The Lessons of the Scottish Enlightenment’s Greatest Thinkers

Austin S. Hooe

Dennis Rasmussen’s The Infidel and the Professor explores the relationship of Adam Smith and David Hume to teach us about the value of human rights, morality, and freedom of thought.

Overreaching executive orders, fiery political rhetoric, and ill-advised policies fill the airwaves and Internet in our age of 24/7 news. Group think is on the rise. Transparency, integrity, and honesty are replaced with backroom deals and poor ethics. Looking for someone to blame for this gloomy picture? Look in the mirror. Our collective failure to critically think about what makes our society great has led us astray.  Fortunately, there are lessons to be learned. By reflecting on the wisdom of the Scottish Enlightenment, we may restore the values that made us free and prosperous.

The Scottish Enlightenment was a shift in political and economic thought that eventually led to the institutional abolition of slavery, legal equality of humans, individualism, and…

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