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The Scottish Enlightenment refers to a historical event in northern Britain between approximately 1740 and 1790 that found expression in a significant body of literature embedded in changing political and economic conditions; novel institutional developments such as clubs, societies and academies; and a concurrent efflorescence of associational relations and public communication comparable to what characterised the Enlightenment elsewhere in Europe. The intellectual achievement of eighteenth-century Scotland was so considerable that it not only impressed contemporaries such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Immanuel Kant but is today still regarded as having been responsible for the remarkable distinction that Scotland attained among the countries that participated in the Enlightenment.

The vast intellectual literature containing the basic ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment was produced by different generations ...

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