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The Contribution of Adam Ferguson to Social Science.

Philip, Winifred Mary. (1985) The Contribution of Adam Ferguson to Social Science. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Convinced as we are that social-science has failed to develop in a manner satisfying either to its practitioners or to the society with which it is concerned, we have turned with others such as MacRae(1) to the so-called ''Pounding Fathers" of our science to seek elements in its earlier development which may have Been lost, undervalued, misrepresented or even falsified. Aware too, that Economics has played a major part in the development of social-science to which it is importantly contributory, it might have been thought profitable to turn to the offerings of Adam Smith, who played so dominant a part in the direction of Economics in the 19th century, for further searches for such possibly under-valued or lost elements. (2) However, recognising the large amount of work that has been concentrated on the economic/utilitarian themes so strongly associated with Smith, and sensing in those very themes the possible seeds of misdirection or oversight, we have preferred to turn to this relatively neglected contemporary of Smith. We propose therefore to explore the works and themes of ADAM FERGUSON for possible pointers, fragments and turns of thought that may have been under-valued or indeed lost to the detriment of modern social-science. Although there has been some revival of the earlier Continental interest in the works of Ferguson, apart from MacRae's well-voiced though brief concern, and largely in works to which we shall make full reference (3)(4)(5)(6)we suggest that the fundamental elements of the contribution of Adam Ferguson to social-science, which it is our purpose to explore, have not been fully developed nor correctly interpreted. (7) Four our part, we locate special interest in the work of the Philosopher Adam Ferguson in the following areas - First, in his life style and environment which in Ferguson's case, seem to have been even more relevant to his approaches than is the case with many thinkers, which element of subjectivism is a lively matter of discussion today. (8) Second, in the Stoic-Naturalistic element of his Ethic which he propounds as a science underlying the whole of what we today call social-science. Third, in his expressions of the relsionship between the Individual and Society which offer a moderating approach both to social-scientists and to individualists. So, we state our thesis thus - Were the Ethic of the Philosopher Adam Ferguson seen, in company with his exploration of the relationship between Individual and Society, against the background of Ferguson's life style and time, as a crucial and lasting contribution to Social-science that has been neglected or under-valued, then our main aim which is the improvement of that science, would have been enhanced by this thesis on his work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Philip, Winifred Mary.
Date : 1985
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1985.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:07
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:31
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851075

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