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The Life of Adam Smith$
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Ian Simpson Ross

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288212.001.0001

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The Never to Be Forgotten Hutcheson

The Never to Be Forgotten Hutcheson

(p.40) 4 The Never to Be Forgotten Hutcheson
The Life of Adam Smith

Ian Simpson Ross

Oxford University Press

Smith's university studies at Glasgow are described: in Greek, introducing him to the Stoic philosopher Epictetus; Aristotelian logic and metaphysics, including Locke's empiricism; and Euclidian geometry and Newtonian physics, which had seminal lessons for him in methodology. Above all, the inspiration of the teaching of Francis Hutcheson is assessed, who seized Smith's imagination with his teaching of ethics and economics as part of his jurisprudence course. Hutcheson's development of moral sense and benevolence theory is highlighted, as providing a kind of moral Newtonianism, offering answers in ‘new light’ or liberal theology to the ‘old light’ Calvinist stress on human depravity, and in moral philosophy to the egoistic theory of Hobbes and Mandeville. Clearly, Smith received great intellectual stimulation at Glasgow, and his ability was recognized with the award of a scholarship to Oxford in 1740.

Keywords:   benevolence, Hutcheson, jurisprudence, Newtonianism, methodology

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