The Centre has always been interested in issues concerning the nature and value of society, and has pursued various projects in aspects of political philosophy.

More than 30 of its visiting fellows have worked on topics and themes falling within these broad areas, and it has hosted conferences and symposia on various issues in social and political thought.

Only occasionally, however, has it engaged with issues in business and economics. Yet as well as being matters of deep interest within the Scottish intellectual tradition, made the subject of study by David Hume, Adam Smith, James Steuart, Adam Ferguson, William Ogilvie and others, business, commerce and economics are now the subject of much public debate.

Conscious of the new pressure to address ethical and other philosophical aspects of these matters the Centre has published three collections of essays by philosophers, economists, historians and others.