News & Events

In Memoriam, Nicholas Phillipson

(Original obituary posted at The University of Edinburgh)


It is with great sadness that the School of History, Classics and Archaeology announces the death, on 24 January 2018, of Nicholas Phillipson, Emeritus Reader in History and Honorary Fellow at the School. (Published 29 January, 2017)

Nicholas Tindal Phillipson studied as an undergraduate at the universities of Aberdeen and Cambridge, and completed his PhD at Cambridge in 1967. He joined the History department at Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 1965, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer and Reader, before retiring in 2005.

Nick’s research over more than five decades had a transformative impact on the field of Scottish Enlightenment scholarship, which he helped to connect to the study of the European Enlightenments more widely. He did so in particular by emphasising the key role played by provincial centres like Edinburgh in shaping the intellectual and cultural activity of the period. Many of his publications have become classics of historical scholarship: examples include his chapters on ‘Culture and Society in the Eighteenth-Century Province: the Case of Edinburgh and the Scottish Enlightenment’ (1975) and ‘The Scottish Enlightenment’ (1981), as well as his books on Hume (Hume. The Philosopher as Historian, first published in 1989 and reissued by Penguin in 2011) and, most recently, on Adam Smith (Adam Smith. An Enlightened Life, published by Allen Lane in 2010).

In the course of his distinguished career, Nick held visiting appointments at the Davis Center at Princeton University, the University of Tulsa, Yale University, the Folger institute, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. He was a founding editor of the CUP journal Modern Intellectual History, which he helped to establish as a leading publication in its field. From 2002 until 2006, Nick was co-director, with the late Susan Manning, of a large, Leverhulme-funded project on the ‘Science of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment’. When he died, he had been writing a major new book on the Scottish Enlightenment.

Nick was a brilliant teacher to several generations of undergraduates and graduate students, and an inspiring and generous mentor to many younger colleagues. He will be greatly missed by many in the department and beyond.

– Dr Thomas Ahnert, Head of History (University of Edinburgh)

Extended Resident Fellowship, “Adam Smith’s Enlightened World” Project

Through generous support from the John Templeton Foundation, Liberty Fund, Inc. has launched the “Adam Smith’s Enlightened World” project and will host a Resident Scholars Program. Applications for an extended fellowship (6-9 months, must conclude by December 13, 2019) will be accepted until May 1, 2018. Resident scholars will be offered both an honorarium and living stipend paid on a monthly basis. Decisions will be announced May 31, 2018.

To submit an application, submit the following to Eleanor E. Schneider, Liberty Fund Fellow, at

  • Current academic CV
  • Brief biography (175-200 words)
  • One page or less abstract and title of proposed project
  • Desired dates of residence
  • If you are willing to be considered for a 1-3 month fellowship, if not selected for extended fellowship
  • International scholars must also provide proof of right to work in the United States at date of application

For more information, see the full announcement: Smith Scholar Annoucement 9 mo

New Work on Smith from Elias Khalil

IASS member Elias Khalil would like to make other Smith scholars aware of his recent  publication:

Khalil, Elias L. “Socialized View of Man vs. Rational Choice Theory: What Does Smith’s Sympathy Have to Say?” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2017, 143, pp. 223-240. (

Just as a reminder, any IASS member is welcome to make similar announcements about relevant scholarship, conferences, etc. Just write to the Secretary at  In the event of high volume, announcements might be consolidated with other similar ones, etc.

Congratulations to Professor Khalil for this work.


IASS Board Election Results

The Society is delighted to announce the results of the recent election for our Board of Trustees.

The existing Board had nominated two well qualified and willing candidates. They were María Alejandra Carrasco Barraza  (Philosophy, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and Christopher Berry (Political Theory, University of Glasgow, No further nominations were received from the membership for the current election.

There were no write-in candidates and both Professor Carrasco Barraza and Professor Berry were elected unanimously, with roughly 80% participation from eligible members. Congratulations to both new Board members, and our deep thanks to retiring members Douglas Den Uyl and Charles Griswold for their faithful service.


CSSP Conference in Princeton, “The Scottish Tradition”: Deadline for Abstracts Tomorrow

The deadline for the the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (CSSP) ‘s conference, “The Scottish Tradition: Explaining Its Rise, Understanding Its Legacy” is tomorrow, November 1, 2017.  The conference will be held at Princeton University from March 9-11, 2018.

Paper proposals (maximum 300 words) on any topic relevant to this general theme are invited. They should be sent as an email attachment, with all identifying references in the accompanying email, to Notifications will be sent December 15th. Proposals chosen for inclusion should be developed into in papers with a maximum reading time of 30 minutes.

CFP: Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (CSSP) in Princeton, “The Scottish Tradition”

The Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (CSSP) is hosting a conference, “The Scottish Tradition: Explaining Its Rise, Understanding Its Legacy,” at Princeton University from March 9-11, 2018.

Paper proposals (maximum 300 words) on any topic relevant to this general theme are invited. They should be sent as an email attachment, with all identifying references in the accompanying email, to by November 1st 2017. Decisions will be notified by December 15th. Proposals chosen for inclusion should be developed into in papers with a maximum reading time of 30 minutes.

The Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy’s opening conference took place in Aberdeen in 2004. It moved to Princeton in 2006, and the 2018 conference will be its closing event. Following the conference, the CSSP will merge with the International Association for Scottish Philosophy, to form a new Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy. Administratively based at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, and under the direction of Dr James J S Foster, the ISSP will maintain and expand the IASP’s informative website, continue the CSSP’s publication program (Journal of Scottish Philosophy; Library of Scottish Philosophy; Edinburgh Studies in Scottish Philosophy) and in collaboration with other organizations co-sponsor an annual conference at a variety of international venues.


IASS Chile Conference: Deadline Extended

The International Adam Smith Society has extended the deadline for abstract submissions to September 22, 2017 for its upcoming January 2018 Adam Smith Chile Conference. Applications received before the original August 12 deadline are receiving priority consideration, but we would like to provide another opportunity for those who may have missed the first invitation during summer holidays.

A diverse and distinguished group of Smith scholars will gather in Chile. Deirdre McCloskey will be our first keynote speaker with her lecture entitled “Smith the Non-Utopian vs. His Followers since 1848.” Additional plenary lectures will be delivered by Samuel Fleischacker, speaking on “Empathy and Perspective: A Smithian Conception of Humanity,” and James Otteson, addressing “Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism.” Other prominent academics who will attend and present papers include María Alejandra Carrasco, Fonna Forman, Christel Fricke, Leonidas Montes, Maria Pia Paganelli, Sandra Peart, Dennis Rasmussen, Craig Smith, Barry Weingast, and Jeffrey Young.

While submissions in English are certainly welcome, Spanish speaking academics are particularly invited to apply given the location of the conference and its special, though non-exclusive, focus on Smith’s reception in Latin America; several sessions at least will be conducted in Spanish. Young scholars should also know that the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez has a limited number of competitive grants available (of $1,000 USD each) to support their attendance.  These are open to all though some preference will be given to scholars from Latin America.  To be considered for these grants applicants need only note as much in their proposal email, or alternatively can directly contact to apply.

More information about the conference, and an abstract submission form, can be found elsewhere on our website here.  Applicants can also email abstracts directly to the Society’s secretary at