Civilizing Money: Hume, his Monetary Project and the Scottish Enlightenment
By (author) George Caffentzis
This is the long awaited final volume in a career-defining trilogy by George Caffentzis. Taking the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume as its subject, the book breaks new ground in focusing its lens on a little-studied aspect of Hume’s thinking: his understanding of money.Caffentzis makes both an intervention in the field of monetary philosophy and into Marxian conceptions of the relation between philosophy and capitalist development. He vividly charts the ways in which Hume’s philosophy directly informed the project of ‘civilizing’ the Scottish Highlands and pacifying the English proletariat in response to the revolts of both groups at the heart of the empire.Built on careful historical and philosophical detective work, Civilizing Money offers a stimulating and radical political reading of the ways in which Hume’s fundamental philosophical claims performed concrete political functions.
George Caffentzis is a co-founder of the Midnight Notes Collective and coordinator of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa (CAFA). Caffentzis was a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Maine for over thirty years before retirement. His previous publications include In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism (Brooklyn: Common Notions, 2013).