18th-century Scotland was a place with many remarkable individuals, but the conditions that helped create the Scottish Enlightenment were the social and professional networks that allowed these great thinkers to share and develop their ideas.
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Intellectual Scots in the 18th century lived active and sociable lives with frequent opportunities to debate with their peers at universities, churches, debating societies, libraries and laboratories to coffee shops, taverns, town houses and printers' workshops. The Enlightenment was a phenomenon that operated across different levels of Scottish society.
Northern Lights features books and manuscripts produced by the leading figures of the age including David Hume, Adam Smith, William Robertson, Robert Adam and Robert Burns.
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