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Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... There are, finally, three complementary essays on the political thought of David Hume. Nicholas Phillipson writes on Hume’s discussions of the legitimacy of the post-Revolutionary regime, while Istvan Hont and John Robertson show Hume dwelling, in apprehensive mood, on the themes of commerce and war. Hont demonstrates Hume’s alarm, in the ...

Maiden Aunt

Colin Kidd: Adam Smith, 7 October 2010

Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life 
by Nicholas Phillipson.
Allen Lane, 345 pp., £25, August 2010, 978 0 7139 9396 7
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Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and moral theory 
by Fonna Forman-Barzilai.
Cambridge, 286 pp., £55, March 2010, 978 0 521 76112 3
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... sentiments into Thatcherspeak, though it can be done. A further incongruity comes into focus in Nicholas Phillipson’s splendid biography: that the 18th-century moral philosopher bore no resemblance in character or demeanour to those who most loudly promote his purported legacy. It’s hard to imagine today’s muscular big business conservatives ...

Liking it and living it

Hugh Tulloch, 14 September 1989

Namier 
by Linda Colley.
Weidenfeld, 132 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 297 79587 2
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Hume 
by Nicholas Phillipson.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 297 79592 9
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... the questionable assumption that Parliament was a perfect microcosm of the nation. A reading of Nicholas Phillipson’s skilful and lucid study of David Hume serves to enlarge our sense of these limitations. Needless to say, there is no mention of Hume in Namier’s indexes, though he would have found congenial his 18th-century counterpart’s ...

Clear Tartan Water

Colin Kidd: The election in Scotland, 27 May 1999

... in Europe’. Sentimental nationalism – an earlier manifestation of which Nicholas Phillipson described as ‘an ideology of noisy inaction’ – has served for two centuries as a tolerable substitute for the real thing, much to the disgust of a minority of constitutional nationalists. One of them, Jim Sillars, the former SNP MP ...

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