On Genius: The Development of a Philosophical Concept of Genius in Eighteenth-Century Britain – Journal of the History of Ideas – article

On Genius: The Development of a Philosophical Concept of Genius in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Dabney Townsend | Journal of the History of Ideas

2019-10-22

This paper examines the emergence of a philosophical concept of genius based on imagination, association, and the Lockean theory of ideas, primarily in eighteenth-century Britain. It considers the background, including the work of the Abbé Jean Baptiste Du Bos, the third earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, and David Hume, but it focuses specifically on the British writers William Duff, William Sharpe, and Alexander Gerard. It does not deal with the later Kantian and post-Kantian Romantic theories of genius.

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