Activity of the Philosophical Society in Aberdeen in the Light of the Scottish Enlightenment

Marta Śliwa



When analyzing the phenomenon of the Scottish Enlightenment, the activities of specialized societies and clubs cannot be omitted. They served as a common ground for the exchange of ideas, hot scientific disputes, and dissemination of knowledge. This study is devoted to the activity of the elitist and typically scientific Philosophical Society in Aberdeen, with particular attention to the membership of Thomas Reid, John Gregory, and Alexander Gerard. The Society’s original documents: its recorded rules, minutes of the meetings, descriptions of discourse topics, questions, or financial reports may serve as extremely valuable source of information regarding the shaping of the philosophical thought not only in Aberdeen itself, but also in the whole Scotland in the period of Enlightenment.


The Philosophical Society in Aberdeen; The Wise Club; Scottish Enlightenment; Thomas Reid

Full Text:

PDF (Polish)


Berry Christopher J. 2013. The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Emerson Roger L. 2016. Essays on David Hume, Medical Men and Scottish Enlightenment: Industry, knowledge and Humanity. London: Routledge.

Emerson Roger L. 1988. “Science and the Origins and Concerns of the Scottish Enlightenment.” History of Science 26 : 333–366.

Hanczewski Paweł. 2018. “The Union of 1707 and the Scottish Enlightenment.” Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (3) : 7–22.

Holcomb Kathleen. 1989. “Reid in the Philosophical Society.” In The Philosophy of Thomas Reid, edited by Melvin Dalgarno and Eric Matthews. 413–20. Kluwer Academic Publisher.

King E. H. 1971. “A Scottish ‘Philosopical’ Club in the Eighteen Century”, DalhousieReview 50 : 201–214.

Lewis H. Ulman (ed.). 1990. Minutes of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society, 1758–1773. Aberdeen University Studies Aberdeen University Studies, 158. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.

Smith Craig. 2009. “The Scottish Enlightenment, unintended consequences and the science of man.” The Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (1) : 9–28.

Hanley Ryan Patrick. 2009. “Social science and Human Flourishing: The Scottish Enlightenment and Today”. The Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (1) : 29–46.

Śliwa Marta. 2018. “Philosophical Societies in the Scottish Enlightenment.” Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (3) : 107–117.

Zabieglik Stefan. 2000. Historia Szkocji. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo DJ.

„Zasady działalności Towarzystwa Filozoficznego w Aberdeen”, przekład i opracowanie M. Śliwa. Studia z Historii Filozofii 9 (4) 2018 : 75–80.

Partnerzy platformy czasopism