This essay looks at the Irish contribution to eighteenth-century Scottish philosophy. Focusing especially on the philosophical work of Francis Hutcheson, but also of George Berkeley, I try to show why the Irish influence has been occluded, and how that influence has been more considerable than has usually been supposed. Hence I oppose the idea that Ireland was intellectually asleep or dozing during the eighteenth century, an idea expressed in the description of Trinity College Dublin as the “sleeping sister,” compared to Oxford and Cambridge, and in the song of Alexander Boswell, famously set to music by Beethoven, according to which the Irish pulse beats strongly when “war is the story or love is the theme,” but not in intellectual matters, where “the pure light of knowledge [is] slow.”


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pp. 379-392
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