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Edinburgh University Press

The Democratic Intellect: Scotland and Her Universities in the Nineteenth Century: Edinburgh Classic Editions

The Democratic Intellect: Scotland and Her Universities in the Nineteenth Century: Edinburgh Classic Editions

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An Edinburgh Classic edition of the cornerstone work on Scotland's intellectual identity

First published in 1961, The Democratic Intellect provoked a re-evaluation of Scotland's philosophy of itself. George Davie's account of the history of the movements which set Scotland apart from its neighbours, and of the great personalities involved, has proved seminal in restoring to Scotland a sense of the value of its unique cultural identity.

Scotland's approach to higher education has always been distinctive. From the inauguration of its first universities, the accent was on first principles, and this broad, philosophical interpretation unified the approach to knowledge - even of mathematics and science. The resulting generalist tradition contrasted with the specialism of the two English universities, Oxford and Cambridge. It stood Scotland in good stead, characterising its intellectual life even into the nineteenth century when economic, social and political pressures enforced an increasing conformity to English models.

The Democratic Intellect is rightly a benchmark in Scotland's intellectual heritage and continues to have a marked influence on those now promoting enquiry and improvement within our colleges and universities.

An introduction by Murdo Macdonald and Richard Gunn and a foreword by Lindsay Paterson set the book in context for this Classic Edition, reissued to coincide with the Scotland Independence debate of 2014.

Key Features:

  • New Edinburgh Classic edition at accessible price
  • New preface and foreword setting the book in context
  • Launches a series of Edinburgh Classics in Scottish History
  • Will contribute to the Independence debate of 2014

Key words:

Scotland, education, history, philosophy, classic, Enlightenment, George Davie


Scottish History

Author: George Davie
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Published: 06/25/2013
Pages: 400
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.30lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.50w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780748684786

About the Author

George Elder Davie (1912-2007) was one of Scotland's most influential modern philosophers. He was Reader in Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Lindsay Paterson is Professor of Educational Policy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on the expansion and purposes of higher education, on social mobility, on the relationship between education and civic values, on the twentieth-century history of Scottish education, and on Scottish politics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Richard Gunn is a retired lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He lectured in political theory in the Department of Politics and, subsequently, the Politics area in the School of Social and Political Studies

Murdo Macdonald is Emeritus Professor of History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee. He was editor of Edinburgh Review from 1990-1994. He is author of Scottish Art in Thames and Hudson's World of Art series.

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