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The Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century 高永光教授 上課使用 Classroom Only From the vantage point of the early eighteenth century, Scotland would appear to be one of the most unlikely places in Europe to become a centre of intellectual innovation. The hold of the Catholic Church had been broken in the sixteenth century but only to be replaced by one of the most narrow and bigoted forms of Protestantism. in the mid-eighteenth century, the mists of ignorance cleared and Scotland vaulted from being one of the most backward countries of Europe to one of its most civilized – indeed, the leader, for a period, in the developments that have led historians to call the eighteenth century the Age of Enlightenment. These developments were perhaps due in part to the closer ties with England that followed the Act of Union in 1707, made final by the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745; and undoubtedly, the economic changes that invigorated Scottish industry in the latter half of the eighteenth century had some influence. By ‘literature’ Hume meant intellectual productions of all kinds; Scotland was distinguished in the sciences as well as in philosophy and the arts. The University of Edinburgh's medical school was so renowned that students flocked to it from all over, including America. The Scottish thinkers in whom we are especially interested are those who contributed to the social sciences. The leading figures were Francis Hutcheson, Adam Ferguson, Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, Lord Kames (Henry Home), Lord Monboddo (James Burnet), David Hume, and Adam Smith. The last two are the ones of outstanding permanent significance . A. SCOTTISH MORAL PHILOSOPHY 上課使用 Classroom Only To the modern reader the term ‘moral philosophy’ denotes the branch of philosophy that deals with ethics: a relatively small part of only one of the many departmental units in the modern university's curriculum. Historians have often drawn attention to the fact that the social sciences developed from subjects that were previously included in moral philosophy, and it is sometimes inferred from this that the fountainhead of modern social science was ethics. In fact the main source of inspiration for the eighteenth-century thinkers was the accomplishments of the natural sciences. When an eighteenth-century writer describes a proposition as “unphilosophical” he means that it lacks what we today would call ‘scientific’ foundations. The modem usage of the term ‘science’ stems from the early nineteenth century. There was much talk during the eighteenth century of extending the application of “philosophical principles” to the field of human behaviour. This, roughly speaking, is what the term ‘moral philosophy’ came to denote. By ‘experimental method’ Hume did not mean laboratory experiments but, more broadly, the general approach of the sciences, which contrasted sharply with the arid a priori methods of scholastic philosophy. In Hume's view, the counterpart of the laboratory, experiment in social phenomena is history, which furnishes empirical data. How did the Scottish moral philosophers regard ‘human nature’? The first point that should be noted is that they did not view man in religious or theological terms. The most fundamental philosophical question of theology is the foundation of one's belief - in particular points of doctrine or, indeed, in the very existence of a supreme being. This approach to theology, which was called ‘Natural Religion’ or ‘Deism’. So the Christian did not have to become a sceptic in order to adopt the view that the way to advance ‘moral philosophy’ was to study the characteristics of man as natural phenomenon. Regarding man as a natural phenomenon is, however, not sufficient to provide foundations for social science. If one hopes to construct general laws as the other sciences do, there must be sufficient uniformity of human nature to sustain the validity of general propositions The Scottish moral philosophers, by contrast, emphasized the uniformity of human nature. Adam Smith's adoption of this view became the foundation o economic theory, as we shall see. It is worth noting here that it also became the basis normative economics in that when Smith investigated ‘The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’, he meant to include all inhabitants inhabitants within the term ‘nation’, which led him immediately to the judgement (which some of his contemporaries found surprising) that a nation cannot be considered rich if its lower classes (who compose the greatest number) are poor. The Scottish moral philosophers were primarily interested in the social behavior of man. Adam Smith’s great contribution was to show that the power of an absolute sovereign is not the only means by which social order may be achieved in a world of self-interested individuals, but his first book, The Theory of Sentiments (1759), was devoted to a study of social psychology in terms of man's propensity to desire the welfare of others. David Hume, in the Treatise of Human Nature, suggested that everyone considers the welfare of other persons but does not give it as much weight as his own. . Concerning the one area of social science that had undergone significant development prior to the era of the Scottish Enlightenment political theory - the Scottish moralists strongly rejected the accepted methodology This view of the contract theory of society and government became general during the nineteenth century. Though Locke was still regarded with respect, because of his empirical philosophy of knowledge and the liberal thrust of his political theory, the contract approach fell out of favour. As political science developed, its emphasis was upon the evolution of political institutions and their functional roles in social organization. In recent years has there been a revival of contract theory, in the area of ethical philosophy by John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1971), and in the analysis of collective institutions initiated by J. M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock’s The Calculus of Consent (1962). B.DAVID HUME (1711-76) 上課使用 Classroom Only Hume’s from being appointed to a university post, which he would have liked. Hume’s strongest attack on religion was published only after his death, though it was written twentyfive years earlier (Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, 1779). The problem focuses upon the issue of egoism versus benevolence in man's nature. Hume rejected Hobbes's view as failing to recognize that society is part of man's nature. Hume followed other Scottish philosophers in arguing that man is egoistic in the sense that he values his own welfare above that .of others, but not to the degree that he values the welfare of others at zero. His main objective in this connection, however, was not to undermine our moral judgements but to question the arguments made for them; just as in his examination of religion he did not attack the specific doctrines of Christianity, or any other religion, but the ‘demonstrations’ that religionists offer in claiming the doctrines to be true. This argument of Hume's opened a discussion that has persisted down to the present day, known in the philosophical literature as the ‘isought’ or the ‘fact-value’ dichotomy. But man, though inferior to other animals as an individual, is able to increase his power by social association: Thus, in Hume's view, man was not given dominion over the earth by God, nor was he endowed by nature with the physical capacity to contest it with other animals, but he had acquired dominion nevertheless, through social organization. Hume’s argument can be set out as follows: England Other countries Increase in money Rise in prices Increase in imports Decrease in exports Outflow of money Increase in exports Decrease in imports Inflow of money C. ADAM SMITH (1723-90) 上課使用 Classroom Only Adam Smith is best known today as the father of economics, hut he made wider contributions to social science that we cannot neglect. The Moral Sentiments was an important book in the history of social science, whether one views it generally, or specifically in terms of the development of sociology and social psychology. It was neglected for a while by historians mainly because of the greater significance of the same author's Wealth of Nations. 1. Philosophy of science Adam Smith was no exception to this conception of social science; indeed, he was one of its important promoters. Smith adopted the views that Hobbes had advanced a century earlier: that there is a common human nature; that it is ascertainable by introspection; and that a scientific study of social phenomena can be built upon this empirical base. Adam Smith was to discover, however, as social scientists have repeatedly science, that modeling a society is not as easy as modelling a solar system. 2. The nature of man The counterpart of Newton's principle of gravitational attraction in the modelling of social phenomena, so Adam Smith would appear to believe, is some universal property of human nature. In the Wealth of Nations, however, the Newtonian property is man's selfinterest. There appears to be an inconsistency here: ‘the Adam Smith problem’, it is sometimes called. The determinants of human behaviour, we now realize, are very complex. Adam Smith simplified, as all scientists do, for heuristic purposes; that is to say, he adopted the notion that man is a rational animal for methodological reasons: it enabled him to proceed with the analysis of social phenomena by construing them as springing from the purposive behaviour of rational individuals that one observes by introspection and by regarding others as homologous to oneself. According to Adam Smith, man's main goal is to ‘better his condition’. Though this passage in the Wealth of Nations refers specifically to man's propensity to save in order to accumulate wealth, it can be read more generally as expressing Smith's view that man is the dissatisfied animal, always desiring improvement. 3.Moral sentiments Smith believed, one might be able to go on to consider the ethical problem of what constitutes morally good sentiments and their practical implications in concrete cases. The determination of what ought to be cannot be derived from the investigation of what is, but the philosophy of empirical science tells us that the study of what is so in fact is the proper place to begin. God - would formulate moral judgements but how a very imperfect being - man - is able to do so. He rejects the idea that man is furnished with an innate moral sense which tells him what is right and what is wrong. 4. Division of labour The opening sentence of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations discloses what the author considers to be the chief cause of that wealth: The great improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgement with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour. Man is, according to Smith, endowed with a ‘propensity to truck and barter’, so he has the requisite natural characteristics for the development of markets. Smith clearly appreciated that this raises a very basic scientific question: how do markets function as a means by which the differentiated activities of many individual producers are coordinated? 5. Value In order to operate successfully a firm must consider what it can obtain in revenue by selling a product and what it will have to pay to obtain the labour, raw materials, and other factors necessary to produce it. These revenues and costs are determined in part by the prices of products and the prices of production factors. The general theory of economic organization through markets explains how movements in these prices adjust the production of commodities and the demands for them to one another. The distribution of income in a specialized economy is also bound up with prices, since what each person receives as income depends not only on the quantity of factors he sells but also on the per-unit price received for them. The income that a labourer receives, for example, depends not only on the number of hours he works but on the wage rate per hour. Smith focused the investigation of the determinants of value strictly on the conditions of production, or supply; demand factors were considered relevant only to fluctuations in the day-to-day prices of commodities, not to their ‘natural prices’. 6. The ‘invisible hand’ The concept of an ‘invisible hand’ in the Wealth of Nations is simply the idea that there are governing laws controlling economic processes just as there are laws governing natural phenomena. The buying and selling that goes on in a market economy is an orderly system: while each participant in the market intends only to serve his own interest, in the process of doing so he ‘is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention’ - that is, to play his part in a co-ordinated, well functioning economic system. Smith's own investigation of the market mechanism did not lead him to conclude that it could work as an order-producing system all by itself. Individual activities cohere into a co-ordinated whole only where there is a general framework of custom or law that establishes rules of justice. For this a government is necessary, but the proper functions of government are not confined to the maintenance of national defence and the administration of internal justice. Smith had a great deal of confidence in the market mechanism but he did not regard it as working perfectly. Smith's main objective was to improve the economic policy of the state by providing a sound foundation of economic analysis. His conclusion was that a great deal of improvement could be brought about by dismantling much of the apparatus of state intervention that had grown up in England piece by piece since Tudor times. 7. The economic conception of historical stages In the Wealth of Nations there is a great deal of historical material, which would probably have established Adam Smith's reputation as a historian. It is possible that Smith's interest in economics developed from his early view that economic factors are the real determinants of history.