Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Dutch Phase of the Scottish Universities

Esther Mijer's book 'News from The Republic of Letters' and her thesis have several very interesting quotes. From the book:
'Out of those wider European connections, a special relationship developed between Scotland & the United Provinces'
 From the thesis:
'Moral and natural philosophy, logic, metaphysics, law, medicine, and divinity were all taught from Dutch compendia, such as Grotius, Pufendorf and De Vries. These were supplemented with the works of the Cambridge Platonists, astronomers like Kepler, Brahe and Galileo and English and 'Dutch' philosophers, such as Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes and Locke.'
Especially the names Grotius and Pufendorf immediately remind me of the idea behind Francis Hutcheson's moral philosophy. However I read in Ralph MacLean's thesis
'The first chair of moral philosophy was Gershom Carmichael (1672-1729), Hutcheson's regent from his student days. Carmichael had been instrumental in promoting the ideas of Grotius and Pufendorff at the University, and he had a considerable impact on Hutcheson himself,..'

One other quote that I like a lot, while it helps in comparing Francis Hutcheson and John Witherspoon:
'Aristotelianism, the dominant philosophy traditionally closely connected with orthodox Calvinism'


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