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Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope: Contemporary Implications of the Scottish Enlightenment
by Ronald C. Arnett
foreword by Thomas M. Lessl
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-0-8093-3853-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-3854-2
Library of Congress Classification B1302.E65
Dewey Decimal Classification 149.97

Tenacious hope, the heart of a just and free society 
During the Enlightenment, Scottish intellectuals and administrators met the demands of profit and progress while shepherding concerns for self and other, individual and community, and family and work. Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope captures the “unity of contraries,” offering the Scottish Enlightenment as an exemplar of tenacious hope countering the excesses of individualism. Ronald C. Arnett reveals two stories: the struggle between optimism and tenacious hope, and optimism’s ultimate triumph in the exclusion of difference and the reification of progress as an ultimate good. 
In chapters that detail the legacies of Lord Provost George Drummond, Adam Smith, David Hume, Thomas Reid, George Campbell, Adam Ferguson, and Sir Walter Scott, Arnett highlights the problematic nature of optimism and the ethical agency of tenacious hope. Arnett illustrates the creative union of education and administration, the ability to accept doubt within systems of knowledge and imagination, and an abiding connection to local soil. As principles of progress, free will, and capitalism swept Europe, proponents of optimism envisioned a world of consumerism and absolutes. In contrast, practitioners of tenacious hope embraced uncertainty and compassion as pragmatic necessities.
This work continues Arnett’s scholarship, articulating the vital importance of communication ethics. Those seeking to discern and support a temporal sense of the good in this historical moment will find in this timely work the means to pursue, hold, and nourish tenacious hope. This insightful theorization of the Scottish Enlightenment distills the substance of a just and free society for meeting dangerous and uncertain times. 

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