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Lectures in Intellectual History

English, History, 6 seasons, 117 episodes, 4 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes
Recordings from the popular public lecture series featuring new work on all aspects of intellectual history. Hosted by the Institute of Intellectual History at the University of St Andrews.
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Norman Vance - "Individualism and its Discontents: Hobbes to Hayek and Beyond"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 13 March 2024. 
5/15/202441 minutes, 25 seconds
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Christopher de Bellaigue - "Suleyman the Magnificent and the 16th-century race for empire"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 31 January 2024. 
4/3/202444 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ariane Fichtl - “Overcoming the biopolitical dynamic of enslavement to achieve Immediate Emancipation”

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 24 January 2024. 
3/21/202435 minutes, 35 seconds
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Tim Stuart-Buttle - "Behind the Curtain: Hobbes and the politics of recognition"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 17 January 2024. 
3/7/202450 minutes, 50 seconds
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Richard Whatmore - "The End of Enlightenment (book launch)"

This talk was given at Toppings in St Andrews on December 7, 2023. 
12/27/202336 minutes, 36 seconds
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Jesse Norman - "Ambition, revenge, truth, fiction - The Winding Stair"

The barely known story of the 30-year rivalry between Francis Bacon and Edward Coke is a fascinating case study in late-Elizabethan-Jacobean court politics. But it can also be a means by which to explore the limits of historical truth, and the uses of fiction. Jesse Norman is a Visiting Research Fellow at St Andrews, a Fellow of All Souls and a Member of Parliament (UK).  This lecture was given on the 17th of November 2023 at the University of St Andrews. 
12/22/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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Vassilios Paipais - "Between Pacifism and Just War: Oikonomia and Eastern Orthodox Political Theology"

This lecture was given at the University of St Andrews on 15 November 2023. 
12/20/202332 minutes, 1 second
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Jesse Norman - Ambition, revenge, truth, fiction: The Winding Stair

The barely known story of the 30-year rivalry between Francis Bacon and Edward Coke is a fascinating case study in late-Elizabethan-Jacobean court politics. But it can also be a means by which to explore the limits of historical truth, and the uses of fiction. Dr Jesse Norman is a Visiting Research Fellow at St Andrews, a Fellow of All Souls, and a Member of Parliament (UK). 
12/8/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 19 seconds
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Adam Sisman - "The Perils of Biography"

Adam Sisman in conversation with Richard Whatmore. Recorded on 8 November 2023. 
11/14/202356 minutes, 47 seconds
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Alan Kahan - "Three Pillars and Four Fears: A History of Liberalisms

This lecture was delivered on 11 October 2023 at the University of St Andrews. 
11/14/202354 minutes, 58 seconds
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James Harris - “Hobbes and Rousseau on ‘the act by which a people is a people’”

This lecture was delivered on 5 April 2023 at the University of St Andrews. 
5/18/202351 minutes, 59 seconds
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Brian Young - "Utilitarianism and the universities in Victorian England: the brothers Grote in nineteenth-century thought"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St andrews on March 15, 2023. 
5/4/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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Sarah Mortimer - "Virtue beyond Law? Christian Ethics and Political Duties in Reformation Europe"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on February 15, 2023. 
4/13/202350 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ariane Fichtl - "Bound with the enslaved: the role of women in the formation of the political discourse of Immediate Abolitionism and its egalitarian framework"

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on February 1, 2023. 
4/6/202345 minutes, 16 seconds
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Martine van Ittersum - "The Working Papers of Hugo Grotius: A Case Study in the Micro-Sociologies of Archives"

specializes in Dutch overseas expansion in the early modern period, especially its implications for political thought and practice. She is also a book historian. Her research focuses on the social history of knowledge, including the materiality of texts, the archaeology of archives, and the history of canon formation. She has taught European, Atlantic and global history at the University of Dundee since September 2003.
10/6/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 43 seconds
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Interviews with Leading Intellectual Historians - Jamie Gianoutsos

During the final weeks of the summer, the Institute of Intellectual History brings a series of new interviews with leading intellectual historians about their career and work in intellectual history.  In this fifth interview, we present a conversation with Jamie Gianoutsos. is Associate Professor of History at Mount St. Mary’s University in the US. In the interview, Jamie shares insights into her university experience, her motivation to become a researcher and her discovery of the intellectual history of seventeenth-century Britain as a research field. She discusses her time as a Ph.D. candidate and traces the early stages of her academic career and the work on her book The Rule of Manhood: Tyranny Gender and Classical Republicanism in England, 1603-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which won the The 2020. For an interview with Jamie about her book, .
9/13/202242 minutes, 35 seconds
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Interviews with Leading Intellectual Historians - Carole Levin

During the final weeks of the summer, the Institute of Intellectual History brings a series of new interviews with leading intellectual historians about their career and work in intellectual history.  In this fourth interview, we present a conversation with Carole Levin. Carole Levin is Willa Cather Emerita Professor of History at the University of Nebraska. She specialises in early modern English women's and cultural history. Her books include Shakespeare's Foreign Worlds: National and Transnational Identities in the Elizabethan Age, co-authored with John Watkins (Cornell, 2009); Dreaming the English Renaissance: Politics and Desire in Court and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); The Reign of Elizabeth I (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); and The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and Power (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994). She is the former president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, the co-founder and president of the Queen Elizabeth I Society, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
9/7/202237 minutes, 38 seconds
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Interviews with Leading Intellectual Historians – Tae-Yeoun Keum

During the final weeks of the summer, the Institute of Intellectual History brings a series of new interviews with leading intellectual historians about their career and work in intellectual history.  In this third interview, we present a conversation with Tae-Yeoun Keum.    Dr Tae-Yeoun Keum is a political theorist specialising presently in the place of myth in political thought. Her first book was on the role of symbols and myths in politics. Her first book, , examines Plato's myths and their modern legacy, in particular in the political thought of More, Bacon, Leibniz, the German Romantics, and Cassirer. The book won the for 2020.
8/29/202238 minutes, 6 seconds
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Interviews with Leading Intellectual Historians - Jacqueline Broad

During the final weeks of the summer, the Institute of Intellectual History brings a series of new interviews with leading intellectual historians about their career and work in intellectual history.  In this second interview, we present a conversation with Professor Jacqueline Broad. Jaqueline Broad is Head of the Philosophy Department at Monash University. After being awarded her PhD in 2000, she won funding from the Australian Research Council 2004-2007 and 2010-2016. She is Series Editor of Cambridge University Press’s new  on Women in the History of Philosophy as well as serving on the advisory boards for Oxford University Press's  series. Jacqueline specialises in the history of philosophy, particularly focusing on the contributions of women philosophers and their interactions with the world in the early modern period. Her most recent publication seeks to provide commentaries to women philosophers letters in a a two-volume edited collection of women's philosophical letters:  (2020) and  (2019).
8/22/202258 minutes, 5 seconds
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Interviews with Leading Intellectual Historians - Eileen M. Hunt

During the final weeks of the summer, the Institute of Intellectual History brings a series of new interviews with leading intellectual historians about their career and work in intellectual history.  In this first interview, we present a conversation with Eileen M. Hunt. Eileen Hunt is a professor of political science and a political theorist whose scholarly interests cover modern political thought, feminism, the family, rights, ethics of technology, and philosophy and literature, from feminist, comparative, and international perspectives. She has taught at Notre Dame since 2001. Her first book (2006) inspired her further research into Mary Wollstonecraft, and in-depth research into her daughter Mary Shelley’s political philosophy.
8/17/202235 minutes, 3 seconds
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Emma McLeod - "John Bruce, precedent, and the 'mind of government' in the English and Scottish state trials of 1793-94"

This lecture was given at the University of St Andrews on April 20, 2022. 
5/31/202241 minutes, 5 seconds
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Rosa Antognazza - Leibniz as Historian

This lecture was given at the University of St Andrews on April 13, 2022. 
5/24/202255 minutes, 22 seconds
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Karie Schultz - Holy war advocates or secular political theorists? The case of the Scottish Covenanters, 1638-1646

This lecture was given at the University of St Andrews on April 6, 2022. 
5/17/202239 minutes, 16 seconds
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Craig Smith - Adam Smith and the Limits of Philosophy

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 23 March 2022 and subsequently at George Mason University, where it was recorded. For a video of this lecture with the powerpoint slides, please vist:  
4/20/202248 minutes, 51 seconds
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Jesse Norman - Uses and abuses of the Ancient Constitution

This lecture was delivered at the University of St Andrews on 1 April 2022. 
4/9/202235 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ryan Hanley - Commerce before Capitalism: Fénelon, Vauban, and Boisguilbert

This lecture was given on 16 February 2022 at the University of St Andrews. Ryan Patrick Hanley is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. His most recent projects include The Political Philosophy of Fénelon, and a companion translation volume, Fénelon: Moral and Political Writings, both of which was published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
3/18/202249 minutes, 24 seconds
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John Robertson - The Refutation of Natural Law by Sacred History in Giambattista Vico's New Science

Professor John Robertson (Cambridge & St Andrews) delivered this lecture at the University of St Andrews on February 27, 2020. The event was organised by the Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research in collaboration with the Institute of Intellectual History.
5/7/202059 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giulia Delogu - The Emporium of Words: Free Ports and Port Cities as Laboratories of Modernity (16th-19th centuries)

Dr Giulia Delogu (Venice) delivered this lecture on February 5th 2020.   
3/26/202042 minutes, 19 seconds
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Thomas Maissen - Britannia and her sisters in the 16th and 17th centuries: Political Representation and Iconography

Professor Thomas Maissen (Heidelberg/Paris) delivered this lecture on January 28, 2020 at the University of St Andrews.
3/19/202052 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ian MacLean - Old wine in new bottles? Hippocrates, the classical tradition and the Early Enlightenment

Professor Ian MacLean (Oxford/St Andrews) delivered this lecture at the Institute of Intellectual History on November 19th 2019. 
3/5/202054 minutes, 56 seconds
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David Weinstein - Green's Hume

Professor David Weinstein (Wake Forest) delivered this lecture on November 12, 2019 at the University of St Andrews. 
2/20/202048 minutes, 59 seconds
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Lucia Rubinelli - Sovereignty and Constituent Power in Weimar Germany

Dr Lucia Rubinelli (Cambridge) delivered the 18th István Hont Memorial Lecture on October 29 2019 at the University of St Andrews "This paper is the third chapter of a book manuscript, titled Constituent power: A history. The book mainly focuses on how Sieyes’ first theorisation of pouvoir constituant has been used and misused by subsequent theorists, including Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt. In this chapter, I argue that Schmitt theorised constituent power as the democratic embodiment of sovereignty. Schmitt’s collapse of constituent power and sovereignty is well known, but I suggest that he did not simply take the two ideas to be interchangeable. Rather, he aimed to introduce a meaning for popular power that could be consistent with his definition of sovereignty as the power to decide on the exception. This was not provided by ideas of national and parliamentary sovereignty. The latter gave birth to liberal parliamentarianism, which he accused of dissolving the essence of sovereignty; the former encouraged direct and local democracy, which prevented the prompt expression of the sovereign will. By contrast, Schmitt found in Sieyes’ idea of constituent power a way to associate the extra-ordinary character of his account of sovereignty to the democratic principle of popular power. He thus presented constituent power as the meaning of sovereignty in democratic states. On his interpretation of Sieyes’ theory, constituent power belonged to the nation but, to be exercised, needed to be represented by a unitary figure, approved through plebiscites, and able to embody the unity of the nation acting as a unitary instance of decision: the sovereign dictator. The result is a complete reversal of Sieyes’ theory." 
2/13/202047 minutes, 1 second
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James Poskett - Materials of the Mind: Phrenology, Race, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920

Dr James Poskett (Warwick) delivered this lecture on October 15th 2019 at the University of St Andrews. Phrenology was the most popular mental science of the Victorian age. From American senators to Indian social reformers, this new mental science found supporters around the globe. James’s new book, Materials of the Mind, tells the story of how phrenology changed the world—and how the world changed phrenology. It is a story of skulls from the Arctic, plaster casts from Haiti, books from Bengal, and letters from the Pacific. It shows how the circulation of material culture underpinned the emergence of a new materialist philosophy of the mind, while also demonstrating how a global approach to history can help us reassess issues such as race, technology, and politics today.
2/6/202054 minutes, 1 second
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Emma Hunter - Africa and the Global History of Liberalism

Dr Emma Hunter (Edinburgh) delivered this lecture at the University of St Andrews on September 24, 2019. 
1/30/202045 minutes, 43 seconds
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Silvia Sebastiani - The Boundaries of Humanity in the Enlightenment: Orangutans, Slaves and Global Markets.

Dr Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS) delivered the 10th James H. Burnes Memorial Lecture on April 23, 2019 at the Institute of Intellectual History. 
1/23/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 14 seconds
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Richard Whatmore - The End of Enlightenment: A synopsis of the 2019 Carlyle Lectures

Richard Whatmore (St Andrews) delivered this talk at the University of St Andrews on April 3, 2019. The talk was based on the Carlyle Lectures, which Professor Whatmore gave at the University of Oxford in the spring semester of 2019. 
12/19/201949 minutes, 39 seconds
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Iain McDaniel - Writing the Intellectual History of Caesarism in the era of the Franco-Prussian War

Dr Iain McDaniel (Sussex) delivered the 16th István Hont Memorial Lecture at the Institute of Intellectual History (St Andrews) on April 2, 2019. 
12/12/201946 minutes, 50 seconds
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Nathan Alexander - The Meanings of "Racism": Towards a history of the concept

Dr Nathan Alexander (Erfurt) delivered this talk at the University of St Andrews on February 2, 2019. 
12/7/201959 minutes, 33 seconds
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Robin Douglass - The Moral Psychology of the Social Contract

11/21/201945 minutes, 24 seconds
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Alex Douglas - Spinoza and Religion

Dr Alex Douglas is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of St Andrews. 
11/14/201945 minutes, 34 seconds
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Paul Wood - The Rise and Fall of the Common Sense 'School' of Philosophy

The emergence of a Scottish 'school' of common sense philosophy has not yet been given the historical attention it deserves, despite the fact  that the rise of common sense philosophy was one of the most important intellectual developments in the Atlantic world during the second half of the 18th century. In this lecture, Professor Paul Wood examines the responses of common sense philosophers such as James Beattie, James Oswald and Thomas Reid to David Hume's perceived scepticism and irreligion as well as Hume's subsequent reply to his critics. The lecture concludes with an account of the precipitous decline of the Scottish 'School' of common sense. 
11/7/201955 minutes, 30 seconds
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Blair Worden - Ben Jonson and Liberty

Professor Blair Worden is an expert on early modern European history and the English Civil War period in particular. He has written numerous books, the principal of which are The Rump Parliament, 1648-1653 (1974), The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney's 'Arcadia' and Elizabethan Politics (1996), Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil Wars and the Passions of Posterity (2001), Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England: John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Marchamont Nedham (2007), The English Civil Wars 1640-1660 (2009) and God's Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell (2012).  In this lecture, Blair Worden explores Ben Jonson's conception of liberty in relation to the writing of history.
11/7/201956 minutes, 3 seconds
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Riccardo Bavaj - The Spatiality of Ideas: Ernst Fraenkel, Richard Löwenthal, and the "Westernisation" of Political Thought

10/31/201956 minutes, 12 seconds
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Nicholas Mithen - Codifying Good Taste: Historical Scholarship and Epistemic Virtue in Early 18th Century Italy

10/31/201940 minutes, 10 seconds
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Teresa Bejan - Equality and hierarchy in the thought of Mary Astell

Ever since Mary Astell was introduced as the "First English Feminist" in 1986, scholars have been perplexed by her dual commitments to natural equality and social, political, and ecclesiastical hierarchy. But any supposed "paradox" in her though is the product of a modernist conceit that treats equality and hierarchy as antonyms, assuming the former must be prior, normative, and hostile to the latter. Seeing this, two other crucial features of Astell's thought emerge: her ethics of ascent and the psychology of superiority. These, in turn, illuminate her lifelong fascination with ambition as a feminine virtue, as well as her curious embrace of Machiavelli. Astell's politics and ethics are thus doubly worthy of recovery, both as the product of a singularly brilliant early modern mind and as a fascinating but forgotten vision of "equality before egalitarianism" that sheds light on the persistent complexities of equality and hierarchy to this day.   
10/31/201946 minutes, 38 seconds
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Susan James - Putting One's knowledge to work: Spinoza on 'fortitudo'

Recorded on February 13th 2018 at the University of St Andrews. 
10/31/201952 minutes, 53 seconds
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David Armitage - The Dark Side of Enlightened Cosmopolitanism: Civilisation and Civil War

Modern cosmopolitanism traces its routes back to the Enlightenment. In its individual and collectivist strains, it has become programatically pacifist by virtue of many of its central defining features. Under such a regime of cosmopolitanism, one might imagine the Kantian goal of perpetual peace. Kant’s conception of cosmopolitanism was progressive and developmental, but also fundamentally conflicted. Its motor was that famous unsocial sociability, which compelled humans to seek peace even as they experienced destructive forms of competition. The connection between cosmopolitanism on one hand and peace on the other, therefore, is neither essential or natural; it is contingent and accidental despite the strong connection between modern contemporary cosmopolitanism and peace. Only recently have scholars acknowledged that cosmopolitanism might indeed have something to say about war, or that war might shed light on its limits and possibilities. Is contemporary cosmopolitanism theoretically robust enough to face the challenges of unconventional warfare in the 21st century? And if cosmopolitanism defines transnational borders as morally arbitrary, what can it tell us about conflicts that occur within such borders, that is to say about civil war? In this lecture, David Armitage pursues these and other important questions.
3/14/201847 minutes, 43 seconds
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Richard Whatmore - Scotland, Europe and the End of Enlightenment

Why did so many European luminaries who had lived through the turmoil of the French Revolution turn to Scotland as a state that might represent a model for the future of the world? In this Inaugural Lecture, Professor Richard Whatmore explains why so many figures at the end of the eighteenth century felt that the Enlightenment had failed, and that a new beginning was necessary in politics, economics, religion and culture. Europe had been torn apart by war and revolution; Scotland appeared to offer grounds for optimism, being characterised by economic development, religious peace and a distinctive sense of identity.
11/22/201756 minutes, 51 seconds
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Janet Coleman - Reflections on the Self Itself: in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and what happened next?

Are people’s characters and the values that shape them thought to be stable in terms of what we may judge to be virtuous or vicious performances across time and place? If this was the case, should we today not be able to emulate those of the past in their best practices? In this lecture, Janet Coleman charts a journey, beginning with Aristotle and ending with Hobbes, that deals with what has been called an anthropological prelinguistic set of conditions of experiences that were held by representative premoderns to be the ways in which the self itself comes to acknowledge of suitable human action and seeks to conform to it.
11/6/20171 hour, 11 minutes, 19 seconds
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Lynette Mitchell - Monarchs in democracy

The hallmark of Athenian democracy was equality. From at least the beginning of the 5th century, Athens was a place where there was equality in political rights. By the mid-5th century, the Athenian assembly had sovereignty in matters of decision making. The practical politics of Athens, however, required political leaders: able, often wealthy men, well-practised in rhetoric, who arose out of the elite political think tanks and who guided the decision making in the assembly. At an ideological level, democracy found this tension difficult to resolve. In tracing the early development of Athenian democratic thinking in this paper, Lynette Mitchell argues that there also emerged a way of projecting good and ideal kings onto the ancient history of democratic Athens, and that this positive theorisation of kingship was important to several thinkers for the space it gave to political leadership.
10/17/20171 hour, 47 seconds
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Gareth Stedman Jones - Karl Marx and the Emergence of Social Democracy

The years between 1864 and 1867 were among the most fulfilling of Marx’s life. Not only were these the years in which he wrote up Capital, it was also the period in which he became an active and influential participant in the International Workingmen’s Association, founded in London in 1864. Almost by chance, it fell to Marx to compose the inaugural address of the Association and formulate its rules. In this lecture, Gareth Stedman Jones argues that in writing the address, Marx made his greatest and most permanent contribution to the International: he had formulated the new social democratic language of the 1860s, both in the definition of the political and social end of the association, and in a global diagnosis of the worker’s condition.
9/19/201756 minutes, 31 seconds
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Susan Manly - Maria Edgeworth as political thinker: government, rebellion and punishment

The issue of slavery is a constant in Maria Edgeworth's thinking about questions of government, from the beginning of her writing career until the 1820s and 30s. In this paper, Susan Manly discusses the multiple elements to this seam of thinking, and in particular examines the importance of the reformist thinker Jeremy Bentham and his French interlocutor Étienne Dumont.
4/25/201746 minutes, 44 seconds
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Sophie Page - Cosmology and Ritual Magic in the Late Middle Ages

The importance of general celestial influences on the Earth in Aristotle's cosmological model enabled the art of astrology to find a large degree of acceptance in intellectual circles by the mid-twelfth century, even if throughout the late Middle Ages it continued to be haunted by the debate about determinism. Astrology - or the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies in order to make predictions about human personalities, dispositions, and public and personal events - included the belief that the planets could incline men to good and evil, and negatively influence the course of events. In this paper, Sophie Page examines how the question of whether or how demons could provoke, manipulate or make use of these celestial influences was of particular concern to three different types of medieval author: theologians explaining the structure and operations of the cosmos, authors of literary or popular scientific texts discussing the origins of evil in the world, and writers of texts on astrology and magic, whose main goal was to identify networks of power in the cosmos which could be manipulated by humans.
4/18/201756 minutes, 55 seconds
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Caroline Humfress - Natural law and casuistic reasoning in Roman jurisprudence

There is no evidence for any Roman jurist writing a treatise entitled On Natural Law, or similar. Ius naturale had a very limited place in Roman jurisprudence, and when Roman jurists want to reason about law, they pretty much always began from the standpoint of the Roman ius civile and worked outwards. There is a fundamental difference between this concentric way of reasoning about natural law, and the way in which the medieval natural lawyers influenced by Thomas Aquinas, as well as later 17th and 18th century thinkers, reason about it. In this lecture, Caroline Humfress examines this tension.
4/11/201757 minutes, 32 seconds
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Phil Connell - Wordsworth’s “Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty” (1802-3) and the British Revolutionary Past

William Wordworth's Sonnets Dedicated To Liberty are dominated by his personal and political connections with France, and his changing attitudes to Britain's participation in the counter-Revolutionary war effort. Wordsworth's experiments with the sonnet form in this period were clearly sustained, intensive and closely engaged with affairs of state. However, a number of the sonnets are also keenly responsive to 17th-century British history in ways that raise distinct challenges to our sense of Wordworth's shifting political attitudes. Are the sonnets continuous with Wordsworth's early radicalism? Or are the poems better understood as a redirection of political and imaginative energies under the pressure of the Napoleonic threat towards the conservative defence of the nation and tradition? In this lecture, Phil Connell considers these and other questions.
4/4/201750 minutes, 6 seconds
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Rory Cox - Just War Doctrine in Ancient Egypt

In the literature of the Just War tradition there is an overdrawn association between the Just War tradition and Christian political theology. This produces a misconception that Just War is an exclusively Christian idea, and also that is an exclusively Western idea as well. In this lecture, Rory Cox argues that ideas analogous to Just War developed in Ancient Egypt, more than 2,000 years prior to the advent of Christianity and beyond the traditional boundaries of the West.
3/28/201747 minutes, 51 seconds
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David D’Avray - How to do intellectual history

How can you combine the so-called Cambridge School of intellectual history, which tends to shrink the focus to a particular period and particular context, with a longue durée approach which follows through themes over many centuries? In this lecture, David D’Avray attempts to resolve this argument with the help of 20th century German philosophers Niklas Luhmann and Hans-Georg Gadamer.
3/7/201753 minutes, 55 seconds
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Tom Jones - George Berkeley in Livorno: Missionary Anglicanism and Commerce

Whilst George Berkeley's visit to Livorno in 1714 may seem relatively unremarkable at first look, the content of the sermons he preached there appear significant to the attitudes and behaviours of his later life. Chief among these is Berkeley's project to establish a university or college on Bermuda, and his interest in economic reform, particularly in Ireland in the 1730s. In this paper, Tom Jones identifies the early association of missionary Anglicanism and commerce as pivotal to our understanding of the history of Berkeley's later thought.
2/7/201748 minutes, 9 seconds
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Katrina Forrester - The Origins of Contemporary Liberal Theory Revisited

After the Second World War, political philosophy was dead. This changed in 1971 when John Rawls published his Theory of Justice, reviving philosophy and injecting it with normative foundations. Whilst this view has subsequently been subjected to several corrective arguments, they all implicitly confirm the view that Rawls transformed political philosophy. And they also infer that Anglo-American political philosophy has been relatively static ever since. A second view, held by those interested in the broader history of the 20th century and the history of ideology, tells a by now very familiar story about post-war welfarist ideology and its crisis in the 1970s. On this view, welfarists and collectivists were overthrown by various forms of liberalism. How does the view of the 17970s as this great period of re-invention in philosophy correspond to that vision of the decade as a moment of political crisis? How, if the dominance of central liberalism now seems over, should we rethink its recent history as told in the first? In this lecture, Katrina Forrester explores these competing perspectives.
1/23/201745 minutes, 38 seconds
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Michael Sonenscher - Hobbes, Rousseau and Democratic Politics

The political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is typically identified with two aspects of that of Thomas Hobbes. The first is the subject of sociability, and the similarities in their treatments of the natural state. The second is the civil state, and their joint hostility to any kind of independent religious organisation and, more broadly, any kind of factional grouping. In 1765, Rousseau’s entry on Political Economy in Diderot’s Encyclopédie was published in Geneva as a pamphlet entitled ‘The Citizen’. This title echoed Hobbes’ De Cive, and in this lecture, Michael Sonenscher discusses whether the similarity in titles indicates a broader similarity in thought.
11/29/201649 minutes, 43 seconds
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Steve Rigby - Marxism and the Middle Ages

Marxist theory has had a massive influence on medieval economic and social history. Lots of historians, even those who are not Marxist in their politics, have in a sense been historical materialist in their analyses. Marx and Engels themselves, meanwhile, were very interested in the middle ages, in part because of its importance in understanding the transition from feudalism to capitalism. In this paper, Steve Rigby examines seven key Marxist claims that were illustrated by reference to medieval history.
11/15/201648 minutes, 44 seconds
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Kleanthis Mantzouranis - Aristotle on the Ethics of Wealth

Aristotle’s conception of wealth begins with the distinction he makes between two spheres of wealth: its possession (acquisition and keeping), and its use (giving and spending). In this paper, Kleanthis Mantzouranis explores the locations in which Aristotle discusses these two spheres in his corpus, namely in the first book of the Politics, which has been of interest to economists and economic historians, and in the fourth volume of the Nicomachean Ethics, which has been of interest to ethical philosophers.
11/1/201644 minutes, 37 seconds
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Milos Vec - The 'Family of Nations': A rhetorical figure and its ideology

The best known example in the history of international law might be the so-called domestic analogy. In natural law thinking, the rights and duties of individuals were transferred to the rights and duties behind states. But metaphors are more than analogies. If there is a family, who are the parents, and who are the children? And are the parents entitled to educate the children and, sometimes, even punish them? In this lecture, Milos Vec reconstructs critically the career and the function of the phrase the 'family of nations', and asks what implications such a metaphor has beyond concrete political arguments.
10/10/20161 hour, 7 minutes, 59 seconds
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Aaron Garrett - Moral Knowledge and the Decline of the Grotian Programme

In the 17th and early 18th centuries in Britain, there were no clear divisions between what we now call moral epistemology, moral metaphysics, and normative moral theory. In this talk, Aaron Garrett argues that Francis Hutcheson, in refuting the work of Mandeville, attempted to make good on this long tradition of lumping these ideas together, and that this variant of a demonstrative moral science is both associated with the natural law tradition following from Grotius, and supportive of the ancient moralists.
9/27/20161 hour, 26 minutes, 10 seconds
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Anthony Black - How to Plan a Global History of Political Thought

What can we learn from the past, and from different traditions as they exist in the world? And how can such learning help us tackle the problems of today? In this lecture, Anthony Black asks whether, and to what extent, the histories of the West and the East are different, but complementary. Could it be that, in today's increasingly globalised (meaning Westernised) world, the West and East need each other? At a time of stress and short-sightedness, we would do well to remind ourselves of the resources and achievements of the human mind.
9/20/201654 minutes, 11 seconds
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Rachel Hammersley - The Republican Theorist as Royal Servant: James Harrington's Civil War

It is generally accepted that the 17th century republican thinker James Harrington, author of The Commonwealth of Oceania, played very little part in the English civil wars of the 1640s. The one detail that is known about Harrington is that he was appointed gentleman of the bedchamber to the captured Charles I. Given the accounts of the positive relations between Harrington and the King, how is it that Harrington came to be one of the most prominent thinkers on republicanism?
9/13/20161 hour, 3 minutes, 29 seconds
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Eric Nelson - Barons' Wars, under other names: Magna Carta, Royalism, and the American Founding

How are we to understand the political thought of the American Revolution? One view - which is very much familiar - was that the patriots who made the Revolution were fundamentally radical Whigs whose great preoccupation was the terror of crown power and executive corruption. A rather different interpretation states that for many of the most important patriots this view was the wrong way round, and that they were rebels in favour of royal power, who wanted more monarchy rather than less, as their complaint was with the tyrannical Parliament. In this lecture, Eric Nelson assesses this second view, and shows that by the early 1770s appeals to the Whig ancient constitution had become quite rare in patriot writing, and by the end of the decade many patriots had assumed a completely different understanding of the feudal past, one pioneered by royalist historians of the 17th century, and then adopted by Scottish historians of the 18th century.
9/13/201652 minutes, 9 seconds
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Quentin Skinner - A genealogy of liberty

Among contemporary political theorists in the West, the idea of individual liberty is generally defined in negative terms as absence of interference. In this lecture, Quentin Skinner argues that if the concept is instead approached genealogically, this orthodoxy begins to appear in need of qualification and perhaps abandonment. Because the concept of interference is such a complex one, there has been much dispute even within the liberal tradition about the conditions under which it may be legitimate to claim that freedom has been infringed. Skinner is chiefly concerned, however, with the many political theorists who have wished to challenge the core liberal assumption that freedom is best understood as absence of interference. Some doubt whether freedom is best defined as an absence at all, and instead attempt to connect the idea with specific patterns of moral behaviour. Other critics, meanwhile, agree that the presence of freedom is best understood as the absence of something, while arguing that freedom fundamentally consists in the absence not of acts of interference but rather of broader conditions of arbitrary domination and dependence.
5/4/201654 minutes, 36 seconds
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Laszlo Kontler - The Enlightenment Narrative in the Age of Liberal Reform: William Robertson in Hungary

Was there a family resemblance between the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland and the constitutional compromise which followed the Hungarian rebellion led by Ferenc Rakoczi II against the Habsburgs between 1703 and 1711? In both cases, the settlement took into account the resilience as well as the vulnerability of the junior partner and in the longer run offered it the possibility of participating in a process of empire building and civilization. But such a union did not ensue in the Hungarian case, and a genuine age of improvement had not set in until the two decades preceding the revolution of 1848, whose defeat inaugurated yet another period of national frustration. In this lecture, Laszlo Kontler accounts for the role of the long Enlightenment in the age of reform in Hungary in the 1830s and 40s, and in particular argues that William Robertson's view of progress was tailor made to the preferences of the contemporary Hungarian public and intellectual science.
4/5/201639 minutes, 39 seconds
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Mark Elliott - The contribution of the history of exegesis to the history of ideas

As Protestantism entered the modern world its biblical spirituality, on the one hand, inspired a puritan mission to restore the world to its paradisal integrity through trade and science, and yet on the other hand promoted an increasingly adversarial stance towards the world of politics and institutional religion. Either way, the biblical text appeared to be historical narrative with one literal sense, which mediated the divine action of a time gone by, so as to demand obedient correspondent action from God's present day covenanted partners, free from the bounds of socio-political structure as much as they could be. How did the interpretation of the Bible change in the course of the seventeenth century? How was it used to promote notions of political authority? And what relevance does this history of exegesis have for modern-day intellectual history scholarship? In this paper, Mark Elliott answers these and other questions.
3/8/201658 minutes, 26 seconds
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Béla Kapossy - Liberty before neo-Roman republicanism: Haller’s restoration of political science

  For many Jacobins, Rousseau was a saintly figure who provided the blueprint for society. In light of the intensity in which his political ideas were discussed, it seemed inevitable that Rousseau would bear the brunt of the anti-revolutionary backlash. In Germany and Switzerland, where perspectives on the French Revolution were marked by its propensity to export revolution beyond its borders, the first two decades of the 19th century saw an explosion of political writing. Those advocating constitutional reforms and unification were left with the task of untangling Rousseau's more cryptic or unpractical ideas about the general will, and of providing his theory of the state with a coherent and workable theory of representation. In this lecture, Béla Kapossy (Lausanne) elaborates on the German-speaking reception of Rousseau by focusing on the influential text of the self-taught Jurist Karl Ludwig von Haller, who was given the title 'anti-Rousseau'.    
2/2/201656 minutes, 48 seconds
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Dimitris Kastritsis - The Alexander Romance and the Birth of the Ottoman Empire

During the period that saw the creation of the classical Ottoman Empire, the Alexander of pseudo-Callisthenes functioned as a familiar if contested cultural currency. Across the boundaries of Christianity and Islam, legends about the ancient conqueror took on new relevance in light of contemporary political aspirations, which were closely intertwined with religious and social turmoil, and the ensuing eschatological expectations. In this paper, Dimitris Kastritsis examines the fate of the Alexander Romance, both Greek and Islamic, in the period that saw the Ottoman state grow in to a global empire.
1/26/201655 minutes, 55 seconds
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Christian Maurer - The Forgotten Range of Defences of Sociability: Hutcheson and Campbell on Hobbes

Most philosophers think that, as a matter of fact, most human beings live in some sort of society, but what brings human beings to live in society rather than in solitude? Do we need to invoke some sort of natural sociability to explain this fact? In De Cive, Thomas Hobbes argued that man was not a creature born fit for society, but rather made fit for society by education. But what then are the causes for us coming together? And why are many accounts of sociability so difficult to make sense of? In this lecture, Christian Maurer investigates responses to Hobbes made by two Scottish moral philosophers: the rather well-known Frances Hutcheson, and the relatively unknown Archibald Campbell.
12/2/201543 minutes, 3 seconds
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Jane Judge - Ce que nous allons devenir. Belgian national identity in eighteenth-century revolution

In 1787 Joseph II decreed a series of administrative reforms for his Belgian provinces, essentially undoing their independence. Thus began a resistance, mounted by the estates, guilds and corporations, and then a revolution. In June 1789, Joseph had declared the Joyeuse Entrée annulled, creating a whole new branch of revolutionaries. In this lecture, Jane Judge documents the different strands of both conservative and democratic revolutionary thought which emerged in the Belgian provinces at this time, and argues that this is the first instance of people thinking of themselves as Belgian in what is modern day Belgium.
11/10/201548 minutes, 35 seconds
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John Dunn - Why We Need a Global History of Political Thought

Political thinking anywhere in the world today, as always, is irretrievably contextual. It takes its coordinates from the setting in which it finds itself. Today that setting is ever more, and unmistakably global. Whilst human populations have never been fully insulated from each other in our epoch, all of them have for some time been undergoing a process of at best, semi-voluntary de-insulation which still appears to be accelerating. However clumsily or dishonestly it may do so, contemporary political reflection has no option but to register that de-insulation as best it can and try to judge what it means. In this lecture, John Dunn argues that we now face a pressing need for a global history of political thought, and that our need is increasingly urgent and not mainly academic, and that we must recognise it promptly and frankly and set ourselves vigorously to learn how to satisfy it better.
11/4/201559 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ian Hunter - The History of Dialectical History: The Case of International Law

There are presently two main ways of writing the history of international law, one using the methods of dialectical philosophical history, and the other approach using the methods of contextual history and legal humanism. The central difference between these historiographies is that dialectical history treat norms as formal or ideal entities that govern the unfolding of history through their dialectical interaction with facts. Whereas contextual histories view the norms of international law as contigent historical facts, that is as products of particular treaty regimes, and hence incapable of orientating history towards any particular goal, such as a cosmopolitan legal community. In this lecture, Professor Hunter clarifies this relation by sketching an outline of the history of the dialectical history of international law, beginning with a brief discussion of the most eloquent and erudite of the modern dialectical historians, Martti Koskenniemi, before offering an account of the first emergence of dialectical histories of international law in 1840s Germany.
10/30/201545 minutes, 28 seconds
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David Allan - Reading and Remembering: Intellectual History and the Commonplace Book in the Long Eighteenth Century

A commonplace book, as eighteenth-century British people generally understood the term, was a handwritten document within which memories of various kinds could be captured and reused. But what was the purpose of this mnemonic exercise, and in what context were they created? Was there a contemporary fashion for maintaining records of this type? And what can we, as historians, do with the resulting artefacts, which survive in significant numbers? In this lecture, David Allan answers these and other questions, and demonstrates how aspects of the past experiences of literate human lives can be recovered.
9/29/201544 minutes, 53 seconds
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Nick Phillipson - Hume, Smith and the Science of Man in Scotland

It is fairly conventional now to think of the 'science of man' as possibly the signal intellectual achievement of the Enlightenment in Scotland. David Hume coined the phrase  and attached it to his Treatise of Human Nature, in which he placed the study of human nature on empirical (or experimental) foundations. On this basis Hume was to develop a powerful theory of justice, political obligation, morality, beauty, and natural religion - all of it held together as the functions of what Hume calls, in the common way, sympathy. Adam Smith was an early and acute reader of Hume's Treatise, and his theories about language, property and progress can be seen to complete the Humean project and create the science of man that Hume had promised. In time, it was to be sustained by Smith's own theory of sentiment and socialibilty, based on Humean premises, but significantly different from our own. In this lecture, Nick Phillipson challenges these reasonable inferences about Hume and Smith, and asks whether we really want to think of Hume as the author of a "projet manqué", and whether we want to think of Smith as someone who was simply tweaking Humean language?
9/15/20151 hour, 2 minutes, 18 seconds
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Keith Tribe - Utilitarianism, the Moral Sciences, and Political Economy: Mill-Grote-Sidgwick

  Henry Sidgwick was already something of an enigma in Cambridge less than six years after his death, and recent interest in his work has tended to compound this by re-inventing him as a modern moral philosopher. The Moral Sciences Tripos that Sidgwick led as Knightbridge Professor from 1883 had been reshaped in 1860 by John Grote, the successor in the chair to William Whewell; and so to understand the Tripos as Sidgwick first encountered it in the 1860s we need to understand quite what Grote had in mind – and Grote himself is an important figure, having in 1862 composed a running critique of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism. Furthermore, until the foundation of the Economics Tripos in 1903 the teaching of political economy in Cambridge was directed almost entirely to the Moral Sciences Tripos. Alfred Marshall’s strenuous efforts to detach the teaching of economics from the Moral Sciences Tripos have tended to distort subsequent understanding of “Cambridge Economics” from Marshall, through Pigou, to Maynard Keynes. In any case, Marshall’s own economics developed from his studies of John Stuart Mill. In this lecture, Keith Tribe examines the nexus between utilitarianism, ethics and political economy, to the construction of which Mill, Grote and Sidgwick made important contributions.
5/11/20151 hour, 1 minute, 13 seconds
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Philip Schofield - Jeremy Bentham on Truth and Utility

  Jeremy Bentham has two very strong commitments in his thought: one is to the principle of utility, or the greatest happiness principle, as the fundamental principle of morality; the other is to truth, as indicated, for instance, in his opposition to falsehood and fiction in the law. How, then, did Bentham view the relationship between utility and truth? Did he think that utility and truth simply coincided, and hence that falsehood necessarily led to a diminution in happiness, and conversely truth led to an increase in happiness? In this lecture, Philip Schofield resolves these questions through analysis of two bodies of material: the first consists of Bentham’s writings on religion under the heading of ‘Juggernaut’ and dating from 1811 to 1821; and the second consists of the writings on judicial evidence dating from 1803 to 1812 and which appeared in his Rationale of Judicial Evidence.
5/5/201555 minutes, 47 seconds
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James Harris - A New Approach to the Intellectual Biography of David Hume

  What kind of narrative order can be imposed on the intellectual development of David Hume, a man demonstrably interested in so many different things? The history of Hume scholarship suggests this question has been found hard to answer, not least because of the variety of Hume's concerns, but also because one of Hume's concerns was philosophy. What makes the case for Hume particularly difficult is two-fold: first, his Treatise of Human Nature speaks directly to philosophers in a way other eighteenth-century books do not. Second, philosophers since the 19th century have regarded the problems that they work on as completely different in kind to the problems Hume explored in his subsequent works, such as in the Political Discourses and in the History of England. Hume, philosophers think, was both one of us and, at the same time, very obviously not one of us. In this lecture James Harris explains how previous approaches to Hume's intellectual developments have been attempted, and argues that such approaches are largely anachronistic. In their place, he suggests a new way of viewing Hume, which relocates him in his eighteenth-century context as a man of letters.
4/14/201543 minutes, 4 seconds
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Michael Bentley - Intellectual History and the Study of Historiography

What is the nature of the relationship between intellectual history and the study of historiography? Where is it going? Where might it go? Or, perhaps more importantly, where should it go? In this paper, Michael Bentley expertly navigates the foundations of intellectual history and the ways both it and the study of historiography have developed over the past century, before arguing that whilst the relationship between the two subjects is extremely important and rich, it is also a relationship that is nuanced and oblique.  
4/10/201556 minutes, 20 seconds
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Jacqueline Rose - The Problem of Political Counsel in Early Modern England

It's a common saying that early modern England was a personal monarchy, but this era was also a conciliar age, with a polity saturated in counsel. The persistence and prevalence of counsel rested on entrenched assumptions about the nature of good rule, and of theories of the soul and man which divided reason from will. Counsel was the reason that made imperfect human will serve the common good. It made kingship function as monarchy, not tyranny. In this paper, Jacqueline Rose dissects the dual problem of political counsel: how to approach the phenomenon historically, and how it was a problem at the time. In doing so, she demonstrates that counsel is far more interesting and complex than it has previously been seen, and that, as a discourse, it was fraught with ambiguity and tension.  
4/7/201553 minutes, 19 seconds
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John Henry - The Only Game in Town? Why did Early Modern Reformers of Natural Philosophy turn almost exclusively to the Occult to replace Scholasticism?

  With the decline of Scholasticism, virtually all of the would-be reformers of philosophy resorted to some kind of unexplained activity in matter. Occult qualities, or mysterious hidden forces or powers in matter or in bodies which were responsible for the actions of bodies and their interactions with others, were invoked by nearly all the new philsophers in their theories of matter or bodies. Why was the turn to the Occult so ubiquitous? In this paper, John Henry explores these and other fundamental questions of early modern natural philosophy.
3/31/20151 hour, 3 minutes, 8 seconds
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Sarah Hutton - Intellectual History and Women

  To bring women into the purview of intellectual history is not just to shine a spotlight into dark corners to reveal women that have been overlooked. There are many more historiographical issues to be faced, not least the fact that in order to instate women into the received picture, that picture has to change. In this lecture, Sarah Hutton explores the ways in which attention has been refocused on the intellectual history of women over the past 25 years, and highlights in particular the work of recovery that has been necessary in the course of this research.
3/3/201548 minutes, 47 seconds
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David Luscombe - Otto of Freising and Historical Knowledge

  Otto of Freising, uncle of Emperor Frederick of Barbarossa, belonged to the highest circles of German nobility, but he was also one of the most philosophical historians of the Middle Ages. In this lecture, David Luscombe discusses the historical method in Otto of Freising's two works of history, his Chronicle or History of the Two Cities (written between 1143 and 1147), and his Deeds of Emperor Frederick (written between 1156 and 1158).
2/3/201553 minutes, 3 seconds
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Stewart J. Brown - China and the European Enlightenment

Vital themes in Europe's Enlightenment project included a new cosmopolitanism rooted in a growing awareness of other world cultures, an interest in forms of natural religion, and efforts to find a new foundation for social ethics apart from the moral laws and teachings of Christianity. In this lecture, Stewart J. Brown argues that Europe's growing awareness of China, and especially of Confucian thought, played a significant role in shaping early European Enlightenment thought.
12/2/201451 minutes, 20 seconds
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Norman Vance - Sporting St Patrick's Breastplate: war and peace in Irish Intellectual History

In this wonderfully rich talk, Norman Vance explains how three interpretations of the Irish hymn 'The Breastplate of St Patrick', from Catholic, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian perspectives, are a pathway to studying the wider context of Irish intellectual history, taking in aspects of literary history, musicology, and theology.
11/18/201456 minutes, 34 seconds
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Tim Hochstrasser - Lost or Found in Translation? Varieties of Political Economy in the Enlightenment

One of the themes of recent historiography in Enlightenment Studies focuses on how political economy gathers up so many of the key themes of the philosophers and reformers of the age into a discourse that crosses boundaries, national, institutional and linguistic. In this lecture Tim Hochstrasser examines this notion critically and re-assesses the claim that political economy is the defining and unifying discourse of the European Enlightenment. Brief case studies illustrate the intellectual transfer of key aspects of political economic doctrines between countries within Europe and beyond, including Latin America and India.
11/14/201441 minutes, 5 seconds
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J. R. Milton - The Rise of Mechanism: What and Why?

At the end of the seventeenth century, corpuscularianism, the mechanical philosophy, and mechanics (as a branch of applied mathematics) were all rising in importance. In this paper, John Milton provides a definitive account of these three concepts, how they relate to each other, and explains why they became popular.
11/4/201455 minutes, 13 seconds
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Rachel Foxley - The City and the Soul in James Harrington's Republicanism

The political theorist James Harrington transformed and deployed many aspects of ancient thinking about the ethical character of the state in his political thought. In this paper, Rachel Foxley analyses Harrington's use of the correspondence between the city and the soul, arguing that this is a crucial mechanism enabling Harrington to attribute virtue to his ideal polity.
10/21/201451 minutes, 46 seconds
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Knud Haakonssen - Political Economy and Utopia, or the Paternalistic Enlightenment in Scotland

Thomas Reid, the philosopher and founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, did not publish much on politics, but his manuscripts reveal that he was deeply concerned with social, political and economic issues throughout his career. In this talk, Knud Haakonssen presents an analysis of Reid's hitherto unpublished Glasgow lecture notes, and shows that Reid was an acute commentator on contemporary politics and that his theoretical ideas framed solutions to some of the practical political and economic problems of his day.
10/7/201455 minutes, 24 seconds
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Andreas Hess - Exile from Exile: The Political Theory of Judith N. Shklar

How does the concept of exile permeate the life and work of the formative political thinker Judith N. Shklar? In this talk, based on research for his forthcoming book entitled 'Exile from Exile', Andreas Hess explores how Shklar's ideas emerged, how her political theory developed, and the impact and legacy she left behind.
9/23/201453 minutes, 20 seconds
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Aileen Fyfe - Referees, Editors, and Printers in the Making of Scientific Knowledge

Why is journal publication so important in the history of science, and how are they responsible for the making of scientific knowledge? In this lecture, Aileen Fyfe reveals the story behind the pages of the oldest scientific journal in existence, the Philosophic Transactions of the Royal Society.
5/27/201450 minutes, 55 seconds
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Greg Claeys - Mill, Malthus and Class: Family Values and the Harm Principle

So much has been written about the harm principle central to John Stuart Mill's classic work On Liberty that any attempt to supplement seems superfluous. However, an anomaly in accounts of one aspect of the text requires rectifying. In this lecture, Greg Claeys emphasises the Malthusian context of Mill's treatment of marriage, and argues that in On Liberty Mill regards the family, not the individual, as the foundational unit in society, and the right to bear children as conditional upon the  recognition of the basic duty to maintain them. His Malthusian proposal to restrict this right is the strongest instance of his application of paternalism to adults in a civilised society, but is in Mill's view entirely commensurate with the principle of liberty.
5/6/201448 minutes, 11 seconds
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Donald Winch - The Political Economy of Empire

Historians of economics have always been attracted to the political economy of empire because it tells us so much about how serious economic thinking has been shaped by colonial themes. In this lecture, Donald Winch explores this importance of colonies, arguing that whilst the political economy of empire was eventually a theory of capitalist imperialism, it still owed a great deal to those who formulated a case for colonisation as a remedy to some of Britain's problems as a mature economy in the 1820s and 1830s.
2/4/201458 minutes, 58 seconds
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John Robertson - Sociability between Natural Law and Sacred History, 1650-1800

In this inaugural lecture of the Institute of Intellectual History at the University of St Andrews, Professor John Robertson asks how we can explain the concentration of interest, among the moral and political philosophers and historians of the Enlightenment, in the study of the formation and development of societies.
1/28/201458 minutes, 52 seconds
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David Armitage - Every Revolution is a Civil War

According to Reinhart Koselleck, the eighteenth century witnessed the gradual and permanent separation of concepts of "civil war" and "revolution". Placing these ideas in a longer perspective – a longue durée that goes back to republican Rome and comes forward to our own times – challenges this narrative by showing that civil war was the genus of which revolution was only a species. This argument presented by David Armitage can help us to rethink the late eighteenth-century "Age of Revolutions"; it can also explain the confusion as we attempt to understand political violence in places like Egypt and Syria today.
5/20/201353 minutes, 26 seconds
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Colin Kidd - The Trials of Douglas Young: Hitler, Aristophanes and the SNP

2013 sees the centenary of the birth of Douglas Young, one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century Scottish nationalism. Leader of the SNP from 1942 to the end of the Second World War, Young was imprisoned twice for refusing conscription – both military and industrial. He was also an eminent classicist, who translated some of the plays of Aristophanes into Lallans (Lowland Scots). In this lecture, Colin Kidd investigates Young's chequered career, and examine the broader context of the curious Scottish nationalist response to the world crisis of the 1940s.
4/17/20131 hour, 2 minutes, 48 seconds
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Mark Salber Phillips - On Historical Distance

Ideas of historical distance have long been fundamental to Western conceptions of historical knowledge. In practice, however, distance seems to have dwindled into little more than a professional shibboleth - a way of defending the historian's labours against the simplifications of popular journalism or the shortcuts of the guided tour. In common usage, historical distance refers to a position of detached observation made possible by the passage of time, but the standard conception narrows the idea of distance and burdens it with a regulatory purpose. In this lecture, Mark Salber Philips argues that distance needs to be re-conceived in terms of the wider set of engagements that mediate our relations to the past, as well as the full spectrum of distance-positions from near to far. Re-imagined in these terms, distance sheds its prescriptiveness and becomes a valuable heuristic for examining the range and variability of historical representation.
3/13/201352 minutes, 37 seconds
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Richard Whatmore - Democracy and Empire

One of the great surprises of modern thought is the survival of democracy. Today the victory of democracy continues to be associated with the American and French Revolutions. But democracy was for the most part castigated by reformers and revolutionaries across Europe during the enlightenment era. Attempts to apply democratic ideas universally were generally ridiculed. In this lecture, Richard Whatmore argues that the challenge faced by advocates of democracy was to make the theory compatible with larger forms of state; in short, to turn a democracy into a stable empire.
3/5/201351 minutes, 58 seconds
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Blair Worden - Two 17th Century Century Concepts of Liberty and their Legacy

  Over the quarter of a millennium from the later seventeenth century to the Great War, the phrase 'civil and religious liberty' was a pervasive feature of English political language. How and why had the phrase come into being? In 1600 it would have been unintelligible. The alliance of religious with civil liberty became possible only when religious liberty acquired a new meaning and became something like a human right. In this lecture, Blair Worden argues that its emergence has two claims on our attention. It betokened a new conception of the relationship between God and society. And it demonstrates the capacity of political events, and of pressures of political power, to shape developments in intellectual history.
1/23/201351 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ian Hunter - The Mythos, Ethos, and Pathos of the Humanities

Justifications of the humanities often employ a mythos that exceeds their historical dispositions and reach. This applies to justifications that appeal to an 'idea' of the humanities grounded in the cultivation of reason for its own sake. But the same problem affects more recent accounts that seek to shatter this idea by admitting an 'event' capable of dissolving and refounding the humanities in 'being'. In offering a sketch of the emergence of the modern humanities from early modern humanism, the paper argues that these twin philosophical justifications fail to capture both the array of intellectual arts that have informed the humanities disciplines and the variety of uses to which these arts have been put. Nonetheless, the two philosophical constructions have had a concrete impact on the disposition of the modern humanities, seen in the respective structuralist and poststructuralist reconfigurations of the disciplines that began to take place under the banner of 'theory' during the 1960s. In discussing the effects of theory on the humanities in Australia, Ian Hunter focuses on the unforseeable consequences of attempts to provide arts-based disciplines with a foundation either in cognitive structures or in an 'event' that shatters them.
10/11/201242 minutes, 14 seconds
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James Moore - Calvinists, Socinians and Arminians: Reformation and natural rights in early modern political thought

In this lecture, James Moore discusses three denominations of Protestant theology: Calvinism, or the dogmatic theology of the Reformed or Presbyterian churches; the theology of the Arminians or the Remonstrants in the Netherlands, the most important of whom for the purposes of this lecture is Hugo Grotius; and the theology of the Socinians, the most significant of whom was John Locke. It is a story that travels from Geneva to Holland, to England, and back to Geneva for some closing remarks on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose political principles are taken to be a return to the principles of Calvin and his followers.
10/11/201246 minutes, 21 seconds
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Manuela Albertone - Benjamin Franklin's Radical Agrarian Project

Benjamin Franklin's interest in physiocracy and the radical implications of French economic ideas extended from Turgot and Condorcet to the British radical milieus. In this lecture, Manuela Albertone highlights Franklin's ability to deliver economic reflection and radical thought, and his passionate belief that only a new attention to the nature of land ownership and its role could combat the forces of corruption so prevalent in commercial societies and shape a modern republic.  
6/18/201258 minutes, 52 seconds
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Keith Tribe - Karl Marx: 'Ricardian Socialist'?

With the general loss of interest in Marx as an analyst of capitalism, argument over the development of his thinking, from his early writings to Capital Vol. I, has given way to a more or less uncritical acceptance of Capital as the centrepiece of his endeavours, and a neglect of its sources. However, in 1913 Lenin rightly noted that there were "three sources and component parts" of "Marxism": German philosophy, English political economy, and French socialism. Curiously, few readers of Marx have taken this point seriously; while some attention has been paid to "German philosophy", little attention has been paid to the importance of Proudhon and others, while almost none at all has ever been paid to Marx's debt to the writings of David Ricardo and Adam Smith. In this lecture, Keith Tribe seeks to readdress this imbalance in Marx scholarship.
5/9/20121 hour, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
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Donald Winch - Arnold Toynbee's Industrial Revolution

Arnold Toynbee's Oxford lectures on the 'Industrial Revolution' were once thought to have been responsible for coining and diffusing an idea that has remained essential to students of British history since the lectures were posthumously published in 1882. Toynbee has also been credited with transmitting an interpretation of the revolution that became known, in the words of E. P. Thompson, as 'classical catastrophic orthodoxy'. In this lecture, Donald Winch re-examines Toynbee's role as historian of catastrophe and his remedies for dealing with its consequences with the aim of establishing the nineteenth-century political, moral, and intellectual context within which his interpretation of the industrial revolution can best be understood.
4/30/201249 minutes, 20 seconds
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Jeremy Jennings - Travels with Alexis de Tocqueville

Demoracy in America' by Alexis de Tocqueville is possibly the most famous book about America, but what did Tocqueville see when he visited America and how did his visit influence his writing? In this lecture, Jeremy Jennings seeks to answer both of these questions and to cast light on how other French authors saw America in the nineteenth century.
4/17/20121 hour, 2 minutes, 53 seconds
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Peter Mandler - The sociological imagination in mid-twentieth century Britain and America

How has the language of social science penetrated its way into the everyday discourse of educated people, particularly in the period after the Second World War? In this lecture, Peter Mandler examines the extent to which people in mid-twentieth century Britain and America used the conceptual tools of psychology, sociology and anthropology to view their personal 'issues' also as social 'problems'.
3/12/201256 minutes, 20 seconds
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Nicola Miller - Reading Rousseau in Latin America

It is well known that many of the leaders of the Wars of Independence invoked Rousseau in support of their challenge to colonial authority, but how exactly were Rousseau's works read and interpreted in early nineteenth-century Latin America? In this lecture, Nicola Miller identifies variations in how Rousseau's ideas were adopted and adapted by different actors, in different parts of the region, in order to explore the problems and possibilities of explaining how and why ideas travel.
2/27/201249 minutes, 48 seconds
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Norman Vance - What gave you that idea Paddy?

Is there such a thing as 'the Irish mind', or is that the ultimate Irish joke? If there is a distinctive Irish intellectual history, how did it develop in the face of the disruptions of a complicated and traumatic political and social history? Somehow, new ideas and initiatives keep bubbling up in every generation, but where do they come from? Is there an Irish intellectual aristocracy, or should that be aristocracies? In this lecture, Norman Vance explores these and other Irish questions.
2/6/201250 minutes, 1 second
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Stefan Collini - The Very Idea of the University

Stefan Collini offers a few brief reflections on the history and current state of the institution we call the university, and then goes on to propose a vocabulary and a perspective which enable us to discuss the role of such institutions in more fruitful terms than the clichés about 'contributing to economic growth' which currently dominate public debate on the topic. This lecture was given in memory of John Wyon Burrow (1935-2009), who was the first holder of a chair in Intellectual History at the University of Sussex and was one of the founder members of the subject at this university.  
12/5/201149 minutes, 33 seconds
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Isabel Rivers - The Pilgrim's Progress in the Evangelical Revival

First published in two parts in 1678 and 1683, 'Pilgrim's Progress' was to become the most popular religious work in English after the King James Bible. In this lecture, Isabel Rivers explores its fortunes in the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century: how it was made into a polemical text in the battles between Arminians and Calvinists; how it was used for pastoral purposes, both in print and in society meetings; and how it became a means of writing the history of dissent and evangelicalism.  
11/21/20111 hour, 13 minutes, 51 seconds
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John Robertson - Sacred History and Political Thought 1650-1750

How was the Hobbesian proposition - that man was not naturally sociable - answered by recourse to sacred history, the account of the ancient Hebrews and contemporary peoples found in the Old Testament? Focussing particularly on the Neapolitan historians Giambattista Vico and Pietro Giannone, in this lecture John Robertson shows how they adapted and extended the framework for the study of sacred history laid down by the authorities in Rome, and from this, produced remarkably original accounts of the formation of society.  
10/18/20111 hour, 4 minutes, 19 seconds
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Donald Winch - John Maynard Keynes: Economist as Biographer and Intellectual Historian

Biography was an occupation which sustained Keynes throughout his life in parallel with his work as an economist, and it resulted in his 'Essays in Biography', first published in 1933 but expanded by later essays that make up the Royal Economic Society (RES) edition of this work. As Publications Secretary to the RES, Donald Winch has written a reappraisal of Keynes's work in this field to accompany a reissue of the essays. The lecture is based on this and deals with the literary context of Keynes's essays, showing their Bloomsbury roots and their origin in such fields as genealogy, eugenics, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Keynes's need to understand the intellectual traditions that had conditioned economics as a policy-oriented discipline – the discipline to which Keynes was to make a major contribution in his 'General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' in 1936.  
6/6/201157 minutes
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J.G.A. Pocock - Anglican Enlightenment and Christian revelation: The reception of Gibbon's Decline and Fall

  In 1776, two chapters of Edward Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall' on the spread of Christianity; they aroused such controversy that it is still supposed that he wrote his history as an attack on religion. In this lecture, Professor Pocock argues to the contrary that the two chapters were prematurely written, and that the controversy is to be understood in the setting of the Church of England's need to reconcile a civil religion with the belief in Christian revelation.
3/2/201052 minutes, 55 seconds