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Historical law-tracts by Lord Henry Home…

Historical law-tracts

by Lord Henry Home Kames

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865976171, Hardcover)

In his 1758 Historical Law-Tracts, Henry Home, Lord Kames, combines the natural law framework that underlies his Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion with the “conjectural or philosophical approach to history that would receive its fullest treatment in his Sketches of the History of Man. In so doing, Kames presents a history of law as a history of the progress of humankind from savage to civil society.

This compilation comprises fourteen tracts and nine appendixes that cover criminal law, promises and covenants, property, courts, the laws of inheritance, and the laws governing creditors and debtors in a comparative and historical arrangement designed to illustrate the principles of human progress. As Kames explained in his preface, law becomes “a rational study only when “it is traced historically, from its first rudiments among savages, through successive changes, to its highest improvements in a civilized society.

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.

James A. Harris is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

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