Three Scottish critics, an essay in the history of ideas.
Carpenter, Richard C
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The latter part of the eighteenth century is fertile ground for the study of the history of ideas, for it presents the student with the problems of an age of transition which is not so complicated by political, economic, or religious factors as to make general analyses virtually impossible. Scotland affords a particularly good area for this study of the transition from the characteristic thinking of the neo-classical age to that of the romantic, for there we can find a large body of systematic thought produced by a homogeneous society. The members of this society who worked primarily in philosophy, economics, or history are well known, but there were also many men of lesser note but still of considerable ability, whose ideas can tell us much about the kind of thinking that went on at that time. This dissertation investigates and analyzes the thought of three of these representative men: Hugh Blair (1718-1801), Henry Home Lord Kames (1696-1782), and George Campbell (1719-1796). The specific focus is on literary criticism, for which these men are principally noted, and the analyses are concerned primarily with the one major work each man wrote in this field: Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, Kames' Elements of Criticism, and Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)—Boston University
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