Book: Chirstopher J. Berry, “The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment

Christopher Berry (University of Glasgow) released the paperback version of his latest book, “The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment”.

It shows convincingly, in impressive range and detail, how Scottish Enlightenment thinkers developed a conception of emerging commercial or capitalist society as a qualitatively new social formation, distinct from all previous ones, with new potentials for human enrichment and liberation, but also with its own troubles and concerns. (Marx & Philosophy Review of Books)

More generally Berry utilises a synthetic approach to his sources that accords with his stated view that the Scottish enlightenment was an extended debate amongst contemporaries about the changes they were witnessing.Hume’s views, for instance, are read in the light of statements made by Smith or Kames, and a single integrated Scottish perspective is ultimately proposed. Where differences of kind existed these are noted, but the effect is to provide a holistic argument – a Scottish school of thought. (Michael Brown, The Scottish Historical Review)

The book, published by Edinburgh University Press, is available at Amazon.


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