Intellectual Capital in Pre-1707 Scotland<sup>1</sup>

Richard Saville

in The Union of 1707

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748638024
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672295 | DOI:
Intellectual Capital in Pre-1707 Scotland1

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By the seventeenth century, the extension of grammar schools and higher education, coupled with the Calvinist theology, provided the Reformed Church of Scotland with an intellectual base well suited to theological and philosophical controversy. The improvement in methods of learning, persistent correction and criticism, and a rigorous logic inculcated the ability to establish where connections lay between Scripture and natural law, which enabled theologians and lawyers to cull hearsay and isolate pleading for particular interests. While these rigorous standards lent themselves to theology and philosophy, they also benefited the professions, by promoting the intellectual patience needed for understanding sequences, precedents and consequences as required for success in law, administration, medicine, banking and foreign trade. This chapter explores intellectual capital in Pre-1707 Scotland, focusing on the intellectual strengths available to the middling and upper ranks in the Scottish professions. It discusses four pillars of the Scottish system: Calvinism, the Scots legal system, grammar schools and universities, and the ‘metaphysical intellectualism’ and the commonsense philosophy adopted by numerous professionals and landowners.

Keywords: intellectual capital; Scotland; grammar schools; Calvinism; higher education; theology; Reformed Church of Scotland; Scripture; professions; metaphysical intellectualism

Chapter.  8723 words. 

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