Political Theory

Middle Class Manners and Democracy from the Scottish to the Greek Enlightenment


This conference explored the history of a liberal conception of manners as part of the emergence of middle class manners and civility in modernity. Within this perspective, we further investigated the articulation of inclusive, non-aristocratic manners within the context of republican civility and individual liberty.


From Liberty Fund

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

by By Adam Smith
Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from…

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Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres

by By Adam Smith
Edited by J. C. Bryce

The “Notes of Dr. Smith’s Rhetorick Lectures,” discovered in 1958 by a University of Aberdeen professor, consists of lecture notes taken by two of Smith’s students at the University of Glasgow in 1762–1763. There are thirty lectures in the collection, all on rhetoric and the different kinds or characteristics of…

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Additional Readings

Kitromilides, Paschalis, eds. Adamantios Korais and the European Enlightenment. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2010.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. De Officiis. Translated by Andrew P. Peabody. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1887.

Cooper, Anthony Ashley, Third Earl of Shaftesbury. Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, Volume I. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001.

Ferguson, Adam. Principles of Moral and Political Science, Volume II. New York: Garland Publishing, 1978 (1792).

Guizot, Francois. De la Democratie en France. Translated by Spyridon Tegos and Peter Mentzel. Paris: Victor Masson, 1849.

Hume, David. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1985.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Malthus, Thomas Robert. Principles of Political Economy. Edited by J. Pullen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat. The Spirit of the Laws. Translated by Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller, and Harold Samuel Stone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès: Political Writings. Edited by Michael Sonenscher. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2003.

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume I. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982.

Staël, Germaine de. Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution. Edited by Aurelian Craiutu. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2008.

Staël-Holstein, Germaine de. De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales. Tome 1/, par Mme de Staël-Holstein. Seconde édition revue, corrigée et augmentée. Translated by Spyridon Tegos and Peter Mentzel. Paris: Maradan, 1800.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America: (Bilingual Edition). Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2010.

Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York: Knopf, 1993.