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Lord KamesLegal and Social Theorist$
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Andreas Rahmatian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676736

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676736.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Moral Philosophy II

Moral Philosophy II


(p.92) IV Moral Philosophy II
Lord Kames

Andreas Rahmatian

Edinburgh University Press

This second chapter on moral philosophy deals with a central theme in Kames's work: the progress of society, here the development of reasoning and systems of thought, human behaviour, especially manners and morality, and religion. First, Kames's exposition of the forms of reasoning and their development in history is discussed. Here we find already Kames's distinctive mixture between ahistorical “pure” philosophical thought and anthropological/social history of man that is founded on philosophical assumptions – a typical characteristic of the Scottish Enlightenment generally, but Kames's version is quite representative and original. After a discussion of the development of reasoning, Kames's philosophical anthropology of the development of morality and manners is presented, together with Kames's ideas about the effect of luxury on society and his defence of Macpherson's “Works of Ossian” as one example of his theory. The final part of the chapter deals with Kames's rational deist and enlightened (and, from the point of view of the revealed religions, heretic) concept of religion and the historical development of religion. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the political and social purposes of religion and the reason why some of Kames's religious ideas brought him close to excommunication in 1755.

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