- Ronald Hamowy, The Scottish Enlightenment and the
Theory of Spontaneous Order (Carbondale and Edwardsville,
IL: Univ. of Southern Illinois Press, 1987). Short monograph that
stresses the unplanned nature of social development for AF and
fellow Scots, within the conservative tradition of analysis
associated with F. A. Hayek.
- Ronald Hamowy, The Political Sociology of Freedom: Adam
Ferguson and F. A. Hayek (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar,
2005). Reprints all four of Hamowy's published works cited
elsewhere in this bibliography, including The Scottish
Enlightenment and the Theory of Spontaneous Order in its
- Eugene Heath and Vincenzo Merolle, ed. Adam Ferguson:
History, Progress and Human Nature, The
Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the
Long Eighteenth Century, vol. 4 (London: Pickering and Chatto,
2008). An indispensable collection, along with its companion
Contents: Eugene Heath and Vincenzo Merolle,
“Introduction,” pp. 1–6; John D. Brewer,
“Ferguson's Epistolary Self,” pp. 7–22; David
Allan, “Ferguson and Scottish History: Past and Present in
An Essay on the History of Civil Society,” pp.
23–38; Jane B. Fagg, “Ferguson's Use of the Edinburgh
University Library: 1764–1806,” pp. 39–64;
David Raynor, “Ferguson's Reflections Previous to the
Establishment of a Militia,” pp. 65–72; Yasuo
Amoh, “Ferguson's Views on the American and French
Revolution,” pp. 73–86; David Kettler,
“Political Education for Empire and Revolution,” pp.
87–114; Iain McDaniel, “Ferguson, Roman History and
the Threat of Military Government in Modern Europe,” pp.
115–30; Annette Meyer, “Ferguson's 'Appropriate
Stile' in Combining History and Science: The History of
Historiography Revisited,” pp. 131–45; Fania
Oz-Salzberger, “Ferguson's Politics of Action,” pp.
147–56, Craig Smith, “Ferguson and the Active Genius
of Mankind,” pp. 157–70; Jeng-Guo S. Chen,
“Providence and Progress: The Religious Dimension in
Ferguson's Discussion of Civil Society,” pp. 171–86.
- Eugene Heath and Vincenzo Merolle, ed. Adam Ferguson:
Philosophy, Politics and Society, The
Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the
Long Eighteenth Century, vol. 8 (London: Pickering and Chatto,
Contents: Eugene Heath and Vincenzo Merolle,
“Introduction,” pp. 1–8; Michael Fry,
“Ferguson the Highlander,” pp. 9–24; Bruce
Buchan, “Adam Ferguson, the 43rd, and the Fictions of
Fontenoy,” pp. 25–43; David Raynor, “Why Did
David Hume Dislike Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History of
Civil Society?, pp. 45–72; Vincenzo Merolle,
“Hume as Critic of Ferguson's Essay,”
pp. 73–87; Jack Russell Weinstein, “The Two Adams:
Ferguson and Smith on Sympathy and Sentiment,” pp.
89–106; Lisa Hill, “A Complicated Vision: The Good
Polity in Adam Ferguson's Thought,” pp. 107–23;
Michael Kugler, “Adam Ferguson and Enlightened Provincial
Ideology in Scotland,” pp. 125–42; Christopher J.
Berry, “'But Art Itself is Natural to Man': Ferguson and
the Principle of Simultaneity,” pp. 143–53; Eugene
Heath, “Ferguson on the Unintended Emergence of Social
Order,” pp. 155–68.
- Lisa Hill, The Passionate Society: The Social,
Political, and Moral Thought of Adam Ferguson (Dordrecht,
The Netherlands: Springer, 2006). Approaches AF's thought as a
coherent system rather than “a mish-mash of conflicts and
incompatible commitments as it first appears” (p. 28). A
bibliography subsection, “Sources Known or Likely to Have
Been Consulted by Ferguson,” pp. 238–44, is
especially valuable, and should be read alongside the chapter by
Fagg on AF's use of the Edinburgh University Library, in Heath
and Merolle (2008), cited above.
- Herta Helena Jogland, Ursprünge und Grundlagen der
Soziologie bei Adam Ferguson (Berlin: Dunker and Humbolt,
1959). Part of a long-standing German tradition of scholarship on
- David Kettler, The Social and Political Thought of Adam
Ferguson (Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1965). Still a
good read, with a useful biographical chapter (Chap 3).
Adam Ferguson: His Social and Political Thought (New
Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2005) is a reprint, with a new
introduction and afterword.
- William C. Lehmann, Adam Ferguson and the Beginnings of
Modern Sociology (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1930).
The first sustained argument in English for AF as a founder of
- Iain McDaniel, Adam Ferguson in the Scottish
Enlightenment: The Roman Past and Europe's Future
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 2013). Explores in detail
AF's thought in relation to war and to Montesquieu, as noted
below in the Notes to Militia, National Defense, and
War and to Connections with European Thought.
- Vincenzo Merolle, Saggio su Ferguson, con un Saggio su
Millar (Rome: Gangemi, 1994). Text in Italian with two
detailed summaries in English: see pp. 183–94 for the one
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, Translating the Enlightenment:
Scottish Civic Discourse in Eighteenth-Century Germany
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). Despite the general title, this
book is almost entirely focused on the conceptual
“problems,” productive in themselves, associated with
translating AF into German, with individual chapters devoted to
Garve, Lessing, Jacobi, Schiller, and others. Based on the
author's 1991 Oxford Univ. DPhil thesis on AF's political thought
in Germany, it is indispensable for English-language readers
interested in his contemporary reception and influence in
- Clotilde Prunier, ed., Autour de l'Essay on the
History of Civil Society d'Adam Ferguson (Paris:
Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2014). A brief textbook
for English language and culture students in France.
Contents: Clotilde Prunier, “Avant-propos,” pp.
9–14; Alexander Broadie, “Why Should We Read Adam
Ferguson Today?” pp. 15–30; Katherine Nicolai,
“The Role of Ancient Philosophy in An Essay on the
History of Civil Society, pp. 31–43;
Bertrand Binoche, “Montesquieu, Rousseau dans l'Essai
sur l'histoire de la société civile,”
pp. 45–55; Norbert Waszek, “Progrès et
déclin chez Ferguson: 'A Long, Cool Look at Both Sides of
the Medal of Modern Civilization' (Duncan Forbes),” pp.
57–66; and Michel Faure, “Adam Ferguson ou les
ambiguïtés d'une nostalgie ecossaise dans An Essay
on the History of Civil Society,” pp. 67–78.
Selections from Hobbes, Montesquieu, Hume, Rousseau, Kames,
Smith, Millar, Robertson, and Stewart.
- Pasquale Salvucci, Adam Ferguson: Sociologia e
Philosophia Politica (Urbino: Argalia, 1972). Highly
regarded by readers of Italian. Subject of a useful review essay
by William C. Lehmann, in History and Theory 13:2
Jean-Pierre Séris, Qu'est-ce que la division du
travail?: Ferguson (Paris: J. Vrin, 1994).
- Marí Isabel Wences Simon, Sociedad civil y
virtud cívicca en Adam Ferguson (Madrid: Centro de
Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, 2006). AF is also the
subject of a lengthy chapter in a 1998 book by the author, cited
below under Social and Political Thought.
Biographical and Contextual Studies
Major Biographical Accounts
- Jane B. Fagg, “Biographical Introduction,” in
Correspondence of Adam Ferguson (1995), pp.
xix–cxvii, cited above under Editions. The standard
biography, superseding Small (cited below) and the author's PhD
dissertation (cited under Theses and Dissertations, below).
- John Small, “Biographical Sketch of Adam Ferguson,
LL.D., F.R.S.E., Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University
of Edinburgh,” Transactions of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh 23:3 (1864): 599–665. Reprinted as a
stand-alone book by Neill and Co. in Edinburgh in 1864, available
on Google Books. The traditional biographical account, now
superseded by Fagg (above).
Dictionary and Encyclopedia Articles
- Anon., “Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816),” in
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, revised ed., ed.
Peter Hanns Reill and Ellen Judy Wilson (1996; New York: Facts on
File, 2004 [original 1996]), pp. 195–96.
- Paul Baines, Julian Ferraro, and Pat Rogers, “Ferguson,
Adam,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of
Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660–1789
(Chichester, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), p. 125.
- Troy O. Bickham, “Adam Ferguson,” in
Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 336,
Eighteenth-Century British Historians, ed. Ellen J.
Jenkins (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007), pp. 104–09.
- John Braeman, “Adam Ferguson,” in
Dictionary of World Biography, vol. 4, The
17th and 18th Centuries, ed. Frank N. Magill (Chicago:
Fitzroy Dearborn; Pasadena: Salem Press, 1999), pp. 454–57.
- Harvey Chisick, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in Historical Dictionary of the
Enlightenment (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005), pp.
- Yiftah Elazar, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in The Encyclopedia of Political
Thought, 8 vols., ed. Michael T. Gibbons et al.
(Chichester, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), vol. 3,
- Francis Espinasse, “Ferguson, Adam” in
Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Leslie Stephen
and Sidney Lee, vol. 18 (London: Smith, Elder, 1889), available
- Jane B. Fagg, “Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816),”
in Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 4 vols., ed.
Alan Charles Kors et al. (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2003), vol.
2, p. 47. See also, within the same volume, Fania Oz-Salzberger's
entry on Christian Garve, pp. 101–02, with a short but
- Ronald Hamowy, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in The Encyclopedia of
Libertarianism, ed. Ronald Hamowy et al. (Los Angeles:
Sage, 2008), pp. 176–77.
- Eugene Heath, “Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816),”
in Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, 5
vols., ed. Robert W. Kolb et al. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008),
vol. 2, pp. 887–88.
- Eugene Heath, “Scottish Enlightenment: Influence on the
Social Sciences,” in Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the
Social Sciences, 2 vols., ed. Byron Kaldis (Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage, 2013), vol. 2, pp. 835–40. Includes a discussion of
salient Enlightenment themes as well as some individual
discussion of AF.
- Lisa Hill, “Civil Society Theory: Ferguson,” in
International Encyclopedia of Civil Society, ed.
Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler (Dordrecht, The Netherlands:
Springer, 2009), pp. 400–04. Especially clear and nuanced.
Also, seven cross-references helpfully accompany this entry,
including three on the civil society theories of Hegel, Rousseau,
and Adam Smith.
- Lisa Hill, “Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816),” in
Encyclopedia of Political Theory, 3 vols., ed. Mark
Bevir (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2010), vol. 2, pp. 506–08.
- David Kettler, “Ferguson, Adam,” in
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 10 vols., ed.
Edward Craig (London and New York: Routledge, 1998), vol. 3, pp.
- A. M. Kinghorn, “Ferguson, Adam,” in The
Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 8 vols., ed. Paul Edwards et
al. (New York: Macmillan and The Free Press, and London:
Collier-Macmillan, 1967), vol. 3, pp. 187–88. A second
edition of this encyclopedia was issued by Thomson Gale as a
10-vol. set in digital format (2005) and in print (2006), ed.
Donald M. Borchert et al., for which Aaron Garrett provides a
fresh entry on AF in vol. 3, pp. 604–06. See also vol. 4,
p. 24, in the 2nd ed. for the entry on Christian Garve, AF's
German translator (with the 1967 entry by Giorgio Tonelli, and
updated bibliography by Tamra Frei).
- Robert Launay, “Ferguson, Adam,” in Theory
in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia, 2
vols., ed. R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms (Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage, 2013), vol. 1, pp. 262–63. On the Iroquois as AF's
paradigm of savagery.
- William C. Lehmann, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in Encyclopedia of the Social
Sciences, 15 vols., ed. Edwin R. A. Seligman and Alvin
Johnson (1931; repr. New York: Macmillan, 1963), vol. 5, p. 184.
- Petra Nagelschmidt, “An Essay on the History of
Civil Society,” in Lexikon der philosophischen
Werke, ed. Franco Volpi and Julian Nida-Rümelin et al.
(Stuttgart: A. Kröner, 1988), pp. 248–49. See also the
entry for Institutes of Moral Philosophy (pp.
361–62) and for Principles of Moral and Political
Science (p. 587) by the same author in this volume.
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of
Economics and the Law, 3 vols., ed. Peter Newman (London:
Macmillan Reference; New York: Stockton Press, 1998), vol. 2, pp.
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004; online ed.,
- Fiona Oz-Salzberger, “Ferguson, Adam,” in
Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought, ed.
Gregory Claeys with Michael S. Cummings and Lyman Tower Sargent
(Los Angeles: Sage, 2013), pp. 290–91.
- David Raynor, “Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816),”
in Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British
Philosophers, 2 vols. ed. John W. Yolton, John Vladimir
Price, and John Stephens (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1999), vol. 1,
- Ian Simpson Ross, “Adam Ferguson,” in
Lexikon ökonomischer Werke: 650 wegweisende Schriften
von der Antike bis ins 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Dietmar Herz
and Veronika Weinberger (Stuttgart: Verlag Wirtschaft und
Finanzen im Scha¨ffer-Poeschel Verlag, 2006), pp. 131–33.
Begins with a short biography of AF.
- Richard B. Sher, “Ferguson, Adam
(1723–1816),” in Britain in the Hanoverian Age,
1714–1837: An Encyclopedia, ed. Gerald Newman et al.
(New York: Garland, 1997), pp. 250–51.
- Norbert Waszek, “Adam Ferguson,” in Großes
Werklexikon der Philosophie, 2 vols., ed. Franco Volpi
(Stuttgart: A. Kröner, 1999, 2004), vol. 1, pp.
- Norbert Waszek, “Adam Ferguson,” in
Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie: Die Philosophie
des 18. Jahrhunderts, 7 vols., vol. 1: Grossbritannien und
Nordamerika, Niederlande, ed. Helmut Holzhey and Vilem Mudroch
(Basel: Schwabe, 2004), pp. 603–18. By far the most
comprehensive entry in this list, divided into sections on Life,
Works, Ideas, and Influence (with the Essay,
Institutes, and Principles each
receiving individual treatment in the
Note: thumbnail sketches of AF are available in the
Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment,
Bloomsbury Guide to English Literature: Augustan
Literature, Collins Dictionary of Sociology,
Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland, and Oxford
Dictionary of Sociology.
Other Biographical and Contextual Studies (including recent
entries in book history with scattered but valuable information
on AF's books and their readers)
- David Allan, Making British Culture: English Readers
and the Scottish Enlightenment, 1740–1830, Routledge
Studies in Cultural History (New York and London: Routledge,
- Andrew Blaikie, “Before and After Modernity: The Legacy
of Adam Ferguson,” in The Scots Imagination and
Modern Memory: Representations of Belonging in a Changing
Nation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2010), pp.
29–52. Pp. 34–36 (“A Myth of Biography?”)
build upon Brewer, cited below.
- John D. Brewer, “Putting Adam Ferguson in His
Place,” British Journal of Sociology 58:1
(2007): 105–122. Regards the emphasis on AF's identity as a
Gaelic Highlander as romantic exaggeration. (Brewer , cited
below under Division of Labor, Political Economy, and Origins of
Social Science, continues the author's strong biographical
- Stephen W. Brown and Warren McDougall, eds., The
Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Vol. 2:
Enlightenment and Expansion, 1707–1800 (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2012).
- James Buchan, Capital of the Mind: How Edinburgh
Changed the World (London: John Murray, 2003). Much on AF.
- Charles Camic, Experience and Enlightenment:
Socialization for Cultural Change in Eighteenth-Century
Scotland (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1983). A
strained sociological interpretation of the achieving characters
of AF and some of his friends.
- Alexander Carlyle, The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander
Carlyle of Inveresk 1722–1805, ed. John Hill Burton,
new ed. with many additional notes (London and Edinburgh: T. N.
Foulis, 1910). An important contemporary source on AF and his
circle. Available on Internet Archive, and as a 1990 reprint from
Thoemmes Press, with a new introduction by Richard B. Sher.
- Jeremy J. Cater, “The Making of Principal Robertson in
1762: Politics and the University of Edinburgh in the Second Half
of the Eighteenth Century,” Scottish Historical
Review 49:147, Pt 1 (1970): 60–84. Contains
biographical information on AF and his academic patron, Andrew
Fletcher, Lord Milton (paternal nephew of the famous Andrew
Fletcher of Saltoun).
- Aylwin Clark, An Enlightened Scot: Hugh Cleghorn,
1752–1837, foreword by Nicholas
Phillipson (Duns, UK: Black Ace Books, 1992). It is well-known
that AF looked up to William Cleghorn, his predecessor in the
chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh from 1745 to 1754, but
Clark reveals that William's nephew Hugh, in turn, admired AF
throughout his life. Illuminating also on AF's last years and
death (pp. 251–56) and on his unpublished Dialogue on
a Highland Jaunt (pp. 7–9).
- Roger L. Emerson, “The Social Composition of
Enlightened Scotland: The Select Society of Edinburgh,
1754–1764,” Studies on Voltaire and the
Eighteenth Century 114 (1973): 291–329. Helpful
account of one of the major clubs to which AF belonged, though
his date of admission should read 3 August 1756.
- Roger L. Emerson, Academic Patronage in the Scottish
Enlightenment: Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews
Universities (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2008).
Contains some biographical information on AF and more on his
patron Lord Milton. There is also coverage of the latter in
Emerson, An Enlightened Duke: The Life of Archibald
Campbell (1682–1761), Earl of Ilay and 3rd Duke of
Argyll (Kilkerran, UK: Humming Earth, 2013).
- Jane B. Fagg, “'Complaints and Clamours': The Ministry
of Adam Fergusson, 1700–1754,” Records of the
Scottish Church History Society 25, pt. 2 (1994):
288–308. An account of AF's father that is biographically
significant for the son.
- Duncan Forbes, “Adam Ferguson and the Idea of
Community,” in Edinburgh in the Age of Reason: A
Commemoration, [ed. George Bruce] (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
Univ. Press, 1967), pp. 40–47. Along with the introduction
to Forbes's edition of the Essay (1966), initiates
the modern trend in seeing AF's Highland background as crucial to
his thinking. The essays in this book were first broadcast as
talks on the BBC's Scottish Home Service in 1967. Forbes's
contribution was later republished as a pamphlet with a limited
run of 200 numbered copies: Adam Ferguson and the Idea of
Community (Paisley: Gleniffer Press, 1979).
- Michael Fry, The Dundas Despotism (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1992). Contains scattered information on
AF, e.g., that he “failed,” on account of his
apparent irreligiosity, “to get a post at St Andrews
because of a critical reference from [Dr George] Hill”
- Henry Grey Graham, Scottish Men of Letters in the
Eighteenth Century (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1901,
1908). Part of Chap 5 is devoted to AF. Available on Internet
- Sir Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of
Edinburgh during Its First Three Hundred Years, 2 vols.
(London: Longmans, Green, 1884). Vol. 2 contains a two-page life
of AF in Appendix 13; though based on Small (cited above under
Major Biographical Accounts), it is striking for the early
casting of its subject as a practitioner of
“Sociology” (p. 339). Other histories of the
University of Edinburgh with content on AF include those by
Alexander Bower (vol. 3, 1830, pp. 7–12) and Andrew Dalzel
(vol. 2, 1864, intermittently between pp. 428–51). All
three histories are available on Google Books.
- Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World:
The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created our
World and Everything in It (New York : Crown Publishers,
- Hans P. Jaeck, “Adam Ferguson: Gesellschaftsheoretiker,
Moralphilosoph, Historiker,” in
Geschichtsdiskurs, 5 vols., ed. Wolfgang Küttler,
Jörn Rüsen, and Ernst Schulin (Frankfurt am Main:
Fischer, 1994), vol. 2, pp. 239–48.
- Michael Kugler, “Provincial Intellectuals: Identity,
Patriotism, and Enlightened Peripheries,” The
Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 37:2 (1996):
156–73. Highlights AF's provincial identity.
- Michael Kugler, “The London Prospects of Adam Ferguson
and James Boswell, 1745–1763,” Scotia 30
- Gordon MacIntyre, Dugald Stewart: The Pride and
Ornament of Scotland (Brighton, UK and Portland, OR:
Sussex Academic Press, 2003). Contains a few passages
biographically relevant for AF, Stewart's predecessor in the
Edinburgh University moral philosophy chair.
- James McCosh, The Scottish Philosophy: Biographical,
Expository, Critical, from Hutcheson to Hamilton (London:
Macmillan, 1875), pp. 255–61 on AF. Available on Google
- Ernest Campbell Mossner, “Adam Ferguson's 'Dialogue on
a Highland Jaunt' with Robert Adam, William Cleghorn, David Hume,
and William Wilkie,” in Restoration and
Eighteenth-Century Literature: Essays in Honor of Alan Dugald
McKillop, ed. Carroll Camden (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago
Press, 1963), pp. 297–308. Discusses manuscript essay no.
5, “An Excursion in the Highlands: Discourse on Various
Subjects,” which can be found in Merolle, Manuscripts
of Adam Ferguson and its predecessors, all cited above
- Ernest Campbell Mossner, The Life of David Hume,
2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980). The classic biography of
Hume dating from 1954, with much information on his ties with AF.
- Katherine Nicolai, “Adam Ferguson's Pedagogy and his
Engagement with Stoicism,” Journal of Scottish Philosophy
12:2 (2014): 199–212. (For more on AF's pedagogy, see
Carroll, cited below under Theses and Dissertations.)
- Douglas Nobbs, “The Political Ideas of William
Cleghorn, Hume's Academic Rival,” Journal of the
History of Ideas 26:4 (1965): 575–86. (See also
Grote , cited below under Theses and Dissertations, and
Clark  and Mossner , cited above in this section.)
- D. D. Raphael, “The Professor's Pension,”
The Times Higher Education Supplement 22 (March
1985): 15. Introduces the Lord Chesterfield tutor affair,
discussed more fully in the two articles that follow.
- D. D. Raphael, D. R. Raynor, and I. S. Ross, “'This
Very Awkward Affair': An Entanglement of Scottish Professors with
English Lords,” Studies on Voltaire and the
Eighteenth Century 278 (1990): 419–63. New
correspondence relating to AF's difficulties in getting paid for
his work as tutor to the Earl of Chesterfield.
- D. D. Raphael, “Adam Ferguson's Tutorship of Lord
Chesterfield,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth
Century 323 (1994): 209–23. More correspondence
relating to the Chesterfield affair.
- Ian Simpson Ross, Life of Adam Smith, 2nd ed.
(Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010). Biographically relevant for
AF. The same applies for the older biographies of Adam Smith.
- Richard B. Sher, Church and University in the Scottish
Enlightenment: The Moderate Literati of Edinburgh
(Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press and Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ.
Press, 1985; Edinburgh Classic Edition, with a new preface,
2015). Treats AF within the cultural and institutional world of
the William Robertson circle of Moderate clergymen of letters in
- Richard B. Sher, “Professors of Virtue: The Social
History of the Edinburgh Moral Philosophy Chair in the Eighteenth
Century,” Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish
Enlightenment, ed. M. A. Stewart (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1990), pp. 87–126. Emphasizes ideological and financial
themes in regard to the moral philosophy chair that AF held.
- Richard B. Sher, The Enlightenment and the Book:
Scottish Authors and their Publishers in
Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland and America
(Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2007). Contains new
information on the publication arrangements for AF's two major
- Roy Sorenson, “Fame as the Forgotten Philosopher:
Meditations on the Headstone of Adam Ferguson,”
Philosophy 77:299 (2002): 109–14.
- Leslie Stephen, History of English Thought in the
Eighteenth Century, 2 vols. (London: Smith, Elder, 1876),
vol. 2, pp. 214–15 (Chap 10, Sect 89). Available on
Internet Archive. A harshly critical account of AF's
Essay (which “has the superficial merits which
were calculated for the ordinary mind”) and its author
(“a facile and dexterous declaimer, whose rhetoric glides
over the surface of things without biting into their
- Mark R. M. Towsey, Reading the Scottish Enlightenment:
Books and their Readers in Provincial Scotland,
1750–1820, Library of the Written World, The
Handpress World (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010). Contains much
new evidence on the reception of AF's books in Scotland.
For other nineteenth-century biographical accounts of AF as
well as a host of biographies and autobiographies of others with
relevance for AF, see Fagg, “Biographical
Introduction,” in Correspondence of Adam
Ferguson (1995), pp. cxix–cxxvi, cited above under
See also Allan's and Brewer's chapters in Heath and Merolle
(2008), Buchan's, Fry's, and Kugler's chapters in Heath and
Merolle (2009), Chap 2 in Allan's monograph (2006), and Chap 3 in
Kettler's (1965), all cited above under Book-Length Studies and
Theses and Dissertations
- Esther Lynn Barazzone, “The Politic Philosopher: Sir
James Mackintosh (1765–1832) and the Scottish
Enlightenment” (PhD dissertation, Columbia Univ., 1982),
pp. 43–44 and much of Chap 7, “Ethics and
- John Peter Bradwell, “Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish
Enlightenment, and British Romanticism” (PhD dissertation,
Univ. of Virginia, 1993), especially pp. 79–85
(“Scott and Ferguson”).
- Ashley Nicole Carroll, “'Preparing the Youthful Mind
for Virtuous Actions': Adam Ferguson at the University of
Edinburgh” (MA thesis, North Carolina State Univ., 2007).
Suggests that it is AF's pedagogy that sets him apart from his
- Spencer Davis, “Scottish Philosophical History: Hume to
James Mill” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of Toronto, 1981).
- Michael Dey, “Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson: Philosophy,
Economic Change and Class Limitations in 18th Century
Scotland” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of Aberdeen, 1984).
- Jane B. Fagg, “Adam Ferguson: Scottish Cato” (PhD
dissertation, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1968).
- Penny Fielding, “Walter Scott and Eighteenth Century
Thought” (DPhil dissertation, Oxford Univ., 1990), Chap 6,
“Truth and Action: Redgauntlet and Adam
Ferguson,” pp. 239–303.
- Heinrich Fisch, “Adam Ferguson und seine Gedanken zur
Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of
- Simon William Grote, “Moral Philosophy and the Origins
of Modern Aesthetic Theory in Scotland and Germany” (PhD
dissertation, Univ. of California Berkeley, 2010). Chap 2 is
devoted to the aesthetic theory of William Cleghorn, professor of
moral philosophy at Edinburgh University from 1745 to 1754. But
see specifically pp. 57–58, 62–65, and 105–07,
which examine Cleghorn's personal relationship with AF as well as
the latter's fictional Highland jaunt with Cleghorn and other
Lowland friends. (This dialogue is no. 5 in Merolle,
Manuscripts of Adam Ferguson, cited above under
Editions.) Pp. 63–64 raise the possibility that AF penned
the brief obituary for Cleghorn in the Edinburgh Evening
Courant, 26 August 1754, based on the
suspicion of nephew Hugh Cleghorn communicated in a letter of
- Ronald Hamowy, “The Social and Political Philosophy of
Adam Ferguson: A Commentary on his Essay on the History of
Civil Society” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of Chicago,
1969). Detailed exegetical commentary.
- Rick Incorvati, “Sympathy and the Social Order: The
Politics of Emotional Relationships from Hume to
Wordsworth” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, 2001), pp. 106–15 (“'The Bosom Kindles
in Company': Adam Ferguson's Sympathy of Public Spirit').
- Umaji Kaneko, “Moralphilosophie Adam Fergusons”
(PhD dissertation, Univ. of Leipzig, 1904). Though a philosophy
dissertation, it was evaluated by pioneering psychologist Wilhelm
Wundt. The earliest doctoral dissertation devoted to AF, as far
as we can ascertain.
- James Mitchell Lee, “Benjamin Constant: The
Moralization of Modern Liberty” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of
Wisconsin-Madison, 2003), pp. 130–38 (“Adam Ferguson
and the Separation of Civic Personality”).
- Christie LeAnn Maloyed, “The Religious Foundations of
Civic Virtue” (PhD dissertation, Texas A&M Univ., 2010),
especially Chap 3, “Adam Ferguson: Providential Order and
the Civic Tradition,” pp. 60–86.
- Scott McLean, “Rousseau, Ferguson and Societal
Development Theory: A Historical Analysis in the Sociology of
Knowledge” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of Alberta, 1989).
- Patricia Diane Nordeen, “Adam Ferguson on Civil
Society: Enlightenment, Community, and the Market” (PhD
dissertation, Yale Univ., 2003).
- Michael Philip, “Scott as an Heir of the Enlightenment:
Aspects of Selected 'Scottish' Novels in Light of the Social
Thought of Adam Ferguson” (MLitt thesis, Univ. of Stirling,
- Winifred M. Philip, “The Contribution of Adam Ferguson
to Social Science” (DPhil dissertation, Univ. of Surrey,
- Sarah Ramirez, “The Road to Virtue and the Road to
Fortune: The Scottish Enlightenment and the Problem of
Individualism in Commercial Society” (PhD dissertation,
Loyola Univ., 2012). Chap 4 is devoted to AF.
- Uma Satyavolu Rau, “The Enlightenment Idea of
Civilization and the Production of 'Victorian'
Historiography” (PhD dissertation, West Virginia Univ.,
1997), pp. 32–38.
- Youssef Sabbah, “Philosophical History in Scott's
Waverly Novels” (DPhil dissertation, Univ. of Wales,
Bangor, 2003). Deals with AF extensively, and reckons that
“Scott seems to have regarded him as an especial
mentor” (p. 9).
- Michael Jonathan Schwartz, “Cultivating the Nation: The
Georgic Mode in Mid-Eighteenth Century Britain” (PhD
dissertation, New York Univ., 2002), pp. 25–31.
- James Sheets, “Adam Ferguson: The 'Good Preceptor' of
Empire” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of Rochester, 1993). Shows
how “Ferguson defended the ideal of empire throughout his
- Deepak Shenoy, “James Mill and Political Economy”
(PhD dissertation, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003),
pp. 27–39 (“Adam Ferguson: Progress and Public
- Alan George Smith, “The Political Philosophy of Adam
Ferguson Considered as a Response to Rousseau: Political
Development and Progressive Development,” (PhD
dissertation, Yale Univ., 1980).
- Richard F. Teichgraeber III, “Politics and Morals in
the Scottish Enlightenment” (PhD dissertation, Brandeis
Univ., 1978). Chap 5 is devoted to AF's Essay.
- Ronald Teng, “Virtue, Corruption, History: Adam
Ferguson's Moral Philosophy” (PhD dissertation, Univ. of
- Denise Ann Testa, “'A Bastard Gaelic Man':
Reconsidering the Highland Roots of Adam Ferguson” (PhD
dissertation, Univ. of Western Sydney, 2007). Concentrates on the
“concrete reality of the locale, language and vestigial
shame-honour culture” of the Highlands and its relation to
- Daniel J. Wells, “The Scottish Literati and the Problem
of Scottish National Identity” (MA thesis, Univ. of Western
Ontario, 1997). AF is central to Chap 2, “The Scottish
Militia: Harnessing the Martial Past.”
- Jean C. Willke, “The Historical Thought of Adam
Ferguson” (PhD dissertation, Catholic Univ. of America,
Note: Only theses and dissertations that have
not been made into books, book chapters or journal
articles have been included in this list—the sole exception
being Fagg's, because of its importance for AF's biography.
- Social and Political Thought (including anthropology, civil
society, civilization, conjectural history, primitivism,
progress, psychology, and republicanism)
- David Allan, Virtue, Learning and the Scottish
Enlightenment: Ideas of Scholarship in Early Modern
History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1993). Highly
critical account of AF and his fellow literati as overrated
“historical demi-gods” (p. 233).
- Yasuo Amoh, “Moral Philosophy and the Scottish
Enlightenment in the Case of Adam Ferguson,” Kochi
University Review of Social Science, no. 28 (March 1987):
1–26. In Japanese.
- Edward G. Andrew, Imperial Republics: Revolution, War,
and Territorial Expansion from the English Civil War to the
French Revolution (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2011),
Chap 8, “Imperial Pride and Anxiety: Gibbon's Roman Empire
and Ferguson's Roman Republic.”
- Sergio Bartolommei, “Forza del 'progetto,' potere delle
'circostanze' e teoria del 'progresso' in An Essay on the
History of Civil Society di Adam Ferguson,” Il
Pensiero Politico 12 (1979): 344–60.
- Sergio Bartolommei, “Adam Ferguson critico delle
'notions of vulgar minds,'” Il Pensiero
Politico 18 (1985): 164–81.
- Marvin B. Becker, The Emergence of Civil Society in the
Eighteenth Century: A Privileged Moment in the History of
England, Scotland, and France (Bloomington: Indiana Univ.
- Emile Benveniste, “Civilization: A Contribution to the
History of the Word,” in Problems in General
Linguistics, trans. Mary Elizabeth Meek (1966; Coral
Gables: Univ. of Miami Press, 1971), pp. 289–96. Largely
based on a letter from Hume to Adam Smith dated 12 April 1759
regarding a “treatise on Refinement” (an early draft
of the Essay that AF had presumably been working on
for some time), suggests that it is possible that AF coined the
word “civilization.” But because this early draft
perused by Hume has never been located, as Benveniste had hoped,
we have no idea how similar it is to the finished
Essay and his tantalizing conjecture, accordingly,
remains merely that. The current honor of coining the word
civilization, in French, remains with the physiocrat Victor de
Riquetti, Marquis de Mirabeau, in his treatise on population
L'Ami des hommes, ou Traité de la population
(dated 1756 but published in 1757).
- John Andrew Bernstein, “Adam Ferguson and the Idea of
Progress,” Studies in Burke and His Time (now
The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation)
19:2 (1978): 99–118. Argues that “Ferguson's demand
for perpetual striving” is the heart of his doctrine of
progress and “the key to his entire thought.”
- Christopher J. Berry, The Idea of Luxury: A Conceptual
and Historical Investigation (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ.
Press, 1994). Contains a few scattered but useful remarks,
especially on pp. 147, 150, and 162.
- Christopher J. Berry, Social Theory of the Scottish
Enlightenment (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1997).
Treats AF among other social theorists of the “Scottish
school,” updating Bryson's classic 1945 account (see
- Christopher J. Berry, “Sociability and
Socialisation,” in The Cambridge Companion to the
Scottish Enlightenment, ed. Alexander Broadie (Cambridge:
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003), pp. 243–57.
- Christopher J. Berry, The Idea of Commercial Society in
the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ.
Press, 2013). Contains much on AF, especially in Chap 6
(“The Dangers of Commerce”).
- Troy O. Bickham, Savages within the Empire:
Representations of American Indians in Eighteenth-Century
Britain (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005), Chap 5
(“'Under the Rudest Form in Which We Can Conceive Man to
Subsist': The Scottish Enlightenment and the North American
- Bertrand Binoche, Les trois sources des philosophies de
l'histoire (1764–1798) (Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1994). See especially Chap 5:
“L'histoire naturelle de l'humanité (I):
- Henri Bouet, “Adam Ferguson et ses Idées
Politiques et Sociales,” Journal des
économistes: Revue Mensuelle de la Science
économique et de la Statistique, 5th ser., 36
(Oct.-Dec., 1898): 321–34.
- Brett Bowden, “The Ideal of Civilisation: Its Origins
and Socio political Character,” Critical Review of
International Social and Political Philosophy 7:1 (2004):
25–50. Revisits the debate surrounding the origins of this
keyword, including Benveniste (cited above), but without any
- Alexander Broadie, The Scottish Enlightenment: The
Historical Age of the Historical Nation (Edinburgh:
Birlinn, 2001). See throughout.
- Alexander Broadie, “Adam Ferguson, Classical
Republicanism and the Imperative of Modernity,” in
MacCormick's Scotland, Edinburgh Studies in Law, ed.
Neil Walker (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2012), pp.
107–30. A commemorative collection of essays devoted to
Neil MacCormick (1941–2009), one of Scotland's most
prominent legal thinkers.
- Alexander Broadie, “Adam Ferguson on Human Nature and
Enlightened Governance,” in Scientific Statesmanship,
Governance and the History of Political Philosophy, ed.
Kyriakos N. Demetriou and Antis Loizides, Routledge Innovations
in Political Theory (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), pp.
- Daniel Brühlmeier et al., ed., Schottische
Aufklärung: “A Hotbed of Genius” (Berlin:
Akademie Verlag, 1996). Contains relevant chapters by Nicholas
Phillipson on the Scottish Enlightenment, Fania Oz-Salzberger on
the Scottish Enlightenment in Germany, and Norbert Waszek on AF's
translator Christian Garve, among others.
- Gladys Bryson, Man and Society: The Scottish Inquiry of
the Eighteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press,
1945). Still useful in general, but Chap 2, “Adam
Ferguson's System of Moral Philosophy,” is particularly
valuable as a summary of AF's approach to moral philosophy. Chap
6, “Society,” also contains some remarks on AF, and
was first published as “Some Eighteenth-Century Conceptions
of Society,” The Sociological Review 31
- Heinrich Cunow, Die Marxsche Geschichts- Gesellschafts-
und Staatstheorie: Grundzüge der Marxschen Soziologie
(Berlin: Vorwärts, 1920), especially pp. 110–16
(“Adam Fergusons Gesellschaftstheorie”).
- Jules Delvaille, Essai sur l'Histoire de l'Idée
de Progrès jusqu'à la Fin du 18e
Siècle (Paris: F. Alcan, 1910). Chap 7, Sect 3 (pp.
473–87) is devoted to AF. Reprinted in 1969 by Olms, and
now available online on Internet Archive.
- Massimiliano Demata, “Prejudiced Knowledge: Travel
Literature in the Edinburgh Review,” in
British Romanticism and the Edinburgh Review:
Bicentenary Essays, ed. Massimiliano Demata and Duncan Wu
(Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan,
2002), pp. 82–101. Pp. 85–86 and 88 reference AF.
- William Archibald Dunning, A History of Political
Theories from Rousseau to Spencer (1920; New York:
Macmillan, 1936). Pp. 65–71 are devoted to AF.
- John Ehrenber, Civil Society: The Critical History of
an Idea (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1999), pp.
91–96 (“The Moral Foundations of Civil
- Yiftah Elazar, “Adam Ferguson on Modern Liberty and the
Absurdity of Democracy,” History of Political
Thought 35:4 (2014): 768–87.
- Franco Ferrarotti, “Civil Society and State Structures
in Creative Tension: Ferguson, Hegel, Gramsci,”
State, Culture, and Society 1:1 (1984): 3–25.
- Penny Fielding, Scotland and the Fictions of Geography:
North Britain, 1760–1830, Cambridge Studies in
Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008), pp.
- Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at
the College de France, 1978–1979 ed. Michael
Senellart, trans. Graham Burchell (Houndmills, Baskingstoke, UK
and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 291–316. The
lecture of 4 April 1979 is largely concerned with AF's concept of
- Claude Gautier, L'invention de la société
civile: lectures Anglo-écossaises: Mandeville, Smith,
Ferguson (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1993).
See also Essai sur l'histoire de la société
civile, ed. Claude Gautier (Paris: Presses Universitaires
de France, 1992), with its 92-page introduction.
- Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation,
2 vols. (New York: Norton, 1966–69). Vol. 2, The
Science of Freedom, pp. 336–43, contains a section
on AF, arguing that he “undertook the scientific study of
society for moral reasons” (p. 336).
- Ernest Gellner, Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society
and Its Rivals (London: Penguin, 1994), Chap 8,
“Adam Ferguson.” Nearly identical to Gellner's
article, “Adam Ferguson and the Surprising Robustness of
Civil Society,” in Liberalism in Modern Times: Essays
in Honour of José G. Merquior, ed. Ernest Gellner
and César Cansino (Budapest: Central European Univ. Press,
1996), pp. 119–31.
- Marco Geuna, “Aspetti della critica di Adam Ferguson al
contrattualismo,” in Passioni, Interessi,
Convenzioni: Discussioni Settecentesche su Virtù e
Civiltà, ed. Marco Geuna and Maria Luisa Pesante
(Milan: Franco Angeli, 1992), pp. 129–80. All the essays
save one in this hefty collection concern Scottish Enlightenment
- Marco Geuna, “Il linguaggio del repubblicanesimo in
Adam Ferguson,” Il Pensiero politico 16
(1992): 143–59. A paper delivered at a 1990 conference on
political language at Lecce, edited by Eluggero Pii.
- Marco Geuna, “Richesse, Commerce et Corruption dans la
Pensée d'Adam Ferguson” in Être Riche au
Siècle de Voltaire, Actes du Colloque de
Genève, 18-19 Juin 1994, ed. Jacques Berchtold and Michel
Porret (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1996), pp. 81–95.
- Marco Geuna, “Republicanism and Commercial Society in
the Scottish Enlightenment: The Case of Adam Ferguson,” in
Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage,
Vol. 2: The Values of Republicanism in Early
Modern Europe, ed. Martin Van Gelderen and Quentin Skinner
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 177–95.
- Evan Gottlieb, Feeling British: Sympathy and National
Identity in Scottish and English Writing, 1707–1832
(Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell Univ. Press, 2007). Especially pp.
54–60 (“Adam Ferguson's Enlightened
- Gordon Graham, “Adam Ferguson as a Moral
Philosopher,” Philosophy 88:4 (2013):
- Gordon Graham, “Francis Hutcheson and Adam Ferguson on
Sociability,” History of Philosophy Quarterly
31:4 (2014): 317–29.
- Gary Hatfield, “Psychology as a Natural Science in the
Eighteenth Century,” Revue de synthèse
115:3–4 (1994): 375–91. Pp. 383–84,
“Scottish Sciences of Man and Mind,” highlights AF's
- Ronald Hamowy, “Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American
Thought: The Social Philosophy of Adam Ferguson,”
Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy
14:1 (1986): 61–87. Argues that AF was an
“unambiguous” supporter of modern, commercial
- Ryan Patrick Hanley, “Educational Theory and the Social
Vision of the Scottish Enlightenment,” Oxford Review
of Education 37:5 (2011): 587–602. On pp.
597–98, considers the brief remarks on education in AF's
Essay. (See also Craig Smith , cited below.)
- F. A. Hayek, “Individualism: True and False,” in
Individualism and Economic Order (Chicago: Univ. of
Chicago Press, 1948), pp. 1–32. Contrasts a largely British
model of spontaneous order, promulgated by AF and others, with
the so-called pseudo-individualism or collectivism of a largely
French, Cartesian rationalist school. This distinction, and the
crucial place it allots to AF within the history of ideas,
continued to preoccupy Hayek. See, especially, “Freedom,
Reason, and Tradition,” in The Constitution of
Liberty (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1960); and also
“The Results of Human Action but Not of Human
Design,” in Studies in Philosophy, Politics and
Economics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967), where
he borrows the title phrase of this chapter from AF's
Essay, making it widely known and influential in
- Eugene Heath, “Carrying Matters Too Far? Mandeville and
the Eighteenth-Century Scots on the Evolution of Morals,”
Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12:1 (2014): 95–119.
Contains a discussion of “affinities” between
Mandeville and AF on pp. 99–102.
- Jack Hill, “Marx's Reading of Adam Ferguson and the
Idea of Progress,” Journal of Scottish
Philosophy 11: 2 (2013): 167–190. Argues that
“Marx misappropriated Ferguson's thought” by ignoring
key ethical considerations in the latter's conception of
- Lisa Hill, “Anticipations of Nineteenth and Twentieth
Century Social Thought in the Work of Adam Ferguson,”
European Journal of Sociology/ Archives Européens de
Sociologie 37:1 (1996): 203–28. Situates AF's
“liberal-Stoicism” between classical civic humanism
and “modern” ideas of liberalism.
- Lisa Hill, “Adam Ferguson on the Paradox of Progress
and Decline,” History of Political Thought
18:4 (1997): 677–706. Identifies a Stoic, theological
resolution to the conflict between progress and decline in AF's
- Lisa Hill, “The Puzzle of Adam Ferguson's Political
Conservatism,” Eighteenth-Century Scotland: The
Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies
Society, no. 15 (Spring 2001): 12–17.
- Lisa Hill, “Ideas of Corruption in the Eighteenth
Century: The Competing Conceptions of Adam Ferguson and Adam
Smith,” in Corruption: Expanding the Focus,
ed. Manuhuia Barcham, Barry Hindess, and Peter Larmour (Canberra:
Australian National Univ. Press, 2012), pp. 105–23. This
book is available online as a pdf and an epub file. Some coverage
of AF is also to be found in Bruce Buchan and Lisa Hill, An
Intellectual History of Political Corruption (Houndmills,
Baskingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
- Lisa Hill and Peter McCarthy, “Hume, Smith and
Ferguson: Friendship in Commercial Society,” Critical
Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
2:4 (1999): 33–49.
- Albert O. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests:
Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph
(Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1977), especially pp.
119–22 and 124–25 in “Where the
Montesquieu-Steuart Vision Went Wrong.”
- H. M. Hopfl, “From Savage to Scotsman: Conjectural
History in the Scottish Enlightenment,” Journal of
British Studies 17:2 (1978): 19–40.
- Jonathan I. Israel, Democratic Enlightenment:
Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750–1790
(Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011), especially pp. 233–47.
Brief consideration of AF and the ideology of progress.
- Malcolm Jack, Corruption and Progress: The
Eighteenth-Century Debate (New York: AMS Press, 1989).
Includes a chapter on AF (Chap 4), but the next chapter
(“Attitudes and Ambivalences”) includes much on
Ferguson as well.
- Tom Jones, “Language Origins and Poetic Encounters in
Rousseau, Shaftesbury, Smith and Ferguson,” Forum for
Modern Language Studies 42:4 (2006): 395–411.
- Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson, “Adam Ferguson
Returns: Liberalism through a Glass Darkly,”
Political Theory 26:2 (1998): 173–97.
- Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson, “Agonistic
Liberalism: Adam Ferguson on Modern Commercial Society and the
Limits of Classical Republicanism,” in Liberal
Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (Cambridge:
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008), pp. 51–87.
- David Kettler, “The Political Vision of Adam
Ferguson,” Studies in Burke and His Time (now
The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation)
9:1 (1967): 763–78.
- David Kettler, “History and Theory in Ferguson's
Essay on the History of Civil Society: A
Reconsideration,” Political Theory 5:4 (1977):
- David Kettler, “Ferguson's Principles:
Constitution in Permanence,” Studies in Burke and His
Time 19:3 (1978): 208–22.
- Henry Laurie, Scottish Philosophy in its National
Development (Glasgow: J. Maclehose, 1902). Chap 11 is
devoted to AF. Available on Internet Archive.
- Robert Layton, Order and Anarchy: Civil Society, Social
Disorder and War (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006),
especially pp. 24–34. Groups AF with Locke (over and
against Hobbes and Rousseau), and highlights their critiques of
the state of nature as relevant to modern anthropology.
- Norman Levine, “The German Historical School of Law and
the Origins of Historical Materialism,” Journal of
the History of Ideas (1987): 431–51. Pg. 435 briefly
relates Marx's reading of AF.
- Harry Liebersohn, The Return of the Gift: European
History of a Global Idea (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ.
Press, 2011), pp. 63–65 (“Adam Ferguson and the Rude
Republic of Virtue”).
- James Livesey, Civil Society and Empire: Ireland and
Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (New
Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 2009), pp. 172–74.
- Joseph S. Lucas, “The Course of Empire and the Long
Road to Civilization: North American Indians and Scottish
Enlightenment Historians,” Explorations in Early
American Culture, no. 4 (2000): 166–90. Considers AF
and his peers as conjectural historians.
- P. J. Marshall and Glyndwr Williams, The Great Map of
Mankind: Perceptions of New Worlds in the Age of
Enlightenment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1982),
which discusses AF in relation to native Americans and Asians,
with an emphasis on savagery, of course. There is no sustained
discussion, but many references, and one substantial paragraph on
- Gary L. McDowell, “Commerce, Virtue, and Politics: Adam
Ferguson's Constitutionalism,” Review of
Politics 45:4 (1983): 536–52.
- Martha McLaren, British India and British Scotland,
1780–1830: Career Building, Empire Building,
and a Scottish School of Thought on Indian Governance
(Akron, OH: Univ. of Akron Press, 2001). Argues for the influence
of AF and others on Thomas Munro, John Malcolm, and Mountstuart
Elphinstone, though in an impressionistic manner (with no
evidence adduced as to reading habits or practice).
- Ronald L. Meek, Social Science and the Ignoble
Savage (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1979). The
savage as a social-scientific problem, for AF among many others.
- Friedrich Meinecke, Historism: The Rise of a New
Historical Outlook, trans. J. E. Anderson, foreword by
Isaiah Berlin (1936; London: Routledge and Kegan
Paul, 1972), especially pp. 214–19. Styles AF a
“Pre-Romantic” alongside Burke and against the more
rationalist Hume, Gibbon, and Robertson.
- Hiroshi Mizuta, “Two Adams in the Scottish
Enlightenment: Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson on Progress,”
Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 191
- Tom Nairn, “From Civil Society to Civic Nationalism:
Evolution of a Myth,” in Faces of Nationalism: Janus
Revisited (London: Verso, 1997), pp. 73–89. Ferguson
is discussed on pp. 75–77.
- Robert A. Nisbet, Social Change and History: Aspects of
the Western Theory of Development (New York: Oxford Univ.
Press, 1969). Reprinted by Transaction Publishers in 2009 with a
new title, Metaphor and History: The Western Idea of Social
Development, and a new introduction by Irving Louis
Horowitz. Contains some scattered commentary on AF.
- Richard Olson, Science Deified and Science Defied: The
Historical Significance of Science in Western Culture, Vol. 2:
From the Early Modern Age through the Early Romantic Era, ca.
1640 to ca. 1820 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of
California Press, 1990). Pp. 205–18 concern AF, including
links with Montesquieu and Marx.
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “Civil Society in the Scottish
Enlightenment,” in Civil Society: History and
Possibilities, ed. Sudpta Kaviraj and Sunit Khilnani
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), pp. 58–83.
Focused on AF and the critical fortunes of his idea of civil
society. Highly recommended, for clarity and usefulness.
- Anthony Pagden, “The 'Defense of Civilization' in
Eighteenth-Century Social Theory,” History of the
Human Sciences 1:1 (1988): 33–45.
- John Passmore, The Perfectibility of Man
(London: Duckworth, 1970). Contains scattered references to AF.
- Roy Harvey Pearce, “The Eighteenth-Century Scottish
Primitivists: Some Reconsiderations,” ELH 12:3
(1945): 203–220. Argues that “Ferguson's view [of
primitive peoples] in its broadest aspect is the view of the
Scottish school as a whole” (p. 208). The section on AF is
reworked in pp. 84–86 of The Savages of America: A
Study of the Indian and the Idea of Civilization
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1953), also available as a
revised paperback reissue in 1965 with the title, Savagism
and Civilization: A Study of the Indian and the American
- Francesco D. Perillo, “Adam Ferguson e la storia della
società civile,” Studium 71 (1975):
- Mark Salber Phillips, Society and Sentiment: Genres of
Historical Writing in Britain, 1740–1820 (Princeton:
Princeton Univ. Press, 2000), especially pp. 179–84. AF is
featured as the author of “the best-known of all
conjectural histories” (p. 179).
- Donald K. Pickens, “Scottish Common Sense Philosophy
and Folkways,” Journal of Thought
22:1 (1987): 39–44. On AF and his peers' influence on
American social-science polymath William Graham Sumner,
specifically his Folkways: A Study of the Sociological
Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals
- John Pierce, “The Scottish Common Sense School and
Individual Psychology,” Journal of Individual
Psychology 31:2 (1975): 137–49. Considers the
Scottish common sense philosophy as precursor to Alfred Adler's
“individual psychology.” Features AF extensively and
includes a section devoted to him (pp. 140–44). (For a
psychology focus, see also Kaneko's dissertation , cited
above under Theses and Dissertations, and Pickens , cited
- Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, “Adam Ferguson's
Republicanism,” Politeja 10:2 (2008):
- J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine
Political Thought and the Atlantic Republic Tradition
(Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1975), especially pp.
499–503. Stresses the tension between the ideologies of
virtue and commerce in AF's thought. Its characterization of his
Essay as “the most Machiavellian of the
Scottish disquisitions on this theme” (p. 499) proved
- J. G. A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, 6 vols.
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999–2015). The second
volume of this magisterial study of Gibbon's Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire, subtitled “Narratives of
Civil Government,” deals extensively with the Scottish
Enlightenment, and Section VI is entitled “Adam Ferguson:
The Moderate as Machiavellian.”
- Peter Hanns Reill, “Narration and Structure in Late
Eighteenth-Century Historical Thought,” History and
Theory 25:3 (1986): 286–98. Views Scottish
conjectural historians, especially AF, as influenced by Buffon
and other mid-century vitalist life-scientists rather than an
older, Newtonian mechanical natural-philosophy.
- Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century
Commonwealthman: Studies in the Transmission, Development, and
Circumstance of English Liberal Thought from the Restoration of
Charles II until the War with the Thirteen Colonies
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1959), especially pp.
199–202. Deems AF more conservative than commonly believed.
- Warren J. Samuels, with the assistance of Marianne F. Johnson
and William H. Perry, Erasing the Invisible Hand: Essays on
an Elusive and Misused Concept in Economics (Cambridge:
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011), especially pp. 218–21.
- Louis Schneider, “Scottish Thought on Evolutionary
Change: Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, and John Millar,” in
Classical Theories of Social Change (Morristown, NJ:
General Learning Press, 1976), pp. 13–23. Pp. 17–20
are devoted to AF.
- Silvia Sebastiani, “Conjectural History vs. The Bible:
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Historians and the Idea of History in
the Encyclopaedia Britannica,”
Cromohs, 6 (2001): 1–6,
http://www.cromohs.unifi.it/6_2001/sebastiani.html. Reprinted in
Lumen 21(2002): 213–31. Questions AF's
authorship of the “History” entry in various editions
of the Encyclopedia Britannica, based on its
advocacy of providence and Mosaic chronology; it also questions,
on p. 225 n. 42, AF's authorship of the historical chart (despite
the fact it bears his name).
- Silvia Sebastiani, The Scottish Enlightenment: Race,
Gender, and the Limits of Progress, Palgrave Studies in
Cultural and Intellectual History, trans. Jeremy Carden
(Houndmills, Baskingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan,
2013). A translation, with slight revisions, of
Sebastiani's I limiti del progresso. Razza e genere
nell'Illuminismo scozzese (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2008). AF
receives extensive treatment.
- Silvia Sebastiani, “Barbarism and Republicanism,”
in Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. 1:
Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, ed. Aaron Garrett and
James A. Harris (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2015), pp.
- John Sekora, Luxury: The Concept in Western Thought,
Eden to Smollett (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press,
1977), especially pp. 104–05 on how AF redefined luxury and
together with Hume and Adam Smith “delivered the
intellectual coup de grace to the more blatant political purposes
to which the idea of luxury had been put.”
- Adam B. Seligman, The Idea of Civil Society (New
York: Free Press; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York:
Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992). Also published
simultaneously by Princeton Univ. Press. Scattered references.
- Bruce R. Sievers, Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the
Fate of the Commons (Medford, MA: Tufts Univ. Press,
2010), especially pp. 72–76.
- Allan Silver, “'Two Different Sorts of
Commerce'—Friendship and Strangership in Civil
Society,” in Public and Private in Thought and
Practice: Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy, ed. Jeff
Weintraub and Krishan Kumar (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press,
1997), pp. 43–74.
- María Isabel Wences Simon, En torno al origen del
concepto moderno de sociedad civil: Locke, Ferguson y
Hegel (Madrid: Dykinson and Instituto de Derechos Humanos
Bartolomé de las Casas, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid,
1998). Pt 1, Chap 2 is devoted to AF (pp. 43–91).
- Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the
American College Ideal ([New York]: Teachers College
Press, Teachers College, Columbia Univ., 1971). See especially
pp. 172–79 for “certain striking parallels and
similarities between the ideas of [Samuel Stanhope] Smith and
those of Adam Ferguson.”
- Craig Smith, “Adam Ferguson and the Danger of
Books,” Journal of Scottish Philosophy
(formerly Reid Studies) 4:2 (2006): 93–109. On
AF's empiricist penchant for lived experience over bookish
- Craig Smith, “Adam Ferguson and Ethnocentrism in the
Science of Man,” History of the Human Sciences 26:1 (2013):
- John Snell, “The Political Thought of Adam
Ferguson,” The Municipal University of Wichita
Bulletin 21 (May 1950): 3–20.
- David Spadafora, The Idea of Progress in
Eighteenth-Century Britain (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ.
Press, 1990). Valuable study, with much on AF and the Scots (Chap
- Hideo Tanaka, What is the Scottish Enlightenment?:
Principles of Modern Society (Kyoto: Minervashobo, 2014).
In Japanese. Chap 7 is on the contexts of AF's
- Brandon P. Turner, “Adam Ferguson on 'Action' and the
Possibility of Non-Political Participation,”
Polity 44:2 (2012): 212–33.
- John Varty, “Civil Society as Community of Citizens:
Adam Ferguson's Alternative to Liberalism,” in
Communitarianism and Citizenship, ed. Emilios A.
Christodoulidis (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1998), pp. 179–91.
- John Varty, “Adam Ferguson and Conservatism,” in
Reflections on Conservatism, ed. Dogancan Ozsel
(Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011), pp.
- Danga Vileisis, “Der unbekannte Beitrag Adam Fergusons
zum materialistischen Geschichtsverständnis von Karl
Marx,” Beiträge zur Marx-Engels-Forschung
n.s. (2009): 7–60. According to Norman Levine, Marx's
Discourse with Hegel (Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK and New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Vileisis “in an excellent
article that opened new horizons in the study of the Young Marx,
surmises that Marx purchased a copy of Ferguson's
[Essay] in Paris in the summer of 1844” (p.
- Norbert Waszek, Man's Social Nature: A Topic of the
Scottish Enlightenment in its Historical Setting
(Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1986). Chap 5 is on AF.
- Norbert Waszek, L'écosse des Lumières:
Hume, Smith, Ferguson (Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 2003). A brief survey, with an introduction and chapters
on contexts, science of man, history, political economy, and the
impact of the Scottish philosophical tradition.
- Roxann Wheeler, The Complexion of Race: Categories of
Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture
(Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), especially pp.
186–87. Pp. 181–91 explore the significance of
four-stages theory, including AF's, for contemporary racial
- Frederick G. Whelan, Enlightenment Political Thought
and Non-Western Societies: Sultans and Savages (London and
New York: Routledge, 2012). See throughout.
- Lois Whitney, Primitivism and the Idea of Progress in
English Popular Literature of the Eighteenth Century
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1934), pp. 145–54.
- Paul B. Wood, “The Natural History of Man in the
Scottish Enlightenment,” History of Science
28:1 (1990): 89–123, especially pp. 100–02, 112, and
See also Kettler's, Meyer's, Oz-Salzberger's, and Smith's
chapters in Heath and Merolle (2008) as well as Berry's, Heath's,
Lisa Hill's, Merolle's, Raynor's, and Weinstein's chapters in
Heath and Merolle (2009), both cited above under Book-Length
Studies and Collections.
See also Broadie's, Faure's, Nicolai's, and Waszek's chapters
in Prunier (2014), cited above under Book-Length Studies and
For more on AF and anthropology, see Slotkin (1965) and
Launay (2010), cited above under Selections in Anthologies.
For AF and the idea of friendship, see Hill and McCarthy
(1999) and Silver (1997), cited in this section, and Silver
(1990), cited below under Division of Labor, Political Economy,
and Origins of Social Science.
Division of Labor, Political Economy, and Origins of Social
- Richard Adelman, Idleness, Contemplation and the
Aesthetic, 1750–1830, Cambridge Studies in
Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011). AF receives
extensive coverage throughout, particularly for his thinking
about the division of labor.
- Harry E. Barnes, “Sociology before Comte: A Summary of
Doctrines and an Introduction to the Literature,”
American Journal of Sociology 23:2 (1917):
- Ted Benton, “Adam Ferguson's Critique of the
'Enterprise' Culture,” in The Values of the
Enterprise Culture: The Moral Debate, ed. Paul Heelas and
Paul Morris (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), pp.
100–119. Nearly identical to Benton's article titled
“Adam Ferguson and the Enterprise Culture,” in
The Enlightenment and Its Shadows, ed. Peter Hulme
and Ludmilla Jordanova (London and New York: Routledge, 1990),
- Christopher J. Berry, “The Rise of the Human
Sciences,” in Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth
Century, Vol. 1: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, ed.
Aaron Garrett and James A. Harris (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press,
2015), pp. 283–322.
- Robert Bierstedt, “Sociological Thought in the
Eighteenth Century,” in A History of Sociological
Analysis, ed. Tom Bottomore and Robert Nisbet (New York:
Basic Books, 1978), pp. 3–38. Scotland is covered on pp.
25–30, and within that AF gets his own subsection on pp.
- David L. Blaney and Naeem Inayatullah, Savage
Economics: Wealth, Poverty and the Temporal Walls of
Capitalism (London and New York: Routledge, 2010).
Disciplinary critique of economics via an examination of AF (Chap
4, “Capitalism's Wounds: Ferguson's International Political
Economy”), among others.
- Anthony Brewer, “Adam Ferguson, Adam Smith, and the
Concept of Economic Growth,” History of Political
Economy 31:2 (1999): 237–54.
- John D. Brewer, “Adam Ferguson and the Theme of
Exploitation,” British Journal of Sociology
37:4 (1986): 461–78. Sees AF as a bridge between civic
humanism and modern sociology, with particular emphasis on Marx.
A version of this article, but without being so indicated, is
available as “The Scottish Enlightenment,” in
Modern Theories of Exploitation, ed. Andrew Reeve,
Sage Modern Politics Series Vol. 14, Sponsored by the European
Consortium for Political Research (London and Beverly Hills:
Sage, 1987), pp. 6–29.
- John D. Brewer, “Conjectural History, Sociology and
Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Adam Ferguson and
the Division of Labour,” in The Making of Scotland:
Nation, Culture and Social Change, ed. David McCrone et
al. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press and The British
Sociological Association, 1989), pp. 13–30.
- John D. Brewer, “The Scottish Enlightenment and
Scottish Social Thought, c.1725–1915,” in The
Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain, ed. John
Holmwood and John Scott (Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK and New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 3–29. Continues the
strong biographical revisionism initiated in Brewer (2007), cited
above under Other Biographical and Contextual Studies.
- Björn Eriksson, “The First Formulation of
Sociology: A Discursive Innovation of the 18th Century,”
European Journal of Sociology/ Archives Européens de
Sociologie (“Special Issue: Our Scottish
Ancestors”) 34:2 (1993): 251–76.
- Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler, eds.,
Inventing Human Science: Eighteenth-Century Domains
(Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 1995). Discussions of
AF occur throughout the essays in this book, though in no
- Marco Geuna, “Adam Ferguson ed il problema della
divisione del lavoro: l'analisi delle 'nazioni commerciali'
nell'Essay on the History of Civil Society,”
Annali della Fondazione Luigi Einaudi 18 (1984):
- Ronald Hamowy, “Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and the
Division of Labour,” Economica 35:139 (1968):
- Lisa Hill, “Ferguson and Smith on 'Human Nature,'
'Interest' and the Role of Beneficence in Market Society,”
History of Economic Ideas (“Adam Smith Special
Issue”) 4:1–2 (1996): 353–99.
- Lisa Hill, “The Invisible Hand of Adam Ferguson,”
The European Legacy 3:6 (1998): 42–64.
- Lisa Hill, “Eighteenth-Century Anticipations of the
Sociology of Conflict: The Case of Adam Ferguson,”
Journal of the History of Ideas 62:2 (2001):
- Lisa Hill, “Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and Karl Marx on
the Division of Labour,” Journal of Classical
Sociology 7:3 (2007): 339–66.
- Lisa Hill, “Adam Ferguson's Sociology of
Emotions,” in Emotions and Social Change: Historical
and Sociological Perspectives, Routledge Studies in Social
and Political Thought, ed. David Lemmings and Ann Brooks (London
and New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 119–37. Engages with
the thought of Norbert Elias, the sociology of emotions, and the
recent “affective turn” across the human sciences.
- Robert van Krieken, Norbert Elias, Key
Sociologists (London and New York: Routledge, 1998). Pp. 23 and
52 speculate that Elias, in the early 1930s, was at the very
least indirectly influenced by AF's notion of unintended
consequences (via Sumner's Folkways). On Sumner and
AF, see also Pickens (1987), cited above under Social and
- Donald G. MacRae, “Adam Ferguson,” in The
Founding Fathers of Social Science, ed. Timothy Raison
(London: Penguin, 1969), pp. 26–35. First published as
“Adam Ferguson: Sociologist,” New
Society 24 (1966): 792–94.
- Ronald L. Meek, “The Scottish Contribution to Marxist
Sociology,” in Meek, Economics and Ideology and Other
Essays: Studies in the Development of Economic Thought
(London: Chapman and Hall, 1967), pp. 34–50.
- Richard Olson, The Emergence of the Social Sciences,
1642–1792 (New York: Twayne, 1993). Especially pp.
155–61 (“Adam Ferguson's Natural History of
- Frank Palmeri, “Conjectural History and the Origins of
Sociology,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century
Culture 37:1 (2008): 1–21. Makes a case for AF as
predecessor to Comte and Spencer.
- Roy Pascal, “Property and Society: The Scottish
Historical School of the Eighteenth Century,” Modern
Quarterly 1:2 (Mar. 1938): 167–79. AF is covered
under his own heading on pp. 173–75.
- Allan Silver, “Friendship in Commercial Society:
Eighteenth-Century Social Theory and Modern Sociology,”
American Journal of Sociology 95:6 (1990):
1474–1504. Argues that “[t]he liberal foundations of
sociological theory on personal relations are articulated”
by Hutcheson, Adam Smith, Hume, and AF. (See also Hill and
McCarthy  and Silver , both cited above under Social
and Political Thought.)
- Andrew Skinner, “A Scottish Contribution to Marxist
Sociology?,” in Classical and Marxian Political
Economy: Essays in Honour of Ronald M. Meek, ed. Ian
Bradley and Michael Howard (London: Macmillan, 1982), pp.
- Hermann Strasser, The Normative Structure of Sociology:
Conservative and Emancipatory Themes in Social Thought,
International Library of Sociology (London: Routledge and Kegan
Paul, 1976), especially Chap 3, Sect 2 (“Adam Ferguson and
John Millar: Toward a Theory of Social Conflict,” pp.
- Alan Swingewood, “Origins of Sociology: The Case of the
Scottish Enlightenment,” British Journal of
Sociology 21:2 (1970): 164–80.
- Alan Swingewood, A Short History of Sociological
Thought, 3rd ed. (Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan,
2000). AF is covered on pp. 6–10 of Chap 1, “The
Scottish Enlightenment and Modernity.”
- John Varty, “Civil or Commercial?: Adam Ferguson's
Concept of Civil Society,” Democratization 4:1
(1997): 29–48. Reprinted in Civil Society: Democratic
Perspectives, ed. Robert Fine and Shirin Rai (London and
Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1997). Emphasizes the role of economic
factors in AF's thinking about civil society.
- Norbert Waszek, “The Division of Labour: From the
Scottish Enlightenment to Hegel,” The Owl of
Minerva 15:1 (1983): 51–75.
Pascal (1938), Meek (1967), and Skinner (1982), all cited in
this section, form a trio, with each building upon the
For more on AF and sociology, see Schneider's introduction to
his edition of Ferguson's Essay (1980), cited above
under Editions; and Jogland (1959), Lehmann (1930), and
Séris (1994), all cited above under Book-Length Studies
Pioneering studies of AF by German sociologists of the early
twentieth century—namely, Hemann Huth in 1907, August
Oncken in 1909, and Theodore Buddeberg in 1925—are cited in
numerous sources mentioned in this bibliography: particularly, in
Oz-Salzberger's monograph (1995) and in her edition of AF's
Essay (1995), and in Merolle, Manuscripts of
Adam Ferguson (2006).
Blaikie (2010), cited above under Other Biographical or
Contextual Studies, also contains a section comparing AF with
modern sociologist Michel Maffesoli (pp. 39–45).
See also Pascal (1962), cited below under Connections with
Militia, National Defense, and War
- Bruce Buchan, “Civilisation, Sovereignty and War: The
Scottish Enlightenment and International Relations,”
International Relations 20:2 (2006): 175–92. A
reworking of the author's “Enlightened Histories:
Civilization, War and the Scottish Enlightenment,”
The European Legacy 10:2 (2005): 177–92.
- David Thomas Konig, “The Second Amendment: A Missing
Transatlantic Context for the Historical Meaning of 'the Right of
the People to Keep and Bear Arms,” Law and History
Review 22:4 (2004): 119–59. Discusses the
significance of the Scots militia debate, including Ferguson, for
understanding the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States of America.
- Iain McDaniel, “Honour and Pride in Adam Ferguson's
Conception of Modern Patriotism,” in Human Nature as
the Basis of Morality and Society in Early Modern Europe,
ed. Juhana Lemetti and Eva Piirimae (Helsinki: Philosophical
Society of Finland, 2007), p. 105–20.
- Iain McDaniel, “Unsocial Sociability in the Scottish
Enlightenment: Ferguson and Kames on War, Sociability and the
Foundations of Patriotism,” History of European Ideas
(“Special Issue: Sociability in Enlightenment
Thought”) 41:5 (2015): 662–82. Explores the concept
of patriotism based on conflict in the thought of AF and Kames.
- John Robertson, The Scottish Enlightenment and the
Militia Issue (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1985). Argues that
AF and his Moderate coterie promoted the “spirit” of
a militia rather than the institution itself, and that as a
result of their support for Ossian and the militia, they
“well deserve to be counted with the earliest inventors of
the modern, kilt-ridden tradition of Scottishness” (p.
- Richard B. Sher, “Adam Ferguson, Adam Smith, and the
Problem of National Defense,” Journal of Modern
History 61:2 (1989): 240–68. Uses AF's unpublished
lecture notes to develop the comparison between the two Adams.
- Richard B. Sher, “Poker Club (act.
1762–1784),” in Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004; online ed.,
- Craig Smith, “'We have Mingled Politeness with
the Use of the Sword': Nature and Civilisation in Adam Ferguson's
Philosophy of War,” The European Legacy 19:1 (2014):
1–15. Explores the naturalness of warfare between nations
as a normative criterion for the assessment of civilization.
See Raynor's edition of the militia pamphlet Sister
Peg (1982), and Fagg and Amoh, ed., “Adam Ferguson's
Rules of War” (1991; reprinted as Appendix I in
Correspondence of Adam Ferguson ), cited above
under Editions. See also Battistelli (1990), cited above under
Selections in Anthologies.
For more on AF and military matters, see McDaniel's monograph
(2013); Raynor's and McDaniel's chapters in Heath and Merolle
(2008), both cited above under Book-Length Studies and
Collections; and Wells (Chap 2), cited above under Theses and
American and French Revolutions
- Yasuo Amoh, “Adam Ferguson and the American
Revolution,” Kochi University Review of Social
Science, no. 37 (March 1990): 55–87. The headings in
this article are titled I. Introduction, II. Ferguson and Price,
III. Ferguson as Secretary of the Carlisle Peace Commission, IV.
Ferguson and Smith. The Appendix (pp. 81–87) is a
transcription of “Memorial respecting the measures to be
pursued on the present immediate prospect of a final separation
of the American colonys from Great Britain” (reprinted as
Appendix H in Correspondence of Adam Ferguson, cited
above under Editions).
- Roy Branson, “James Madison and the Scottish
Enlightenment,” Journal of the History of
Ideas 40:2 (1979): 235–50. Claims that
“Madison had purchased [AF's Essay] for
himself in 1775” (p. 237), and that he was especially taken
by its emphasis on the “possible decline of commercial
society” (p. 241).
- Dalphy I. Fagerstrom, “Scottish Opinion and the
American Revolution,” The William and Mary
Quarterly (“Scotland and America Special
Issue”) 3rd ser., 11:2 (1954): 252–75. Still
- Jane B. Fagg, “An 'Ingenious Literary Production': Adam
Ferguson and the Carlisle Commission Manifesto,”
Scotia 24 (2000): 1–14.
- Ronald Hamowy, “Two Whig Views of the American
Revolution: Adam Ferguson's Response to Richard Price,”
Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy
31:1 (2003): 3–35. A slightly modified version was later
published as “Scottish Thought and the American Revolution:
Adam Ferguson's Response to Richard Price,” in
Liberty and American Experience in the Eighteenth
Century, ed. David Womersley (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty
Fund, 2006), pp. 348–87.
- Andrew Hook, Scotland and America: A Study of Cultural
Relations, 1750–1835 (Glasgow and London: Blackie,
1975). Pp. 51 and 80 briefly relate the fate of AF's books in
America, including during the Revolutionary War.
- Emma Macleod, British Visions of America,
1775–1820: Republican Realities, The
Enlightenment World: Political and Intellectual History of the
Long Eighteenth Century, vol. 27 (London: Pickering and Chatto,
2013). A few scattered but useful remarks on AF, mainly in Chap
3, “Conservative Doubts, c. 1774–1791: The Argument
- Emma Macleod, “Revolution,” in Scottish
Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. 1: Morals, Politics,
Art, Religion, ed. Aaron Garrett and James A. Harris
(Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2015), pp. 361–403. Despite
its general title, this essay focuses on AF's thought and action
regarding the American and French Revolutions.
- Henry E. Meikle, Scotland and the French
Revolution (Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, 1912), pp.
5–8. Makes no reference to AF's views on the French
Revolution but does, in Chap 1 (“Signs of Political
Awakening”), briefly discuss his dealings with Christopher
Wyvill, the leader of the Yorkshire Association for parliamentary
reform. (It also revealingly quotes from the 6-vol. edition of
the “Wyvill Papers,” available on the database ECCO,
Eighteenth-Century Collections Online).
- Peter C. Messer, Stories of Independence: Identity,
Ideology, and History in Eighteenth-Century America
(DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois Univ. Press, 2005). Speculates on
AF's unintended influence on the Patriots, particularly his
historicist or relativistic republicanism.
- Anna Plassart, “'Scientific Whigs'?: Scottish
Historians on the French Revolution,” Journal of the
History of Ideas 74:1 (2013), 93–114. Concludes that AF and
others “did not in fact encourage a 'social' interpretation
of the French Revolution” (p. 111), i.e., a view of the
French Revolution as a bourgeois revolution.
- Anna Plassart, The Scottish Enlightenment and the
French Revolution, Ideas in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge
Univ. Press, 2015), Chap 6, “Adam Ferguson on Democracy and
- Garry Wills, Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration
of Independence (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978),
especially pp. 288–92, which, among other things, asks
“Was Jefferson using 'political bands' in the preamble to
the Declaration as Ferguson used 'the bands of political
union'...referring to the bands of affection in the moral-sense
terminology?” (pp. 290–91).
For primary source material, see Amoh et al., Adam
Ferguson and the American Revolution (2015) and Appendices
G, H, and I in Merolle, Correspondence of Adam
Ferguson (1995), both cited above under Editions.
For secondary source material, see also pp. 222–27 of
Hill's Passionate Society (2006) and Amoh's chapter
in Heath and Merolle (2008), cited above under Book-Length
Studies and Collections; and Elazar (2014) and Varty (2011),
cited above under Social and Political Thought, which discuss, in
part, AF's views on the American Revolution.
- Sydney E. Ahlstrom, “The Scottish Philosophy and
American Theology,” Church History 24:3
(1955): 257–72. Regarding the prominent American Unitarian
William Ellery Channing, claims that it was Ferguson's
Essay that “convinced him of the social nature
of moral improvement” (p. 262) (though it mistakenly lists
1766 and not 1767 as Essay's date of publication).
- Eugene Heath, “In the Garden of God: Religion and
Vigour in the Frame of Ferguson's Thought,” Journal
of Scottish Philosophy 13:1 (2015): 55–74.
Especially considers AF's treatment of human sinfulness as well
as his practical experience within the Scottish Church.
For primary source material, see Arbo's article on AF's 1746
sermon (2011), cited above under Selections in Journals.
For secondary source material, begin with Chap 3 of Hill's
Passionate Society (2006), cited above
under Book-Length Studies and Collections, as it remains a
searching examination of AF's religious views. See also: Arbo's
monograph (2014), Chen's chapter in Heath and Merolle (2008), and
pp. 171–78 of Kettler's monograph (1965), all cited above
under Book-Length Studies and Collections; scattered references
to religion or church politics in Camic (1983) and Sher (1985),
and Fagg's article on the ministry of AF, Sr. (1994), all cited
above under Other Biographical and Contextual Studies; and
Maloyed's dissertation (2010), cited above under Theses and
Rhetoric & Literature (including the Douglas
controversy, John Galt, Homer, Ossian, and Sir Walter Scott)
- M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and
Revolution in Romantic Literature (New York: Norton,
1971). A classic of Romanticism studies, briefly suggests
Schiller's and Thomas Carlyle's debt to AF.
- Thomas Ahnert, “Clergymen as Polite Philosophers:
Douglas and the Conflict between Moderates and
Orthodox in the Scottish Enlightenment,” Intellectual
History Review 18:3 (2008): 375–83. Features AF
- Katrin Berndt, “Civic Virtues in the Restless Polity:
Sir Walter Scott's Fergusonian Vision of British Civil Society in
Redgauntlet (1824),” Studies in
Eighteenth Century Culture 41 (2012): 115–35. See
also p. 275 of Bruce Beiderwell, “Scott's
Redgauntlet as a Romance of Power,”
Studies in Romanticism 28:2 (1989): 273–89.
- Thorne Compton, “Adam Ferguson and John Witherspoon in
'Satan's Seminary': Douglas, the Critics, and Moral
Philosophy,” Studies in Scottish Literature 18
- Keith M. Costain, “Theoretical History and the Novel:
The Scottish Fiction of John Galt,” ELH 43:3
- Keith M. Costain, “The Community of Man: Galt and
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Realism,” Scottish
Literary Journal 8:1 (May 1981): 10–29.
- Robert Crawford, Devolving English Literature
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). Contains some useful commentary
on AF, especially on pp. 17, 122, and 153. The last reference,
e.g., concerns Victorian anthropologist John Ferguson McLennan's
invocation of AF in his article on “Law,” for the
eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Thomas M. Curley, Samuel Johnson, the Ossian Fraud and
the Celtic Revival in Great Britain and Ireland
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009). Contains scattered
commentary on AF in relation to Ossian, from a Johnsonian point
- Christopher Darr, “Adam Ferguson's Civil Society and
the Rhetorical Functions of (In)Civility in United States Senate
Debate,” Communication Quarterly 59:5 (2011):
- Bertram H. Davis, Thomas Percy: A Scholar-Cleric in the
Age of Johnson (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press,
1989). Discusses the dispute over Ossian that is treated in
Sher's article in this section.
- JoEllen DeLucia, A Feminine Enlightenment: British
Women Writers and the Philosophy of Progress,
1759–1820, Edinburgh Critical Studies in Romanticism
(Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2015). Contains scattered
references to AF, especially in Chap 4 in relation to Ann
Radcliffe. An earlier version of this chapter is available as
“From the Female Gothic to a Feminist Theory of History:
Ann Radcliffe and the Scottish Enlightenment,”
Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation 50:1
- Christopher J. Finlay, “Rhetoric and Citizenship in
Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil
Society,” History of Political Thought
27:1 (2006): 27–49.
- Avrom Fleishman, The English Historical Novel: Walter
Scott to Virginia Woolf (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ.
Press, 1972), pp. 37–54.
- Donald Foerster, “Mid-Eighteenth Century Scotch
Criticism of Homer,” Studies in Philology
40:3 (1943): 425–46.
- Duncan Forbes, “The Rationalism of Sir Walter
Scott,” Cambridge Journal 7 (Oct. 1953):
20–35. Republished in Critical Essays on Sir Walter
Scott: The Waverley Novels, Critical Essays on British
Literature, ed. Harry E. Shaw (New York: G.K. Hall, 1996), pp.
83–97. Pioneering examination of the links between Scott
- Erik Frykman, John Galt and the Eighteenth-Century
Scottish Philosophy: Some Notes on the Intellectual Background of
Galt's Scottish Stories, being The John Galt Lecture for
1953, Papers of the Greenock Philosophical Society
(Greenock, UK: “Telegraph” Printing Works, 1954). To
our knowledge, Frykman was the first to observe that Galt's works
reflect eighteenth-century Scottish philosophy, especially AF. On
p. 11 he suggests that the following ideas or themes of AF's
receive a direct, obvious, or full treatment in Galt's fiction:
man as a social being, historical causality, luxury, political
institutions, public opinion, war, and some ethical problems.
Scattered references to AF are also contained in Frykman's
monograph on Galt, John Galt's Scottish Stories,
1820–1823 (Uppsala: Lundequistska
- Peter D. Garside, “Scott and the 'Philosophical'
Historians,” Journal of the History of Ideas
36:3 (1975): 497–512.
- Paul Goetsch, “Linguistic Colonialism and Primitivism:
The Discovery of Native Languages and Oral Traditions in
Eighteenth-Century Travel Books and Novels,” Anglia:
Zeitschrift für englische Philologie 106 (1988):
338–59. Argues that “Ferguson anticipates questions
which were to fascinate the regional novelists...Scott...,
Gaskell, Eliot, and Hardy” (p. 355).
- Milton A. Goldberg, Smollett and the Scottish School:
Studies in Eighteenth-Century Thought (Albuquerque: Univ.
of New Mexico Press, 1959), especially pp. 10–14,
86–87, 114–15, 149–50, and 184, which argue for
Smollett's involvement with the Scottish common-sense school as
typified by AF.
- R. C. Gordon, “Scott, Ferguson, and the Martial
Spirit,” International Review of Scottish
Studies 6 (1976): 66–82.
- Neil R. Grobman, “Eighteenth-Century Scottish
Philosophers on Oral Tradition,” Journal of the
Folklore Institute 10:3 (1973): 187–95.
- Neil R. Grobman, “Adam Ferguson's Influence on Folklore
Research: The Analysis of Methodology and the Oral Epic,”
Southern Folklore Quarterly 38:1 (1974):
11–22. Pioneering examination of AF as unacknowledged
predecessor of Edward B. Tylor, Franz Boas, Milman Parry and
Albert B. Lord, and others.
- Regina Hewitt, “Introduction: Observations and
Conjectures on John Galt's Place in Scottish Enlightenment and
Romantic-Era Studies,” in John Galt: Observations and
Conjectures on Literature, History, and Society, ed.
Regina Hewitt (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell Univ. Press, and Lanham,
MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012), pp. 1–29. Makes the best
case to date for AF as “the most important of all
conjecturalists to keep in mind when studying Galt” (p. 8).
- Richard J. Jones, Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment:
Travels through France, Italy, and Scotland (Lewisburg,
PA: Bucknell Univ. Press, 2011). See especially p. 76 for some
interesting remarks on AF's pamphlet Morality of
Stage-Plays Seriously Considered.
- Yoon Sun Lee, “Giants in the North:
Douglas, the Scottish Enlightenment, and Scott's
Redgauntlet,” Studies in
Romanticism 40:1 (2001): 109–21. Offers some
trenchant remarks on AF and nationalism.
- Michael Meehan, Liberty and Poetics in Eighteenth
Century England (London and Dover, NH: Croom Helm, 1986).
Pp. 113–23 are devoted to AF's aesthetics; especially
intriguing is Meehan's suggestion that the “many new
aesthetic emphases [of Essay] found a full and
worthy approximation in literary practice only in the writings of
William Wordsworth” (p. 113).
- Dafydd Moore, “James Macpherson and Adam Ferguson: An
Enlightenment Encounter,” Scottish Literary
Journal 24:2 (1997): 5–23.
- Dafydd Moore, “Adam Ferguson, the Poems of Ossian, and
the Imaginative Life of the Scottish Enlightenment,”
History of European Ideas 31:2 (2005): 277–88.
- Dafydd Moore, “James Macpherson and 'Celtic
Whiggism,'” Eighteenth-Century Life 30:1
(2005): 1–24. Deems Macpherson a true scion of AF,
partaking of the aristocratic ideology of “noblesse
- Frank Palmeri, Satire, History, Novel: Narrative Forms,
1665–1815 (Newark, DE: Univ. of Delaware Press,
2003), pp. 142–52 (“Ferguson and Scott”).
- Adam Potkay, The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of
Hume, Rhetoric and Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ.
Press, 1994). Scattered references, especially in the final
chapter on Ossian.
- Thomas Reinert, “Adam Ferguson's Aesthetic Idea of
Community Spirit,” SEL 48:3 (2008):
- Margaret Mary Rubel, Savage and Barbarian: Historical
Attitudes in the Criticism of Homer and Ossian in Britain
(Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1978). Much on AF's historicization of
Homer and Ossian.
- Paul Henderson Scott, John Galt, Scottish
Writers Series (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1985),
especially pp. 34–36.
- Richard B. Sher, “'Those Scotch Imposters and their
Cabal': Ossian and the Scottish Enlightenment,” in
Man and Nature / L'homme et la nature: Proceedings of the
Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 1,
ed. Roger L. Emerson, Gilles Girard and Roseann Runte (London,
ON: Faculty of Education, Univ. of Western Ontario, 1982), pp.
55–63. Freely accessible online through érudit.
- Richard B. Sher, “Percy, Shaw, and the Ferguson
'Cheat': National Prejudice in the Ossian Wars,” in
Ossian Revisited, ed. Howard Gaskill (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1991), pp. 207–45. How the ugliness
of Anglo-Scottish hostility transformed a seemingly minor
incident into a major cultural confrontation.
- Fiona J. Stafford, The Sublime Savage: A Study of James
Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
Univ. Press, 1988), especially pp. 157–59.
- Norbert Waszek, “Adam Ferguson on the Dilemma of the
Modern Poet,” Chapman (“Special Issue:
On Tom Scott and Ann Scott-Moncrieff”) 9:4-5 (1987):
55–60. This issue is also identified as no. 47–48,
and the magazine is also called Chapman Magazine and
Chapman: Scotland's Quality Literary Magazine.
- Lois Whitney, “English Primitivistic Theories of Epic
Origins,” Modern Philology 21:4 (1924):
337–78. Despite the title (typical of the times), this
article is concerned almost exclusively with contemporary
Scottish thinkers, including AF.
See also Dix's introductory essay “Ferguson's
Aesthetics” in Manuscripts of Adam Ferguson
(2006), cited above under Editions.
For more on AF and Sir Walter Scott, see Bradwell (1993),
Fielding (1990), Philip (1982), and Sabbah (2003), cited above
under Theses and Dissertations.
Connections with European Thought (especially Montesquieu,
Rousseau, and Ferguson's German reception)
- Claus Altmayer, Aufklärung als Popularphilosophie:
Bürgerliches Individuum und öffentlichkeit bei Christian
Garve (St. Ingbert, Germany: W.J. Röhrig, 1992),
especially pp. 219–33 (“Die schottische
- Tatiana Artemieva, “Adam Ferguson's Philosophy in
Russia,” in Scotland and Russia in the Enlightenment:
Proceedings of the International Conference, 1-3 September 2000,
Edinburgh (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Centre for
History of Ideas, 2001), pp. 9–19. In English, though most
of the book is in Russian. Concerned with other Scottish
Enlightenment thinkers' influence in Russia, but concludes with
AF's influence on Petr Iakovlevich Chaadaev (and, briefly,
Mikhail Nikitich Muraviev).
- John Alan Baum, Montesquieu and Social Theory
(Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1979), especially pp. 113–17.
Dismissive toward AF. Based on the author's 1976 University of
London doctoral dissertation.
- Dushan Bresky, “Schiller's Debt to Montesquieu and Adam
Ferguson,” Comparative Literature 13:3 (1961):
- Alexander Broadie, Agreeable Connexions: Scottish
Enlightenment Links with France (Edinburgh: Birlinn,
2012). Chap 6, “Civil Society and the Virtues of
Citizenship,” pp. 160–211, concerns AF and
- Victor Cousin, Cours d'histoire de la philosophie
morale au dix-huitie`me sie`cle, professe´ a la Faculte´ de
lettres en 1819 et 1820, Vol. 2: école
écossaise, ed. Arsène Danton and Etienne
Vacherot (Paris: Librairie de Ladrange, 1840). Pp. 282–357,
which comprise the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth lessons,
constitute the most comprehensive contemporary treatment of AF.
Available on Google Books.
- Laurence Dickey, Hegel: Religion, Economics, and the
Politics of Spirit, 1770–1807, Ideas in Context
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987). Much on AF, and also
good on Garve.
- Robert Van Dusen, Christian Garve and English
Belles-Lettres (Bern: Herbert Lang, 1970). Although AF is
mentioned very briefly, this work deals with Garve's extensive
engagement with English-language literature and literary theory.
Thus, it is essential for a more rounded appreciation of Garve.
- Edward S. Flajole, S. J., “Lessing's Retrieval of Lost
Truths,” PMLA 74:1 (1959): 52–66.
Concerned much with AF's influence on Lessing.
- Peter France, “Primitivism and Enlightenment: Rousseau
and the Scots,” Yearbook of English Studies 15
(1985): 64–79. Reckons that “Ferguson is often led
into something approaching Rousseau's eloquence, though his
writing rarely has the nostalgic fervour of the Citizen of
Geneva” (p. 73). Republished as Chap 11 (“Enlightened
Primitivism”) in the author's Politeness and its
Discontents: Problems in French Classical Culture,
Cambridge Studies in French (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
- Lisa Hill, “Did Adam Ferguson Inspire Friedrich
Schiller's Philosophy of Play?: An Exercise in Tracking the
Itinerary of an Idea,” in Cultural Transfer through
Translation: The Circulation of Enlightened Thought in Europe by
Means of Translation, ed. Stefanie Stockhorst (Amsterdam:
Rodopi, 2010), pp. 315–37.
- Ulrich Im Hof, Isaak Iselin und die
Spätaufklärung (Bern: Francke, 1967). A little coverage
- Harold von Hofe, “Jacobi, Wieland, and the New
World,” Monatshefte 49:4 (1957): 187–92. AF and
Jacobi are discussed on p. 190.
- Leonie Koch-Schwarzer, Populare Moralphilosophie und
Volkskunde: Christian Garve (1742–1798), Reflexionen zur
Fachgeschichte (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1998), especially
- Manfred Kuehn, Scottish Common Sense in Germany,
1768–1800: A Contribution to the History of Critical
Philosophy, foreword by Lewis White Beck (Kingston, ON:
McGill-Queen's Univ. Press, 1987). Some coverage of AF, though
with the peculiar claim that Thomas Reid was his most important
- R. A. Leigh, “Rousseau and the Scottish
Enlightenment,” Contributions to Political
Economy 5:1 (1986): 1–21.
- Sheila Mason, “Ferguson and Montesquieu: Tacit
Reproaches?,” British Journal for Eighteenth-Century
Studies 11:2 (1988): 193–203.
- Iain McDaniel, “Enlightened History and the Decline of
Nations: Ferguson, Raynal, and the Contested Legacies of the
Dutch Republic,” History of European Ideas
36:2 (2010): 203–16. Compares AF's Essay with
Raynal's Histoire des deux Indes.
- Iain McDaniel, “Philosophical History and the Science
of Man in Scotland: Adam Ferguson's Response to Rousseau,”
Modern Intellectual History 10:3 (2013):
- James A. McNeely, “Historical Relativism in Wieland's
Concept of the Ideal State,” Modern Language
Quarterly 22:3 (1961): 269–82. See pp. 274–75,
- Nicholas Miller, “Schlüsselkategorie Rousseaus: die
Familie,” in Rousseau und die Moderne, ed.
Iwan D'Aprile and Stefanie Stockhorst (Göttingen: Wallstein,
2013), pp. 72–82. Rousseau's writings on the family are
explored alongside those of AF, Smith, and Hume.
- James Moore, “Montesquieu and the Scottish
Enlightenment,” in Montesquieu and His Legacy,
ed. Rebecca E. Kingston (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2009), pp.
179–95. Contains a section on “Montesquieu and Adam
Ferguson,” pp. 184–86.
- H. V. S. Ogden, “The State of Nature and the Decline of
Lockian Political Theory in England, 1760–1800,”
American Historical Review 46:1 (1940): 21–44.
Groups AF alongside other early English-language critics of the
antithesis of nature and art in Rousseau's Second
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “The Rejection of Conflict: Adam
Ferguson's German Readers,” Studies on Voltaire and
the Eighteenth Century (“Special Issue: Transactions
of the Eighth International Congress on the Enlightenment,
Bristol, 21–27 July 1991”), no. 305 (1992):
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “From Male Citizen to Neuter
Mensch: The Emasculation of Adam Ferguson's Civil Discourse by
the German Enlightenment,” Eighteenth-Century
Scotland: The Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish
Studies Society, no. 7 (Spring 1993): 5–8.
- Fania Oz-Salzberger, “Adam Ferguson's Histories in
Germany: English Liberty, Scottish Vigour, and German
Rigour,” in British and German Historiography,
1750–1950: Traditions, Perceptions and Transfers,
ed. Benedikt Stuchtey and Peter Wende (Oxford: Oxford Univ.
Press, 2000), pp. 49–66.
- Roy Pascal, “The Novels of F. H. Jacobi and Goethe's
Early Classicism,” Publications of the English Goethe
Society 16 (1947): 54–89. Jacobi's invocation of AF in his
novel Woldemar is discussed on pp. 79–80.
- Roy Pascal, The German Sturm und Drang
(Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1953). Pp. 217–32
(Chap 7, “The Idea of History”) discuss AF's
influence on Herder, among other influences, Scottish and
otherwise. See also the author's earlier, more comprehensive
treatment of the Scottish historians in “Herder and the
Scottish Historical School,” Publications of the
English Goethe Society 14 (1938–39): 23–42.
- Roy Pascal, “'Bildung' and the Division of
Labour,” in German Studies: Presented to Walter
Horace Bruford on his Retirement by his Pupils, Colleagues, and
Friends (London: George G. Harrap, 1962), pp. 14–28.
- Deric Regin, Freedom and Dignity: The Historical and
Philosophical Thought of Schiller (The Hague: Martinus
Nijhoff, 1965), pp. 11–15.
- John Robertson, The Case for the Enlightenment:
Scotland and Naples, 1680–1760 (Cambridge: Cambridge
Univ. Press, 2005), especially pp. 397–403 on the influence
of AF on Neapolitans Francescantonio Grimaldi, Giuseppe Maria
Galanti, and Francesco Mario Pagano.
- Richard B. Sher, “From Troglodytes to Americans:
Montesquieu and the Scottish Enlightenment on Liberty, Virtue,
and Commerce,” in Republicanism, Liberty and
Commercial Society 1649–1776, ed. David Wootton
(Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 368–402.
Largely concerned with AF in relation to Montesquieu.
- James H. Warner, “The Reaction in Eighteenth-Century
England to Rousseau's Two Discours,”
PMLA 48:2 (1933): 471–87.
- Norbert Waszek, “Bibliography of the Scottish
Enlightenment in Germany,” Studies on Voltaire and
the Eighteenth Century 230 (1985): 283–303. AF gets
his own heading on pp. 291–92.
- Norbert Waszek, The Scottish Enlightenment and Hegel's
Account of “Civil Society” (Dordrecht, The
Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988). Much on AF.
- Norbert Waszek, “Der junge Hegel und die 'querelle des
anciens et des modernes': Ferguson, Garve, Hegel,” in
Idealismus mit Folgen: Die Epochenschwelle um 1800 in Kunst
und Geisteswissenschaften: Festschrift zum 65. Geburtstag von
Otto Pöggeler, ed. Hans-Jürgen Gawoll and Christoph
Jamme (Munich: W. Fink, 1994), pp. 37–46.
- Norbert Waszek, “Aux sources de la 'Querelle' dans les
Lettres sur l'éducation esthétique de
l'Homme de Schiller: Ferguson and Garve,” in
Crise et conscience du temps: Des Lumières à
Auschwitz, ed. Jean-Marie Paul (Nancy, France: Presses
Universitaires de Nancy, 1998), pp. 111–29.
- Norbert Waszek, “La 'tendance à la
sociabilité (Trieb der Geselligkeit) chez Christian
Garve,” Revue germanique internationale 18
(2002): 71–85. Much attention is paid to AF, whom Garve
translated into German.
- Norbert Waszek, “The Scottish Enlightenment in Germany,
and Its Translator, Christian Garve (1742–98),” in
Scotland in Europe, ed. Tom Hubbard and R.D.S. Jack
(Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), pp. 55–72.
- Norbert Waszek, “An Essay on the History of Civil
Society, d'Adam Ferguson: contextes et lignes de
force,” études Anglaises 64:3 (2011):
- Norbert Waszek, “La référence à
Adam Ferguson dans le Woldemar de Friedrich Heinrich
Jacobi,” Etudes germaniques 70:1 (2015):
97–112. Abstract in English and German. This issue is also
referred to as no. 277.
- Alick West, “Adam Ferguson,” in Festschrift zum
achtzigsten Geburtstag von Georg Lukács, ed. Frank
Benseler (Neuwied and Berlin: Luchterhand, 1965), pp.
249–58. Before delivering an admittedly introductory
account of AF, argues that Lukács “ranks him with
those courageous thinkers of the 18th century whose works reveals
the contradictions of capitalism” (p. 248). (In English, as
are a few other chapters.)
- Benno von Wiese, Friedrich Schiller (Stuttgart:
J.B. Metzler, 1959), pp. 77–82 on Ferguson's influence on
Schiller. In German.
- William Witte, “Scottish Influence on Schiller,”
in Schiller and Burns, and Other Essays (Oxford:
Basil Blackwell, 1959), pp. 29–37. Claims that Schiller's
teacher, Jakob Friedrich von Abel, was particularly influenced by
AF (p. 34). Also, the author's earlier monograph,
Schiller (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1949), briefly
mentions AF as part of the legacy of Shaftesbury.
For more on AF and Montesquieu, see Binoche's chapter in
Prunier (2014) and the first two chapters of McDaniel's monograph
(2013), cited above under Book-Length Studies and Collections, as
well as Hirschman (1977) and Olson (1990), cited above under
Social and Political Thought.
For more on AF and Rousseau, see Binoche's chapter in Prunier
(2014) and throughout McDaniel's monograph (2013), cited above
under Book-Length Studies and Collections; McLean (1989) and
Smith (1980), cited above under Theses and Dissertations; and
Hill (2009), Jones (2006), and Layton (2006), cited above under
Social and Political Thought.
For more on AF and Garve, begin with the extensive coverage of
him in Oz-Salzberger's monograph (1995), especially in Chap 8,
cited above under Book-Length Studies and Collections. See also:
Garve's editon of AF's Institutes of Moral
Philosophy, cited above under Editions; Oz-Salzberger's
article on Garve in the Encyclopedia of the
Enlightenment (2003) and Tonelli's article on Garve in
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967), both cited
above under Dictionary and Encyclopedia Articles; and Waszek's
chapter in Brühlmeier (1996), cited above under Social and
For more on AF and Schiller, see Abrams (1971), cited above
under Rhetoric and Literature.
For more on AF and Hegel, see Hill (2009), cited above under
Dictionary and Encyclopedia Entries; Ferrarotti (1984) and Simon
(1998), cited above under Social and Political Thought; and
Waszek (1983), cited above under Division of Labor, Political
Economy, and Origins of Social Science.
For more on AF and his contemporary German reception and
influence in general, see Oz-Salzberger's monograph (1995), cited
above under Book-Length Studies and Collections.
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