Chapter

A Respectable Auditory

Ian Simpson Ross

in The Life of Adam Smith

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780198288213
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596827 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198288212.003.0006
 A Respectable Auditory

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In the aftermath of the ’45 Rising, the jurist and man of letters, Lord Kames, recruited Adam Smith to come to Edinburgh, Scotland's capital—notable for its superb views, historic buildings, and noisome streets— to deliver to young professionals, from 1748–51, freelance courses of lectures on rhetoric and criticism. Smith's course included a theory of communication, distinguishing between scientific discourse based on reason and the rhetorical kind meant to persuade by moving the passions. Another part of the course was devoted to the origin and progress of language, an example of the philosophical or natural type of history prevalent among the Scottish literati, which Smith adopted for all his works, moral, political, and literary.

Keywords: criticism; communication; history; passions; rhetoric

Chapter.  8568 words. 

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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