Creating Culture: The Case of the Scottish Enlightenment

Jeffrey A. Bell

in Deleuze's Hume

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748634392
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652464 | DOI:
Creating Culture: The Case of the Scottish Enlightenment

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This chapter considers Scottish Enlightenment as a case study. In presenting a Deleuzian intellectual history of the Scottish Enlightenment, it argues that the creativity of the period needs to be understood not as the result of intellectuals — that is, intellectuals with good taste — who were able to clarify the intellectual field or cultural preconscious of their day; rather, it was precisely an intellectual field in flux, in a liminal, problematized state, that forced a transformative, problematizing rethinking of the field by those with a ‘higher taste’. There was an overdetermination of structural factors in flux that problematized the intellectual field of eighteenth-century Scotland. The importance of capitalism is especially relevant for David Hume. The rise of capitalism and a consumer society deterritorialized the traditional relationships to property, relationships that came to be reterritorialized upon a globalized subject. The role of Hume in the Scottish Enlightenment is also elaborated.

Keywords: Scottish Enlightenment; David Hume; intellectuals; Scotland; capitalism; consumer society

Chapter.  12063 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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