Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English



First Advisor

J. Jennifer Jones


This dissertation is an inquiry into the ways rhetoric, as the study of the art of language use, and literature, as the art of written language, were coherently theorized in Enlightenment Scotland to articulate the complex nature of language and its inherent relationship to the human mind and its faculties. The chapters contained in this manuscript dissertation are previously published studies in eighteenth-century Scottish rhetorical theory, examining the multiple and sometimes contradictory legacies of this important body of work on language pedagogy, philosophy of mind and language, and political theory. These studies offer new grounds for examining the legacies of Scottish rhetoric, amongst them the creation of a new aesthetic of language arising from the moral sentiments tradition.