Sketches of the History of Man
Автор(и) : Henry Home, Lord Kames
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 2007
ISBN : 978-0-86597-501-4
Брой страници : 333
Език : английски
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Henry Home, Lord Kames, was by nature an advocate for reform and improvement and stood at the heart of the modernizing and liberalizing movement now known as the Scottish Enlightenment. The reaction to his Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion was a defining moment in the establishment of the predominance of moderation in the Church of Scotland.
Divided into three books, Kames’s Sketches of the History of Man draws together the concerns of many of his earlier works. The first book considers man in the private sphere and presents Kames’s version of the “four-stage theory of history”: the progress, that is, from hunting, through “the shepherd state” to agriculture, and thence to commerce. It contains, in addition, sketches on progress in the arts, taste, manners, and appetite for luxury goods.
The second book takes as its subject man in the public sphere and explores the implications of his natural “appetite for society.” Kames develops the notion that political, legal, and financial institutions are best regulated when it is understood that they are outgrowths of aspects of human nature.
In the final book, Kames turns to an account of progress in the sciences of logic, morals, and theology. He seeks to vindicate the claim that “human understanding is in a progress towards maturity, however slow.” Throughout the entire work, Kames expounds on his fundamental hypothesis that at the beginning of the history of the human race, savagery was ubiquitous and that the human story is one of an emergence out of barbarism and toward maturity.
"Progress of Property
Among the senses inherent in man, the sense of property is eminent. That sense is the foundation of yours and mine, a distinction which no human being is ignorant of. By that sense, wild animals, caught with labour or art, are perceived to belong to the hunter or fisher: they become his property. There is the same perception of property with respect to wild animals tamed for use, with their progeny. A field separated from the common, and cultivated by a man for bread to himself and family, is equally perceived to be his property .
The sense of property is slower in its growth toward maturity than the external senses, which are perfect even in childhood; but it ripens more early than the sense of congruity, of symmetry, of dignity, of grace, and the other refined sen-ses, which scarce make any figure before the age of manhood. Children discover a sense of property in distinguishing their own chair, and their own spoon. In them, however, it is faint and obscure, requiring time to ripen. The gradual progress of that sense, from its infancy among savages to its maturity among polished nations, is one of the most instructive articles that belong to the present undertaking. But as that article makes a part of Historical Law-tracts, nothing remains here but a few gleanings."
Henry Home, Lord Kames
Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696–1782), one of the leaders of the Scottish Enlightenment, was a judge in the supreme courts of Scotland and wrote extensively on morals, religion, education, aesthetics, history, political economy, and law, including natural law. His most distinctive contribution came through his works on the nature of law, where he sought to combine a philosophical approach with an empirical history of legal evolution.