Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment
The Writings of Gershom Carmichael
Автор(и) : Gershom Carmichael
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 2002
ISBN : 978-0-86597-319-0
Брой страници : 405
Език : английски
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Carmichael was a Scottish jurist and philosopher who became the first Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in 1727. His writings on natural rights theory, theology, and logic were very influential.
"On Human Action in the Divine Court
[Carmichael disagreed fundamentally with Pufendorf’s opinion that natural law must abstract from belief in the immortality of the soul and an afterlife. Pufendorf had said in his preface: “The greatest difference [between natural law and theology] is that the scope of the discipline of natural law is confined within the orbit of this life” (Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen, p. 8). In a note to this preface Carmichael offered the opposite point of view.]
We are taught by the light of nature as the fruit of acting well, to hope, and indeed to expect, not only felicity in this life in particular (although this is most closely attached to duties enjoined by natural law) but also, in general, some greater happiness or greater alleviation of misery, if not in this, at least in a future life, than evildoers will be able to attain. Furthermore, if any way of obtaining the greatest happiness after this life is left to man, [we are] to conceive of the hope of it as the more probable, the more, in the individual actions of life, we render ourselves obedient to the divine law. It is not correct, therefore, to say that the end of the discipline of natural law is confined to the scope merely of this life. [“Author’s Preface,” 6.1]"
Gershom Carmichael (1672-1729) was the first professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow, the predecessor of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and Thomas Reid. Although Gershom Carmichael was regarded by his contemporaries and immediate successors as a figure of importance in the natural law tradition, his works have fallen into obscurity, primarily because they were written in Latin. Carmichael was a teacher and writer who played an important role in the Scottish Enlightenment, not least by bringing the works of Grotius, Pufendorf, and Locke to the attention of his students and readers.