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Resentment and History in the Scottish Enlightenment

Keywords: Scottish Enlightenment , Lord Kames , Adam Smith , David Hume , William Robertson

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Abstract:

This article explores the ways in which Scottish Enlightenment writers such as Lord Kames, Adam Smith, David Hume and William Robertson used the concept of ‘resentment’ as a means of understanding and, hopefully, taming the Scottish past. It argues that historical narrative was crucial to the process of analyzing the role of the passions in human relations, and that while it drew on the developing social theory of the Scottish Enlightenment, it also provided a distinctive and nuanced account of the various operations of resentment that more theoretical formulations could not adequately represent.

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