Among thinkers of the Scottish enlightenment, no one was more prolific, in more fields, than Henry Home, Lord Kames. His wide spheres of interest included original contributions to law, philosophy, morality, religion, pedagogy, economy, and criticism. He was a practical lawyer, an ardent reformer in Scottish economic society and a pivotal figure among thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment (Lehmann 1971:286; Tanaka 1988), and it is his contributions to law that first command the attention (Lieberman 1983). We can recognize the characteristic features of his methodology in Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1751), Historical Law Tracts (1759), Principles of Equity (1760), and Elements of Criticism (1762). They all stress an historical awareness (Kames 1792:111, 429-30), and this awareness can be seen, not only in law, but in other areas of his studies. Of course, this is not his only method, and many other thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment also applied it to their studies; the historical method was virtually ubiquitous in their attitude of learning. Sketches of the History of Man (1774) can be regarded as the best document to consider 'the historical' in works of Lord Kames (Ross 1992:337); it also effectively summarized his work up to that time. It will therefore be central to the discussion that follows.
William Robertson(1721-93), with Hume and Gibbon, was representative of British historians of the eighteenth century. He was also one of the powerful leaders of the Moderate movement in the Church of Scotland. It cannot be denied that his view and his knowledge of history were relevant to him being a leader of the Moderates, and we can recognize why he identified himself as one when we try to examine how he researched history. As Dugald Stewart put it, Robertson's way of study was characterized by a combination of 'the sociological' and 'the historical', and the resulting work may be interpreted as 'philosophical history' or 'historical sociology' (Stewart 1858: X, 168). This term of sociology was a part of the system of moral philosophy in the eighteenth century. Therefore, his study may be included in 'philosophical history' based on the accepted view. His marked attachment to the positive description of history could be seen in some features of his 'philosophical history'. His sociological studies and cultural anthropological considerations could be taken as an
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Publication information: Book title: The Rise of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment. Contributors: Tatsuya Sakamoto - Editor, Hideo Tanaka - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 150.
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