June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
Please join us in June, 2021 for Adam Ferguson's History of Civil Society with Liberty Fund's Amy Willis.
Adam Ferguson is one of the most intriguing figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. A close friend of David Hume’s and Adam Smith’s, Ferguson was in constant engagement with the most classically liberal currents of Scottish thought, but he did not share his friends’ optimism that virtue and economic progress went hand in hand. Ferguson thought the basic problem that confronted progressive societies was how to recapture ancient republican virtue in a progressive, liberal milieu. This Virtual Reading Group will explore Ferguson’s masterpiece, An Essay Concerning Civil Society, which weds a narrative of the progress of the stages of society with nostalgia for the virtues more common in less progressive, smaller societies.
The sessions and readings are as follows:
Session One (Tuesday, June 15, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 1, "Of the General Characteristics of Human Nature"
Session Two (Tuesday, June 22, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 3, "Of the History of Policy and Arts"
Session Three (Tuesday, June 29, noon-1pm EDT)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Part 4, "Of Consequences that result from the Advancement of Civil and Commercial arts," and Part 5, "Of the Decline of Nations"
Virtual Reading Groups
- August 2021: Agriculture, the State, and Liberty
- February 2022: Joseph Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”
- January 2022: James Madison and the Conflict Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
- June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
- May 2021: The Colonial Origins of the Bill of Rights
- November 2021: Pericles' Funeral Oration
- September 2021: Celebrate Constitution Day