Benjamin Rush, one of the American founders and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh from 1766 to 1768 and was heavily influenced by the great philosophers and thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment. Page 389 of the reading lists Rush as a founder of the American Philosophical Society (APS) and cites the motto of the APS (based on the Select Society?) as “Knowledge is of little use, when confined to mere speculation.” How does this motto “capture the practical side of the Scottish Enlightenment,” and what does it suggest as a context for how effective collective decision making processes are constrained and empowered through the acquisition and application of knowledge?
Scots challenge questionWritten by chris on August 31st, 2009
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